Sun, Dec 04, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Candidates outline visions for Taiwan

IN THE SPOTLIGHT:With the whole nation watching, the three presidential candidates put forth their respective plans, hopes and fears for the country’s future

By Chris Wang, Mo Yan-chih and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporters

She said the initiative — which aims to phase out nuclear power by 2025 by decommissioning the three nuclear power plants currently in operation and preventing the commercial operation of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant — would not cause an energy crisis because the nation would develop other energies in the interim. She dismissed Ma’s emphasis on nuclear energy as an important source of energy.

Soong agreed with Ma and Tsai that the nation would not have to raise electricity fees by a large amount, although low electricity and water fees contributed to the waste of electricity and water, he said.

He promised to push for the development of “green” energies through legislation, among other measures, if elected, and defended his capability of reaching such goals.

In response to a question posed by United Daily News on whether she would pardon jailed Chen, Tsai said the matter was “not an issue to think about at this moment” because the case was still pending a judicial ruling.

“As the trail is ongoing, what needs to be done, especially for a president, is to ensure fairness during judicial review proceedings, which has already been called into question. I hope the flaws can be rectified afterward. What is most important is having a fair trial,” Tsai said.

Ma criticized Tsai’s answer, saying: “You could have answered yes or no now,” instead of delaying deciding about the matter until the trial is over.

Tsai was also asked how she would handle a hypothetical situation in which the DPP’s rejection of the so-called “1992 consensus” harmed cross-strait relations and led to the termination of the ECFA.

Tsai dismissed the concerns, saying she was certain that China would like to maintain a peaceful relationship with Taiwan if she is elected, because “this is where mutual benefits for both sides lie.”

“For China, a stable cross-strait relation means that it needs not worry whether alternating political parties in government will lead to changes in cross-strait policy,” she said.

Soong, asked why he sided with several different political parties during different stages of his political career, said: “It’s true that I had interactions with the KMT, the DPP and the Chinese Communist Party to a great extent in the past. This is because I put people’s interests first. I never pursue my personal interests.”

Soong added that he had been with the KMT because of his deep belief in the “Three Principles of the People” and that he followed former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to pursue democracy, cooperated with former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to try to maintain Taiwan’s position as the leader of the four “Asian Tigers,” and met with former president Chen to avoid a possible war in the Taiwan Strait and bring cross-strait peace.

In response to a question by the Liberty Times on ways to help young people who do not have wealthy fathers, like the three candidates have, to realize their dreams, Ma said he was “sorry” that he failed to deliver his 2008 campaign pledge to keep the unemployment rate under 3 percent, but added that his administration did a better job than the previous DPP government in this regard.

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