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DPP's Lai pledges to promote peace, preserve Taiwan's democracy

10/18/2023 01:37 PM
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Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Lai Ching-te speaks at the American Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Taipei Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Office of the President Oct. 17, 2023
Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Lai Ching-te speaks at the American Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Taipei Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Office of the President Oct. 17, 2023

Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德) told business representatives in Taipei on Tuesday that he would strive to promote peace across the Taiwan Strait while preserving the country's democracy.

"Taking peace as the North Star and democracy as a compass will be my principle to deal with cross-strait policy," said Lai, who is also the vice president, according to a brief video and handout summarizing Lai's remarks provided by the Presidential Office on Wednesday.

The vice president was invited by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taiwan, which represents 570 American and international companies with operations in Taiwan, to give a keynote speech in English and answer questions at a members-only luncheon.

He reiterated his intention to continue President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) policy on China if elected president in January, noting that Taiwan must work with like-minded countries to prevent war and maintain peace.

"The Republic of China Taiwan and the People's Republic of China should not be subordinate to each other," he said, adding that his administration would "resist annexation or encroachment on [the country's] sovereignty."

"The future of the Republic of China Taiwan must be decided in accordance with the will of the Taiwanese people," Lai said, while pledging to preserve Taiwan's free and democratic constitutional system.

Lai also sought to assure the attendees that the government would ensure a stable and sustainable energy supply in the country, amid ongoing concerns in the business community over both a lack of power in general and a lack of clean energy in Taiwan.

He said state-owned Taiwan Power Company always maintains an operating reserve of 10 to 15 percent.

According to the handout provided by the Presidential Office, Lai said the government had approved plans to build six power plants having an overall installed capacity of 17 gigawatts (GW).

At the same time, Taiwan's demand for electricity will increase by about 1,000 MW a year, or an addition 7,000 MW by 2030, the readout cited Lai as saying.

The government is committed to ensuring a stable power supply for both industries and households while furthering the development of renewable energy sources to attain net-zero emissions goals, Lai said.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

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