Once the masters of the world’s most populous country, the Kuomintang (KMT) has fallen on especially hard times of late, but are now hoping to arouse more youngsters back to their side with the help of an alluring new party delegate.
28-year-old Akina Li Tzu-yu is a popular model with over 100,000 followers on Facebook whose looks have been compared to the likes of Fan Bingbing and Ivy Chen. She also happens to be the goddaughter of Hung Hsiu-chu, the KMT’s outgoing chairwoman. On Saturday, Li was elected as a party delegate in the city of Hsinchu in northern Taiwan.
In her new position, Li hopes to attract more young people back to the KMT after seeing them flee in droves to the Democratic Progress Party (DPP) in recent years after trying to cultivate stronger ties with Beijing backfired completely on the party that once ruled the island with an iron fist for decades.
“The DPP does not have a monopoly on love for Taiwan, if people are born and raised Taiwanese, don’t they all love Taiwan? I say that the party imbalance is not the blessing of the Taiwanese people, the KMT needs more young people to keep moving forward. Taiwanese people want stability!” she wrote in a recent Facebook post, according to Taiwan News.
It remains to be seen if Li’s strategy will work. After getting absolutely crushed at the polls last year (losing not only the presidency, but control of parliament for the first time), the KMT has become more and more marginalized and directionless. This year, a number of articles have been written forecasting the slow death of the party that was founded by Sun Yat-sen nearly a century ago.
Over the weekend, Li’s godmother was beaten badly in a party election by Wu Den-yih, the former vice president of Taiwan. As chairman, Wu has vowed to restore the KMT’s power and prestige, promising to build youth confidence and trust in the party.
It’s not clear yet how effective Wu’s youth outreach will be — even with the help of the likes of Li — however, he has already received well wishes from Chinese President Xi Jinping who said in a letter to Wu that he hopes his party will continue to adhere to the 1992 Consensus and firmly oppose “Taiwan independence.”
[Images via Facebook]
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