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PFP presidential candidate highlights national safety issues

2011/12/17 16:31:02

Taipei, Dec. 17 (CNA) James Soong, the presidential candidate of the minor People First Party (PFP), highlighted Saturday the importance of national safety, saying it is not just a matter of military security but also applies to people's property and finances, land security and social issues.

"A state leader's most important task is to keep the country safe," Soong said in his opening statement in a televised debate among the country's three presidential candidates.

The biggest threat to the safety of the Taiwanese people is not China's missiles, but the nuclear power plants in the greater Taipei area, where 7 million people live, and frequent natural disasters such as typhoons and flooding, he said.

In addition, the country also faces a threat of industrial safety, Soong said in the last of the three presidential and vice presidential debates ahead of the Jan. 14 election.

Due to Taiwan's lack of clean energy, its products could be subject to a high carbon tax in the future, the PFP candidate said. Furthermore, the inadequacy of the Internet bandwidth in the country means that it cannot compete in the field of cloud computing, he said.

Other potential threats include a rising national debt that could limit the government's ability to pay public servants' pensions and social welfare subsidies, he said.

Taiwan needs a leader who is capable of carrying out major reforms that will deal with these threats, Soong said.

He urged voters to cast their ballots for an experienced candidate who has no political baggage and has a comprehensive set of administrative policies, ranging from tax reform and industrial transformation to the inclusion of pre-school education in the national education system.

Soong reiterated his pledge to form a cross-party government that would address the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises and middle class and low-income people.

(By Elizabeth Hsu)
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