Vice President William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that he would strive to ensure Taiwan’s security in the face of increasing Chinese threats, shortly after registering to run in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primary.
Lai, who is DPP chairman, completed his registration at the party’s headquarters in the company of former Pingtung County commissioner Pan Men-an (潘孟安).
Registration to run in the DPP’s primary is open until tomorrow.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
Lai told reporters after registering that he was “extremely determined” to run for the country’s top job on the DPP ticket and urged Taiwanese to give him an opportunity to lead the country.
“We must be united to strengthen Taiwan, stick to the democratic camp and ensure Taiwan’s security” in the face of increased Chinese “saber rattling” and “unscrupulous diplomatic bullying,” Lai said.
Lai, 63, added that he would strive to bring the nation’s people together to expand the economy, safeguard democracy, bolster national defense and ensure peace in Taiwan.
His comments came hours after Honduran President Xiomara Castro said her government would begin planning for the “opening of official relations with the People’s Republic of China.”
Asked about the matter, Lai, who held a meeting with Castro in Tegucigalpa in January last year shortly after she was sworn into office, gave no response.
In addition to talking tough on China, Lai also said he would seek to bring prosperity to Taiwan by rolling out development projects, boosting the economy and fighting organized crime.
He would lead the country through challenges, including achieving its net zero emissions targets, mitigating the impact of the war in Ukraine and restructuring supply chains, he said.
From Taiwan’s opposition parties, Taiwan People’s Party Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Party cofounder Wang Chien-shien (王建?) have announced their intention to run for president.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) has announced his intention to run, but the party has yet to decide whether it would hold a primary.
Chinese-language media have reported that New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) and KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) are seeking the KMT’s nomination.
The election is scheduled for Jan. 13 next year.
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