Beginning her four-day visit to Hakka-centric constituencies yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she would be a better president than Presidential Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) because of her Hakka background.
“I would bring the spirit of frugality, perseverance and solidarity, as well as the Hakka people’s determination to safeguard their homeland, to the Presidential Office with me,” Tsai said in Shihgang District (石岡), Greater Taichung, the first stop of her tour.
Highlighting her Hakka ancestry, Tsai said her campaign would like to win at least 40 percent of the vote in Miaoli County, which the DPP has never done before.
“The Hakka spirit in my blood has been calling me to take the challenge and shoulder the responsibility [of being president] like numerous Hakka women have done for the past hundreds of years, but I cannot accomplish this without your support,” Tsai told supporters, who chanted the slogan: “Hakka woman for president.”
Later, in speeches at Tuniou (土牛) and Dongshih (東勢) in Greater Taichung and Tongluo (銅鑼), -Miaoli County, Tsai said she would improve transportation infrastructure and promote advanced agricultural techniques in the mountainous area known for its produce, particularly fruit, if she were elected in January.
The current administration has failed to live up its expectation and pledges, she said.
Tsai added that Ma, who is seeking re-election, has failed to deliver on his promise to raise the annual income for farming households to more than NT$1 million (US$33,202) and his administration had no idea about how to halt falling fruit prices.
Ma also rejected the DPP’s proposal for a NT$1,000 increase to a monthly subsidy for older farmers and settled on just NT$316 increase instead, she said.
Ma has to apologize for his unfulfilled promises as change in government is crucial, Tsai told throngs of supporters in Dongshih.
Tsai pledged to promote the protection of the languages and cultures of the nation’s ethnic minority groups, including Hakka.
Miaoli County, a traditional Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) stronghold, has historically been a difficult constituency for the DPP, said former vice premier Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), who is also of Hakka descent.
The DPP managed to garner 23 percent, 39 percent and 29 percent of the Miaoli County vote in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections respectively, she said.
“However, we’re targeting 45 percent as our goal this year, which is a high standard for us,” she said.
In past elections, the majority of Hakka in northern parts of the country leaned toward the 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.
Tsai will be traveling through Hakka-dominated areas of Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli to drum up support for her presidential campaign after successful visits on the west coast and the east coast boosted her support rate according to some sources.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who
RULES TIGHTENED: Passengers arriving from Sydney and Los Angeles tested positive for COVID-19, while passengers arriving from Seattle all tested negative Seventeen of the 217 passengers who arrived on long-haul at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday morning tested positive for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the positivity rate was higher than expected. Yesterday was the first day that the government enforced stricter health guidelines for the testing of passengers arriving on long-haul flights. They must undergo a polymerase chain reaction test immediately after arriving at the nation’s international airports. Those who test positive are sent directly to hospitals to avoid spreading the virus to people working in and around the airports and at quarantine hotels. Victor Wang (王必勝),
‘CHAOS’: Victor Wang, the CECC’s on-site commander at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, said testing of arrivals has sped up in time to meet holiday demand For now, people are not banned from eating and drinking on trains, despite the rise in locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. “On Sunday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that the nation would remain on a level 2 COVID-19 alert until at least Jan. 24. So we will follow the center’s disease prevention guidelines for passengers on public transport systems,” Wang said. However, bus and train depots have been asked to disinfect facilities more frequently, he said. The center’s new