Pro-Taiwanese independence groups yesterday protested in front of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei, criticizing the party’s changing of its presidential primary process and castigating President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for not taking a stronger stance to uphold the nation’s sovereignty and improve ties with the US.
The protesters, led by Happy National Connection in Taiwan’s Winston Chi (紀文清) and Taiwan Independence Party chairman Tseng Miao-hung (曾淼泓), held up banners that read: “DPP members are angry at the postponement of the primary process,” which they said was a tactic by Tsai supporters to stifle the momentum of former premier William Lai (賴清德), the other candidate in the primary.
Among the protesters were representatives of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign, the Nation Building Forum, the Taiwanese National Congress and other groups, with all shouting: “Scrutinize the DPP’s primary process,” “Party members stand up now” and “Taiwan go, go, go.”
Photo: Jason Pan, Taipei Times
Chi presented a petition and demanded that DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) and DPP Secretary-General Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) apologize for postponing mediation for the primary process from Friday last week to May 22.
However, no DPP official met the protesters to accept the petition and the groups were unable to contact either Cho or Luo to present their demands.
“We have the right to protest against the DPP, because several campaigners and I hold membership,” Chi said. “We have been members since the party’s early days and are the staunch supporters who still uphold the DPP’s original spirit and ideals.”
“As members we will attend the party’s National Congress to espouse our demands that the DPP push for Taiwanese independence and turn away from the passive acceptance of continuing the outdated and illegal Republic of China regime,” he said.
The protesters represent the real grassroots voice of DPP supporters and the majority of Taiwanese in supporting Lai as the DPP’s presidential candidate, “because most of us are dissatisfied with President Tsai for not taking a strong stance to protect Taiwan’s sovereignty against China’s pervasive penetration of our society,” Chi said.
Tseng and other members of his party pointed out that Tsai has taken too cautious an approach toward forging stronger cooperation with the US and other advanced democratic nations, saying that they believed Tsai has been too wary of China’s threats and pressure.
“With tough [US President Donald] Trump in power and confronting rising Chinese military power, and most of the US Congress supporting Taiwan, now is the time for Tsai to ask for the normalization of ties with the US,” Tseng said.
“Why is she so conservative in her stance and afraid to make these moves?” he asked.
“If Tsai is afraid, then we will represent the majority of Taiwanese to ask Trump and the US government to re-establish diplomatic ties now, as both sides mark the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act,” he added.
Noting the support of the US and European countries for Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA) and other UN meetings, Tseng said: “We, the Taiwanese public, demand that Tsai tell the international community that it would not be enough to attend the WHA, but that Taiwan must be recognized as a member of the UN so we can participate fully and equally in all UN meetings.”
The demonstrators said that they would organize campaigns for Taiwan to become a member of the UN so that Taiwanese can stop being pariahs and participate in UN meetings.
Tsai and the DPP are too soft and too slow on these vital issues, they said, adding that only by highlighting Taiwan on the world stage can China’s drive to annex Taiwan by military force, or economic and political means be stopped.
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