Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday hit back at the Presidential Office for painting and criticizing her as an independence fundamentalist.
Tsai said that the Presidential Office overly simplified her remarks in an interview, which appeared in three Chinese-language newspapers yesterday, and that she had just asked President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) a few questions.
“I just asked a few questions and I would like to see him answer them,” she said. “It is not a good idea to stick a label on other people.”
In the interviews, Tsai criticized Ma for failing to mention in his inaugural address that Taiwan’s 23 million people have the final say on the nation’s future.
In response, an official at the Presidential Office said there was no need to mention it because it is a fact that Taiwanese have a say on the country’s future because they can elect legislators and presidents.
She also criticized the Ma administration for retreating on the issue of sovereignty. She said she would like to know why the administration wanted to resume cross-strait negotiations based on the so-called “1992 consensus,” without clarifying what the consensus refers to.
Tsai said the administration has now chosen to keep mum on the KMT’s previous contention that the so-called consensus refers to “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”
Tsai said that the Ma government’s plan to apply for WHO membership under the name “Chinese Taipei” without undertaking political negotiations was unacceptable and a step backward.
The Presidential Office retorted by saying that the officials documents of the WTO refer to the country as “Chinese Taipei” and the country did not gain accession to the international body until 2002 when Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was president.
Tsai said yesterday that the details of the WTO application were decided by the then-KMT administration and the DPP administration was not responsible for them.
Tsai also met the heads of local chapters of the DPP in Taipei yesterday. After listening to their opinions, Tsai instructed the party’s Department of Organizational Development to conduct a census of party members as part of its efforts to reform the party following its defeat in the legislative and presidential elections earlier this year.
Tsai called for unity at the party meet yesterday, saying the party was just starting its uphill climb to initiate changes.
Charter bosses attending the meeting reached a consensus that party members should refrain from attacking each other.
In other news, the DPP’s Party Reform Task Force held its first meeting yesterday and decided to propose a reform package on June 18 so it can be ready for debate at the party’s National Congress on July 20.
DPP Secretary-General Wang Tuoh (王拓), who also serves as the convener of the task force, said the nine-member group would discuss three main issues: revision of the party platform, discipline and evaluation and nomination process.
Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), a member of the task force, said that with Tsai as the party’s new leader, the priorities are to reshape the image of the party and to settle the nomination for next year’s local chief elections as soon as possible.