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Tainan mayor to stay away from Double Ten

Tainan mayor to stay away from Double Ten

Tainan mayor to stay away from Double Ten

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Tainan City Mayor William Lai said Saturday he would not attend the Double Ten National Day celebrations in Taipei next week, reports said Saturday.
The move follows the Democratic Progressive Party politician’s emphasis on his support for Taiwan Independence earlier in the week, leading commentators to speculate whether he is trying to distance himself from presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s advocacy of the status quo.
Later Saturday, Lai defended himself by saying he had overseen several Double Ten celebrations in Tainan City and that Taiwan was already independent under the name of Republic of China.
It was Kuomintang presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu who said Tsai should invite Lai along to the October 10 National Day events. It will be the first time in many years that the DPP leader will actually attend, though critics have said her move is inspired by the need to project a moderate image in the race for the January 16 presidential and legislative elections.
Hung might not understand, but in Tainan, the mayor chairs the annual flag-raising ceremony on Double Ten, and this year will be no exception, Lai told reporters.
The aim of the event was to unite people, the mayor said. No matter which party you support, no matter where you come from, you should stand together and identify with Taiwan, which is called the Republic of China, Lai was quoted as saying.
Observers have wondered whether the Tainan mayor, often named as a potential vice-presidential candidate, has been trying to set himself apart from Tsai by trying to appeal to more radical supporters of Taiwan Independence who might have been worried by the presidential contender’s mentions of the status quo.
The Latin term has traditionally been used by the KMT against the Taiwan Independence movement, accusing the DPP of risking war with China by abandoning the island’s present status.
The DPP has accused President Ma Ying-jeou of endangering the status quo by allowing China to garner excessive influence over the island’s economy and by failing to act against consistent unfriendly words and deeds against Taiwan’s sovereignty and independence.