Tsai sees herself as a leader with the will to carry out reforms

2017/05/19 17:50:50 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, second left)

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, second left)

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Friday she is not a political strongman but "a leader under a democracy who has a strong will to carry out reforms," and she pledged to push for any reform that will make Taiwan better.

Recent polls have showed that "most of the Taiwanese people support my administration, but some people also expressed dissatisfaction toward me," Tsai said during a meeting with overseas Chinese media representatives on the eve of her first anniversary in office.

Her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) released the results of an internal poll on Friday showing 54 percent of respondents dissatisfied with her performance but 57 percent of respondents saying they supported her.

In another poll on her first year in office conducted by cable news channel TVBS, the results of which were released on May 12, 56 percent of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with Tsai, compared with only 28 percent who were satisfied.

But 38 percent of respondents said they felt her policies were moving in the right direction while 36 percent said they weren't.

Tsai said she chose to address the most difficult issues during her first year in office and falling approval rates were to be expected.

"I'm not working for polls but for Taiwan," she said.

In a democracy, every administration is given a limited amount of time to get things done, and "as long as something is favorable to reforms, we are not afraid of offending people," she said.

During Friday's meeting, Tsai noted the reforms her administration has been pushing for the past year, including pension system reforms, legislation dealing with ill-gotten party assets, and projects aimed at upgrading the country's economy and infrastructure.

The policies have met with strong criticism from some members of the public and opposition parties.

Citing these reforms, she said "we will certainly undergo a more difficult period."

She expressed her gratitude to those who still support her in a difficult time, and called on every member of the public to move forward together as the government pushes for reforms.

The president also noted that she is not an "autocratic political strongman," apparently in response to some who have criticized her for being dictatorial, describing herself instead as "a leader with strong will to carry out reforms."

What she has been doing is something her predecessors were unable to do, she said, arguing that the urgency of the issues left her no choice but to take the responsibility to address all these problems.

Her administration will remain committed to the reforms and will improve if it has not done something well enough, she said.

"The reforms will not be stopped, and this is the order I've given to my administrative team," she added.

(By Sophia Yeh and Elaine Hou)

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