Supporters of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have been advised to be tolerant and to give the Republic of China (ROC) “more space” in acknowledging that the “ROC is Taiwan and Taiwan is [the] ROC,” former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Friday night in New York.
The former DPP presidential candidate made the remark in a speech at the Taiwan Center in Flushing, New York, the last public appearance of her two-week “thank-you” tour of the US, a press release provided by Tsai’s office stated.
DPP supporters should be tolerant of the ROC because “the sovereignty of this country remains within the hands of the Taiwanese, regardless of what its name is,” said Tsai, who arrived in New York after stops at Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Tsai, who lost her bid to head the country in the January presidential election, said the DPP should prepare itself and be ready to govern “from the first minute it returns to power” because Taiwan’s national development has been in crisis since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office, adding that there was no time to waste.
Speaking to more than 300 Taiwanese-Americans, Tsai said a stagnant economy, perilous government finances and under-fire democratic development are the three biggest crises currently confronting Taiwan.
“What we should be talking about now is not how to win the 2016 election, but what we should be doing for the good of this country and its people,” she said.
Highlighting the challenges to democracy in Taiwan, Tsai said that interference from third parties as well as unfair political structures and a sluggish economy pose major challenges to the country.
The so-called “1992 consensus,” which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Beijing agreed upon, had played a pivotal role — allowing China to threaten Taiwan economically and allowing it to interfere in Taiwanese politics — in the outcome of January’s presidential election, she said.
The consolidation of Taiwan’s democracy as a result is important for Taiwanese because it would ensure they continue to enjoy free elections and the power to make decisions of their own free will, she said.
Tsai wished the Taiwanese-American community the best of luck after Hurricane Sandy hit vast swathes of New York, causing scores of deaths.
Tsai is scheduled to continue on a personal leg of her journey and is set to visit relatives and classmates in the US, her office said in a statement.