Tue, Jan 21, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan only definable by Taiwanese, Mayor Ko says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je operates a ticketing machine in Finland on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of the Taipei City Government

Taiwan cannot be defined by anyone but Taiwanese, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) told reporters in Finland on Sunday.

Reporters asked Ko, who is on a European trip, about a joint statement by China and Myanmar on Saturday that the two nations adhere to the “one China” principle and recognize Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang as inalienable parts of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The statement, which was posted on the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Web site as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) concluded a two-day visit to Naypyidaw, said that the two nations support Beijing’s efforts to resolve issues relating to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday separately rebutted the statement, saying that Taiwan is not part of the PRC.

“I think it is very strange, because why would we need Myanmar to define who Taiwan is,” said Ko, who is chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP).

Myanmar probably made the statement because it has borrowed money or received financial support from China recently, “or else why would it make such a statement?” he asked.

“We do not need other people to define what Taiwan is, because only we can define who we are,” Ko said.

Ko was also asked about a Facebook post on Saturday by his wife, Peggy Chen (陳佩琪), in which she accused the DPP of manipulating people by talking about a “sense of the nation’s impending doom” to help gain votes in the Jan. 11 elections.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the DPP was re-elected, while the party won a majority in the 113-seat legislature.

Chen also wrote that Ko, who has expressed an intention to run for president in 2024, had told her “not to fight with those people,” adding, however, that he is always positive and wants to give the presidency a shot, even though the odds of success are low.

Her remarks had nothing to do with a 2024 bid, Ko said, adding that he believes performing his duties properly every day is the best preparation.

“However, Taiwan has always faced a difficult international situation,” he said. “Enhancing a nation’s overall strength is a basic requirement for survival in the global society.”

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