By Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As she left for Japan Tuesday, opposition presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen projected calm about speculation that the ruling Kuomintang was considering replacing her rival, Hung Hsiu-chu, with its chairman, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu.
Several recent opinion polls have put Hung between 20 and 30 percent behind Tsai, forcing growing unease within the ruling party camp. While earlier polls have not indicated that Chu would defeat the Democratic Progressive Party leader, at least he would come closer than Hung.
Asked by reporters about the likely change, Tsai said the DPP was managing the campaign for the January 16 election in a stable way. During the process, the party is prepared for every change or eventuality that might occur, Tsai said. She emphasized she wanted to win the broadest possible support with the best possible policies and team.
Tsai said that which candidate she would have to face was not important, as the voter cared more about whether parties were reliable and campaign teams were stable while policies were positive.
Tsai traveled to Japan Tuesday, where she was scheduled to explain her policies to politicians, business leaders and Overseas Taiwanese. During the spring, she paid a high-profile visit to the United States, during which she met with senior government officials and politicians.
Responding to questions about an eventual encounter with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Tsai said she respected the organization of her trip by the Japanese.