DPP Presidential Candidate Tsai Ing-wen embarks on Campaign Route 17

On Dec. 7, DPP Chair and Presidential Candidate Tsai Ing-wen began her campaign event: “Campaign Route 17 – A walk of Matsu Culture”. The first stop was visiting the Tin Hau Temple in Lugang, where Tsai shared her experiences on campaign events Route 1, Route 3 and Route 9, all of which allowed her to see the footsteps of our forefathers and how they developed Taiwan’s vitality.

The DPP’s Campaign Route 17 represents the starting point of our ancestors. The hardest living conditions and harshest environment was located along the west coast region, making the first residents one of the most resilient and hardworking groups of people in Taiwan. In order to experience the challenges faced through the development of this area, Chair Tsai decided to embark upon Route 17 to recollect the adversities our forefathers previously faced.

In her remarks, she explained how the spirit of Matsu correlates with the government’s responsibility to “help where help is needed”, to be empathetic and to provide fair and equal assistance to all regardless of gender, age, or social status.

Chair Tsai also addressed the extreme conditions early immigrants faced including draught seasons that made irrigation impossible as well as rain seasons where flood destroyed farmlands and villages. She mentioned that in spite of these extreme living conditions, the early immigrants remained and protected their homes, continued searching for limited opportunities and developed into an ideal environment for fish farms. Their persistence reflected not only Taiwanese people’s unwillingness to accept fate and defeat, but also our strong sense of determination, she said.

When asked about her reasons for “Campaign Route 17”, she explained the purpose of this route is to remind ourselves of the blood and sweat our ancestors put into in order to ensure opportunities for our generation. Therefore we should not take opportunities for granted, since it was all provided for us with hard work by our ancestors. In addition, this route also serves as a reminder to what Taiwanese people pursue, which is no more than a peaceful and a wenbao, a Chinese term for warmth and a full stomach, life and happiness in its purest form. Nonetheless, this simple happiness requires a capable government.

Chair Tsai also shared her experiences after DPP’s low point in 2008, where DPP had done some reflection, re-evaluation and planning carefully about Taiwan’s future. Now the DPP promises that once it gains power, it will abide by Matsu’s spirit and help the ones in need by providing fair and just support for the disadvantaged so our future generations can have a future they look forward to.