People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday dismissed speculation he might serve as a special cross-strait envoy should Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) be elected president, saying even gods could not implement Tsai’s China policy.
Soong made the remarks at an international news conference in Taipei yesterday morning, during which he answered a number of questions from local and foreign media that mostly dwelled on post-election cross-strait ties.
The news conference was also attended by PFP legislator-at-large candidate Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞), former minister of the interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) and former PFP legislator Hwang Yih-jiau (黃義交).
“Under the Republic of China’s [ROC] constitutional system, the president is responsible for setting policies, which are to be executed by someone he or she assigns,” Soong said when asked if he would agree to serve as Tsai’s special envoy to China if she won Saturday’s presidential election.
Soong said that he was anxious about Tsai’s cross-strait policies and did not believe her policies would solve the cross-strait conundrum and prompt the other side of the Taiwan Strait to sit down with her.
Tsai’s policies are so unfeasible and equivocal that even gods could not help her, Soong said.
“Besides, there is no guarantee that Tsai will win the race,” he added.
Soong said his landmark 2005 meeting with then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in Beijing paved the way for the decriminalization of cross-strait dealings, allowed peaceful dialogue between both sides and reduced the risks of military conflict across the Taiwan Strait.
Asked if he fretted about the possibility of being replaced by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) or Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) in his role as a bridge for cross-strait communications, Soong said he was willing to share the task with anyone intending to engage in peaceful dialogue with China.
“I am willing to let anyone do the same good things,” Soong said.
Soong said cross-strait relations had been marred by mistrust and fears of armed conflict over the past six decades before eventually being able to accommodate friendly interactions.
Recent improvements in cross-strait relations have prompted even the DPP to back away from its relatively extreme China policies, Soong said, with Tsai — who had been reluctant to admit she was running for the presidency of the ROC — also expressing hopes to maintain the peaceful development of cross-strait ties.
“Nevertheless, Taiwanese, Western countries and China have yet to place their full trust in the DPP’s direction of cross-strait policies,” Soong said.
The PFP chairman shrugged off speculation that he has given up on the presidential race due to his low approval ratings and has shifted his focus to campaigning for his party’s legislative candidates.
“According to the law, I am not allowed to discuss polling results now, but I can assure you that my approval ratings have climbed dramatically after the two televised presidential debates and are far higher than estimated,” Soong said.
“All I can say is that the KMT is seriously lagging behind and the DPP’s election outlook is not necessarily promising, but the PFP’s momentum has seen significant growth,” he added.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly