Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) yesterday resigned as spokeswoman for President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) campaign office after equating “advocating unification” with “treason” in an interview.
In the interview, titled “Advocating unification borders on treason,” published by Deutsche Welle yesterday, Lin, speaking in her capacity as campaign office spokeswoman, said that the Tsai administration last year reiterated that pro-Taiwanese independence advocates should stand united, regardless of whether they identify the nation as “Taiwan” or as the “Republic of China.”
Asked whether the DPP “does not care about people who want unification with China,” she raised the question of whether advocating unification with China constitutes treason.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
“Constitutionally, and presently, we consider the Chinese Communist Party a menacing party and a menacing regime. They have missiles targeting us and have incessantly threatened to invade us by force,” Lin said.
“To the nation, such a propositions are treasonous. They are unacceptable and will spark discussions on the limits of freedom of speech,” she said.
After Deutsche Welle said that people who advocate unification with China would have difficulty accepting her narrative, Lin said: “That has to do with the nation’s sovereignty.”
“Those people are calling for the nation’s sovereignty to be abandoned so that it can become a part of China,” she said.
Asked if she thought the proposition of unification with China was treason, Lin said: “On many fronts.”
“This is especially true after [last year’s] amendments to five acts on national security that strip retired military officers of their pensions if they travel to China to listen to speeches, take part in political events or attend military parades,” Lin said. “In terms of politics — and especially in terms of national defense — it causes great damage to national sovereignty.”
Lin later apologized on Facebook, saying that her wording in the interview was “not precise enough” and announcing that she had resigned as Tsai’s campaign office spokeswoman.
The nearly half-hour-long interview could be misunderstood or overinterpreted, which has sparked controversy, she said.
Deutsche Welle later ran a correction notice on its Web site, saying that the interview’s original title was misleading and changing it to “Advancing unification borders on ‘treason.’”
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