Sat, Aug 08, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Tsai not worried about Soong, focused on agriculture

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff writer

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said that it was not worried about presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) declining support rating following People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong’s (宋楚瑜) announcement to join the presidential race.

According to an opinion poll released yesterday by the Chinese-language United Daily News, 36 percent of respondents said they would support Tsai, while 24 percent said they would back Soong, with only 17 percent saying they would vote for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱). Tsai still leads the poll, the pan-blue camp drew 41 percent of votes, outnumbering support for Tsai.

An earlier poll by the Cross-Strait Policy Association on July 7, found that Tsai would beat Hung by 50.4 percent to 26.9 percent in a two-way contest.

DPP spokesperson Juan Chao-hsiung (阮昭雄) said that the party would not alter its campaign because of the effect of Soong’s bid on poll results, adding that the party would seize every opportunity to communicate and cooperate with progressive forces, according to a report by the Chinese-language United Evening News.

Juan was quoted as saying that what concerns Tsai most is how to propose optimal policies and organize the most effective campaign team to win voters’ support, adding that poll results are simply a reference point for the effectiveness of campaign strategies and agenda setting.

Asked about whether Soong’s candidacy would affect the DPP’s decision to forgo nominating its own candidate to run in Taipei’s Neihu (內湖) and Nangang (南港) districts to make way for Taipei City Councilor and PFP legislative candidate Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), Juan again said that the DPP would not give up collaborating and communicating with other progressive forces, according to the report.

Tsai made no mention of Soong’s bid in a Facebook post yesterday, which highlighted the agriculture sector as a priority for her administration if she is elected president.

Basing her post on a meeting about organic farming Tsai had with farm owner Chiu Shun-nan (邱順南) in Nantou County, Tsai said that agriculture must be modernized by taking advantage of the latest technology, and that her government would prioritize agricultural development if she is elected president.

“As safety and quality are very important in food supply, if we return to power next year, agriculture would be our priority,” Tsai said.

“The government should put more resources into making sure that food is safe. There should also be integrated planning for agricultural production to avoid overproduction, so that prices can be maintained at a certain level,” she added.

Tsai’s agricultural policies include systematic control of and stringent inspections on the use of toxic substances, as well as the establishment of a food traceability mechanism that could supervise the production process of all foods, ensuring that all products are safe and certified.

A comprehensive plan for future agricultural production must be in place to prevent oversupply and price instability, Tsai said, adding that she would help farmers develop in foreign markets and export quality Taiwanese produce around the world.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top