Members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused former premier Simon Chang (張善政) of discriminating against women, while the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) vice presidential candidate said that his words had been misconstrued.
At a campaign event on Thursday, Chang said that while being unmarried is not wrong, “President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has not given birth, so she would not understand the feelings of a parent,” as he spoke about health policy for immigrant women during pregnancy.
At a briefing at Tsai’s Taipei campaign office, DPP Taipei City Councilor Chien Hsu-pei (簡舒培) said that Chang had previously appeared cultured, “but now he speaks with odious words filled with discrimination.”
Photo: Wang Jung-hsiang, Taipei Times
“It makes people wonder whether he has caught the [Kaohsiung Mayor] ‘Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) virus,’ which has changed him into another person,” Chien said.
Han is the KMT’s presidential candidate.
Tsai said that her work justified her.
“I am a woman who is not married and does not have children, which some have made into a big issue,” Tsai wrote on Facebook.
“However, I have joined many women immersed in public affairs who have worked extra hard to achieve greater things and we have proved ourselves,” she wrote.
“Times are changing and Taiwan is making progress,” she wrote. “A woman in a skirt can become the supreme commander of the armed forces. Whether we have children does not diminish the resolve in our hearts and minds to build a better future for the next generation.”
“I am working to expand childcare services and to set up a better social welfare net,” Tsai wrote.
“Looking back to when Chang was premier, what did he do for our children?” she asked.
DPP Legislator Lin Ching-yu (林靜儀), an obstetrician and gynecologist, said that people must not use sex and physiology as criteria when choosing a president.
“To have good leadership and competency to govern a nation, as well as empathy for common people, a person needs a brain,” Lin said.
“We ask the KMT candidates to use their brains and not just think about reproductive organs,” she said.
Chang told reporters that “if people did not understand what he was saying, he could withdraw and rephrase them.”
“President Tsai, please have sympathy for parents who are pregnant and for immigrant women who are pregnant, but have no health insurance,” he said.
“Please support our policy and give them health insurance,” he said.
Chang asked reporters whether they grasped his point, adding: “There is no discrimination.”
It was online commenters trying to spin his words as if they were discriminatory against women, he said.
“I urge everyone to check what netizens were saying,” Chang said. “It was online bullying — an Internet army seeking to influence public opinion.”
“The online comments were pervasive in their criticisms and took my words out of context,” he said.
“Han has been vilified in this way for a long time and now I start campaigning and netizens are attempting to smear me, but they found that it was not so easy, so they twisted my words to make them malignant,” Chang said.
“It pains my heart to see this,” he added. “I have not seen clean campaigning, because the DPP has no achievements to tout, so it is resorting to negative tactics.”
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-guang
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the