Tue, Feb 14, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan to be ‘completely different’ by 2016, Ma says as he pats self on back

Staff Writer, with CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said he and Vice President-elect Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) are confident Taiwan would be “completely different” when the next presidential election is held in 2016.

Addressing a spring gathering of representatives from the nation’s transportation and communications sectors on Sunday, Ma, who was re-elected on Jan. 14, said the targets he set for his first and second terms would be achieved step by step.

His first-term goals were “rectifying the government and catching up with the rest of the world” — aiming to right what he characterizes as the wrongs done by former -president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) Democratic Progressive Party administration.

His second-term goals are “overhauling the country and marching toward excellence,” Ma said.

One of his policy goals was to lower prices for Internet services, which he said his government had done twice and would keep doing to help consumers enjoy “faster, cheaper and better” Internet access.

Another major achievement Ma boasted was expanding Taiwan’s sea and air transportation links to other parts of the world, saying he was pleased to see his project for a “Northeast Asia air service hub” being realized with the launch of direct flights between Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and Gimpo International Airport in Seoul next month.

“A new era dawned in the last year of my first term in office,” Ma said.

He said he paid special attention to developing the country’s air and sea transportation industry because poor development of the industry is very dangerous for an island nation like Taiwan.

“Not having a well-developed sea and air transportation industry, it would greatly dent our international competitiveness,” he said.

He knows many people share his dream of opening up Taiwan to the world and bringing the world to Taiwan — a dream that he would not have a chance to realize had he not been president, Ma said.

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