Wed, Jul 20, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Veteran advocate Koo backs Tsai’s ‘Taiwanese’ line

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Veteran Taiwan-independence advocate Koo Kwang-min (辜寬敏) yesterday backed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) campaign slogan of “I am Taiwanese,” saying that the slogan is “as simple as it can get for real Taiwanese.”

The slogan, which appears in Tsai’s first campaign commercial, has been criticized by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) campaign as “inciting ethnic divisions.”

“Is there anything wrong with Taiwanese calling themselves Taiwanese? I would say that those who feel uncomfortable with the description are the ones who have the identity problem,” said Koo, 84, a former presidential adviser.

After Ma’s campaign staff criticized Tsai’s slogan, Ma this month wrote on his Facebook page: “I am a descendant of the Yellow Emperor in blood and I identify with Taiwan in terms of my identity. I fight for Taiwan and I am Taiwanese. In nationality, I am a Republic of China [ROC] citizen and I am the president of the ROC.”

“Based on what Ma has done [during the past three years], I wonder how many people would believe his claim of being Taiwanese,” Koo said yesterday, urging voters to support Tsai in the presidential election, which he described as a battle between the DPP and a united front of the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party.

Responding to questions about the recent controversy surrounding the DPP’s legislators-at-large roster, Koo said the list seemed “incomplete” to many people, but he refrained from criticizing Tsai, who played a key role in the compilation of the list.

Koo voiced his support for DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮), who is No. 22 on the roster and outside the so-called “safe zone” of the 34-member list, saying that Chai has the best connections with the US Congress among DPP lawmakers, and thus would be a valuable asset for the party.

Koo, founder of the Taiwan Brain Trust think tank, yesterday also endorsed eight young legislative candidates nominated by the DPP.

The candidates — Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), Ho Po-wen (何博文), Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國), Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏), Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘), David Huang (黃適卓), Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) and Lai Yen-hsueh (賴燕雪) — have formed a coalition called “Our Generation” to advocate a joint effort to advance rights for the underprivileged and the disadvantaged, including women, young people, immigrants, farmers, workers and the handicapped.

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