Thu, May 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Ko apologizes for ‘one family’

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has apologized for his controversial “two sides of the Strait are one family” statement and said that he would support President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) if she runs for re-election in 2020.

Ko’s criticism of Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government and his remarks that some feel are “pro-China” have led to speculation that the DPP might choose to run its own candidate for Taipei mayor in November instead of supporting Ko as it did in 2014.

Interviewed on Tuesday by GreenPeace Broadcasting Station host Chen Yue-hsin (陳雨鑫) for a show that aired last night, Ko said he first made the “two sides of Strait are one family” remark at twin-city forum in Shanghai in 2015.

With Taipei set to hold the Summer Universiade last year, Ko said he wanted to “express friendliness” toward China and try to reduce its obstruction, so he repeated it at last year’s twin-city forum.

“I am a person who is more focused on getting things done and not so aware of rhetoric,” he said. “Sometimes I speak too fast and might have upset everyone, so I can only say that I am sorry.”

Asked about his controversial analogy on cross-strait ties — “a married couple might say bad things about each other in an argument, but a quarrel between lovers begins at one end of the bed and is mended at the other end” — Ko said it was an off-the-cuff remark.

What he meant was that while there are quarrels between Taiwan and China, the two sides can still negotiate, and while national defense preparations are needed, Taiwan can still express its friendliness toward China, Ko said.

Chen asked Ko about speculation that he would run for president in 2020.

“I never had such a plan and I do not know where the rumors came from,” Ko said, adding that since he has no party or organization to back him, he could not possibly run for president in 2020.

“I think President Hsiao Ing (小英) will win the re-election,” he said, using Tsai’s nickname. “If she runs, of course I will support her.”

Preparations for the Universiade became smoother after Tsai took office, helping Taipei in many ways, Ko said.

The city always cooperates with the central government’s policies and had taken the lead in initiating some pilot programs, he said.

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