last night’s event was conducted in three rounds, with each candidate given 10 minutes per round.
The order of presentation was decided by drawing lots, with former premier Simon Chang (張善政) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) going first, followed by former premier William Lai (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and former United Communications Group chairwoman Sandra Yu (余湘) of the People First Party (PFP).
Chang described a DPP digital entrepreneurship plan as a “deviant” policy that “kicks young people [out of Taiwan]” and touted “10 major digital action plans” he and his running mate, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), have proposed that would include establishing a digital innovation committee as part of the Executive Yuan to promote digital education and the development of smart cities.
The DPP government has lied to voters by embellishing statistics, he said.
He initially hoped that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would lead the nation to a better future, but over the past two years he has seen the Tsai administration’s incompetence polarize the Taiwanese public, Chang said, adding that he finds it intolerable because of its blatant cronyism and nepotism.
Lai said that “DPP” is not only an acronym for the party, but also for “democracy, peace and prosperity,” which are critical to the nation’s development.
He emphasized the importance of maintaining Taiwan’s democracy, cross-strait peace and economic prosperity.
Taiwanese love peace, but China has continued to threaten Taiwan with its military power and poaching of diplomatic allies, Lai said.
The KMT hopes to resolve issues with China through a peace deal, which would compromise Taiwan’s democracy, he said, adding that Taiwanese must stand united against China, which he described as a “bad neighbor.”
Tsai has made great strides in economic development and by 2030 Taiwan could become a “smart country,” where smart technology is incorporated into finance, education, healthcare, agriculture and manufacturing, he said, pledging to promote language education policies to turn Taiwan into a bilingual nation.
Yu said that at Wednesday’s presidential presentation, the DPP and KMT once against performed “a wonderful act filled with confusing statistics and political mudslinging, but no actual policies were presented.”
The nation’s two largest parties have gone to great lengths to marginalize the PFP, because it is the only party that accurately represents public opinion, Yu said, adding that the DPP has turned a blind eye to the pain and suffering of society over the past four years and its so-called reforms have been nothing but political purges against the KMT.
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