Tsai's address draws mixed responses from legislative caucuses

2019/10/10 19:41:24 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文)

President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文)

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) National Day address drew different reactions from the ruling and opposition legislative caucuses Thursday.

While the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led pan-green camp lauded her clear statement reaffirming Taiwan's national sovereignty, the Kuomintang (KMT)-led pan-blue camp questioned the words "Republic of China (Taiwan)" that she used for Taiwan's national title.

Noting that China is still threatening to impose its "one country, two systems" model for Taiwan in her address, Tsai said that "if we were to accept "one country, two systems," there would no longer be room for the Republic of China's existence.

"As president, standing up to protect national sovereignty is not a provocation -- it is my fundamental responsibility," Tsai said. "When freedom and democracy are challenged, and when the Republic of China's existence and development are threatened, we must stand up and defend ourselves," she added.

Commenting on her remarks, DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) told CNA Tsai's statement that standing up to protect national sovereignty is not a provocation was to counter the KMT's repeated allegations that Tsai is seeking to provoke China.

Lee said the rejection of "one country, two systems" and upholding Taiwan sovereignty is the consensus of Taiwan's 23 million people and not provocation.

New Power Party (NPP) legislative caucus whip Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said that Tsai's address contained two major points: Letting Beijing and the international community know Taiwan's rejection of "one country, two systems" and highlighting the words "Republic of China (Taiwan)" -- a consensus beyond party lines.

Tsai making the connection between "one country, two systems" and the Republic of China in her address was meant to debunk the KMT's rhetoric that she is a Taiwan independence supporter.

However, KMT legislative caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) said that while Tsai called the words "Republic of China (Taiwan)" the overwhelming consensus of Taiwan society, the Constitution says that the national title is the Republic of China, not the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Tseng also emphasized the KMT's longstanding safeguarding of ROC sovereignty and freedom and democracy, and its strong opposition to the "one country, two systems" formula and said the party will continue doing so.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) noted that Tsai mentioned the ROC eights times, saying that this shows she has made improvements by using "ROC" instead of "the country," as she has done in the past.

Meanwhile, the People First Party legislative caucus said in a statement that Tsai has consistently called for unity and dialogue in her annual National Day addresses since she took office in May 2016, but there has been a lack of execution and action.

It also asked why, if Tsai said "Republic of China (Taiwan)" is the overwhelming consensus of Taiwanese society, the team formed by young members of the DPP seeking legislative seats in the 2020 elections is dubbed "Team for Taiwan" rather than "Team for the ROC."

(By Wang Yang-yu and Evelyn Kao)
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