Tsai expresses support for Cabinet in National Day speech
Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed support in her National Day address on Monday for the much-criticized Cabinet led by Premier Lin Chuan (林全), saying that the government will continue to proceed step-by-step with pragmatism and unwavering purpose.
The speech, titled "Forging Ahead: Achieving Reforms to Make the Country Great," marked Tsai's first National Day address since taking office on May 20. She is the second Democratic Progressive Party president of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Amid speculation that the premier may not last for much longer, Tsai took the occasion to express her thanks to the Lin-headed administration, which saw its approval rate fall to less than 40 percent in opinion polls conducted in August, three months after the Cabinet was established in May.
"Since May 20, more than 100 days have passed. Step by step, many tasks have begun. Here I want to say a special word of thanks to the team at the Executive Yuan led by Premier Lin Chuan," Tsai said.
She noted that there is no shortcut to reform because reforms that take shortcuts are unlikely to be real reforms.
"In order to truly transform and renew this country, the new government chooses to proceed step-by-step with pragmatism and unwavering purpose."
"Whatever is not right, we fix it. Whatever is right, we stay the course and fear neither ridicule nor reproach. That, I believe, would be the kind of government that the people of Taiwan hoped for," the president said.
Not only has the premier's approval rating dropped, Tsai's own popularity has also slipped. Polls conducted by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation in August indicated that public satisfaction with Tsai's performance as president had fallen from nearly 70 percent to under 50 percent.
During the Double Ten national address, Tsai said people should not lose hope because of ups and downs on the road to reform.
She said "a road of reform is certain to have ups and downs. But I call earnestly on all of you: do not let the ups and downs make you lose hope in Taiwan."
Tsai further elaborated on her government's reform-dominant policies in a wide range of areas from social housing, long-term care and pensions to industrial transformation.
"Industrial transformation is the fundamental means to revitalize this country's economy, and we will not waver from its pursuit," the president said.
"With a multi-pronged approach that includes improving the investment environment, stimulating private sector investment, strengthening investment by state-run enterprises and boosting innovation, we will turn around an economy that has stagnated for years," Tsai asserted.
(By Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu; click here for the full text of the president's National Day address.)ENDITEM/AW
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