Premier’s remarks dangerous, reveal scheme: KMT

POLITICAL PERFORMANCE::KMT Legislator Alex Fai said the timing of a Presidential Office statement suggested that William Lai and President Tsai were ‘acting out a play’

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Sep 28, 2017 - Page 3

Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) reaffirmation of his support for Taiwanese independence is not only leading the nation to the brink of war, it also revealed his scheme to exploit the nation’s official name, the Republic of China, in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) efforts to rename the nation through a constitutional amendment, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers said yesterday.

“Lai is the premier now, not Tainan mayor, and a Taiwanese premier whose political belief is independence will lead the nation to the brink of war,” KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. “He should get it through his head that the people want prosperity and peace across the Taiwan Strait, not war.”

The premier should have known that his remarks would surely escalate cross-strait tensions, Lai Shyh-bao said, adding that the hoped the government is prepared to deal with the ramifications.

He questioned whether the premier had consulted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) before making the remarks, saying that if he did not it would constitute defiance of Tsai, whose cross-strait policy revolves around maintaining the “status quo.”

The KMT lawmaker also raised doubts over the timing of the remarks, which came just two days after Tsai unveiled plans to push for constitutional reforms at the DPP’s national congress.

The DPP forming a government whose power would be proportionate to its accountability through constitutional reforms is a red herring, as it really wants to change the nations name, Lai Shyh-bao said, adding that would be no different from declaring independence at the expense of suffering by all Taiwanese.

Tsai should clarify what she hopes to achieve through constitutional reforms instead of having the Presidential Office issue a “cheeky” statement that the premier’s remarks were based on his personal beliefs, he added.

William Lai’s ambition is so great that he would never be content being Tsai’s “chief executive officer,” Lai Shyh-bao said, urging the premier to refrain from political hyperbole and to “show his strength” by reshuffling the Cabinet, rather than deferring to appointments Tsai made for the Executive Yuan.

KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said that the Presidential Office issued a statement about an hour after the William Lai’s pro-independence remarks, suggesting that he and Tsai were “acting out a play” aimed at whipping up support for Taiwanese independence.

However, Fai later apparently contradicted himself, saying that by making those remarks William Lai was sending Tsai a message that he plans to replace her as the DPP’s candidate in the 2020 presidential election.

By advocating independence as the premier, William Lai made himself a symbolic figure for Taiwanese independence, which would allow him to monopolize large amounts of resources provided by pro-localization groups, Fai said.

Fai also accused the premier of using the name Republic of China to awaken public sentiment toward a national identity, which he said would facilitate the DPP’s plan to rename the nation, supposedly as the “Republic of Taiwan.”

The lawmakers vowed to vigorously oppose any attempt by the DPP to carry out “pro-independence constitutional reforms.”