Liberty Times: What do you think is currently the greatest problem facing Taiwan? What kind of leadership does Taiwan need?
Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文): Aside from the issues of pro-independence and pro-unification, the country has to face the social issue that is gradually surfacing as a result of globalization; the exacerbation of uneven income distribution.
Although the rate of economic growth in Taiwan through globalization could be maintained at a certain level, it has caused many economic activities to move outward, exacerbating unemployment and decreasing the number of jobs. Therefore, the nation is faced with some necessary and drastic changes to the conventional thought patterns that guide public policy.
The Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] is familiar with the situation when Taiwan was first exposed to the world market in the ’60s and ’70s, when there were no “newly rising” countries to -compete with. Today, however, we are faced with globalization, in addition to a situation where there are many other newly rising countries. So we need a leader who is familiar with globalization and a leader who can give the nation a role in a globalized world; a leader who can shape policies to meet the challenges that globalization brings.
If you’re not in tune with globalization and the challenges it could bring, then policies could be wrongly applied, which is what has happened over the past three years.
The KMT is used to being an authoritarian government and therefore it cannot effectively embrace democratic [government] functions such as professionalism, transparency and public participation in the government.
A modernized government does not need long periods of decision-making and the process of decision-making should be conducted transparently and be open to public scrutiny.
Everyone knows about crisis management, but everyone has forgotten that crisis management is dependent on long-term planning and the role of national development. If there is no long-term planning, then there cannot be effective short-term crisis management.
The current administration is one that hasn’t looked toward long-term planning or a long-term vision, so it often finds itself in a tight spot when dealing with short-term crisis management.
A future administration must build a modern government with the aforementioned functions and characteristics.
The guiding spirit of the DPP’s soon-to-be-published “10-year political outline” is to look at the country in terms of long-term planning.
I must stress that a modernized leader must first be aware of globalization trends and know the challenges globalization poses to the nation.
Second, a leader must be able to see the role of the nation in the face of globalization and place our nation in the most advantageous position.
Third, a leader must know how to maximize the benefits of globalization and think of ways to exclude potential risks.
Fourth, a leader must possess a long-term outlook and take long-term planning into consideration when shaping policies so that the government has a full view [of the situation].
Fifth, a leader must have a modernized government. It must be professional, transparent and actively participated in by the public.
Many people think that they have to follow the decision of these leaders, but in so doing they forget that there are two levels to a leader’s decision: Their view and judgment of the matter and their political capability, meaning whether their policy would be accepted by the public and whether it could be implemented.