DPP’s Tsai vis­its Miaoli to make pitch to Hakka vot­ers

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tsai Ing-wen ( ), the Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) chair­woman and pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, on Satur­day vis­ited Miaoli in Cen­tral Tai­wan, one of the ma­jor Hakka re­gions, and de­tailed her ideas for cul­tural preser­va­tion.

Al­ter­nat­ing be­tween Man­darin and Hakka di­alect, Tsai spoke about her plans to im­prove ser­vices to Hakka com­mu­ni­ties in Tai­wan and pro­mote their cul­ture, if she is elected pres­i­dent in Jan­uary.

Tsai said she iden­ti­fies as Hakka but had not been able to gain flu­ency in the Hakka di­alect be­cause that lan­guage was sup­pressed dur­ing the au­thor­i­tar­ian pe­riod of Tai­wan’s history.

The plans she out­lined in­cluded cre­at­ing a good learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment for the Hakka lan­guage, pro­mot­ing Hakka arts and cul­ture, set­ting up a Hakka com­mu­nity med­i­cal ser­vice net­work, es­tab­lish­ing a ru­ral de­vel­op­ment fund for Hakka com­mu­ni­ties, and link­ing Hakka-themed tourism re­sources along High­way No. 3 from Taipei to Ping­tung.

The eth­nic Hakka pop­u­la­tion in Tai­wan is 6 mil­lion, com­pris­ing 26 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the Cab­i­net-level Hakka Af­fairs Coun­cil.

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