DPP Chairman urges Taipei Mayor to leave cross-strait issue alone

Ko has been slammed for his odd metaphor describing Taiwan-US-China relations like a careless bank robber surrounded by police

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Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) came under fire for his recent odd metaphor to describe Taiwan-US-China relations, and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) joined a fellow DPP legislator on Jan. 21 to call on Ko to mind his business as a mayor, and not get involved with cross-strait affairs.

Last week, when asked by a TV host in an interview how Taiwan can well survive a confrontation between the U.S. and China under President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) pro-U.S. foreign policy, the outspoken mayor used an awkward metaphor to reply "There is a robber attempting to rob a bank but failing to notice there stand many cops aside while bagging the money."

The city government's deputy spokesperson Chen Kuan-ting (陳冠廷) came to elaborate Ko's statement right after the interview, saying Ko is trying to emphasize that Taiwan should avoid overly leaning to one side amid the confrontation between the two superpowers, and should make any decisions in the best interests of Taiwanese people.

Despite the clarification, criticism continues to pour in. DPP legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) took to the Facebook to describe Ko's pro-China stance and his motto - "the two sides of the strait are one family" - as "a doe with one eye," in a sarcastic manner.

DPP spokesperson Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤) indicated that Ko's comparison is inappropriate, and is sending an erroneous message to the international community, which is at odds with the mainstream view in the country, according to a Storm Media report.

On Monday, DPP Chairman Cho Jung- tai told the media after a central committee meeting that he is hoping that Ko can mind his own business as a mayor and leave the cross-strait issue.

As the 2020 presidential election is only one year away, Ko, who is emerging as a possible contender for Taiwan presidency, is said to be aggressively paving the way to run in the election. In addition to becoming more outspoken on China and foreign affairs, he reportedly hosted meetings with hundreds of supporters and does not rule out starting his own political party when asked by media reporters.

However, Ko's staff told a local media outlet that creating a political party within a year is not achievable and not practical, and it is more easier for Ko to gather enough signatures nationwide to become eligible for running the 2020 presidential elections as an independent candidate than winning a party's nomination.