Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday rebutted criticism of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration, saying that the critics still have pork to eat, while people living in China and its neighboring countries do not, which disproves the accusation of incompetence.
Su listed the administration’s accomplishments during his second briefing before the Control Yuan since assuming the premiership on Jan. 14.
Reports about African swine fever having spread outside China broke on his first day in office, so he immediately ordered customs officials to check every piece of hand luggage from infected areas, Su told the group, led by Control Yuan President Chang Po-ya (張博雅).
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Eleven months have passed, and China and nine neighboring countries have fallen victim to the disease, with Hong Kong culling at least 6,000 pigs and Vietnam disposing of 5.3 million pigs, he said.
If the disease hit Taiwan, which has about 6 million hogs, the consequences would be grave: It would bankrupt the pig farming and pork processing industry, and people would not have minced pork rice to eat or pork products to offer at religious rites, he added.
“Some people have accused the Tsai administration of incompetence, while munching on pork,” he said.
That is a classic example of words belying actions, he added.
Su summarized policies that have been introduced and benefitted the public since he took office, such as income tax deductions, as well as subsidies for tuition fees, childrearing and kindergartens, and truck drivers to renew their vehicles, thereby improving children’s safety and reducing air pollution.
The government has also provided subsidies to farming households and fishery workers, including subsidies for communication fees for workers in the deep-sea fishing business, he said.
Su said that a legislator, whose name he withheld, at a question-and-answer session in the Legislative Yuan once accused the Democratic Progressive Party administration of vote-buying by introducing favorable policies.
When he asked the legislator to name the policies they opposed so he could relay their message to the policies’ targets, the legislator appeared stumped, Su said.
Su added that he would on Monday inaugurate a stretch of the widened South Link Highway connecting Taitung County’s Anshuo area (安朔) and Pingtung’s Caopu area (草埔) — by driving Directorate-General of Highways Director Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯) to the inauguration on a jeep.
As a token of the government’s gratitude, 31 road workers would walk a red carpet and accept the applause of participants, he added.
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