Sun, Jan 02, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Ma is confused about Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen says

FEELING THE PINCH:The DPP chairperson questioned President Ma’s understanding of Taiwan and said commodity prices continue to rise against a backdrop of stagnant salaries

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter, with Staff Writer

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen, third right, and others hold up an oversized copy of the party’s membership card as the party announced a drive to attract new members yesterday.

Photo: Shen Chi-chang, Taipei Times

In a New Year’s Day statement issued yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she found it incomprehensible that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) seems confused as to the definition of the country he governs.

Saying that the land and people are the roots of a country, Tsai said that while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) prostrates itself before “power and rulers” and believes that “no Republic of China (ROC) means no Taiwan,” the DPP has faith in “this land and its people” and is of the opinion that “there would be no ROC if there were no Taiwan.”

The ROC retreated from China to Taiwan in 1949 and has been one page in the history of Taiwan since, she said.

“We realize and respect this historical fact, but what people expect, regardless of their political affiliation, is to be able to freely choose their future without any predetermined political framework,” she said.

Alluding to a recent string of questions posed by the Presidential Office to the DPP over the so-called “1992 consensus,” Tsai said that rather than debate terms such as “1992 consensus,” “one China, two interpretations” and the like, it is best to ask people directly: “What is your country?”

“Anyone would answer without hesitation either Taiwan, or the ROC,” Tsai’s statement said. “The meaning behind that is simple, namely that this land where I live is my country, it’s different to and has never been part of the People’s Republic of China on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.”

“I therefore do not comprehend why President Ma Ying-jeou has recently been asking such questions [about the country’s status], it seems as if he is unsure about the nation’s present and future status,” the statement said. “The fact is, as president, your country is where people vote for you.”

Last year was a hard year for most people, the statement said. -Although national GDP recovered and consumption rebounded, the price of commodities has continued to rise whereas most people’s -salaries have not, the statement said.

“Our economy is developing in a way where there is an increasingly uneven distribution of wealth. As a small number of people enjoy the fruits of the economic recovery, many face their children with tears,” the statement said. “If the current model continues, uneven distribution of wealth and the gap between urban areas and the countryside can only worsen.”

Tsai said the DPP’s economic mission this year is to stop any further worsening of the disproportionate distribution of wealth.

“While the KMT may be complacent over GDP growth, we care about employment and salaries,” the statement said. “However pretty the statistics may look at first glance, they are meaningless if people cannot feel the recovery themselves. It is the DPP’s goal to construct a secure future for the majority of Taiwanese who do not have their own economic and social capital.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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