Wed, Feb 22, 2017 - Page 8 News List

A new challenge: Nation building

By Jerome Keating

Internal conditions remain ripe for reform and in these optimum conditions the DPP cannot afford window dressing.

Which areas must be focused on? Obviously, the first is the economy.

Every nation faces the challenge of developing a satisfactory economic plan. The DPP must be creative and not only “go south,” but go in any beneficial direction away from China.

A positive sign is that while Chinese tourists have been reduced, the tourism industry has increased overall.

A way must be found to grow Taiwan’s reputation not only in tourism, but in exports and services too.

Taiwan’s economic success is intrinsically linked to pension reform. Burdened with the problem left over from the days of the one-party state, economic growth must be such that it provides a good and balanced pension system for all in the future.

Hard decisions must be made, but the majority of people are behind the reforms.

A separate matter is that of judicial reform and transitional justice.

Having a reliable rule of law will affect all aspects of the nation in addition to the economic — and unfortunately dinosaur judges remain on the docket.

Again, Taiwanese support reforms. On the whole, people are still suspicious of the courts, remains from the one-party state days.

In all such areas, Tsai’s administration is in a good position in its first year in office, but it is also a position where much is expected.

As the first year ends, it is important for Tsai to review personnel and their performance.

Are they up to the job? The development of the strong internal structures that are crucial to a democracy are slowly formed, so personnel involved do not need to worry about fanfare.

Instead, is there progress? The future demands competent people who can handle accountability for their work and are committed to staying the course.

The time is ripe; conditions are favorable. The ball is in the DPP’s court and Taiwanese are watching.

Jerome Keating is a commentator in Taipei.

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