Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) was appointed acting chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday to fill the void left by outgoing DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
The veteran politician is set to take over the party helm on March 1 to serve out the remainder of Tsai’s term, which runs until May 20.
Chen, who is visiting Miami, Florida, and is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Monday, said in a statement that she gladly accepted the responsibility.
“The first priority is to stabilize and ‘reset’ the DPP after the election loss so the party can move on and continue its fight for Taiwan’s democratic development,” Chen said.
The Greater Kaohsiung mayor received unanimous support at the party’s Central Executive Committee meeting. One of her most important tasks will be the organization of the chairperson election, which is scheduled to take place on May 27.
The other important item on the meeting’s agenda was the finalization of Tsai’s election review.
Tsai called an impromptu press conference after the meeting to deliver what is likely to be her last major speech before stepping down.
The 55-year-old said she was deeply touched by the emotional drain felt by some of her supporters, who had a hard time recovering emotionally after the election loss last month.
“The emotional engagement of our supporters in the election will not be forgotten by this party. The DPP and I would like to once again express our gratitude to our supporters,” she told the press conference.
The DPP “will move on and pick up where it left off,” Tsai said.
The impact of the “economic stability card” that Beijing and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) played during the final two weeks of the presidential election campaign was undeniable, she said.
The biggest lesson the DPP learned from the setback is that it needs to formulate a new strategy and policy toward China, she said.
The DPP should seek to engage with China and increase bilateral exchanges to better understand the nation’s powerful neighbor, because “you cannot understand China by sitting at home.”
However, that cannot be done until the party establishes a mechanism to prepare DPP members for Beijing’s “united front” tactics, she added.
Tsai said there was no need for the DPP to negate its accomplishments simply because of the election loss.
“After all, 6.09 million people voted for the DPP. Their passion and the increased share of the vote suggested that the DPP must have done something right during the past four years,” she said.
As the head of the DPP, Tsai said she took full responsibility for her mismanagement on several election issues, such as personnel, nominations, the establishment of her campaign team, campaign strategy and communication.
Beijing kept adjusting its strategy of interference in the election, DPP spokesperson Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) told reporters at a briefing, adding that China no longer resorts to military threats to influence Taiwan, but that it is looking to achieve its goals by economic means.
“Taiwanese do have doubts about Beijing’s motives and the KMT’s ability to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty, but the second option [other than the KMT] has been lacking,” Lin said.
The DPP’s primary goal in the future is to provide Taiwanese with an option that makes them financially and economically secure, without too much dependence on the Chinese economy, Lin said.
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
SUBTLE? While Biden said the US policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan had not changed, the group targeted China and Russia without naming them Leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US yesterday warned against attempts to “change the status quo by force,” as concerns grow about whether China could invade Taiwan. The issue of Taiwan loomed over a leadership meeting in Tokyo of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) nations — the US, Japan, Australia and India — who stressed their determination to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of an increasingly assertive China, although Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the group was not targeting any one country. The four leaders said in a joint statement issued after their talks
INFORMATION LEAKED: Documents from Xinjiang purportedly showed top leaders in Beijing calling for a forceful crackdown and even orders to shoot to kill Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday held a videoconference with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet as she visited Xinjiang during a mission overshadowed by fresh allegations of Uighur abuses and fears she is being used as a public relations tool. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of detaining more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region as part of a years-long crackdown the US and lawmakers in other Western nations have labeled a “genocide.” China denies the allegations. Bachelet was expected to visit the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on a six-day tour. The US