Thu, May 16, 2019 - Page 3 News List

President’s tactics right; results unfavorable: Ko

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je discusses municipal policies with borough wardens at the Datong District Office yesterday.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) diplomatic tactics have all been correct, but the results have been unfavorable, leading to Chinese aircraft and naval vessels carrying out military operations around Taiwan, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

Since giving an interview last week, Ko has been reiterating his opinions that Tsai’s diplomatic strategy of “befriending the US and confronting China” is not appropriate for Taiwan; that the nation should befriend the US and be friendly to China; and that the president should try to avoid war.

He on Tuesday said that Taiwan has not been provoking China, but rather it is only Tsai who has, in response to the president’s remark that “Taiwan has never been the provocateur.”

“Internationally, no one has called me a troublemaker or provocateur,” Tsai said in a radio interview.

Being a contributor to peace does not mean holding back when the nation’s dignity and sovereignty have been infringed upon, she said, adding that every word she has uttered was intended to express the Taiwanese public’s will, protect their dignity and uphold the nation’s sovereignty.

Ko yesterday said that his former job as a surgeon has led him to favor consequentialism, so everyone can tell that relations across the Taiwan Strait have become more tense than before.

Citing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) speech on Taiwan policy in January as an example, Ko said that the Tsai administration had accurately predicted the gist of the speech, prepared a full response beforehand and immediately hit back.

However, while the response contributed to Tsai’s approval rating, “when facing that kind of totalitarian state — especially the boss of the totalitarian state — when you smack it, it has no choice but to dispatch military aircraft and naval vessels to circle Taiwan,” Ko said.

“Against the backdrop of the US-China trade dispute, Taiwan has been unconsciously pushed toward the danger of conflict,” he said, adding that he also faced great pressure when Taipei hosted the 2017 Summer Universiade, but Taiwan showed great solidarity throughout the event.

People should not have to doubt the importance of protecting the nation’s sovereignty, he said.

“Taiwan has embarked on the road of democracy with no return, so it could never adopt a political system like that of Singapore or some Southeast Asian countries,” Ko said, adding that he has insisted on holding the annual Taipei-Shanghai forums because he believes friendliness and having exchanges could bring about mutual understanding.

“We have to clearly see the international situation and strive to maximize our opportunities,” he added.

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