Wed, Jan 13, 2016 - Page 3 News List

ELECTIONS: Economy and cross-strait ties Tsai’s big challenges, Ko says

ADVICE:The Taipei mayor said the public should give Tsai Ing-wen a honeymoon period of about six months before beginning to assess her performance next year

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The two main challenges Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would face if elected are the economy and cross-strait issues, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

Ko made the remarks during an interview on Super FM radio.

He said that many economists have told him that the nation is headed for negative GDP growth this year and that this year’s GDP growth would not exceed 1 percent at best.

“This will be her most daunting challenge, because people have very high expectations of her, thinking that a new president will give them a life that is ‘happy ever after,’” Ko said. “If I were her, I would tell the public to refrain from such thinking. Everything is not going to be that swell.”

Ko said the public should give Tsai a honeymoon period of about six months and begin assessing her performance next year, so that she would have sufficient time to attend to rudimentary issues, such as appointing officials and planning budgets.

The other challenge Tsai would likely face is the cross-strait relationship, Ko said.

Citing observations he made during his trip to Shanghai to attend the Taipei-Shanghai forum last year, Ko said Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials seem “very unfriendly” toward Tsai, as they think the DPP is “at odds” with the CCP.

He said he got that impression when talking with Chinese officials.

With reference to the Chinese Civil War, Ko said: “It is rather strange given that it was with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that they fought so many battles. The DPP has never fought them. This is due to an ideological conflict.”

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