TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said in an interview on Sunday (Nov. 5) that the chances of China invading Taiwan are the lowest if he is elected president.
In an interview on the Storm Media program "Off Work Han Talk" (下班瀚你聊), Lai said if he becomes president, the probability of a cross-strait war is the lowest because he is the most capable of safeguarding the country. In addition, when asked about amending the constitution and changing the country's name, Lai said that the official name "Republic of China" will remain, and the national flag will continue to fly.
Regarding Lai's selection for a running mate, he said that the party has not yet discussed the candidate for vice president. He said he has several candidates in mind, but the final decision still requires further discussion within the party.
Lai said that Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is indeed among the candidates. However, he said that he has not yet discussed the matter with her directly.
The host also asked Lai to respond to claims by the Kuomintang (KMT) that if he becomes president, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would go to war. Lai criticized the KMT for using China's threat of military force to accuse him of endangering Taiwan and echoing China's united front propaganda against Taiwan.
Lai said that the KMT and other opposition parties do not adhere to the spirit of democracy and lack ambition. He emphasized that national security and cross-strait peace do not rely on China's goodwill or on pledging allegiance to China.
He said it does not mean accepting the "one China" principle or the 1992 Consensus and giving up sovereignty. He also said it is not about signing a service trade agreement under the premise of the "one China" principle or about negotiating a peace agreement based on the "one China" principle.
Lai said that peace depends on strength, standing together with the democratic camp, and collectively exerting deterrence. He said that it is essential to separate the Communist regime from the Chinese people.
In order to promote the well-being of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, as long as reciprocity and dignity are maintained, "the country I lead is willing to engage in exchanges and cooperation with China." He said that Taiwan hopes to be friends with China and does not want to become an enemy.
He emphasized that peace is priceless, and there are no winners in wars. Peace is his most important mission, said Lai.
As president, Lai pledged that he would be committed to Taiwan's security, stability across the Taiwan Strait, and peace in the Indo-Pacific region.
Lai said that even if the country faces turbulent times in the future, he will harness the strength of the Taiwanese to "keep the ship of Taiwan moving forward steadily. This is my mission."