Sun, Apr 21, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Tsai pans Han Kuo-yu’s ‘eunuchs’ comparison

MAKING SENSE?‘What does the budget have to do with military laws?’ President Tsai Ing-wen said of the Kaohsiung mayor’s comments about ‘eunuchs draped in Western suits’

By Ko Yu-hao and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

President Tsai Ing-wen comments on defense-related statements by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu at a news conference for a job fair in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday demanded that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) retract his comparison of the nation’s military to a group of “eunuchs” for its “lack of laws.”

Han on Thursday had said in an interview that the nation’s military had no laws of its own, and therefore was “akin to eunuchs draped in Western suits.”

“Even if they wore Armani, they would still just be eunuchs,” he said.

Without laws, the military has no combat effectiveness, he said, adding that increasing the military’s budget would be a waste of time.

Tsai yesterday admonished Han, calling his statement “unjust.”

“As the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I solemnly beseech Mayor Han, who has previously served in the military, to retract his statement,” Tsai said, adding: “What does the budget have to do with military laws?”

Laws were in 2013 amended to have most military legal cases handled by the civil court system, in response to public demand for reform following the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), who died of abuse at the hands of senior officers that year.

However, Taiwan still has military judges who would handle military cases in wartime, Tsai said.

As commander-in-chief, she could not let Han disparage the hard work of the men and women serving in the military, she said.

Only because the military is on call around the clock can the public live in safety and enjoy the freedoms that they have, she said.

Han yesterday defended his statement, saying that he was using a metaphor to call attention to the importance of military laws.

Tsai should not criticize him, as she has not served in the military, he said, adding that she should focus on boosting the military’s strength rather than tarnishing his name.

“If I retract everything Tsai tells me to, I would need to go all the way back to when I was still in my mother’s womb,” he said.

Tsai’s administration has continually bought additional weapons, but without laws, the military had no spirit or discipline, he said.

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