Mon, Oct 08, 2018 - Page 6 News List

New mayor must have a fresh vision for Taipei

By Lee Min-yung 李敏勇

The three main candidates in the Taipei mayoral election next month are Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who claims to be an independent, but behaves as if he had his own faction.

Yao belongs to the pro-Taiwan faction and Ting to the pro-China faction, while Ko, who straddles the two and looks to both sides to take advantage of every opportunity, belongs to the fence-sitting faction.

Ko has an advantage as he controls an incumbent’s resources. However, he is also at a disadvantage, as some think he is a wheeling and dealing opportunist whose administrative performance is perhaps not the best.

However, some pro-China advocates worry that Ting is too weak an alternative and therefore might consider throwing their support behind Ko to prevent a DPP candidate winning.

By the same token, some pro-Taiwan supporters could be willing to gamble that the ever-changing Ko will revert to a position that is not harmful to Taiwan rather than risk seeing the China-leaning Ting move into city hall.

Ko seems to have understood this situation, but unprincipled changes are still no different to opportunism.

Yao’s dilemma is that some pro-Taiwan voters would rather see Ko win than allow Ting to take advantage of the situation. Whoever is in the lead between Yao and Ko stands the chance of benefiting from tactical voting.

Yao must consider what he needs to do to win back his supporters’ trust and be chosen by voters who do not want Ting to win.

Ting views Taipei as “Chinese Taipei” and Ko sees no reason to oppose the idea, because communist China is huge and arrogant. Yao, on the other hand, clearly identifies Taipei as the capital of Taiwan.

The three candidates have different views about national identity, but what if Taipei could be identified as a “city of creativity and capital of glory”?

There are three types of Taipei resident — people native to Taipei, people who have moved from central and southern Taiwan, and “Mainlanders” who arrived when the Republic of China was kicked out of China.

Of course, the descendants of these three groups were all born in Taipei. How about working together to create a glorious Taipei, capital of Taiwan?

This is an opportunity for the younger generations to express their creativity.

Taipei should be placed in the foreground, rather than being attached to the adjective “Chinese.”

Yao should call on Taipei residents to display a new political, cultural and economic vision that revitalizes the civic rights of the Taiwanese capital. He should also re-examine urban planning and modify the image of Taipei to one of progress and hope.

As the youngest candidate, Yao would surely win the support of young voters if he called on them to demonstrate the cultural scope of the “city of creativity and capital of glory” based on identification and a sense of belonging.

Taiwan should start anew, beginning from the heart, not only making Taipei Taiwan’s true capital, but also a first-class Asian, or even global, city.

People should not let the adjective “Chinese” narrow and constrain their scope or become a stumbling block on the nation’s path toward normalization.

Taipei should not only be friendly to other Taiwanese cities, it should also stretch out a hand of friendship to the world. Glory follows creativity, and Yao must propose a new vision for the city to help the capital start anew.

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