The Taiwan Brain Trust (TBT) think tank yesterday urged the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to be “localized,” and China to be practical in handling cross-strait relations.
The KMT’s heavy defeat showed voters do not trust the party’s China-leaning policies, therefore the KMT should adjust its stance and become more “localized,” Soochow University political science professor Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) told a news conference at the think tank’s headquarters in Taipei.
“When the Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜) incident happened, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) immediately expressed his support [for Chou], but it still became a political tsunami, and while all three presidential candidates had similar reactions, the KMT was still hurt the most by it,” said Hsu, who is also a New Power Party legislator-at-large-elect.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
Chou, a 16-year-old Taiwanese singer in South Korea, was labelled by China-based Taiwanese singer Huang An (黃安) as a supporter of Taiwan independence after she held a Republic of China (ROC) flag on a TV show in South Korea. A video clip released late on Friday that showed Chou apologizing drew angry responses in Taiwan. Many reacted by casting their votes for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday to show their discontent over China’s sovereignty claim over Taiwan.
Meanwhile, think tank deputy executive director Lin Ting-hui (林廷輝) called on Beijing to take a more practical approach in its handling of cross-strait relations.
“Taiwanese want a transparent, open and healthy cross-strait relationship,” Lin said. “Ma might have done much, but the problems are transparency and justice.”
Lin said that in the past 10 years, the KMT has had an almost monopoly over cross-strait exchanges, adding that such exchanges have not been effective, but have contributed to a rising Taiwan identity and a sense of crisis among the public.
“Beijing has always said that it ‘puts hopes in the people of Taiwan,’ and it is time for it to rethink what that means,” Lin said. “Tsai has held out the olive branch in her acceptance speech that she would strive to maintain the ‘status quo’ while trying to communicate with Beijing, and now it is Beijing’s turn to think how it would respond to the call.”
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