Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said the Presidential Office and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) should refrain from politicking that would create further divisions in society.
“Taiwan is a nation with multiple ethnic groups, so everyone should learn to listen and understand when encountering someone who has a different view point on an issue, this is especially for politicians,” Tsai said.
“Politicians should learn their lessons from history to make the nation and the people more harmonious. It is not a good thing to manipulate differences between different groups of people for political gains,” she said.
Her comments came after Presidential Office spokesperson Charles Chen (陳以信) on Saturday called Tsai “hypocritical” after Tsai urged more tolerance and understanding of former president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) remarks that Taiwan did not take part in the “War of Resistance Against Japan,” and that most of the Taiwanese who joined the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II believed that they were fighting for their motherland, which at the time was Japan.
Hours later, Hung told a nighttime rally that if she is not elected next year, “Taiwan would be sold to Japan.”
Lee yesterday defended Tsai.
“[Tsai] is not hypocritical, she is hard-working, and that is why many people support her,” he said. “If you [President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)] are incapable, you should work harder. What good does it to do criticize others? Do you get more votes by lashing out at me? I do not believe so.”
In other developments, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said he had a brief chat with Lee at a fund-raising dinner in Taipei for the Lee Teng-hui Foundation on Saturday night.
Asked what they discussed, Ko said that he simply wanted to express solidarity with the former president, adding that he does not think aggravating political tensions between the pan-green and pan-blue camps helps the elections.
“So it is beyond my understanding why Ma did that,” Ko said.
Meanwhile, Tsai was asked to elaborate on the difference between her “alliance for governance” (執政大聯盟) proposal and People First Party Chairman James Soong’s (宋楚瑜) idea of a “cohabitation government,” and of the possibility of a DPP-KMT coalition.
“The ‘alliance for governance’ means that we would hope to form a stable majority with our friends who have the same objectives in the legislature, while also inviting people with similar beliefs and the same degree of sense of responsibility into the administration,” Tsai said. “We would welcome all talented people to join the administrative team to form a team that’s strong in execution as well as communicating with the public.”
Additional reporting by Sean Lin
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