The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday slammed a proposal by New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, to permit a “significant number” of Chinese students to study and work in Taiwan, saying it would be detrimental to young Taiwanese.
At an event on Monday hosted by nine major industrial and business groups, Hou said that if elected, he would reinitiate cross-strait dialogue on the premise that Taiwan’s dignity would not be compromised and that the talks would be held in good faith.
The talks would include lifting a ban on Chinese tour groups and allowing a “significant number” of Chinese to study and work in Taiwan.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
DPP caucus director-general Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) said that allowing low-wage and low-skilled Chinese to work in Taiwan would adversely affect Taiwan’s international competitiveness.
Such policies would severely affect Taiwanese industries, DPP caucus secretary-general Chuang Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄) said, adding: “There is no need for such overt pandering.”
DPP legislative candidate Tseng Po-yu (曾柏瑜) said that Japan and Germany have warned about spying by Chinese students, and such a policy would pose a significant threat to national security.
DPP legislative candidate Justin Wu (吳崢) asked whether Hou’s platform was similar to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) touted by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), adding that Hou’s policy seemed to be offering aid to China.
Independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said the international community is trying to contain China and Russia, and called on the KMT to take note of international trends and think of the next generation.
Separately, DPP spokesman Chang Chih-hao (張志豪) said that Hou’s comments lacked careful thought and his platform rehashes a policy that was rejected by the Taiwanese public a decade ago.
Hou evidently thinks that a China-reliant economy is the only way out, he added.
Separately, Hou’s campaign office spokesman, Chen Po-han (陳柏翰), accused the DPP of again resorting to smear tactics to win the election.
Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the DPP’s presidential candidate, had said in 2008, when he was a legislator, that “Chinese war jets will follow on the tails of its civilian airliners, or the airliners will be carrying People’s Liberation Army soldiers.”
None of those predictions have come true, and despite the DPP’s proclaimed hatred for the ECFA, it has not unilaterally halted the agreements under it, Chen said.
Hou’s policy hopes to de-escalate tension and promote mutual understanding, he said, adding that Hou has consistently opposed China’s “one country, two systems” platform.
Hou will continue to oversee the strengthening of Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities and uphold the free and democratic government of the Republic of China, he added.
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