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Face China squarely instead of fanning anti-Chinese sentiment: Tsai

2017/09/24 20:28:24

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, center)

Taipei, Sept. 24 (CNA) Squarely facing the rise of China rather than fanning anti-Chinese sentiment is the best way to deal with Beijing, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Sunday as she presided over the annual Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) national congress in Taipei.

President Tsai, who serves concurrently as chairperson of the ruling DPP, noted that all countries around the globe, including Taiwan, have to face the rise of China with caution.

"Neither fanning anti-China sentiment nor kowtowing to Beijing is a proper approach in the face of Beijing's rise," she noted in her address to the congress held at the Grand Hotel in Taipei.

"We need to come up with a new approach to interact with the other side of the Taiwan Strait while upholding the sense of 'being masters of the land' and the nation's sovereignty," she said, adding that this is the crucial mission facing the DPP right now.

As the party held its 17th annual congress at the hotel where the DPP was founded, Tsai said the party needs to discuss leading the country in a new direction after regaining power in 2016 following eight years of Kuomintang (KMT) rule.

The new narrative must also address the four major changes over the past three decades since the founding of the DPP, Tsai said.

First, the world has changed tremendously since the Cold War when the party was formed. The DPP now needs to think outside the box and reevaluate Taiwan's strategic role in global geopolitics, she said.

Second, all countries around the globe have to deal with the rising power of China with caution.

Third, the change in economies around the world over the past few decades means Taiwan needs to find a way to upgrade its industries, economic policies, financial sector and labor policies, Tsai said.

Last but not least, the president said the changing of Taiwanese society from authoritarian into a true democracy is an equally important task for the ruling party.

"The authoritarian regime used to be our sole enemy but now following three changes of government, this is no longer a problem," she said.

A democratic society means the DPP has to find a way to work with civic groups in order to push forward Taiwan's democracy further, Tsai said.

"The DPP needs to adapt to these changes by being democratic and progressive, as its name suggests, to find a new path for the party," she concluded.

On Sept. 28, 1986, 132 people took an oath at the Grand Hotel in Taipei to found the DPP, at a time when Taiwan was still under martial law and the establishment of political parties was illegal. (Yeh Su-ping and Joseph Yeh)