Taipei-President Tsai Ing-wen (???) said Wednesday in a live policy presentation on TV that her main challenger in the 2020 presidential election does not have the qualities needed to serve as head of state.
Tsai said the rhetoric from the campaign of Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (???), who is also mayor of Kaohsiung, has been discriminatory, emotional, divisive and at times misleading.
For example, Han has made the claim that "many people around President Tsai are corrupt," she said, adding that he should explain why two of his wife's close friends were appointed to head the culture and tourism bureaus in Kaohsiung.
Tsai, who is seeking a second term in the Jan. 11, 2020 presidential election on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ticket, also noted that Han has promised to revive the disbanded Special Investigation Division (SID) to probe allegations of corruption among senior government and military officials.
However, Han himself has been unable to explain the controversy surrounding his purchase in 2011 of a home in Nangkang at a cost of NT$72 million, Tsai said during the TV presentation, which gave 30 minutes to each of the three presidential candidates.
"In 2020, the people of Taiwan want a president worthy of their trust, but Han betrayed Kaohsiung citizens when he decided three months into his mayoral term to run for president," she said. "This has never happened before in Taiwan's democratic history. Han has set the worst possible example by betraying the Kaohsiung people."
In addition, many of Han's policies are entertaining rather than practical, Tsai said, citing his proposal to drill for oil on Taiping Island in the South China Sea.
A head of state must be committed to reform, be able to maintain composure in the face of criticism, have the courage to take on all kinds of challenges, and should not speak through his hat, Tsai said.
In Han's presentation, he implored Tsai to stop repeating the lie that Taiwan's economy is at its best in 20 years.
In 2018, 30,000 businesses in Taiwan dissolved, the highest number in 10 years, while nearly 4,000 factories shut down, which was a 45 percent increase from 2017, Han said.
In October, the local business climate index flashed a yellow-blue light for the 10th consecutive month, indicating sluggish growth, he said.
Meanwhile, the annual earnings of workers under the age of 30 was NT$392,000 (US$12,870) in 2018, compared with NT$433,000 in 1998, Han said.
Over the past three-plus years, stakeholders in the tourism sector and tea farmers have been facing difficulties, Han said, urging Tsai to take a look at how people at the grassroots level are struggling to make a living.
He said that since Tsai took office in 2016, Taiwan has become more isolated in the international community, as it has not been able to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership or the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, due to her policies.
"How can we make Taiwan prosperous if we don't have the means to sell our products or attract talented people?" he said.
If elected, Han said, he will immediately revive the SID to probe the NT$880 billion Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program and other major initiatives launched by Tsai's administration.
The people of Taiwan must closely monitor the performance of the DPP administration because "this is not the government we want," Han said.
Meanwhile, the third presidential candidate, People First Party Chairman James Soong (???), said both the DPP and KMT are tearing Taiwan apart.
"The biggest problem facing Taiwan is the high wall between the two camps," Soong said, adding that they have done nothing but attack each other and have failed to solve the country's major problems.
Song, 77, who is making his fourth run for president since 2000, said he is committed to building Taiwan, regardless of any defamatory allegations against him.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel