Chairperson Tsai: a united DPP will start anew

The DPP held its 13th National Party Congress today, with former chairpersons Chen Shui-bian, Yao Chia-wen, Hsu hsin-liang, Frank Hsieh, Su Tseng-chang, and You Si-kun in attendance. Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-ping was also invited to speak at the ceremony. Chairperson Tsai first led a moment of silence for the victims of the recent typhoon. During her opening speech, Tsai called for the party to refresh itself and to return to the party’s founding spirits. She also hoped that the Taiwanese people would soon realize that the DPP is a better and more trustworthy choice compared to the KMT.

At the start, Tsai expressed that she was touched to be addressing the Congress for the first time as Chairperson of the Party. She said that the DPP has a proud history of pushing for the successful democratization of Taiwan. Although she has great responsibilities on her shoulders, she is determined to work for a brighter future.

Chairperson Tsai invited the original founding members of the DPP to attend the opening ceremony of the Congress. They have stood by the Party in victory and defeat for 22 years, and Tsai expressed her gratitude on behalf of all the members of the DPP. She also assured the founders that the DPP will return to its former glory.

Tsai acknowledged that people will expect her to elaborate on what the DPP needs to do to regain power. However, if all the Party cares about is how to defeat the KMT, then the DPP is not acting as a responsible party. What the people of Taiwan misses the most about the founding days of the DPP are the selfless contributions and sacrifices made for the sake of Taiwan.

With the KMT government having been in power for two months, Tsai expressed that they have already put Taiwan in danger. A dominant party should be particularly careful and listen more to the people. Policies should be made only after thorough review to avoid harming the nation’s interests. Chairperson Tsai went one step further by saying that the Ma administration has so far focused on expanding economies policies while neglecting the problems of rising prices and inflation. With regards to the stock market, they ignored worldwide economic trends and allowed investors to have unrealistically high expectations. On public welfare policies, the Ma government has also failed to uphold its campaign promises.

On the matter of cross-strait trade, Chairperson Tsai said that the government acted in haste to implement charter flights and the opening of tourists. It has allowed China to control the success and failure of our policies. By announcing the 25-item policy on opening our doors to China, the government has unknowingly increased the difficulties of maintaining diplomatic relations, as countries will start to question the strategic value of Taiwan. On the issue of national security, the KMT opposed arms purchases and delayed the budget when the DPP was in power. Now, it holds an ambiguous attitude, thereby causing a missed opportunity to increase our defense capabilities.

Tsai emphasized that Taiwan’s sovereignty is the biggest concern for the Taiwanese people. During these past two months, the government’s lax attitude toward sovereignty has been very disconcerting. It has treated the issue as a commodity. The government hopes to relax its stance on sovereignty in exchange for renewed talks and the yet unknown economic benefits of charter flights and tourism. In the wake of economic difficulties and the threat to the nation’s sovereignty, the DPP must remain calm and not just watch when the KMT is unable to solve these problems themselves. The Party will need to rely on its experience in power and propose reasonable and effective policies in order to preserve the Taiwan’s best interests.

Chairperson Tsai also expressed that the DPP will closely monitor the KMT government and will oppose any improper cross-strait exchanges while upholding Taiwan’s sovereignty and self-determination. This is the only path for Taiwan and is the mission of the DPP. The Party needs to have more wisdom and patience when explaining to the people what the risks are for having contacts with China. Although the DPP has used rational criticism and friendly reminders to recommend policies to the government, the Party has no choice but to stand with the people if the ruling government does not listen to their voices and insists on keeping unrealistic campaign promises while putting the entire country in danger.

In conclusion, Chairperson Tsai also said that she has traveled from one end of Taiwan to the other during these past two months. She has met many people who have expressed their support for the DPP. They know that the Party is facing financial difficulties and have donated all of the money that they have on them. She has never before been touched by so many people. Taiwanese society is beautiful and full of kindness and generosity, and as a result the DPP cannot disappoint its family. The purpose of this ceremony was not to dwell on the pain but to let the Taiwanese people know that the Party is determined to rise again. None of the DPP’s supporters and members left following the election defeats, which speaks to the DPP’s unity and unparallel strength.