Taiwan should be friendly toward China, while maintaining cordial relations with the US and Japan, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.
Ko made the remark during a question-and-answer session at the Taipei City Council yesterday afternoon, when Taipei City Councilor Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), of the Taiwan Solidarity Union, asked if he was “anti-China or pro-China.”
The question came after Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) on Monday said he is “not against China, but rather is pro-China and loves Taiwan.”
“To befriend China would be enough,” Ko said yesterday.
Chen called on Ko to speak out at the upcoming annual Taipei-Shanghai Forum against political suppression by China, such as its move to block Taiwan from attending a World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, last month.
“There are communications between Taipei and Shanghai, but if high-level officials feel awkward about this, at least the private sector, companies and groups can continue communicating,” Ko said.
While preparing for the forum Ko said he is bearing in mind the “four mutual” principles — recognition, mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual cooperation.
At the Tainan City Council on Monday, Lai said: “China’s policies toward Taiwan have become harsh, attacking Taiwan’s diplomatic space and human rights, especially on the WHA issue, so when we expressed our opinions on these types of actions from China, it was actually a type of ‘resistance’ and not intended to be ‘anti-China.’”
“Of course we should be close to each other. China should be pro-Taiwan and Taiwan should be pro-China, and we should cooperate with each other to create a prosperous and peaceful future,” he said. “It is a pity that China keeps on wanting to unify with Taiwan, neglecting the public opinions of Taiwanese.”
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Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
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