Top priority is confidence for the people: Tsai
Embarking on her 12-day tour of the United States, 2016 presidential candidate and Democratic Progressive Party ( DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen ( ) delivered a speech in Los Angeles on May 30, disclosing her fundamental views on leading the nation if she wins the 2016 election.
Having departed on May 29, Tsai is scheduled to visit Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, Houston and San Fran- cisco. At a fund-raising reception held in Los Angeles, Tsai said “I came here not for an interview, as many media have put it; I came here to convey two crucial points to Taiwan’s friends worldwide.”
The first message was that Taiwanese will always advocate democracy, which she said is the common language shared between the U.S. and the island nation. “Taiwanese will not allow their democratic system to step backwards. Just like citizens of the United States, we strongly believe in democracy, freedom and human rights, and will continue to stand by it for a very long time,” Tsai said.
The second message was that if she is elected president in 2016, the DPP will do all it can to maintain cross- strait peace and stability. With her previous opinions on cross- strait relations slammed by the Kuomintang ( KMT) and many pundits as meaningless and empty, Tsai explained that in terms of maintaining the status quo, the party aims to stabilize the cross- strait relationship to the point where economic developments may prosper sustainably.
“Regional peace is the duty of all countries, therefore, the DPP will communicate with all nearby nations, including mainland China, and try our best to reduce misunderstandings,” she added. Moreover, Tsai said that though Taiwan is a relatively small island, it will take on responsibility in maintaining regional peace and become a substantial factor in Asia.
“I hate to criticize the govern- ment when overseas; however, the brutal fact is that in the past seven years, our people have lost much self- confidence under the KMT administration,” Tsai said. She added that to build selfconfidence among the people, the government will have to strengthen state power and to find the nation’s place on the international stage. “That will be my top priority if I am elected president,” she said.
Strengthening State Power
In terms of strengthening state power, Tsai said there will be three aspects on which the DPP will focus: democracy, economy and justice.
“Democracy in Taiwan should be strengthened by building an efficient and transparent government, willing to communicate with its people,” Tsai said.
In terms of boosting the economy, Tsai said that the goal is to revitalize the creative economy, developing more initiative and high- value industries. Further- more, she said it is essential to join more international organizations and to avoid reliance on individual markets. “Once our economy becomes independent, the nation will enjoy more political autonomy,” Tsai said.
As for the realization of justice, Tsai said that the current annuity scheme and the land tax system require reform, and that government- business relationships should be transparent and clean. Tsai is due to return to Taiwan on June 10.