Yao Wen-chih accuses rivals in Taipei race of being China proxies

2018/11/04 21:47:49 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)

Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) Yao Wen-chih (姚文智) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) played the China card Sunday in a televised debate among Taipei mayoral candidates, questioning whether his main rivals were competing to be proxies for China.

Yao suggested that the support of Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) for the "1992 consensus," under which Beijing defines Taiwan and the mainland as part of one China, was little different from incumbent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je's (柯文哲) view that "the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family."

Ko, who did not attend the debate because of what he said were commitments to attend other city events, made the remark at a Taipei-Shanghai forum in 2015 and repeated it again at the same forum in 2017.

Ting responded that Yao's remark distorted the truth because if there is to be unification across the Taiwan Strait, it would be under the Three Principles of the People political doctrine, which was developed by the Republic of China's founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫中山).

Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中)

Ting said he is loyal to the Republic of China and explained that when he was a legislator he promoted exchanges with the Communist Youth League of China, a movement for youths between the ages of 14 and 28 run by the Communist Party of China, to promote friendship and avoid conflict.

"Only a person with a broken mind would want to start confrontation," Ting said.

Yao, who served as head of the now-defunct Government Information Office from 2005 to 2006 and has been a legislator since 2012, leveled the charges while lagging behind both Ko, who is not affiliated with any party, and Ting in the latest polls.

He has vowed to drop out of politics if he finishes third in the mayoral race, which will be held on Nov. 24.

During the debate, he said, "Taiwan is my motherland and Taipei is the capital of the country," and that he has also proposed solutions to problems facing the city such as a declining birth rate, urban development, and economic development.

But the most important thing in this election, Yao said, was to protect democratic values. Taiwan is not the one trying to start a confrontation, but rather it is China that is constantly threatening Taiwan through verbal intimidation and saber rattling, he said.

As the incumbent favored to win re-election, Ko was also the target of verbal attacks on other issues.

Ting questioned his leadership and accused him of repeatedly changing his political stance from pan-green to white (independent) and then to light red, which symbolizes being pro-China to a certain extent.

The KMT candidate also took shots at the DPP, which controls the national government, accusing the party of spending energy on independence instead of the economy and embroiling Taiwan in a "cold war" that is further marginalizing the country and hurting it economically.

Addressing his policies, Ting said he wants to be a mayor who will succeed at achieving urban renewal and increase subsidies for child and elderly care to improve Taipei's living standards.

Meanwhile, independent candidate Li Hsi-kun (李錫錕), a political science professor at National Taiwan University who has garnered only low single-digit support in the polls, said Taiwan is facing a difficult period similar to that of the 1970s.

Independent candidate Li Hsi-kun (李錫錕)

Leaders need to be brave and be able to communicate and show professionalism, while their policies need to show immediate results and be feasible, Li said.

He also called on voters to abandon the pattern of just voting to support either a pan-blue (KMT-leaning) or pan-green (DPP-leaning) political party and instead vote for whoever has the ability to lead.

In terms of cross strait relations, Li thought that the two sides should maintain economic cooperation and trade exchanges to achieve the goals of peace, competition and prosperity.

Wu E-yang (吳萼洋), another independent candidate polling in the low single digits, said the main focus of his election campaign is to promote "peace, health, wisdom and compassion."

Independent candidate Wu E-yang (吳萼洋)

Speaking on the development of cross-strait relations, he believed that it was necessary to resolve the issue through negotiations, whether the result is unification, independence or maintaining the status quo, Wu said.

Independent candidate Li Hsi-kun (李錫錕, left), Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中, second left), Democratic Progressive Party candidate Yao Wen-chih (姚文智, second right) and independent candidate Wu E-yang (吳萼洋, right)

Another live television debate is scheduled for Nov. 10, in which all five candidates are expected to attend.

Independent candidate Li Hsi-kun (李錫錕, left), Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中, second left), Democratic Progressive Party candidate Yao Wen-chih (姚文智, second right) and independent candidate Wu E-yang (吳萼洋, right)

(By Huang Li-yun, Wang Yang-yu and William Yen)
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