Sun, Apr 03, 2016 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Challenge of transition

To smoothly transfer political power over an exceptionally long waiting period of four months, outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) met on March 30 to discuss the transition. Ma said he would support new legislation on presidential transition under the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution and Tsai said that there must be a law to ensure smooth and peaceful transition of power.

The meeting focused on pensions, diplomacy, employment, energy and the South China Sea, while the so-called “1992 consensus” was not even mentioned.

The cross-strait issue is Ma’s favorite topic and proudest achievement, but due to time limitations there was no discussion, so Tsai had no chance to ask him what he had promised at the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in November last year.

Ma’s administration has tightly locked every effort toward the “one China” principle and took China as the main entrance for Taiwan to the international arena. Ma assumes that is the only way for Tsai to survive if she wants to comply with her promise of abiding with the constitutional system.

It is a shame that Ma has been president for eight years and still has not realized the real “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait: that Taiwan is not a part of China.

The ROC holds sovereignty neither over Taiwan nor China; it is an merely an exiled government of China.

Therefore, Tsai’s inauguration statement should express that she only represents Taiwanese voters when ruling a nation that has nothing to do with the sovereignty of China and that the “status quo” means that Taiwan is not a part of China. Tsai represents Taiwanese voters. Taiwan and China are not the same nation.

Ma has left Tsai a broken nation where children are afraid of being beheaded while walking on street. The nation needs fundamental changes. Hopefully, Tsai can lead the public to overcome the challenges and implement reforms to make Taiwan a secure place for children to grow up happily, for adults to work successfully and for seniors to retire comfortably.

John Hsieh

Hayward, California

End people’s isolation

I did not have to read Douglas Habecker’s letter (Letters, April 1, page 8) twice to think that his assessment of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) was on the mark.

When reading the article in question (“Ko Wen-je calls on wardens to arrange more social events,” March 30, page 2), I sat nodding in total agreement with what the mayor said.

By contrast, I was appalled that several groups missed no chance to use the tragic incident to further their cause. The restraint and composure shown by the mother, who witnessed the horrific event and was unable to save her daughter, during a TV interview is something we should learn from.

As for Ko, he is right. In the smartphone-using, everyone-is-connected world, too many people now live virtual lives and pay little or no attention to what is going on right beside them. So, getting people out to meet in person at small neighbourhood events is a marvellous idea.

As the mayor said, harsh punishments for crimes like this are no deterrent. Such acts are committed by people isolated and detached from society. They do not think about the consequences of their actions or the punishment that could follow. Some might even hope for the harshest punishment to end their, real or perceived, suffering.

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