Thu, Jan 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taipei mayor compares legislator critic with ‘dog’

‘VICIOUS CYCLE’:Ko said the biggest source of chaos in Taiwan is the media, whose ‘sensational headlines’ upset readers and cause them to be upset with him

By Chou Yan-yu and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je sits in a street sweeper at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

The debate on “Taiwanese values” yesterday continued as Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) responded to criticism from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) by comparing Tuan to a “dog.”

Ko on Monday asked President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to clarify what she meant by “Taiwanese values” after she said that the mayor should reaffirm his commitment to such values to gain the support of DPP members.

Tuan later criticized Ko for his “both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family” remark on cross-strait ties, saying that Ko seemed to have “an authoritarian mindset” and asking whether he would hold the Nazis and Adolf Hitler in high regard.

“If a dog runs out of an alley and bites you, what are you going to do? Do not tell me you would go and bite the dog back,” Ko said yesterday.

Later in the afternoon, Tuan said on Facebook that: “I will not respond to something so base,” asking “friends in the media” to not seek further comment from Ko.

Asked again to clarify what “Taiwanese values” are to him, Ko said that as a mayor, his concern is for people to be happy and to have money in their pockets.

He also reiterated an earlier comment that “Taiwanese values” are universal values that include democracy and freedom, and that Taiwan has to improve in some areas, such as environmental protection and the judiciary.

When informed by reporters that Tsai was likely referring to “Taiwanese values” in connection with the nation’s relationship to China, Ko said the uniqueness of Taiwan would be apparent if it excelled in the areas of democracy, freedom, diversity and openness.

Asked to comment on criticism from the pan-green camp over him asking Tsai to clarify what she meant by “Taiwanese values,” Ko said the media are the biggest source of chaos in Taiwan.

“You reporters are really cute, you go write your stories and when I see the headlines I am frightened,” he said. “Every day you guys create these sensational headlines, and regardless of the content, most people look at these headlines and their blood pressure goes up.”

When pan-green supporters read newspapers, they become dissatisfied with him and it starts a “vicious cycle,” Ko said.

Asked why he would question the president if doing so would upset pan-green supporters, he said that as mayor, the problems he must deal with are different from those of the president, therefore the two have different ways of thinking about issues.

Asked whether his definition of “Taiwanese values” was different from that of the DPP, Ko said: “Actually, they are almost the same. If not, what aspects are different?”

He has always cooperated with the DPP, he added.

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