Wed, Jan 21, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Lu lashes out at Ma's policy, KMT defensive

POWER CLASH The DPP and KMT delegations in Washington clashed on the issue of sovereignty, while Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng called for unity

By Nadia Tsao  /  STAFF REPORTER,WITH STAFF WRITER , WASHINGTON

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) lambasted the government yesterday, saying that since President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) inauguration, Taiwan has “almost disappeared” and that she believed in “Ma's heart the motherland is China.”

Lu made the above comments at a welcome reception held in her honor in the US by 250 pan-green supporters.

Lu was a member of a Taiwanese delegation that arrived in Washington yesterday noon for US president-elect Barack Obama's inauguration. Taiwan has three separate groups of well-wishers at the event — an official government delegation led by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), one from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) led by KMT Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) and a Democratic Progress Party (DPP) delegation led by Lu.

Lu told the audience at the banquet yesterday that Taiwan's economy had plummeted since the KMT government took over, adding that Taiwan's sovereignty had suffered a setback and the government only executes policies based on agreements reached at the KMT's meeting with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Lu said that history has shown that past resolutions between the KMT and the CCP have only resulted in the communists taking over.

Saying the new KMT-CCP cooperation has placed Taiwan's sovereignty in jeopardy, Lu added that to prevent the next generation of Taiwanese from being swallowed by the Chinese, the DPP must regain its power in 2012.

Lu added that Obama's election made her realize that while elections are transitional, a country stands forever.

There can be many political parties, she said, but there is only one country, so people should not be divided into pan-blue or pan-green.

Meanwhile, at a banquet sponsored by major pan-blue supporters yesterday, Chiang said that the KMT administration had not sacrificed national sovereignty or dignity to promote cross-strait relations.

Former representative to the US Stephen Chen (陳鍚蕃) said that the Republic of China is a country, but Taiwan is not.

Wang later said the delegation was one and should not be divided.

The conflict was not the first to occur between the two camps. At a banquet in New York on Sunday, Chiang's comments on the sensitive issue of reunification or independence issue stirred party resentment.

“We may belong to different political parties, but we are all Chinese,” Chiang said.

Lu, obviously annoyed by Chiang's remarks, later declined an invitation by Kenneth Liao (廖港民), director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, to make a speech.

Lu later told the press why she declined to take the podium.

“We should observe how Obama treats his political rivals after the election; that is democracy we should learn,” she said. “Regretfully, before we even left the country, a storm had been stirred abroad, to decrease the severity of the storm, I am not going to speak now.”

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