President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that Taiwanese would soon start reaping the benefits of her administration’s policies, adding that it has taken a while because policies need time to produce results.
Speaking at a news conference at the Presidential Office, Tsai listed some of her achievements over the past three years, such as implementing salary hikes and tax cuts, boosting investment, carrying out industrial upgrade, implementing pension reforms, and providing long-term care, childcare and social housing.
The nation is moving toward realizing the goals of a nuclear-free homeland, wider use of green energy, a self-reliant defense industry and better protection of national sovereignty, Tsai said.
“The government’s experiences in wind power and tax reform have demonstrated two things,” Tsai said. “First, this administration does not aim for short-term results and instead focuses on long-term planning. Second, it normally takes three years for an important policy to bear fruit, and until that happens, a leader must endure isolation.”
Construction of the nation’s first wind farm project began on Saturday last week after more than a decade of talks on moving the nation toward renewable energy, while the tax cuts that took effect this year were the result of three years of planning, Tsai said.
The tax cuts are expected to benefit wage earners during the tax filing season this month.
With a little more patience, “you will see that what we have done is far more than you could have imagined,” Tsai added, addressing voters who she said might have been disappointed with her administration.
“Those of you who have been rooting against Taiwan for the past three years, I want to tell you that you will not prevail,” she said.
Tsai hinted that her cross-strait policy would remain unchanged as she said that maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait would continue to be the focus of her administration.
As Tsai has noticeably toughened her tone on cross-strait issues since Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) gave a speech on Taiwan in January, there has been speculation as to whether the stronger tone could translate into tougher action.
“Basically, we will continue to do our best to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Tsai said in response to a reporter’s question on whether she would consider revising her cross-strait policy in the final year of her first term or in her second term if re-elected.
Given that Xi removed ambiguity from cross-strait relations when he suggested in his speech a Taiwanese version of the “one country, two systems” model, Taiwan must unequivocally express its position, she said.
“Let me be clear. We are merely trying to clearly express our stance,” Tsai said. “It is not provocation.”
If a national leader is not able to clearly express the will of their people, “what kind of an independent country are we?” Tsai said.
Taiwan has faced a series of punitive measures from China due to Tsai’s refusal to endorse the so-called “1992 consensus.”
The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
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