Tue, Sep 24, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Meiji Restoration, not Boxer Rebellion needed: Ko Wen-je

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je speaks to the media in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

“What we need is the Meiji Restoration, not the Boxer Rebellion,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday, in response to a New Power Party (NPP) statement that the Taiwan People’s Party (TTP) would become a “rootless political party” if he, the party’s chairman, continues to avoid national sovereignty issues.

Ko launched the party last month, and on Sunday, while introducing the party’s legislative nominees, said that other parties have all made the mistake of trying to compete with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party on the spectrum between pro-unification and pro-independence.

The TPP would avoid such a mistake by focusing on improving governance, he said.

NPP Secretary-General Wu Pei-yun (吳佩芸) afterward on Sunday issued a press release saying that if Ko continues to avoid explaining his stance on national sovereignty, the TPP would become a “rootless political party.”

A party’s stance on national sovereignty would not conflict with its ability to govern a nation, and might even be supplementary to its governance, she said, adding that as Taiwan, a democratic nation, faces threats from the People’s Republic of China, its political figures should not be ambiguous about their stance.

Ko yesterday said his party is clear on “Taiwan being the top priority.”

“What we need now is the Meiji Restoration, not the Boxer Rebellion,” he added.

The Meiji Restoration was a political and social revolution in Japan that ended the power of the last feudal military government of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868, and brought about the modernization and Westernization of the country.

The Boxer Rebellion was an officially supported peasant uprising that took place in China from 1899 to 1901. The uprising was against Western imperialism and Christianity, and attempted to drive all foreigners from China, but was ended by an eight-nation alliance and China had to pay reparations.

Several NPP members have said they cannot accept Ko’s stance that the “two sides of the Strait are one family.”

Ko said that the phrase is not about politics, but about cross-strait relations in general, and Taiwan has to think about its global positioning in light of the US-China trade dispute.

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