Fri, Jun 07, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Tsai optimistic, hopes for a chance to achieve goals

By Su Yung-yao, Lee Hsin-fang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

President Tsai Ing-wen gestures during an interview with the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

In an exclusive interview with the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she was happy with her performance during her first term, stating that she has “staying power” and would complete her plans if given another four years.

Tsai said that the reforms she introduced are endeavors to build a strong foundation for the future, as the leader of a state must resolve short and long-term issues, and ensure that the nation is capable of meeting challenges.

For example, pension reform for civil servants, military personnel and public-school teachers stabilized national finances and ensured continued payouts, Tsai said, adding that the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, the domestic submarine program and the government’s renewable energy project all aim to stimulate domestic needs and prepare for the future.

Given four more years, she could complete all the changes she set out to implement, she said.

If re-elected, she would also showcase Taiwan’s general strengths at an expo before the end of 2024, Tsai said, adding that the expo would focus on “what we have accomplished as a nation” and bolster people’s sense of confidence and national pride.

Regarding criticism of her policies, she said that reforms and infrastructure development might be pleasing to the ear, but are often fraught with challenges during their implementation.

Foresight cannot counter every difficulty and despite what people might say after the fact, reforms must be handled head on, Tsai said, adding that one must forge ahead with determination, because these acts help Taiwan become a better place.

Some have been forced to quit their jobs, because they were unable to pay the price for their actions, or were unable to weather the criticism and difficulties, she said, adding that others have succeeded and convinced the public that they were correct.

This is the kind of transitional reform that Taiwan needs, Tsai said.

Some protest that so many simultaneous reforms cause unnecessary disturbance for the public, but Taiwan has a great many things to do, and a responsible leader must be prepared to pay the political price for the public to reap the rewards, she said.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) conducted a full review after its losses in last year’s local elections, Tsai said, adding that all “administrative errors” were quickly rectified after Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was appointed premier.

The president said she was confident that the policies, or foundations, implemented over the past three years are now yielding results and it is time to build on their successes.

She also expressed confidence that public support for her administration has returned to the levels of her first year in office.

Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration also suffered setbacks when attempting to promote the “nuclear-free homeland” policy, Tsai said.

The administration’s policies began to yield results in Chen’s third year, which gave the administration a much-needed boost in popularity, Tsai said.

Tsai said a second term is possible for the DPP, as long as it remains united.

However, if the party bails on the efforts of these past few years due to public pressure, its “true setback” would still be ahead of it, she added.

Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui and Huang Wei-chu

This story has been viewed 2238 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top