PFP chairman against political divisions along ethnic lines

The China Post staff

Chairman James Soong of the People First Party (PFP) yesterday gave a positive response to President Chen Shui-bian’s statement that it’s unethical and immoral for political figures to use ethnic conflicts for political gains. Soong also stressed that whoever controls the majority in the Legislative Yuan should have the right to set the nation’s future development course. Soong made the comments after attending the funeral of the father of Richard Wu, the chairman of the phone equipment maker Kingtel Telecommunications, in Chungli, Taoyuan County. Soong said that the previous ruling party made a mistake in the last days of its administration by adopting the “no haste, be patient” policy to constrain Taiwan investments and trade with mainland China. The people already elected the new government under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) expecting it to improve the economic situation.

However, Soong noted, the new government, by maintaining the poor KMT policy, appears unable to understand the needs of the business community. He urged the new government to abandon ideology and anti-business sentiments and to help enterprises chart out new development directions. He said that the current rulers should also recognize the true opinions of the public instead of constantly labeling people as “indigenous or non-indigenous.”

Soong said: “Should the nation’s F-16 fighter jet pilots, generals, and corporate executives divide themselves into indigenous or non-indigenous groups?” The deliberate effort to create such a rift among the people is immoral, he added. When asked by reporters about former President Lee Teng-hui’s plan to organize a new political force of figures with”indigenous backgrounds” to push his so-called “indigenous policies,” Soong said a retired leader should not be dictating national policy while the incumbent president takes a back seat.

Soong said even well-respected author and historian Bo Yang has questioned President Lee’s new public role and his intention to instigate conflict and strife among different ethnic groups in Taiwan. Soong said that’s why he reminded the public at the recent memorial for the late Senior Presidential Adviser K.T. Li that there should be no more division of people into “indigenous or non-indigenous categories.” Li, was born and grew up in mainland China, but had been one of the most respected architects of Taiwan’s economic development and modernization. Instead of wasting energy to drive wedges among different groups of people, Soong said, political figures should concentrate on making true contributions to Taiwan’s future, as Li did. Concerning President Chen’s repeated vows that his DPP will not let go of the power of the government after the legislative elections in December, Soong told reporters that the DPP should not adopt such a predetermined stand and exclude all other possibilities.

Soong said he believes that any single political party that takes over half of the seats or several parties that can hold control of a majority of seats in the legislative branch should have the right to form the Cabinet and choose developmental policies for the nation.