Under the democratic system, continuous reform and progress is the expectation of voters in Taiwan. Responsible for such a concept, former premier William Lai (賴清德) on March 18, the first day of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate registrations, completed the registration process.
He said that after the DPP lost in the nine-in-one elections last year, he realized that its situation was still extremely difficult; if it loses the presidential election, its legislative seats would be greatly reduced, and Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy will also fall into unprecedented challenges and crises.
After careful consideration, he felt it was necessary to have the courage to defend Taiwan and take responsibility, and hope to unite society through democratic procedures.
Although DPP supporters blamed Lai at first, he was really effectively and powerfully helping the DPP back into the media focus.
He inspired the morale of the pan-green camp, and the shock, panic and roar of the red and blue camps. Lai’s race is worthy of recognition and appreciation.
On March 21, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also registered as a party candidate. She said a Taiwanese president must fulfill three requirements:
First, the candidate must be familiar with international affairs and capable of dealing with different groups, politicians and representatives.
Second, they must be able to withstand pressure and criticism as they tackle problems that those in power have avoided for too long.
Third, they must be not only a star player, but also a good captain, able to unite the DPP, as well as like-minded groups in society.
Tsai concluded that she fulfills all three requirements.
Lai also reiterated on the same day that he is a pragmatic Taiwanese independence worker. His pragmatism is reflected in three directions:
First, Taiwan is already a sovereign and independent country. The name is the Republic of China (ROC). It is not affiliated with China. It is not necessary to declare independence.
Second, the future of Taiwan is determined by its 23 million people. No one else, not even the president, can intervene.
Third, Taiwan’s most important task at present is to develop the economy, build the country, benefit the people and strengthen Taiwan.
Lai said that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent nation not affiliated with China. Yes, Taiwan and China are not affiliated with each other, but the ROC and China are intricate and tangled.
A country’s sovereignty is owned by the government, which represents the people, not by the individual. Which government legally owns Taiwan’s sovereignty? The ROC? Its Constitution claims sovereignty of China and Mongolia, but not Taiwan.
Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said Lai’s independence position is more terrible than syphilis and would inevitably bring Taiwan to the brink of war.
He said Taiwan should hold tight to the [so-called] “1992 consensus.”
This is nonsense.
Did not Chinese Preisdent Xi Jinping (習近平) just tell the world on Jan. 2 that the “1992 consensus” is “one country two systems”?
The People’s Republic of China does not accept the ROC at all. A Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) cable dated Jan. 12, 1949, said: “The legal status and sovereignty of Taiwan, before the conclusion of the Japanese peace conference, is the nature of a trusteeship to our country.”
The San Francisco Peace Treaty authorized the USMG [US Military Government] as the principal occupying power of Taiwan after World War II. The Treaty of Taipei did not transfer Taiwan’s sovereignty to China. The Taiwan Relations Act Section 15 officially informed in black and white that since 1979, the US no longer recognized the ROC, but only recognized the governing the authorities on Taiwan.
Forty years has gone by, Taiwan is now on the eve of a presidential election. Shall we choose the president of the exiled ROC government, which was rejected by the international community; or resolutely set off on the mission of historical cognition to choose a president who truly represents public opinion?