President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in her inaugural address yesterday vowed to continue efforts to push for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, adding that the nation would not accept Beijing’s “one country, two systems” framework.
Tsai and Vice President William Lai (賴清德) were sworn in yesterday morning at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, Tsai delivered her second inaugural address from a podium in front of the nearby Taipei Guest House.
Photo: AP / Presidential Office
Tsai spoke on four major topics: industrial development, social safety, national security and the strengthening of Taiwan’s democracy.
Highlighting the importance of optimizing government institutions, she said that the Legislative Yuan is to establish a constitutional amendment committee that would provide the nation with “a platform to engage in dialogue and reach a consensus on constitutional reforms pertaining to government systems and people’s rights.”
“This democratic process will enable the constitutional system to progress with the times and align with the values of Taiwanese society,” she said.
Calling it a bipartisan issue, she said that a proposal to lower the voting age in Taiwan from 20 to 18 should be prioritized.
Under the Constitution, only citizens older than 20 have the right to vote in elections.
Tsai said that despite a National Congress on Judicial Reform and making legislative amendments, which serve as “base work for the further improvement” of the judicial system, there is still a gap between what has been achieved in terms of judicial reform and what the public expects.
She promised to continue to listen to different opinions, saying that the public’s dissatisfaction is what drives reform.
A lay judge system needed to be implemented, to help bridge the gap between the people and the judicial system, Tsai said.
While emphasizing the need to “mend” the nation’s social safety net, Tsai said that she would improve the social care system and the work environments of front-line social workers so that they could “identify people who have fallen through” the net.
Regarding controversies triggered by specific cases, she said: “We cannot hold medical agencies or individual judges solely responsible,” and called on the judicial and executive branches of the government to re-evaluate their systems.
A digital development agency is to be created as part of the Executive Yuan’s organizational reform — a process which would include “adjustments to all ministries in line with current needs,” Tsai said.
The establishment of the Control Yuan’s National Human Rights Commission in August would mark a “milestone in our journey to place human rights at the center of Taiwan’s national ethos,” and the beginning of a “new chapter” for the Control Yuan, she added.
As for cross-strait relations, they have “reached a historical turning point,” Tsai said.
Taiwan and China each have a responsibility to “find a way to coexist,” and “prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences,” she said.
Over the past four years, Taiwan has “made the greatest effort to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” she said.
“We will continue these efforts, and we are willing to engage in dialogue with China and make more concrete contributions to regional security,” she said.
However, she added: “We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo.”
Tsai also called for active international participation, saying that Taiwan has been praised throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for its “selfless assistance to the international community.”
“Over the next four years, we will continue to fight for our participation in international organizations, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with our allies, and bolster ties with the United States, Japan, Europe and other like-minded countries,” she said.
BLUE WAVE: The KMT’s Chiang Wan-an defeated the DPP’s Chen Shih-chung and is to become Taipei mayor, while President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after many of the party’s candidates, handpicked by the leadership, performed poorly The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent. Voters were choosing more than
CAUTION: Wearing a mask in crowded places and for people with chronic illnesses or allergies can help prevent COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the CECC said The mask mandate for outdoor settings is to lifted on Thursday, and the weekly cap on international inbound travelers is to be removed on Dec. 10, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at its regular news conference yesterday. The center also announced that starting from Friday, children aged five to 11 can receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster, and that rules for visiting hospital patients are to be partially eased from Dec. 10. While wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory outdoors, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝) reminded the public that it would still be required
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
ANALYSIS: The local elections showed that the KMT is a competitive player, but needs to work at changing its image regarding China, experts said The nine-in-one local election results would bolster the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but are unlikely to have a major effect on the 2024 presidential election, when cross-strait issues are back in focus, political commentators said. In Saturday’s elections, the KMT won 13 of the 21 cities and counties up for grabs, including four of the country’s six biggest metropolitan areas, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost three of the seven cities and counties it held, although it gained Penghu County. Its poor results prompted President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to announce her resignation as party