Tsai Ing-wen: Referendum is the only way to safeguard Taiwan from over-dependence on China

Good evening! This is the most successful DPP mobilization effort for this past year. We successfully mobilized our organizational, our logistical, and our public relations strengths. Yesterday we saw a great number of people walking with us on the streets, and afterwards peacefully engaged in a 24 hour sit-in protest. Today we also see many supporters here among us; this shows the success of the DPP's organization.

The success of this mobilization effort comes from the people's faith in us, which in turn will strengthen their faith in the future. I would like to ask you all now, do you have faith? At this time, the most important thing for Taiwanese is faith. We must believe that we can change anything. We are in the midst of difficult times. The KMT’s rule has engendered a crisis in democracy, endangered Taiwan's sovereignty, and threatened national survival. We must rely upon our mutual confidence in order to turn back this crisis! We must become united. Today, besides supporters of the DPP, we the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) also stands with us. There are also social organizations and civic society groups standing with us. Most importantly, people from all industries, of different ages, from urban and rural areas, are all standing with us. Today, we all stand together! In addition, we have DPP elders among us, government leaders from the previous DPP administration, mid-generation political elites, youth volunteers, and local city and county councilors. Most importantly, we also have among us a younger generation ready to join us. This is our team. We will face the challenges in the future with this team. We will all work together to change Taiwan!

After this day is over, there are still many tasks that need to be completed. Today marks the beginning of our movement. We still have much to do to change Taiwan. First, we will push for a second democratic reform. We will carry out a three-in-one plan, working through legislative bodies, popular movements, and social movements to push for a second democratic reform.

We want to amend the Referendum Law. We want to return power back to the people and not let it remain in the hands of an arrogant government and timid legislators. We the people will exercise our right to make resolutions on important affairs of the state!

We want to amend Assembly and Parade Law, and if the law can't be amended properly, let it be repealed! We also want to amend the Political Party Law so that party assets can no longer distort the fairness of electoral competitions. Let’s give our political and electoral cultures a brand new start!

We will push for judicial reforms to reinforce our protection of human rights under the law and enable our human rights protections to reach the same standard as those in modern nations. We will eliminate judicial personnel who are unfit for their positions and remove political forces working backstage to interfere with the independence of the judiciary in order to uphold human rights!

We will also push for electoral reform so that each vote counts and that the Legislature’s composition properly reflects the proportion of votes won. We will also push for a reasonable determination of administrative districts to ensure equality between cities and counties, urban and rural areas, and north and south.

What we need is everybody’s combined power. We can’t just rely on our Legislature. We need the power of the public, the power of the grass-roots, and the power of social reforms and social movements. Let’s do this together!! More importantly, we must build a mechanism for effective referendums in order to monitor, establish, and decide upon major cross-strait policies.

There are two crucial tasks for DPP in the coming year. The first one is that we must attain victory in the mayor and county magistrate elections. The second one is that we need the public to stand with us. We must ensure that the petition for an ECFA referendum is successful. The DPP will integrate the people’s power in pushing for an ECFA referendum which will require signatures from one million people. This is an expression of the people's will and is the best weapon for checking the power of a dominating government. Let us work together to take on this difficult task of implementing the "Oppose Dependence upon China, Safeguard Taiwan" ideal. I urge all supporters to fight side-by-side with the DPP, using the referendum to stop the pro-China policy of the Ma administration!

To accomplish our goal, I request all DPP members and supporters to lay down past disagreements and unite together at this most perilous moment for Taiwan. The DPP has made great contributions to Taiwan: bringing down an authoritarian government, pushing for the direct election of Legislative members, fighting for the direct popular election of the President, protecting free speech, caring for disadvantaged social groups, and establishing a social security network. The DPP is an advocate of its ideals and the implementer of these systems. We have made mistakes and have stumbled along the way, but an eagle must be an eagle, and an injured eagle is still an eagle. We must return to our original ideals of loving and protecting Taiwan, insist upon the ideals of “clean government, diligence in government affairs, and love for our homeland,” continue to engage in self-reflection, and then set out again. Our motherland Taiwan is in trouble, so this is the time for us to unite together and put in our all for her! We are at a critical moment in time. Let us come together to push for reform and lead Taiwan towards the future. This is our shared responsibility!