Thu, Apr 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

PFP official confirms Tsai meeting with James Soong

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

People First Party (PFP) Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) yesterday confirmed that president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday met with PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) for the second time in two months.

“During the approximately three-hour meeting, Tsai and Soong talked about cross-strait, domestic and economic issues. They did not touch on the selection of Tsai’s government lineup. There will be more such meetings in the future,” Liu told reporters at the legislature in Taipei.

Liu made the remarks hours after reports emerged that Tsai invited Soong to meet at her residence in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Tuesday evening.

Their first post-election meeting was on Mar. 9 at the Evergreen Laurel Hotel in Taipei, where the two made brief public statements before holding closed-door talks that lasted about one-and-a-half hours.

Tsai and Soong exchanged views on several pressing issues during their first meeting, such as the pension system, education and judicial reform.

The PFP chairman advised Tsai to be pragmatic and take the middle ground when dealing with cross-strait ties.

Liu said that because Soong was due to leave for the US early next month to visit his granddaughter and would not be able to attend Tsai’s inauguration on May 20, Tsai wanted to solicit his opinion on matters regarding cross-strait ties, as well as domestic affairs and the economy.

“It was basically a one-on-one meeting, except for the presence of one or two of their close aides,” Liu said.

Despite provocative moves by China targeting Taiwan, Liu said the pair did not dwell on cross-strait issues for long and that Soong simply shared his experiences and views regarding how to maintain peace and harmony across the Taiwan Strait.

Soong also told Tsai that it would be a major task of her administration to regain public trust in the government and to rebuild the core values of the civil service system, Liu said.

Tsai asked Soong how he gained such a high level of public trust during his tenure as the nation’s provincial governor, Liu said, with Soong listing three reasons: having an unequivocal policy direction, choosing the right staff and allocating resources reasonably.

“However, Soong did not instruct Tsai on how he achieved those ideals, as such decisions should be made by the president-elect,” Liu added.

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