Tue, Jan 22, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Taipei mayor defends PRC ‘bank robbery’ analogy

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je talks to reporters in Taipei yesterday after attending an event supporting elderly people living alone.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday defended his comments on Taiwan’s international relations that he made during an interview on Friday and criticized people who wanted to do business with China while advocating independence.

Taiwan’s international space is shrinking because China and the US have increasing demands from the nation, Ko said.

When answering a question about whether it would be possible for Taiwan to gain more international space if it develops closer relations with the US, Ko gave an analogy of a bank robbery, saying that the “the police” would be there to make an arrest, apparently referring to China.

The analogy drew criticism from politicians across party lines, but Ko said he did not mention any specific country.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) posted on Facebook the story of the One-Eyed Doe from Aesop’s Fables in an apparent reference to Ko.

The story is about a one-eyed doe that grazes on a cliff by the sea and keeps its eye toward the land against approaching hunters, but is unexpectedly shot by hunters on a boat.

Tuan referred to a deer that held a sign reading: “The two sides of the [Taiwan] Strait are one family” — a remark made by Ko.

In response to Tuan’s post, Ko said: “I do not want to criticize [him] ... but I hate people who shout [for] independence and also want to do business in China.”

The dispute between China and the US would likely continue for at least 15 years, so Taiwan has to think about how to survive in a narrow international space, Ko said.

His analogy was meant to express his belief that when Taiwan is trying to develop a better relationship with one country, it needs to watch out for the other country at the same time, he said.

When asked whether he believed Ko’s analogy to be “pro-China,” Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) of the DPP said: “I think Mayor Ko will change his statement later.”

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