Chu vows to ‘turn Taiwan around’

By Elizabeth Hsu and Y.F. Low , CNA

CNA–Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate and Chairman Eric Chu has pledged to “turn Taiwan around” via three strategies — raising the minimum wage, narrowing the rich-poor gap, and achieving consensus on efforts to strive for Taiwan’s international space, if he wins the Jan. 16 election.

Chu promised to raise the minimum wage from the current NT$20,008 (US$606) to NT$30,000 per month within four years, narrow the rich-poor gap by raising taxes on the wealthy, and pump up economic growth through wage hikes and seeking cooperation and a win-win situation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Also, Chu said that if elected, he will use a “three bows, four arrows” strategy to develop Taiwan’s economy.

The first bow is reinforcing Taiwan’s technological strength; the second is upgrading Taiwan’s industrial sector to an Industry 4.0 level through the use of big data; and the third is building Taiwan into a free economy.

The four arrows are: using self-owned brands to establish a totally independent supply chain; extending import substitutes to upstream sections of the supply chain; securing the positions of suppliers in downstream markets; and entering differentiated product markets, he said.

On cross-strait policy, Chu said the “1992 consensus” adhered to by the KMT is “one China, two interpretations.” Based on the Republic of China Constitution, “one China” refers to “the Republic of China,” he said.

He stressed that the “1992 consensus” is a very important foundation for cross-strait relations and he criticized his main opponent — Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party — for being ambivalent at best on the issue.

Chu said that if elected, he would establish a mechanism to monitor cross-strait agreements to ensure that affairs between the two sides are conducted openly, transparently and fairly.

Also, he said he would institutionalize and normalize the mechanism for summit talks between leaders of the two sides after the first meeting of this kind took place in Singapore on November 7 between Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On defense policy, Chu proposed establishing an all-volunteer military force and further downsizing the number of personnel from 215,000 to 180,000.