Sun, Mar 14, 2004 - Page 8 News List


Lien's bait and switch

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) has been using bait-and-switch tactics to trick and trap voters lately.

First, in his debate with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Lien proposed shortening military service to just three months and eventually phasing out the compulsory service system ("Lien wants to speed up volunteer military service plan," March 6, page 3), perhaps intending to attract young voters.

However, in my opinion, Lien is sending a message that `"If I am elected as president, I will proceed with unification with communist China," which is the only enemy Taiwan currently has. So after unification,Taiwan will no longer have any imminent enemy -- hence compulsory military service will no longer be needed.

I hope the media and the voters will carefully analyze the hidden motives of a head of state who thinks that Taiwan would not need military power to protect the country's sovereignty.

Second, in an interview with Eastern Television, Lien pledged to donate his salary to charity if he is elected. Lien's gesture is truly laughable. If he is truly concerned about poor people, especially students who could not afford college tuition, he would surely long ago have returned the KMT's vast assets to Taiwan's government and people, to whom they legally belong.

Lien instead hid his party's assets by investing in a trust fund operated by a Swiss bank ("KMT says it'll move its funds to Switzerland", Jan. 23, 2003, page 3). No wonder foreigners have second thoughts about investing in Taiwan because Lien himself has no confidence in his own country.

Third, the KMT announced that it would hold a 313 rally to drum up support and to promote anti-"black gold" and anti-corruption.

This is hypocrisy. The KMT's corruption has been known around the world for decades, and black-gold politics is the party's specialty -- all documented in the history books.

So if Lien or his party is hoping to regain the trust of the people, he should be bold enough to return the party assets, not his future salary, to the people to whom they are long overdue.

Finally, I wish there were a third referendum on the ballot to ask the voters the following: "Should persons who own property outside of Taiwan be allowed to run for president?"

Kris Liao


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