Tsai admits facing many crises since May, confident in solving them

08/27/2016 09:25 PM
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Taipei, Aug. 27 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday admitted that her administration has been faced with many "sudden crises" since taking office on May 20, but expressed confidence in resolving them.

"Some of these crises are purely accidental and some are structural defects in the country," Tsai said during a speech at a forum organized by the Lee Teng-hui Foundation to mark the 20th anniversary since Taiwan's first direct presidential election.

"However, I am confident that these problems can be solved one by one, not only because I believe in the capability of the current administration, but because I have more faith in the Taiwanese people and Taiwan's democracy," the president said.

Tsai's remarks came as new surveys showed a significant drop in the president's approval ratings. To mark Tsai's 100th day in office, various organizations released new surveys on the government's performance Friday, all of which indicated that Tsai's approval ratings have fallen below 50 percent.

In her speech Saturday, Tsai said the disputes that have emerged in the past few months can all be traced to one common root cause: the deterioration of the economic environment.

The outflow of jobs, wage stagnation, and the widening wealth gap has become a reality in the country, Tsai said, adding that her administration is pushing new policies pertaining to industrial innovation that aim not only to boost economic growth, but also to improve social development.

Taiwan should transform its economic development model to one that focuses on innovation, employment and distribution, Tsai said.

On the other hand, the president said, her government is also carrying out political reforms, such as work on transitional justice.

She said her government will launch investigations into Taiwan's authoritarian past, reconstruct the victims' experiences and bring the country toward reconciliation through extensive reflection and dialogue.

She also vowed to protect the rights of Taiwan's indigenous people through policy improvement.

At the opening of the forum Saturday, Former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said although Taiwan has been a democracy for many years now, many Taiwanese still possess an authoritarian attitude and neglect the opinions of others once they come into power.

He criticized politicians for their lack of ability to handle state affairs and for ignoring the problems of poor local development, unequal distribution of income and other injustices.

However, even though he believes that Taiwan's democratic system is failing and the country is facing pressure from China to unify, Lee still holds an optimistic view of Taiwan's democracy and expressed confidence that a democratic Taiwan will eventually become a "normalized nation" and a full democracy, if its people maintain their confidence in democratic values and improve the country's law and order.

(By Tai Ya-chen and Christie Chen)ENDITEM/ke

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