Tue, May 21, 2019 - Page 3 News List

TSAI ING-WEN: THREE YEARS: Tsai’s policies hindered growth, lost allies: KMT

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus hold placards at a news conference in Taipei yesterday to evaluate President Tsai Ing-wen’s record in office on the third anniversary of her presidency.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policies over the past three years have been ineffective and unbalanced, resulting in dwindling economic growth and a loss of diplomatic allies, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday.

The KMT and its National Policy Foundation think tank held a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Taipei to evaluate Tsai’s performance just as an event was held at the Presidential Office to mark the third anniversary of Tsai’s inauguration.

As the ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) “constantly seeks to oppose [other parties] and lacks a balanced policy structure,” foundation chief executive officer Kao Yuang-kuang (高永光) said.

Those shortcomings, combined with the DPP’s “weak execution and double standards,” have led to few accomplishments and increased social disturbance over the past three years, he said.

Tsai’s “failed policies” range from legislation, the economy, the environment and foreign affairs to cross-strait affairs and national defense, Kao said.

For example, the nation’s average economic growth rate has declined from 2.83 percent during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) eight years in office to 2.4 percent from 2016 to last year, he added.

While Ma had signed three free-trade agreements, including the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China, Tsai has so far signed only two, with Paraguay and Eswatini, Kao said.

“The trade volume between [the two countries] and Taiwan is extremely low and made almost no contribution to the national economy,” he added.

Furthermore, the Tsai administration has lost five diplomatic allies in three years, while Ma lost only one in eight years, Kao said.

KMT caucus whip Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said that the KMT has created a calendar that lists Tsai’s “failed policies” and features a countdown to her last day in office.

The listed policies and issues include last year’s pension reforms for military personnel, civil servants and public-school teachers, alleged voting irregularities at the Nov. 24 elections, labor law amendments and the loss of diplomatic allies, he said.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said statistics show that as the ruling party, the KMT outperformed the DPP in economic issues and foreign affairs.

He urged Tsai to make improvements in the remaining months leading up to the Jan. 11 presidential election, adding: “If she cannot, we will be voted back to power.”

Meanwhile, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) told reporters during a recess at the Kaohsiung City Council that the Tsai administration “has done a terrible job over the past three years.”

Under Tsai’s administration, cross-strait relations have become tense and complaints about the government can be heard from all sectors of society, he said.

A president must work to ensure that people have better lives and if they cannot, their poll results would be low, he said.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) also criticized Tsai, saying that her re-election would be “unfortunate” for Taiwan.

Tsai told the event at the Presidential Office that many have been saying bad things about her, Gou said.

However, the truth is “someone is doing bad things to Taiwan and that person is leading the nation right now,” Gou told reporters during a visit to puppet show studio Pili International Multimedia Co in Yunlin County.

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