President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday unveiled his “golden 10-year” prospects, pledging to lead Taiwan into a peaceful and prosperous decade by revitalizing the economy and seeking peaceful cross-strait relations, if re-elected.
Accompanied by his running mate, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) and other top government officials, Ma said the “golden 10-year” prospects are a practical blueprint for the nation, rather than empty slogans, and his administration would carry out the policies in the next four years if re-elected.
“We will carry out the golden 10-year prospects under solid foundations of the ‘four assurances,’ which is the top principle of my administration ... Reforms are necessary for Taiwan to continue to grow, and our visions will make the next decade a peaceful, constructive and happy one,” Ma said at a press conference at the Presidential Office.
The prospects for the nation — an energetic economy, just society, clean government, high-quality education, comprehensive development, sustainable environment, peaceful cross-strait relations and a friendly international environment — will be realized under the four assurances, in which the government would ensure the sovereignty of the Republic of China, the safety and prosperity of Taiwan, ethnic harmony and cross-strait peace, a sustainable environment and a fair society, he said.
Of the eight prospects, the Ma administration would put the economy and cross-strait relations as its top priorities if Ma is re-elected.
Explaining the government’s plans to boost the economy, Wu said the government would further open local markets and relax regulations, as well as sign economic pacts with other countries to increase Taiwan’s international competitiveness.
Wu said the government would also continue to promote cross-strait development and maintain the “status quo” under the so-called “1992 consensus,” while obtaining defense capabilities to ensure national security.
The prospects are the major platform for Ma’s campaign. Ma’s main rival, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), unveiled the DPP’s 10-year policy guidelines last month.
Ma said he would unveil the details of each of the prospects at press conferences next month.
When asked to compare his policies with those of Tsai, Ma said that his administration has the capability to fulfill its promises, adding that Tsai and the DPP’s closed-door policies would only marginalize Taiwan while other nations are involved in regional economic integration.
Ma also dismissed concerns about his failure to carry out his “6-3-3 policy,” a major economic policy platform announced during his presidential campaign in 2008, saying the policy was formed according to an eight-year timetable.
The “6-3-3” policy refers to annual GDP growth of 6 percent, unemployment of less than 3 percent and a per capita income of US$30,000.
Commenting on Ma’s press conference while campaigning in Hualien, Tsai said: “First, we have a question [for Ma]: Is this a national policy for him as president or a campaign pledge as a presidential candidate?”
If it was a campaign pledge, Tsai said, the plan should be unveiled by Ma’s campaign office, not by government ministries and personnel and if it was national policy, “why was the plan submitted months before the end of Ma’s first term in office?”
DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) questioned the “four assurances,” saying that the four assurances that Taiwanese had received from the Ma administration in the past three years were poverty, unemployment, waste of government budget and failed policy implementation.
Ma’s decision to hold the press conference at the Presidential Office, rather than at his campaign headquarters, was also questionable, Chen said.
Additional reporting by Chris Wang
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