Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that Taiwan should not be led around by the nose by China and forced to respond to the policies it implements.
Ko visited Hsinchu yesterday and accompanied Republican Party Chairwoman Hsu Hsin-ying (徐欣瑩), who is running for Hsinchu County commissioner, to election campaign events at the city’s Lianhua Temple (蓮華寺) and the local riverside park.
After China began issuing residency permit cards for Taiwanese in China, Cabinet spokesperson Kolas Yotaka on Thursday said the government is considering imposing regulatory measures or restrictions on cardholders.
Ko on Friday said that the government could also treat the cardholders the same way US green card holders are treated.
Ko’s remark sparked debate among political figures, including New Power Party Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐).
Lim on Friday evening explained the difference between the two cards on Facebook.
He said that China is the only country in the world that wants to annex Taiwan, so it cannot be viewed as the same as other countries, such as the US.
Asked again about China’s residency permit cards yesterday, Ko said that cross-strait relations are a difficult problem to deal with, but the nation should adopt a strategy of Taiwan-centered thinking.
“Currently, whenever it [Beijing] launches a policy, we are forced to respond,” he said, restating that Taiwan could just view the residency permit cards as green cards.
Separately, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) on Wednesday said that Ko should attend a televised debate with him to directly examine what he has done for the city in four years, as recent opinion polls all show that Ko is in the lead.
Democratic Progressive Party Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) on Friday said that he would like to invite Ko and Ting to join him in debates, which could be held weekly to discuss different policies each time.
In response, Ting said he would be glad to attend.
However, Ko said that any debates should be held after Nov. 8, when he takes leave from his post as mayor.
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