Tsai Ing-wen: Closing in on the Presidency

If elected, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairwoman and presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen will not abrogate the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), but would, in handling subsequent negotiations, ensure the process is transparent and subject to legislative oversight so that any agreement would not have to undergo a referendum. That’s what she told the BBC’s Chinese service director Li Wen in an interview on Thursday. The two major opposition parties, the DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) originally advocated a referendum on ECFA.

Obviously, if Tsai should inherit president Ma Ying-jeou’s desk in May next year – the elections are scheduled in January -, there will be no reset button, and to act as if there was one would suggest that her presidential bid wasn’t serious. It seems that she is  preparing for the details of the job as president, and not merely focusing on getting elected.

Her message to China seems to suggest that, too.

I think better communication will help. Essentially, they don’t know us, because we are not like the KMT. They had a history in the past, either as rivals – now they seem to be less of rivals to the KMT -, and they had this complicated relationship in the past, let me say it that way. And they don’t know us. We are a party that is only twenty-five years old, so it would be good if we had good communications between the two sides, so that they will know us better, and we’d have the opportunity to tell them what we are up to.  We do have a think tank here in Taipei, and we welcome delegations, groups from China to visit us, we give them briefings they would like to have, we answer questions they raise, and I thought that was a good exchange.

If there was an invitation to China, it would come with conditions, Tsai anticipated, in reply to Li Wen’s question if she would accept such an invitiation.

And heaving a sigh that was either tactical, or that genuinely reflected her skepticism about Beijing’s attitude, she added:

I just wish that they can be reasonable.

This was apparently a referral to conditions, not to the CCP leadership itself.

Visits by leaders weren’t the only way to improve communications, she added. Experts, civil society members or party workers could have exchanges anyway.



» Interviews with Tsai and Soong, Nov 19, 2011
» One ROC, two Interpretations, Oct 10, 2011


5 Responses to “Tsai Ing-wen: Closing in on the Presidency”

  1. The words as sweet as French toast. She’s mastering the skill of political bs statements 🙂 Now I’m more hopeful about her success.


  2. Yes, as far as Tsai and her supporters are concerned, the DPP has become less sectarian than what it used to be. However, if she’s elected, she will suspect face a huge amount of suspicions from her own party, and the pan-green camp in general which won’t necessarily be too different from the suspicions president Ma is facing these days.

    All the same, I hope she will win the presidential elections, and if possible, with a pan-green majority in the Legislative Yuan. I wish her success, both domestically and internationally – and I can’t think of a better candidate for the presidency. She’s got nerves of steel – and she will need them.


  3. Well to some people politicians will always be lying deceitful power-hungry sons of b*tches. There’s no helping those lot who feel that way, but unfortunately what politicians do and say does effect our lives. The very fact that Tsai Ing Wen rebuilt the DPP from scratch (yes, we can say it like that because they really couldn’t have fallen any further than they did in 2008) shows she is capable of rising up to the most impossible challenges.

    We wish her and the DPP success in the 2012 elections and fixing a lot of problems Taiwan now faces (thanks largey to the KMT who’ve spent the last 4 years shoving China down our throats.)

    (Taiwanese expat living in Estonia)


  4. I don’t know a great deal about Estonia, Ryner, but I could imagine that to live in a country that was once colonized by Russia might be a fascinating experience for a Taiwanese expat. Thanks for commenting!



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