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Hau shows support for Lien amid general criticism

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday showed his support for the Kuomintang's (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文), stating that Lien's widely criticized public statement regarding the underdevelopment of the Neihu and Nangang areas was not incorrect.

During Lien's attendance at a seminar for the Taipei Association of Real Estate Brokers (台北市不動產仲介經紀商業同業公會) on July 15, Lien was quoted to have said that the Neihu and Nangang areas have no street lights to illuminate the roads at night, and that convenience stores and traditional markets are nowhere to be found in the areas. Lien's statement later received widespread criticism, with many people claiming that Lien had not done his research as a mayoral candidate.

Hau said to press during a public event yesterday that Lien was not wrong, as the mayoral hopeful was specifically targeting Neihu's fourth and fifth redevelopment zones, which indeed require a lot of improvement. No matter who the succeeding mayor is, said Hau, the area should be a major part of the city's development plans, just as Lien had said.

Lien and Ma Are on Good Terms: Hau

In response to press questions regarding the alleged negative relationship between President Ma Ying-jeou and Lien, Hau said that the allegations are false and that the relationship between the two is very good.

The rumors had reportedly stemmed from Lien's previous criticism of Ma, which apparently caused a rift between the two. Hau dismissed the reports, stating that Ma has been actively seeking opinions from Hau on what would be the most beneficial way to aid Lien's campaign. The mayor also cited the 16 years of accumulated mayoral terms Ma and he have in the city, which serves as another reason why the president holds the campaign in high regard.

Hau also told press that Lien personally told him that he wishes Ma could help him publicly on the campaign, saying that the most important factor for the KMT right now is unity.

New Taipei Mayor Dismisses Alleged Rift with Lien

In related news, local media recently reported that the KMT's Taipei and New Taipei cooperation alliance has failed, with neither party endorsing the other publicly.

Chu yesterday responded to the reports saying that from the first day of his reelection announcement, he had clearly stated that both cities would continue to work together. The reason why he has not been seen actively campaigning, said Chu, is that his primary duty right now is to serve as mayor.

When pressed by media to respond to Lien's recent invitation to have the mayor back him publicly on one of Lien's campaigns, Chu was quoted to have answered that the cooperation between the two cities has not yet reached such levels. Chu later stressed that cooperation between the cities should be focused toward greater goods such as better education and a good environment for citizens.

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