President to focus on cross-strait issues, institutional reforms: aide

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) / CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is expected to stress peace, parity, democracy and dialogue as the keys to cross-Taiwan Strait relations in her second-term inaugural address Wednesday, while firmly rejecting the “one country, two systems” model espoused by China.

Tsai will lay out a four-point national development strategy focused on national security, democratic reforms, economic development and social stability, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Tuesday.

Aside from the specific themes of “peace, parity, democracy and dialogue,” Tsai will reiterate her commitment to conducting cross-strait relations in accordance with the Republic of China (Taiwan) Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, Huang said.

In broader national security terms, she will announce military reforms, including an effort to expand asymmetric warfare capabilities, and plans to strengthen ties with like-minded nations through participation in international organizations, Huang went on.

According to Huang, Tsai’s speech will also propose institutional reforms aimed at strengthening Taiwan’s democracy.

These include the expected announcement of plans to form a constitutional reform committee in the Legislative Yuan that will serve as a platform for discussion of proposed constitutional amendments.

She is also expected to announce that a national human rights commission will be established in August — what Huang called a “starting point” for the repurposing of the Control Yuan, which is the body responsible for monitoring and investigating the other branches of government.

Meanwhile, in economic terms, Tsai will build on the foundation of her administration’s 5+2 Major Innovative Industries policy, which is focused on moving Taiwan’s industrial base away from traditional manufacturing and into more technology-oriented industries.

She will announce a “six core strategic industries” plan to continue to promote the development of IT and digital technology, 5G, medical technology, green energy and other industries, Huang said.

A fourth policy direction will emphasize social stability, and will feature plans to strengthen Taiwan’s public health systems and the country’s social safety net, Huang said.

Thematically, Huang said, the address will stress the unity of the Taiwanese people, as exemplified by the country’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The speech, which will take place at the Taipei Guest House before a limited audience, will follow a 9 a.m. swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Office.

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