Money can buy newspaper ads, but it cannot buy people’s trust, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday in Taitung City.
The DPP presidential candidate made the remark in response to a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) newspaper ad placed by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign office yesterday that said the DPP “monopolizes” peace as its own and “no peace agreement is a right one if it is not proposed by the DPP.”
“We regret the advertisement. I also want to tell President Ma that money and government resources can buy ads, but they cannot buy people’s trust nor erase people’s doubts,” Tsai said at a campaign stop in the middle of her two-day trip along the east coast.
People are concerned about Ma’s peace pact initiative with China because his proposal would effectively restrict cross-strait engagement under the framework of the “one China” principle, Tsai said.
The DPP supports peace on the basis of “three insistences,” she said, which represent the insistence on “sovereignty, respect of democratic mechanisms and China’s abandonment of the use of force.”
Ma’s handling of the national flag issue when Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) visited Taiwan and his tacit agreement of Chen addressing him as “Mister” rather than “President” were why people raised doubts about his ability to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, she said.
Meanwhile, DPP spokesperson Kang Yu-cheng (康裕成) said in Taipei that the KMT and Ma’s campaign office seemed to believe that ads could change public opinion overnight and cover the Ma administration’s failures.
Statistics provided by the DPP showed that 21 government agencies had spent NT$45 million (US$1.5 million) on 149 newspaper ads between Sept. 30 and Sunday alone.
Kang said sources told the DPP that the Ma administration had set up a special inter-departmental taskforce, which planned to spend NT$300 million on advertisement from last month to January.
The agencies have violated administrative neutrality by promoting the “golden decade” — the major theme of Ma’s re-election campaign — with publicly funded advertisements, she said.
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