Thu, Jul 05, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Phrases from Ko’s Shanghai speech not in NSC draft

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) for the first time yesterday admitted that the controversial phrases “the two sides of the [Taiwan] Strait are one family” and “a community with a shared destiny,” which he said in a speech at a cross-strait forum in Shanghai in July last year, were not included in the draft that he showed to the National Security Council (NSC) beforehand.

His remarks have been criticized by many pan-green supporters and pro-independence groups.

When Ko returned to Taiwan from the meeting, he said he had sent the draft to the NSC before leaving for Shanghai, but the council did not respond, which made him feel unsupported by the central government.

Reporters outside Taipei City Hall yesterday asked Ko about the two phrases not being included in his draft for the NSC.

“I should find some time to make a more complete explanation of this issue, because indeed they were not mentioned in the lecture notes when it was sent out [to the NSC],” he said.

Ko said he visited Turin, Italy, right after he sent the draft to the council, and while abroad thought to himself: “I am going to visit China and the 2017 Taipei Universiade is about to be held, so I should at least express our friendliness.”

After thinking for a long time, he decided to add the phrase “the two sides of the Strait are one family,” which he said at the twin-city forum in Shanghai in 2015, Ko said.

“Actually, I did not say anything that I had not already said in my previous speeches, so I have always found it strange how the same sentence that was acceptable in 2015 became controversial in 2017,” he said.

In Ko’s new book Taipei: A Proud City With Progressive Values (光榮城市), he said that he made the “one family” remark because he hoped to ease tensions across the Taiwan Strait and strive for more space for Taiwan in the international community.

He also said that political figures who criticize the remark are only trying to highlight their personal stance or pursue their own political gains, and do not care about Taiwan’s safety.

The Democratic Progressive Party’s New Taipei City mayoral candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was asked about Ko’s “one family” remark on Monday.

Of all countries, China is the most unfriendly toward Taiwan; it is trying to isolate it and has more than 1,000 missiles targeting the nation, so how can the two sides be “one family,” he said.

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