FORMER Judicial Yuan president Lin Yang-kang says cross-strait relations will 'immediately change for the better' if he and ex-premier Hau Pei-tsun win Taiwan's first direct presidential election in March. Mr Lin made the comment yesterday after Mr Hau formally accepted his invitation to be his vice-presidential running mate. Taiwan-born Mr Lin, 68, and mainland-born Mr Hau, 76, are vice-chairmen of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), but head the conservative 'non-mainstream' opposition to KMT chairman and President Lee Teng-hui. The pair were speaking at a conference in Taipei's Ambassador Hotel, packed with boisterous supporters and members of the KMT old guard, including Chiang Wei-kuo, the son of the late KMT strongman Chiang Kai-shek. But the festivities were marred by violence when angry Lin supporters pushed pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party legislator Lim Jo-tsui out of the hall. Another shoving match occurred when the opposition party's Chiang Peng-chien tried to hand Mr Hau a challenge to a public debate on independence as the retired general left. Earlier, Mr Lin said he had decided to run against Mr Lee because Taiwan was at 'a life-or-death juncture'. He cited confusion over national identity, misguided leadership, social chaos, financial disorder, economic recession and worsening cross-strait relations. Mr Lin said the Lin-Hau ticket's principles for national development were 'no rapid unification and absolutely not separatism' and that future policy guidelines would 'pursue peace, stability, affluence and prosperity'. He stressed he was not an advocate of immediate unification. 'Cross-strait ties are now in a state of divided rule, but when the mainland becomes free, democratic and under the rule of law, we can discuss how to become one family again,' he said. His invitation to mainland-born Mr Hau indicated he had 'no notions of ethnic discrimination' and advocated harmony. Both candidates are defiant over the possibility they will be expelled from the KMT. 'A minority in power does not equal the Chinese Kuomintang,' Mr Lin said. 'I am the temple worker for the Chinese Kuomintang; anyone who tries to expel me is a beggar!' declared Mr Hau, who said the party's current leaders had violated the teachings of Sun Yat-sen. Asked how he would revive the island's ailing stock market, Mr Lin said the market was soft because 'cross-strait relations have been made tense and mainland China has held military exercises'. 'So long as we are elected, this situation will change for the better immediately,' he said. 'So, if you hope to have chances to make money, you should support us.' Neither Mr Lin nor Mr Hau attended the weekly meeting of the KMT's standing committee, after which party spokesman Chien Han-sheng urged them to reconsider their candidature.