Taiwan presidential candidate Soong makes Pingtung first campaign stop

People First Party (PFP) Chairperson James Soong waves to supporters during a news conference in Taipei.
PHOTO: Reuters

TAIPEI - People First Party Chairman James Soong yesterday made Pingtung his first campaign stop in the 2016 presidential race.

In Pingtung, Soong addressed a friendly crowd of around 500 that included members of a local chapter of the Junior Chamber International and civil organisations, according to the Central News Agency.

The presidential candidate said he had visited nearly all the county's townships and villages in his capacity of provincial governor.

He had travelled to even the most remote mountain regions, as Chiang Ching-kuo had told him the small concerns of the people are the government's major affairs, Soong said.

As provincial governor, he had served the public without regard to faction or ethnic group; as president, he aims to transcend the infighting between the pan-blue and pan-green coalitions to find a way forward for Taiwan, Soong said.

He pledged that as president, he would return to the southern county each month to address local problems.

Kuomintang Councilor Chou Dian-lun, speaker of the Pingtung City Council, yesterday praised Soong for his highly efficient handling of regional flooding during his time as provincial governor.

Also yesterday, Soong visited who he called old friends at two local farmers' cooperatives and a temple - campaign stops from his presidential run in 2012.

Around 5 p.m. he stopped at a temple in Changjhih Township to visit farmers estimating agricultural damage from Typhoon Soudelor.