President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, yesterday debated their economic policies and reinstatement of the Special Investigation Division (SID) at the second platform presentation for the Jan. 11 election.
Tsai, who won a draw to speak first, began her presentation by touting her economic achievements.
Under her administration, the nation has experienced growth for 14 straight quarters, with Taiwan outperforming the four Asian Tigers, she said, adding that the economy contracted for the three years prior to that, under then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Photo courtesy of China Television
As many of Han’s advisers come from Ma’s administration, “I really do not know how Taiwanese would ‘get rich,’” Tsai said, referring to one of Han’s campaign slogans.
If re-elected, she would deepen economic ties with countries targeted by the New Southbound Policy, signing more bilateral investment agreements and building new supply chains, Tsai added.
Tsai said that she would also seek to establish a bilateral free-trade agreement with the US.
Her administration would aim to transform Taiwan into a new center for advanced manufacturing and research, a hub for finance and asset management, and Asia’s green energy supply chain, she said.
Commenting on Han’s plan to reinstate the SID, Tsai said that the agency was abolished in 2017 because it was “turned into a tool for political wrangling by the KMT.”
In a case involving former SID prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), who was later sentenced to one year and three months in prison, the division was found to have wiretapped the Legislative Yuan before providing the transcripts to then-president Ma, she said.
Han said that if elected, he would improve the economy by continuing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), and establish free economic pilot zones in Taichung and Kaohsiung.
He said he would establish a sovereign wealth fund of about NT$10 trillion (US$331.1 billion) and require that Taiwanese representatives to other nations promote Taiwan’s exports.
“I would launch the biggest talent fostering program in history, which would be named Mantianxing (滿天星) or Daguangming (大光明), to connect Taiwan’s young people to the world,” Han said.
He called Tsai an incompetent president whose administration has been hijacked by Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).
Taiwan’s real crisis is having Tsai as its president, Han said, adding that her lack of power has allowed her administration to grow corrupt.
Since proposing the reinstatement of the SID, Han said that everywhere he has traveled, “people have asked for the division to be re-established immediately.”
People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said the DPP and KMT have become increasingly radical, adding that he offers a more balanced alternative for voters.
“Taiwan will not disappear if Tsai is not re-elected and the Republic of China will not be destroyed if Han loses the election,” Soong said, adding that voting for him would let people prove that they are not controlled by the two largest parties.
The presentation, held at a China Television (中視) studio, was the second planned by the Central Election Commission. A third is to be held tomorrow at 7pm and broadcast live on Taiwan Television.
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
ESPIONAGE CHARGE: A TAO spokesperson said that the rights of Shih Cheng-ping were ‘fully safeguarded’ during the hearing, which handed him four years in prison China sentenced Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a former National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) professor, to four years in jail for espionage, officials said yesterday. The ruling came a month after Shih made a televised “confession” on state media. Shih, who is also a former chief economist for Chinese conglomerate Huaxia Group (華夏集團), was found guilty by a Chinese court on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) told a news briefing. Shih — who vanished after traveling to China in August 2018 — was among Taiwanese who China Central Television (CCTV) last month showed confessing to spying. CCTV often broadcasts suspects admitting to crimes, even