William Lai: Taiwan should strive to be ‘Free Economic Island’

Ex-premier William Lai shares his thoughts on free economic zones and constitutional reforms


Lai visiting Dadaocheng on May 2 (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Ex-premier William Lai shared his thoughts on free economic zones and constitutional reforms on Tuesday (May 7) during a radio interview.

The morning of May 7, Lai was interviewed by a radio talk show. When asked about designating Kaohsiung as a “free economic zone,” as proposed by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), Lai said Taiwan’s ultimate goal was to become a “free economic island.”

Lai mentioned that even Eric Chu (朱立倫), another possible presidential candidate of the Kuomingtang (KMT), did not deny that Taiwan has the potential to become a free economic zone island-wide. Making Kaohsiung a “free economic zone” seems a redundant move, said Lai.

As for the claim that “Taiwan is ‘culturally’ an inseparable part of China” made by Foxconn tycoon and KMT primary election candidate, Terry Gou (郭台銘), Lai said Gou’s statement is very hurtful to the people of Taiwan.

Gou should have been more careful about his words when he was talking to international press, rather than clarifying his stance only after the harm had been done, said Lai.

We should not confuse Taiwan’s “cultural identity” with “national identity,” added Lai during the interview on Super FM98.5.

Lai also expressed his views on constitutional reforms. He agrees with former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that Taiwan’s Constitution needs amending, but not by combining the Cabinet with Office of the President, as proposed by Ma.

Ma’s proposal will not solve the current problems, and may create more confusion. Lai reiterated that constitutional reforms will be part of his agenda as president of Taiwan and that he will elaborate on this topic in the primary election debate and any presidential election debate.