Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen said in Los Angeles on Saturday that she has no plans to run in Taipei during the seven-in-one elections in 2014.
Tsai, who arrived in the US on Saturday for a two-week visit, made the comment in response to media inquiries on the sidelines of a Los Angeles Taiwan Center fundraising dinner, local media reported.
Citing a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) internal poll, local media reported that Tsai would be the favorite to win the 2014 mayoral election in Taipei over possible KMT candidates Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰).
Tsai also commented on former premier Frank Hsieh’s (謝長廷) China visit and the heated discussion in the DPP on China policy, saying that she supported the normalization of the mutual dialogue between the DPP and Beijing, but the party would have to stand firm on its core values and basic position.
“The most important internal guideline [for the DPP’s China policy] remains the 1999 resolution on Taiwan’s future,” she said.
Tsai reiterated that she has no plan to visit China, but does not rule out the possibility, adding that there should be no preconditions for bilateral exchanges between the DPP and China.
Speaking to the overseas Taiwanese at the dinner, Tsai lambasted President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) economic policy of a “full-scale tilting toward China” as “chronic suicide.”
Ma’s policy could lead to a “magnetic effect” in which China would attract and absorb Taiwan’s investment, talent and technology, pushing the nation down the value chain, widening the wealth gap and eroding Taiwanese democracy, the former DPP chairperson said.
“If I may, I would like to say that Ma’s policy is depreciating Taiwan’s value in the global economic community. Even worse, it would be a policy of chronic suicide,” she said.
“Ma lacks core economic thinking and has always liked to take the easy way out by saying he supports economic liberalism,” Tsai said, adding that the Ma administration has been irresponsible and lazy because it did not know what to do and how to solve the problems.
“That is why he always says ‘let the market decide,’” Tsai said.
Tsai said it is important for the nation to upgrade its industrial structure and develop a sustainable economic model with brand-new thinking and innovation.
The former DPP presidential candidate is visiting the US to express her gratitude for overseas Taiwanese’s support during the presidential election.
She is scheduled to visit Los Angeles and San Francisco today before meeting with the Taiwanese Association-America in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday and attending a New York Taiwan Center event on Friday.
Tsai is also to visit some family members and former classmates, but that part of the itinerary is closed to the media, her office said.