Mayor of Taiwan
In the first presidential debate on Saturday last week, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) both used “hometown fellows” to address the TV audience, whereas Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) used “fellow compatriots” in her opening speech. Which salutation is politically correct?
A hometown is a city or town of one’s birth or principal residence. Ma and Soong are only partially correct in calling Taiwan their hometown — not because they were not born there, but because Taiwan is not a city or a town. They are running to be the president of a country, not the mayor of a city or town. “Chinese Taipei” sounds like a city, but is a misleading, discriminatory name imposed on Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Tsai’s salutation is correct and appropriate since compatriots are people of the same country of which she is running for president.
For the sake of political correctness, the name of the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission was changed from the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission during the previous DPP administration. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration keeps using this name, even though Ma promotes the so-called “1992 consensus” based on the “one China” idea.
“Fellow Americans” is a common salutation used by politicians in the US. In contrast, the salutation “fellow Taiwanese” is not used by politicians in Taiwan. When Ma was the mayor of Taipei, he issued a publication indicating that Chinese in Taiwan do not feel comfortable when called Taiwanese. Ma then goes against his own will when he says that he is Taiwanese, which is whenever he runs for president.
Farmers, fishermen and the elderly are always a priority topic during election time, but fruit farmers, too, have been much debated in recent weeks because the price of fruit is so low.
I was moved when I saw them speak up for themselves on a TV news program. All they want is for their fruit to sell at a good price. Every fruit farmer presents Taiwan’s treasure, because Taiwan is the kingdom of fruit.
I see many organizations trying to help fruit farmers — for example, local agriculture bureaus, local governments and military groups purchasing fruit to help our people. We live with love, not with assault.
We always say Taiwan attracts people because she owns the people with beautiful hearts. As a result, we should put down our disputes to look forward for our next generation, for our country, the Republic of China.
New Taipei City