Visions regarding the nation’s future and how to sustain economic growth were key issues at the three candidates’ final presidential platform presentations in Taipei yesterday.
The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate, Vice President William Lai (賴清德), said that Taiwan has success in exporting high-tech products throughout the world.
Under the DPP, Taiwan has made friends with many countries, while safeguarding its democracy, freedom and national sovereignty, he said.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
“My policy is to boost our trade with the world so that Taiwan has a strong presence in the international community,” Lai said, adding that he is the only candidate voters can trust to continue economic growth, as the other two are advocating over-reliance on China.
Lai said that the other two candidates have spoken on the importance of peace in the Taiwan Strait and interacting with China, including restarting the cross-strait services and trade agreement, but “we must not go back to the old road of depending on China for economic growth.”
“Taiwan has the confidence to do business with many countries worldwide, and share our technology and products, while also safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty,” he said.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Lai also said that Taiwan should open up its financial sector and welcome international investment to become Asia’s leading center for fintech, which includes banking services, information security and business management.
New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, said that he and his party are following the Constitution and taking the middle road, as he castigated the other candidates for labeling the KMT as “pro-China.”
“Our party is not pushing for unification with China. If we are elected, we will certainly uphold Taiwan’s democracy and freedom,” Hou said.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
He also said that the KMT is against Taiwanese independence, but Taiwan’s future shall be decided by its 23 million citizens.
Taiwan People’s Party Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said the KMT and the DPP both could cause a conflict in cross-strait relations.
Taiwan should make friends with China, Ko said, adding that summits he organized with the Shanghai government when he was Taipei mayor was proof that he is capable of building relationships with Chinese leaders to negotiate cross-strait peace.
Taiwan should follow a “pragmatic diplomacy” to maintain its allies, but it must not return to the “dollar diplomacy of past KMT and DPP governments,” he added.
He is the only clean politician among the three candidates who is not tainted by corruption and “big money politics,” Ko said.
Ko also commented on a recent case in which a ninth grader stabbed a classmate to death, saying that there needs to be a more complete social safety net to protect young people, as well as better healthcare services.
Hou expressed sympathy over the incident and decried "deteriorating" conditions in schools, saying that strong law enforcement and punishments are needed to have a deterrent effect.
"As someone who started out as a low-level police officer, the things I hate the most are drugs, gangsters and illegal firearms," Hou said, calling for the age of prosecution to be lowered from 16 to 14.
Hou also urged for more checks against carrying weapons into school, saying that Taiwan should follow other countries in allowing police and school officials to search students and their personal effects to stop drugs, weapons and other illegal items from entering campus.
However, when carrying out a search, the whole process must be filmed and the parents must be present as witnesses, he added.
All three candidates talked about Taiwan’s healthcare, agreeing to raise wages for all healthcare workers, improve their workplace conditions, shorten their working hours and ensure government support to keep the National Health Insurance from insolvency.
TWO REPORTS: The body called on EU states to support the meaningful participation of Taiwan in international organizations, as well as closer cooperation with the nation The European Parliament has backed deepening ties with Taiwan and voiced concern about heightened tension across the Taiwan Strait in reports on two major security policies, which include a passage denying that Taiwan is subordinate to China. The parliament adopted the annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy in a vote of 338 in favor, 86 against and 122 abstentions during a plenary session from Monday to yesterday. It also passed the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defense Policy in a vote of 350 in favor, 91 against and 96 abstentions. “Neither Taiwan
NEVER FORGET: Feb. 28 is a day to demand justice and redress, and remember the long, hard road Taiwanese walked to democracy, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che said President-elect William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said he would work to safeguard the nation’s security and democracy to ensure freedom and economic prosperity, and that the tragic events of the 228 Incident “never happen in Taiwan again.” The Incident refers to the indiscriminate killing of a person in a crowd on Feb. 27, 1947, and the gunning down by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of protesters at a resulting demonstration the next day. It was followed by a brutal crackdown. Estimates of the number of eventual deaths vary from 10,000 to more than 30,000. The Incident was closely followed by the White
CRITICAL COMPONENTS: The tail was shielded because ‘enemy forces’ could estimate its speed and acoustic fingerprint by observing the propellers, an analyst said The nation’s first domestically built submarine prototype, the Hai Kun (海鯤號), yesterday was transferred to a dry dock for final harbor acceptance tests. The prototype has been undergoing harbor acceptance tests at the factory of shipbuilder CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台灣國際造船) in Kaohsiung since October last year after an unveiling ceremony in late September. On Monday evening, the prototype was towed from the CSBC factory to nearby Jong Shyn floating dock No. 8 and then transferred to a nearby dry dock, where the final tests were being conducted. As the submarine was being moved out of the factory to the floating dock, a large
NATIONALITY ACT: The draft amendments include a new provision that allows guardians of children who are stateless to apply for nationality on their behalf The Cabinet yesterday approved draft amendments to the Nationality Act (國籍法) to ease residency requirements for some foreign professionals applying for naturalization and to allow social welfare agencies to apply for naturalization on behalf of stateless children who are residents. The proposed amendments were approved by the Cabinet in September last year, but had to be reapproved and resubmitted because of the new legislative term that began on Feb. 1. The Ministry of the Interior said that the draft amendments would help improve the retention of professional talent by cutting the required period of residency for “foreign high-level professionals” (外國高級專業人才) applying for