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Tainan mayor favors Taiwan Independence

Tainan mayor favors Taiwan Independence

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Tainan City Mayor William Lai told the Tainan City Council twice Wednesday that he supported Taiwan Independence.
The Democratic Progressive Party he is a member of, has favored independence for a long time, though current chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen has put a low emphasis on the theme in the run-up to the January 16 presidential and legislative elections she is poised to win.
Lai made the statements after a question from a Tainan city councilor about the southern city’s plans to form a cross-straits working group to deal with policies and issues regarding links with China.
“I advocate Taiwan Independence,” the mayor reportedly said twice in response. He added that supporting independence for the island should not lead to military confrontation. China should respect the freedom of Taiwanese citizens to support the sovereignty and independence of their country, Lai said.
Councilors doubted that the mayor had met with any Chinese delegations since being re-elected last November, but Lai emphasized that he had, but behind closed doors, because that was what the visiting groups had requested.
It was not immediately clear whether Lai’s unexpected public support for Taiwan Independence would run counter to Tsai’s recent emphasis on “maintaining the status quo,” a formula often used in the past by the ruling Kuomintang.
By the status quo, Tsai means that the KMT government of President Ma Ying-jeou has pushed Taiwan too far in the direction of growing influence by China. She proposes more balanced development of ties with many nations in the region, including in Southeast Asia and India, which were the subject of her recently launched “Go South” policy plan.
Lai has often been mentioned as a potential running mate for Tsai, while before the DPP chose her, some wanted Lai to run for president instead.


Updated : 2021-09-23 10:57 GMT+08:00