The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday introduced its new officials appointed by DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), including a pair of female directors said to excel at social advocacy, but who have no experience in politics.
DPP Deputy Secretary-General Liao Chin-kuei (廖錦桂) and Department of Women’s Development director Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) were introduced by DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) at a press conference after the first meeting of party officials under Tsai, who succeeded Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as party chairperson on Wednesday.
Liao, a documentary director, and Lin, a gynecologist at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, said they decided to go into politics after being deeply impressed by the Sunflower movement.
Describing herself as a “natural born rebel,” Liao said she has always questioned most politicians’ “thirst for power.”
“However, I was persuaded by Tsai, who told me that she would like to have a competent rebel as her colleague,” Liao said.
Lin, who served on the Gender Equality Commission, an advisory committee to the Executive Yuan, during the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and DPP regimes, said she was surprised to receive the call from Tsai’s office.
While the DPP has always had more women-friendly policies, the party appears to have difficulty reaching out to women, in particular young women, and engaging them in dialogue, Lin said.
“That is why I want to ‘go into the system’ and hopefully facilitate changes from the inside,” she said.
Liao and Lin are part of Tsai’s “party Cabinet,” which was announced on Wednesday and is intended to expand the party’s reach and bring outside talent into the DPP.
Graduate student Fu Wei-che (傅偉哲) was brought in as director of the party’s Department of Youth Development, while Tai Chi-chuan (戴季全), who founded technology news site Techorange.com and Richi Technology Inc, was offered the post of Internet Department director, but subsequently turned it down.
Also introduced at the press conference were three spokespeople, Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲), who was retained from Su’s chairmanship, Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) and lawyer Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎).
The team of spokespeople immediately went to work, addressing the free economic pilots zones and the “broad one China framework” initiative proposed by a group of seven politicians and academics on Tuesday.
The pilot zones project should neither be a political struggle between the pan-green and pan-blue camps, nor a “take it or leave it” policy, Huang said, referring to the KMT’s attempt to demand full endorsement of the project from DPP mayors and county commissioners, or have the zones planned for DPP-governed municipalities canceled.
“Taiwan should not bet the future of its economy on a single experimental project. What we need is a grand economic strategy, which the DPP will address in the future,” Huang said.
Lin Chun-hsien said all proposals on cross-strait relations should be respected and discussed as Taiwan is a democratic country with freedom of speech.
“What remains unchanged — and what should not change — is that the nation’s future should be determined by its 23 million people,” he said.