Sat, Jan 05, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Adviser has ‘no regrets’ over Tsai letter

UNEXPECTED TIMING:Presidential Office adviser Wu Li-pei said that it would be good if Taiwanese were more united and vigilant against China’s encroachment

By Lee Hsin-fang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Presidential Office adviser Wu Li-pei, front row third right, and former Presidential Office adviser Peng Ming-min, front row fourth right, raise their hands together with other participants at a rally organized by the pro-independence Formosa Alliance in Taipei on Oct. 20 last year.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

Presidential Office adviser Wu Li-pei (吳澧培) yesterday said he has “no regrets” over signing an open letter published on Thursday that asked President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to forgo re-election in 2020.

The petition’s four signatories, Wu, former Presidential Office adviser Peng Ming-min (彭明敏), former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) and Reverend Kao Chun-ming (高俊明), are advocates of Taiwanese independence.

The letter’s timing triggered controversy, as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on the same day made a speech calling for Taiwan’s unification with China.

Wu said that the concurrence of Xi’s speech with the letter’s publication was unexpected.

“If this incident has the unexpected effect of making Taiwanese more united and vigilant against China’s encroachment, we would be happy with the result,” he said.

However, Tsai has made no response of consequence amid China’s interference and meddling in Taiwan, and “her inaction is our greatest cause for concern,” Wu said, referring to the four signatories.

“Should Tsai’s latest response to China prove to be empty talk designed only to boost morale, the people will see through it,” he said, adding that while he has no intention of making other comments, he would do so “if and when there are things that must be said.”

Meanwhile, a source close to Peng said that the Peng Ming-min Foundation has received multiple calls from supporters making complaints about the letter.

Peng fully anticipated a backlash, but resolved to sign the letter because he is convinced that Tsai must change the way she exercises leadership, said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

The letter’s publication coinciding with Tsai’s response to Xi’s speech was unfortunate, but the four had been planning to release the letter for some time, the source said, adding that the letter represents the views of many supporters of the pan-green camp.

Peng is disappointed with Tsai’s handling of transitional justice and judicial reform, viewing the policy of the Tsai administration to be a symbolic gesture that lacks substance, the source said.

Tsai’s character and style of governance have fallen short of supporters’ expectations and the cavalcade of defeats the Democratic Progressive Party experienced in the Nov. 24 local elections was the result, the source quoted Peng as saying.

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