The three presidential candidates last night faced off in the third and final televised policy presentation hosted by the Central Election Commission (CEC).
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is seeking re-election as the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate, said that Taiwan under her leadership has made much progress, with an improved economy and a new national policy that aims to close developmental gaps between the nation’s regions.
She reiterated that Taiwan would not accept China’s proposed “one country, two systems” framework.
In defending her administration’s policies, Tsai said that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administrations long focused on providing financial support and infrastructure development to northern Taiwan, particularly Taipei and New Taipei City, while mostly neglecting central and southern Taiwan.
Listing the programs in her Great South, Great Development policy, Tsai said that residents of southern Taiwan would benefit significantly from the initiatives, which would create jobs and prosperity.
Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the KMT’s candidate, invoked the “good old days” under the KMT of strong economic growth and a functioning civil service, with society in harmony — unlike the conflicts of the past few years.
He attacked the DPP, saying that it was controlled by the supposedly disbanded New Tide faction, adding: “Tsai is president during the day, but the New Tide faction is president at night.”
Han also accused many DPP members and Tsai administration officials of being greedy and mired in corruption.
In the previous policy presentations, Tsai said that Han had no evidence to support such claims, and that he has consistently used incorrect figures and misinformation to mislead the public.
Tsai asked Han and his party to apologize for the discriminatory statements and perceived misogynistic remarks over the past weeks, but Han accused Tsai of having a double standard and questioned her not taking a stand when the DPP called his campaign spokeswoman, Ho Ting-huan (何庭歡), wallpaper and when the DPP employed the government apparatus to constantly smear his wife, Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬).
Han and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), the PFP’s candidate, criticized Tsai’s handling of cross-strait relations and the DPP’s push to pass an anti-infiltration bill before the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections, which they said would target Taiwanese businesses, students and professionals in China.
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