The China Post news staff
TAIPEI, Taiwan–In yesterday’s political platform presentation, Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) proposed that the next televised presentation be changed to a debate format. Chu, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) faced off for the third time last night. The three candidates took turns to communicate their policies. Each spoke for 10 minutes for a total of three rounds. Chu was selected in the draw as the first speaker. Seeming confident in his verbal communication skills, Chu called on his two opponents to accept his debate proposal, saying that it would help clarify each candidate’s policies; also, voters could compare candidates’ different policies more easily. The PFP’s Soong said he fully endorsed Chu’s proposal. Tsai, on the other hand, made no mention of Chu’s suggestion. Chu said that according to election regulations, consensus reached by more than half of the candidates would make his proposal effective. Soong Complains of Unfair Campaign Coverage
Although endorsing Chu’s debate idea, Soong took the chance to blast the Central Election Commission, which he said has limited his election campaign coverage.
The commission is a branch of the government, and the KMT has the most sway in the agency, Soong said. The commission is obliged to be free from discrimination when handling election affairs, but there has been “very, very little” coverage of his campaign, Soong said, adding that the commission’s dereliction of duty has resulted in his campaign being “marginalized.” Imagining herself as the probable presidential winner, Tsai chose to direct the presentation along her policy lines, and how they differ from Chu’s. Social housing was one of her focuses. ‘Comfort women’ Issue There was one issue that the three candidates unanimously agreed upon: that the Japan government should apologize and compensate for enslaving “comfort women” — or forced prostitutes — in Taiwan during World War II. The issue came under the spotlight as Japan recently consented to repaying South Korean comfort women. Chu raised the issue during his first speech, calling for a united front among the green and blue camps. He asked both Soong and Tsai to stand with him. Soong concurred, saying that Japan committed many atrocities against the Chinese people during the war. While Taiwan should make its repayment request to Japan, the “methods” and “finesse” are critical, Soong stressed. Japan is a country that follows the rule of law, and resorting to the justice system for the victims’ compensation is what needs to be done, he said. Tsai said in the third round of her speech that the comfort women issue is a tragedy. To obtain justice for the victims, the government must take immediate action. This is what the incumbent government must do right now, Tsai said.