Ko says Han’s cross-strait aspirations far from easy

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Feb 14, 2019 - Page 3

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) hope of the cross-strait relationship becoming one of “you and I are deeply in love” (你儂我儂) would not be easily realized.

In an interview published in the Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine on Tuesday, Han said that Ko’s use of “two sides of the Strait are one family” to describe the cross-strait relationship is more “emotional,” but he would rather use the term “you and I are deeply in love,” which comes from the soul.

“I will not deny Ko’s rhetoric of ‘two sides of the Strait are one family,’” Han said, adding that he snickers when he hears people speaking highly of the remark, because he thinks “you and I are deeply in love” expresses an even closer relationship, one that means: “I will hold your hand and grow old with you.”

Boasting about himself being “very accurate in perceiving the cross-strait relationship,” he said there are “two undeniables” that are colliding with one another: “Do not doubt the Chinese Communist Party’s determination to recover Taiwan,” and “do not doubt Taiwanese’s determination to pursue democracy and freedom.”

“Many people say ‘first be friends, then get married,’ but if you cannot even reach the first stage, it is hard to tell what comes afterward,” Ko said yesterday.

“It is impossible for the current cross-strait relationship to reach a state of ‘you and I are deeply in love’ just because [Han] suddenly brought up the idea. It is not that simple,” Ko said, adding that both sides should first make a friendly gesture, then slowly share more goodwill through communication and exchanges.

“Taiwan is still a society with split ideologies,” he said, adding that he remembers a remark made by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) about “not satisfactory, but acceptable,” and he has realized that it is difficult to achieve even a level of “acceptable” in real politics.

While Han’s remark has stirred heated debate, he yesterday said that “you and I are deeply in love” is only a metaphor.

He said he wanted to stress that cross-strait relations should be approached from a psychological perspective, adding that pioneers of ideas often face criticism.

Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday called on Han to focus on municipal administration and carry out his campaign promises as soon as possible, saying that cross-strait affairs are part of the president’s duty, and that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) performance regarding cross-strait and international affairs has been praised internationally.

Additional Reporting by Wang Rong-hsiang