Reform devoid of good will could cause hostility: KMT chairwoman

Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (???) on Monday called on President and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Tsai Ing-wen (???) to recognize that if reforms are not genuinely well intentioned they could lead to endless inter-communal animosity.

Hung made the remarks in a statement released in response to the National Day address delivered by President Tsai earlier in the day in celebration of the 105th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of China (ROC).

It was Tsai's first National Day speech since taking office on May 20, when the DPP becoming the governing party for only the second time since the ROC government relocated to Taiwan in 1949.

In the speech, Tsai said it was the responsibility of the new government to transform and reinvigorate the country, which she said has been through authoritarian rule, social conflict and "endured sharp differences on the question of national identity."

Commenting on Tsai's focus on reform, Hung said she felt compelled to remind the president that without law and reason, reform could easily become nothing but a byword for "political persecution and unlawful struggle."

"Reform without good faith will bring nothing but endless inter- communal animosity," Hung said.

Hung did not attend the National Day celebration held in front of the Presidential Office on Monday morning. She recently accused the Tsai administration of trying to break the KMT's financial back by seeking to confiscate ill-gotten party assets dating from decades ago.

The new Cabinet organized a committee in August to handle the KMT's "ill-gotten" assets. Its first move was to freeze the veteran political party's main bank accounts, forcing it to delay paying employee salaries in September.

Hung said that any celebration of the country's birthday must be based on a sincere respect for the history and founding spirit of the ROC and a determination to defend the ROC Constitution.

One should not say one thing and do something at odds with one's words, Hung said, criticizing Tsai for declining to give up support for Taiwan independence, which remains a part of the DPP's platform.

"While celebrating National Day, we must always keep in mind the safety and welfare of the people, instead of leading everyone into a future filled with uncertainty," Hung said.

However, the KMT leader also applauded Tsai for recognizing the importance of issues concerning the future of the younger generation, domestic reforms, international participation and the stability of cross-strait relations.

She pledged the cooperation of the KMT in the promotion of those policies.

Meanwhile, Shih Cheng-feng (???), a professor in indigenous studies and social work at National Dong Hwa University, observed that Tsai had used the Double Ten Day speech to declare her administration's goals but failed to say how she planned to carry them out.

As for Tsai's statement on cross-strait ties, Shih said he regarded the president's call for talks between Taiwan and China as "an olive branch" to Beijing.

In the National Day speech, Tsai reiterated her intention to maintain the status quo in cross-strait relations and called on the government of mainland China to face up to the reality that "the Republic of China exists and the people of Taiwan have an unshakable faith in the democratic system."

She said the two sides of the strait should sit down and talk as soon as possible. "Anything can be discussed as long as it is conducive to the development of cross-strait peace and the welfare of both our peoples," Tsai noted.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel