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2020 election a choice of value system and way of life: President Tsai

2019/07/21 11:47

Denver, July 20 (CNA) For Taiwanese voters, the 2020 Presidential election will represent a choice of value system and way of life, especially the sustainability of democracy and freedom, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Saturday in the United States.

Tsai concluded her visit to Taiwan's four Caribbean diplomatic allies on Friday, and is currently on her way back to Taiwan with a stopover in Denver, where she held an informal meeting with accompanying media.

Regarding the view expressed by some foreign media that the 2020 legislative and presidential election will be a battle between pro-China and pro-U.S. camps, Tsai told the reporters that she sees the upcoming election as "a choice between value systems and ways of life."

Taiwan is a democratic society and its voters are focused on the country's future, especially whether a democratic way of life and freedom can be sustained, said Tsai, who is running for reelection in 2020 representing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after overcoming a tough primary challenge from former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) last month.

During the meeting, Tsai also spoke of things that moved her during her just-concluded visit to allies in the Caribbean, including the chance to interact with local people, and seeing Taiwan's assistance to its allies, such as helping St. Lucia eliminate disease in the banana industry.

The recovery of St. Lucia's banana industry has created a lot of employments and improved the lives of thousands of local residents, Tsai told reporters.

In the presence of AIT Chairman James Moriarty, who was at the meeting with the press, Tsai thanked the U.S. government, the U.S. Congress and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) for assistance extended on her Caribbean trip.

"The U.S. government had given us more time and space in terms of the arrangement of my transits," Tsai said, adding that this enabled her to better interact and hold discussions with different sectors in the U.S.

Asked whether Taiwan would become a bargaining chip in the run up to U.S. President Donald Trump's reelection bid and U.S.-China trade negotiations, Tsai declined to comment on U.S. domestic politics, but said she believed Taiwan has the support of the U.S. people and different political parties.

Tsai further said Taiwan should have its own strategies and ideas based on Taiwan's interests, and to continue its cooperation and positive relations with the U.S.

Asked about an opinion poll conducted by the green-leaning (pro-DPP) Cross-Strait Policy Association on July 15-16, in which she was ahead of opposition Kuomintang candidate Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and other possible opponents, Tsai replied that the most important thing as of now is to work hard and focus on government priorities.

Tsai is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Monday (Taipei time) after a 12-day trip that started July 11 and saw her visit to the nation's four Caribbean diplomatic allies -- Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia -- with New York and Denver as two stopovers.

The Denver's stopover marks the first time an incumbent president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has visited Colorado.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Emerson Lim)Enditem/AW