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Presidential promises never come true: DPP
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-01 03:01 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Ma Ying-jeou promises to revive the economy every single year, but he never succeeds in doing so, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party said Wednesday.

The comment was a reaction to the presidential New Year’s Day address, in which Ma touted the benefits of economic liberalization and Free Trade Agreements and described 2014 as a year of economic breakthrough.

He’s spoken about economic revival so many times that it must be asked whether anybody still believes his slogans, a DPP spokesman said. This was the umpteenth time that Ma had mentioned the issue, but what saddened people was that his words never became reality.

Before running for his first presidential term in 2008, Ma launched a ‘6-3-3’ formula, promising at least 6 percent economic growth, 3 percent unemployment at most, and an average per capita income of US$30,000 (NT$898,000) a year. When it became clear that the figures could not be achieved by the end of his first term in 2012, he said he had meant the formula to become reality at the end of his second and final term as president, in 2016.

Responding to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s New Year’s Day message, DPP policy chief Joseph Wu said the party held ‘six hopes.’ The DPP hoped that the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits could become happier and freer and that their governments could grow closer to their subjects. The people of Taiwan should become free from military threats and no longer be pressured when they tried to participate in international affairs, while their will should be respected, Wu said.

The DPP was not the only group to criticize Ma’s government on New Year’s Day. At the traditional early morning flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Office Building, a group of about 50 anti-nuclear protesters on Wednesday put up a flag of their own.

After half an hour of fitness exercises, they raised a white flag with a blue map of Taiwan and the Chinese characters for ‘Against Nuclear Energy.’ The protest concluded peacefully amid shouts of “2014, End Nuke No.4,” a reference to the fourth nuclear plant now nearing completion in Gongliao, New Taipei City.

Small groups of protesters elsewhere outside the official ceremony shouted slogans at each other referring to support either for Taiwan Independence or for the Republic of China.

The host of the official flag-raising event, actress Chantel Liu, committed a minor error which became popular online. When Ma left the podium, she seemed to be saying that he was “about to step down,” which was interpreted by government opponents as a revelation of the true hopes of many Taiwanese.

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