HomeTop StoriesTaiwan's ruling party pledges a firm hand as the opposition meets

Taiwan’s ruling party pledges a firm hand as the opposition meets

By Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The frontrunner to become Taiwan’s next president vowed on Sunday to be a firm hand that would keep the peace with China as his two opponents attended a massive rally calling for domestic legal reform and more action to high property prices.

January’s presidential election comes as China, which views Taiwan as its own territory, has stepped up military and political pressure to force the island to accept Beijing’s sovereignty, alarming the region and Washington.

William Lai, the vice president of Taiwan and the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has consistently led the majority in polls, although former Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je, of the small Taiwan People’s Party, is a close second. takes place.

Speaking at the DPP’s annual congress, Lai reiterated an offer to talk with China on an equal footing to promote the peaceful development of ties, but also to strengthen Taiwan’s defenses.

See also  Whether Muncie gunfire that hit 18 people was a 'mass shooting' remains to be seen

“I will use peace as a beacon and democracy as a compass. In the complex geopolitical situation, I will defy the wind and waves to steadily lead Taiwan forward,” he said in one of Taipei’s most famous hotels.

The DPP conference coincided with a rally for legal reform and against high real estate prices organized in downtown Taipei in front of the presidential office by internet celebrity Holger Chen and Huang Kuo-chang, a former legislator for the small opposition group New Power Party.

Although billed as nonpartisan, both Ko and Hou Yu-ih of Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang, took part, although they did not share the stage together. Terry Gou, the retired founder of major Apple supplier Foxconn, was also in attendance.

To the cheers of the thousands of people on a sweltering day, Ko said it was not a protest, despite the anger expressed by the speakers and many in the crowd against the DPP.

See also  Pentagon disputes Pyongyang's claim that US soldier Travis King voluntarily took 'refuge' in North Korea

“This is a day to promote Taiwan’s progress,” said Ko. “We are not here to protest or create animosity.”

Hou, a distant third in the polls, was less well received and received some boos when he spoke.

Taiwan’s opposition parties regularly criticize the government for interfering in what should be independent agencies, such as the media regulator, steps the government denies.

Lai told his party’s congress that the demonstration was normal for a democracy and that criticism should be taken to heart.

“We need to listen to their voices and not dismiss opinions based on who is speaking,” he said.

“I have always been convinced that only with more open democratic governance is it possible to achieve a stronger democratic community and a larger country.”

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editing by Jamie Freed)

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments