Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday in his Double Ten National Day message accused the Democratic Progressive Party government of inciting fear and anti-China sentiment, while making an appeal to Beijing to accept Taiwan’s existence.
After attending the morning celebrations outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, Ko, who is chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), wrote on Facebook a “happy birthday” message to the Republic of China (ROC) in which he reflected on the nation’s values, and condemned partisan politics and Chinese aggression.
In the 110 years since Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) founded Asia’s first democratic republic, the ROC on Taiwan has developed a system that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people, Ko wrote.
Photo: Cheng Ming-hsiang, Taipei Times
In this time, it has deepened the universal values of democracy, freedom, pluralism, human rights and rule of law to become the pride of all Taiwanese, he added.
Although the two sides of the Strait used to belong to one China, it is also a fact that they have been divided for more than 120 years, Ko wrote, adding that everyone, regardless of party affiliation, is proud of Taiwan’s resilience and achievements.
“However, the Chinese Communist Party’s frequent use of force to intimidate and suppress Taiwan is fundamentally against the expressed will of Taiwanese,” he said.
Referencing “The North Wind and the Sun,” an Aesop’s fable about the power of persuasion over force, Ko urged Beijing to embrace the universal values that Taiwan holds dear.
“We hope that China’s strength brings more prosperity to its people and respect internationally, as well as willingness to open peaceful dialogue rather than threatening force or denying the fundamental existence of the ROC and Taiwan, which will only make Taiwanese run further away,” he wrote.
He also took the opportunity to criticize the DPP leadership for refusing to work with their opponents.
“In the past few years, we have only seen the DPP manipulate people’s fears and anti-China sentiment to ineffectual result, constantly suppressing and branding its political opponents,” Ko wrote.
“We have seen no room for dialogue, both internally and externally,” he added.
Ko also criticized President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) call for peaceful dialogue with China in her national day address yesterday, saying that mutual interaction is what makes change, not unending talk.
“We should of course band together with those who view us as equals in the world, but we should not put the safety and security of the people at risk by manipulating ideology for partisan political gain,” he said, adding that Taiwan can only move forward by overcoming ideological disputes and refraining from making enemies compatriots.
Meanwhile, the TPP, in its own National Day address, echoed Ko’s call for inclusivity while condemning the “domination of one voice” in government.
Especially with the prevalence of social media, politics has fallen victim to clickbait and bickering, the party said on Facebook, calling on those in power to stop using divisive hate speech, labeling their opponents as communist sympathizers and controlling the media.
“The crisis of governance begins when there is no voice of opposition,” it added.
Additional reporting by Hsieh Chun-lin
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