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June 23, 2017

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Hung to meet with former KMT chairs in unity drive

Kuomintang (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu revealed Wednesday that she would meet with four former party chairmen on Thursday in an attempt to build party unity.

The party has been fractured by financial challenges and split opinions over Hung's planned November trip to Beijing.

In an effort to build unity, the chairwoman has invited former party chairmen Lien Chan, Wu Po-hsiung, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou to discuss party affairs at the KMT's headquarters.

Former President Ma confirmed his attendance, putting aside a previous commitment after receiving a personal call from Hung. Earlier reports had suggested Ma would be unavailable.

Ma's aides also stated that he wished to attend to prevent speculation of continued differences among the party hierarchy should he be absent.

Hung called the meeting to discuss party affairs after recent challenges, including a freezing of the party's assets by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, as well as internal disagreement over her planned visit to China.

The KMT chairwoman is expected to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the trip.

Hung stated in a 10-minute address during the party's weekly central standing committee that, contrary to some suggestions, the party leadership was "very concerned" about finances and the plight of its party staff, many who have not been paid since September.

She said party grandees had phoned repeatedly to enquire about the matter, with Hung describing her own efforts as a "frenetic run in all cardinal directions."

Hung said she was also exploring new means of raising funds, and had tasked Vice Chairman Chan Chi-hsien with responding to the ill-gotten party assets committee.

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