Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh criticized the so-called ``one China market`` strategy of Kuomintang rival Ma Ying-jeou and warned that ``a small number of mainlander power elites have always wanted to dump Taiwan together with China`` during an election rally Saturday evening.
Moreover, the former DPP premier stated that Ma`s proposal to foster a ``cross-strait common market`` or ``one China market`` with the People`s Republic of China ``has not put priority on Taiwan`s interests, security and dignity`` and declared that ``a person with these kinds of views is not qualified to become president of Taiwan.``
Hsieh issued the warning during a ``Wellness Taiwan, Wellness Economy`` rally at Guangfu Elementary School in Taichung City which brought together commercial, financial and industrial figures from all over Taiwan and attracted close to 10,000 supporters.
Besides Hsieh and DPP vice presidential candidate and former premier Su Tseng-chang, speakers at the rally included DPP Premier Chang Chun-hsiung while Taiwan Thinktank Chairman Chen Po-chih, Mega Holdings Chairman Lu Chi-cheng and Mega Holdings President Tung Jui-pin, Taiwan Cooperative Bank Chairman Hsu Teh-nan and other commercial and industrial leaders stood on the platform to show their support for the DPP candidate as Hsieh and Su signed a pledge to promote a ``well-being economy.``
In his address to the rally, Hsieh stated that the campaign for the March 22 election would show which team was most capable of upholding Taiwan`s interests, security and dignity.
The DPP candidate stated that his concept of ``Taiwan Renovation`` aimed to transfer national power to ``the masters of the nation,`` namely the Taiwan people, and warned that ``former mainlander power elites have always aimed to dump Taiwan together with China.``
Hsieh said the president elected by Taiwan`s 23 million people should be ``a defender of Taiwan,`` but Ma`s calls for the formation of a ``common market`` with the PRC or a ``one China market`` and for the recognition of PRC diplomas and educational credentials ``did not put priority on Taiwan`s interests, security and dignity.
Hsieh stated that even if Ma wins a four - year term as president, he would not have the qualifications or mandate to link Taiwan with China and related that the promotion of the European Common Market and the subsequent European Community and European Union required ratification by the participating democratic nations through national citizen referendum.
``Liberalizing cross-strait economic and trade and forming a common market with China will cause irreparable harm to Taiwan,`` warned the DPP candidate, who stated that it would be impossible for Taiwan to export its agricultural produce to the PRC and not be required to make reciprocal liberalization of agricultural imports into Taiwan from the PRC.
``After Chinese garlic, oysters and fruits enter Taiwan and freely circulate in our market without tariffs, everyone will be bankrupt,`` said Hsieh, who stated that the election campaign ``was a battle to defend our democracy and save our rice bowls.``
Hsieh stated that he would not allow the importation of Chinese ``black heart`` or defective goods or produce to compete with Taiwan producers in the Taiwan market nor allow the recognition of PRC diplomas.
Instead of relying on integrating Taiwan`s economy with China, Hsieh stated that he proposed to attract Taiwan capital back from the China market through an amnesty on cases of unreported investments by Taiwanese investors into the PRC and induce Taiwan and foreign capital to invest in Taiwan by reducing inheritance and corporate income tax rates while expanding the tax base and offering greater deductions to benefit wage and salary earners and handicapped citizens.
Hsieh also said that his administration would bolster financial support to small enterprises and arrange for the provision of technology to small and medium-sized firms from the government - funded Industrial Technology Research Institute.
``Our goal is to transform Taiwan into the sinitic society with best quality of life with the most democratic politics, the most open society, the most pluralistic culture and the most beautiful environment,`` said Hsieh.
``This is an decisive election to defend Taiwan`s security, interests and dignity,`` Hsieh concluded.
Turnout is the key
Hsieh - Su campaign deputy executive campaign director and former Taiwan Solidarity Union legislator Ho Min-ho told the Taiwan News that Hsieh should win ``somewhat stronger support`` in the presidential election than the DPP performed in Taichung City in the January 12 Legislative Yuan election.
``The most important factor now is encouraging more voters to go to the polls,`` Ho said.
``Voter turnout should be considerably higher than in the Legislative Yuan election, especially as the election is heating up now thanks to the `Against the Wind` march and sense of crisis among pro-green voters,`` stated Ho, who predicted that turnout would be ``at least over 70 percent and up to 80 percent.
``If turnout is about 80 percent, I believe we can gain an edge in Taichung, but we will probably fall short of a majority here if turnout is closer to 70 percent, `` the former TSU lawmaker stated.
In the January 12 Legislative Yuan election, Ho and two other DPP candidates were defeated as the KMT swept the city`s three seats and won 57.7 percent of the constituency votes and 53.7 percent of the at-large party preference votes compared to 39.1 percent in constituency racesand 34.2 percent in at - large votes, respectively, for the DPP.
In the March 20, 2004 presidential election, turnout in Taichung City reached 80.9 percent and DPP incumbents President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu won 47.3 percent of the ballots with 267,095 votes compared to 52.7 percent or 297,098 percent snared by the pan-blue ticket of then KMT chairman Lien Chan and People First Party chairman James Soong.
In addition to Hsieh, DPP heavyweights appearing at the rally included DPP vice president candidate Su Tseng-chang, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung
Ho added that the decision by TSU Secretary - General Chien xxx and his spouse, former TSU legislator Chien Lin Hui-chen (??) to support Ma ``will only have a small `watermelon` or snowball effect`` and will encourage former ``green`` figures or voters who dislike the DPP to turn toward Ma,`` Ho acknowledged.
The former TSU legislator also said that he believed former president and TSU ``spiritual leader`` Lee Teng-hui will maintain silent during the campaign and will not openly endorse any candidate.
Nevertheless, Ho said that ``Friends of Lee Teng-hui`` societies were active in the Hsieh campaign in Taichung.