Mon, Nov 07, 2011 - Page 3 News List

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Tsai working to gain Hakka support

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen, second left, receives campaign donations from the crowd during a rally in Changhua County yesterday.

Photo: Yen Hung-chun, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) today begins a four-day trip to Hakka-populated areas of Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli to drum up support among voters for her persidential campaign.

Tsai campaign spokesperson Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said Tsai, who is of Hakka descent, will promote the idea that the language and culture of minority ethnic groups throughout the country, including the Hakka, should be protected, in accordance with the DPP’s Multiple Ethnic Groups, United Country Resolution adopted by the party in 2004.

The DPP resolution states that Taiwan is the homeland of Taiwanese Aborigines, Hakka, Hoklo and the descendants of Mainlanders, as well as new immigrants. The nation’s identity is constructed by its diverse ethnic makeup, all ethnic groups are the rulers of Taiwan and their languages and cultures are the country’s languages and cultures, the resolution says.

The DPP said although Tsai’s campaign gained momentum following her 11-day campaign trip along the west coast last month, townships in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli counties with concentrations of Hakka are still seen as relatively “weak areas” for the party.

In past elections, most Hakka in northern parts of the country leaned toward the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Hakka are the second-largest ethnic group in the country behind Hoklo. According to a Council for Hakka Affairs survey, 18.1 percent of the nation’s 23 million nationals, or 4.2 million people, are of Hakka descent.

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