Tsai and her party re­ceive vote of no con­fi­dence

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 8 Comment Editorial • Opinion -

Tai­wan’s pro-in­de­pen­dence rul­ing Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party suf­fered a big de­feat in the lo­cal elec­tions on the is­land, win­ning only six of the 22 cities and coun­ties, forc­ing Tsai Ing-wen to an­nounce her res­ig­na­tion as leader of the party. Two ex­perts shared their views with China Daily’s Zhang Zhoux­i­ang:

DPP’s stance has been at cost of peo­ple’s in­ter­ests

The DPP’s fail­ure this time was rather heavy. A main rea­son for this is the DPP has made a se­ries of moves over the two years since it took power that have harmed lo­cal res­i­dents’ in­ter­ests. In 2017, Tai­wan’s GDP growth was 2.64 per­cent, much lower than the world av­er­age of 3.7 per­cent, which in turn caused the liv­ing stan­dards of many lo­cal fam­i­lies to fall. At the same time, Tsai’s pen­sion re­form cut the wel­fare for many re­tirees. And when floods hit cities in the south of the is­land this sum­mer, the DPP failed to ren­der ef­fec­tive help to res­i­dents.

But fun­da­men­tally, it is Tsai’s re­fusal to up­hold the 1992 Con­sen­sus that there is only one China that has brought the cross-Straits re­la­tions to a halt since she took of­fice. This has pre­vented Tai­wan from ben­e­fit­ing from the peace­ful de­vel­op­ment of cross-Straits re­la­tions.

As a re­sult, the num­ber of main­land tourists to Tai­wan has dropped by 40 per­cent since she en­tered of­fice, which has caused the bank­ruptcy of tourism agen­cies in Tai­wan and ris­ing unem­ploy­ment rates among tourist guides. Agri­cul­ture prod­ucts, which pre­vi­ously ac­counted for a high per­cent­age of Tai­wan’s ex­ports to the Chi­nese main­land, also be­came over­stocked.

The elec­tion shows peo­ple on the is­land con­sider the DPP’s poli­cies to be a fail­ure. Tai­wan vot­ers know where their in­ter­ests are and if the rul­ing party chooses to ig­nore their in­ter­ests it will pay.

Zhang Hua, an as­so­ciate re­searcher at the In­sti­tute of Tai­wan Stud­ies, Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences

Vot­ers judge ad­min­is­tra­tion’s poli­cies a re­sound­ing fail­ure

Although both po­lit­i­cal fig­ures in­side and out­side the DPP have more than once chal­lenged it, the DPP has con­tin­ued to pur­sue “in­de­pen­dence” for Tai­wan.

That is why, as soon as it took power in 2016, it over­turned all the poli­cies of the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion that ben­e­fited cross-Straits re­la­tions.

Po­lit­i­cally, it re­fuses to up­hold the 1992 Con­sen­sus on one China that has served as the po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tion for the cross-Straits re­la­tions. In eco­nomic re­la­tions, it has tried to dis­tance it­self from the Chi­nese main­land by curb­ing cross-Straits trade. While in its ex­ter­nal re­la­tions, it has tried to get the United States and Ja­pan to act as coun­ter­bal­ances to the Chi­nese main­land.

Even in ed­u­ca­tion and cul­ture, it in­tro­duced new his­tory text­books for high school stu­dents, in which large parts of Chi­nese his­tory were deleted.

The ma­jor­ity of these mea­sures have aroused the anger of the lo­cal res­i­dents be­cause they serve the DPP’s self­ish po­lit­i­cal pur­poses at the cost of the res­i­dents’ in­ter­ests, even the is­land’s fu­ture. The Chi­nese main­land has had to take mul­ti­ple mea­sures to curb the sep­a­ratist moves of Tsai and the DPP, and it is the Tai­wan res­i­dents that have suf­fered most over the past two years.

Tai­wan lost five of the 22 coun­tries with which it had “diplo­matic ties”, its econ­omy has slowed, the is­land even had to give up the plan of new nu­clear power plants and had to use highly-pol­lut­ing ther­mal power plants in­stead.

In­stead of cor­rect­ing their wrongs, Tsai and her col­leagues have con­tin­u­ally hyped up the cross-Straits is­sue and blamed the Chi­nese main­land for “in­ter­ven­ing” in the elec­tion, yet they are no longer able to cheat the peo­ple.

Liu Xiang­ping, a se­nior pro­fes­sor on Tai­wan stud­ies, Nan­jing Univer­sity

The Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion re­cently an­nounced it was launch­ing a pilot pro­gram to pro­mote pain­less child­birth.

So-called pain­less la­bor uses epidu­ral anes­the­sia or spinal anes­the­sia tech­nol­ogy to help re­duce the pain of a nat­u­ral de­liv­ery. Pain­less la­bor has been used in de­vel­oped coun­tries for a long time, but due to the med­i­cal treat­ment level and the short­age of anes­thetists in lo­cal hos­pi­tals few Chi­nese women take anal­ge­sia when hav­ing a nat­u­ral de­liv­ery.

Ac­cord­ing to the three-year work­ing plan for the pilot pro­gram (2018-20), the Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion will se­lect some qual­i­fied hos­pi­tals na­tion­wide to launch the pro­gram and then grad­u­ally pro­mote it na­tion­wide.

The com­mis­sion aims to reg­u­late the prac­tice of pain­less la­bor, in­crease the ra­tio in nat­u­ral de­liv­ery and re­duce the num­ber of women hav­ing a Cae­sarean sec­tion. The pro­mo­tion of pain­less la­bor will be con­ducive to safe­guard health and well-be­ing of women dur­ing child­birth and im­prove peo­ple's sense of gain in terms of med­i­cal treat­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the

Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion, a list of hos­pi­tals par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pilot pro­gram will be re­leased in Jan­uary.

The pilot hos­pi­tals will have to es­tab­lish a man­age­ment sys­tem for la­bor anal­ge­sia, and at the same time carry out reg­u­lar train­ing for med­i­cal staff ad­min­is­ter­ing la­bor anal­ge­sia.

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