Chairperson Tsai: Sovereignty Dispute must be clarified ahead of Chen Yunlin's visit

The Ma administration should reconsider inviting Mr. Chen Yunlin, head of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) to Taiwan in October, unless the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty is clarified before Chen’s visit, said Chairperson Ing-wen Tsai today (September 23). Instead of entertaining Mr. Chen, President Ma should focus all of his energy on addressing the recent crises in the sovereignty issue as well as the declining economy. Chairperson Tsai also stressed that the appearance of Chen Yunlin at this time is inappropriate, and could lead to division amongst the Taiwanese people, as well as diverting the government’s attention to the most important issue of the economic crisis.

The anticipated panda transfer is another action that should be postponed until the sovereignty issue is resolved, according to Chairperson Tsai. President Ma’s recent comments regarding Taiwanese sovereignty have caused great anxiety and dissatisfaction with the people. The DPP has legitimate reasons to believe that President Ma’s recent comment regarding Taiwan’s sovereign status is related to Chen Yunlin’s expected visit to Taiwan in October. If Chen’s visit persists, this could lead to further controversy.

Chairperson Tsai then turned her attentions toward the recent food scare caused by contaminated Chinese food products. Chairperson Tsai stressed that the appearance of Chen Yunlin in Taiwan while the nation endures the Chinese milk scandal would be inappropriate. Chen Yunlin’s visit would only lead to controversy, and prove to be detrimental to cross-strait relations.

She hoped that this tainted milk incident would serve as a warning to the Taiwanese people of the dangers of Chinese exports. China is the leading exporter of raw foods to the world, and mistakes will happen in a system that lacks transparency or proper supervision. The government response to this situation must be stringent, as they must protect Taiwanese citizens from harmful materials. They must design a comprehensive inspection system of Chinese goods as well as a system of compensation which would protect the rights and interests of manufacturers, as well as consumers, and will severely limit the number of future mistakes.

Chairperson Tsai said that although it is unlikely that Taiwan will follow the footsteps of other nations that place a ‘China-Free’ label on any goods not imported from China, the government could at least regulate and enforce that any food products that contain Chinese raw ingredients must be clearly labeled as such. The government must quickly and efficiently tackle this issue, or else people would be concerned how the government could resolve the issue of Taiwan’s sovereignty when it is unable to even resolve the issue of tainted milk products.

Chairperson Tsai then provided an outline for the DPP to follow as the main opposition party in Taiwan. She stressed that as the opposition party, the DPP must act as a responsible political party that makes suitable policies for every issue it confronts. It must also scrutinize and evaluate the ruling KMT at every possible opportunity to ensure that the government is effectively serving the people of Taiwan.

If Ma’s administration fails to resolve controversies or correct inefficient policies, and the DPP has exhausted all means at their disposal of protesting, then civil actions including demonstrations and social movements will be unavoidable.