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DPP's Lai calls Taiwan an exemplar of democracy and economic performance

12/09/2023 10:32 PM
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Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Lai Ching-te greets supporters at a rally held in Taipei on Saturday. CNA photo Dec. 9, 2023
Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Lai Ching-te greets supporters at a rally held in Taipei on Saturday. CNA photo Dec. 9, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said on Saturday that Taiwan is an exemplar of democracy and economic development, a strong contrast to today's Hong Kong.

Speaking at a rally in New Taipei for DPP legislative candidate Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬), Lai, the incumbent vice president, said that Hong Kong's society and economy had regressed, describing it as a "free city no more."

Lai noted that Hong Kong democracy activist Agnes Chow (周庭) had "become an exile at the tender age of 27."

Taiwan's democracy was hard-earned, Lai said, calling on Taiwanese people to cherish it.

He then criticized Taiwan's opposition parties for endorsing the notion of "one China" and seeking to revive a trade in services pact.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was voted in eight years ago and now Taiwan is highly regarded around the world and has a healthy economy and a robust stock market, Lai said.

Now is not the time to backtrack, he stressed, urging Taiwanese people to choose the right and experienced candidates.

For Taiwan to be a great nation, human rights have to be protected and people's freedom and happiness have to be ensured, Lai said, promising a healthier Taiwan, better equal rights to education, more robust industries and innovative technologies, more practical residential policies, and an annual economic growth rate of at least 3.5 percent if he gets elected.

Former Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), also attending the rally, said Taiwan's security has to be protected with national defense, but building up national defense has been criticized by some as provoking China.

"Is it reasonable when securing our own houses with locks is to be said to be provoking our neighbors?" he asked.

(By Lai Yu-chen and Alison Hsiao)

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