Tsai Ing-wen: allow Taipei to become a warm, personable, caring modern city

DPP Chair and Presidential Candidate Tsai Ing-wen held a large meeting outside of the election headquarters in Taipei on December 4. Despite the chilly weather, twenty-thousand people showed up early in the morning to passionately support Tsai Ing-wen and the vice presidential candidate Su Jia-chyuan.

An elderly 80 year-old grandmother who had difficulty walking donated a “black piggy bank”, which deeply touched Tsai. In her speech, Chair Tsai reiterated her position on urban renewal, social housing, and long-term care, hoping that in the future Taipei will become an even more modern city that is warm, personable, and caring. In her speech, she said that she hopes to see Taipei restored to the city she recalls from her childhood.

Chair Tsai expressed that Taipei holds an important place in the history of the DPP’s development. She said that the Tangwai movement era, formation of a political party, and several significant elections all occurred in Taipei. The DPP produced its first Taipei mayor, a joint effort by Taipei citizens. Although many people say that Taipei is not the DPP’s place, Tsai said she wanted to tell everyone that Taipei is truly where the DPP developed and matured and the DPP should continue its growth and transform itself into a strong political party in Taipei, she said.

In a sorrowful tone, Chair Tsai continued on how in these past ten years, Taipei has become a place where only the rich live. This is not the place that she remembers from her childhood, she said. However after fifty years of development, she said that Taipei has turned into a place where only the rich can afford to live in. The elderly, middle-aged, and young people, as well as the underprivileged, should have the right to remain in Taipei.

“This is what I want to accomplish,” said Tsai. “I want to restore Taipei to the city I remember from my childhood”.

She also emphasized that the president should be responsible in leading the transformation of Taipei into a more open, tolerant city.

Chair Tsai promised that after she is elected, the government will lead city renewals. She reiterated that after she is president, she will establish a central committee whose main responsibility is the renewal and development of cities. In the future, Taipei and New Taipei City will create and become a tolerant, fair metropolis that everyone can equally partake in—a true realization of just living standards.

Following, Chair Tsai stated that certain places in Taipei have been over-crowded, which the city must work on reducing with New Taipei City. She said that she believed that all of Taiwan’s economic and social structures need to undergo change to allow balanced developments among regions, narrowing the gap between cities and rural areas. Taiwan will become a more balanced country where everyone can share the fruits of economic development, and others will no longer view Taipei as a city with special privileges, she said.

Aside from renewal of Taipei and other cities, Tsai Ing-wen also raised that the young, old, and underprivileged need to be able to feel at ease and secure living in Taipei. Therefore, she advocated social housing. She said that as housing prices soar, young people cannot afford a house, old people cannot bear the burden, and the poor cannot live here. Thus, the government must take responsibility and provide social housing for these people, a place where they can settle down and pursue their lives.

Chair Tsai also mentioned that the government must construct a complete long-term care system. The government will allocate resources to a system that will help everyone in society who needs care. She emphasized that every modern country must have welfare services, especially for the elderly, disabled, or young mothers who need day-care services. She hopes that in the future, the government will provide the necessary resources and manpower to create a system in which the community can care for each other. Chair Tsai finished her remarks on emphasizing that this is her vision for the next fifty years in Taipei.