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Tsai: Chang Hsien-yao case undermines credibility of Ma’s government
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-08-27 07:29 PM
DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen spoke out for the first time Wednesday afternoon on the case of Chang Hsien-yao, former vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), and its impact on relations across the Taiwan Strait and with the rest of the world. She called for a complete investigation by the Ministry of Justice as well as an apology to the people from President Ma Ying-jeou for the haphazard way Chang’s dismissal was handled.

Tsai’s statement on the Chang incident focused on three aspects of the situation. She noted that national security is a critical element of the nation’s national security strategy, and the interests of one person or one party cannot be allowed to disrupt the workings and integrity of the national security system operation. Secondly, she said, the controversy over Chang’s dismissal and how he was handled by MAC and other agencies in the Ma administration have seriously affected the credibility of the entire government in both cross-strait and international relations, and the damages caused by the incident must be repaired as quickly as possible. Third, the entire national security system needs to overhauled and strengthened.

Tsai spoke at a meeting of the DPP Central Standing Committee (CSC), which also heard a report on "Leadership and Challenges in the National Security System" with former National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Chen Chung-hsin. In addition, the results of the most recent DPP opinion poll were released, with a section focusing on public reaction to the Chang Hsien-yao controversy.

The opinion poll shows that 48.9% of respondents believe that Chang Hsien-yao’s departure from MAC is the result of a political struggle, with only 15.4% swallowing the government’s belated explanation that Chang was allegedly involved in the leaking of state secrets. In addition, in view of the fact that Chang was in charge of negotiations with China for more than two years, the survey asked how many felt agreements reached with China should be re-examined, drawing a positive response from 66.1% of respondents. In addition, 63.1% of respondents said they are not satisfied with the way the Ma government has handled the entire Chang Hsien-yao incident.

Tsai Ing-wen told the CSC that the Chang case has already been handed over to the MOJ for disposition, and the confusion and controversy surrounding the incident has already dealt a tremendous blow to the credibility of the government. The result is serious damage to Taiwan’s position in cross-strait and other international relations, and Tsai said that for all this, "the president is personally to blame!"

Tsai solemnly appealed to investigators handling the Chang case to be thorough in their examinations and ensure that all facts in the incident are exposed. At the same time, she said, the people must be on high alert in watching for further developments in the situation surrounding the former MAC deputy minister. Tsai said the government must act immediately to improve national security and the decision-making mechanisms involved in government policy and negotiations. She also called on President Ma to solemnly apologize to the people of Taiwan and take responsibility for safeguarding the nation’s security system.

Tsai noted that the national security system is a key component in the national security strategy. It is a national public institution that does not belong to one person or one party, and cannot be allowed to be compromised by the interests of one person or party.

The president is the head of state, said Tsai, and as such he is the highest national security official in the constitutional system. She added that the president is directly involved in the case of Chang Hsien-yao, but to date there has been no explanation of what has happened and no apology for sloppy handling of the case by concerned authorities.

Tsai said the Chang Hsien-yao incident has exposed serious flaws and weaknesses in the national security system that reflect failures in the decision-making process. The whole case reveals a disregard for the constitution among some people in the national security system, a problem the people of Taiwan cannot ignore and must never accept

Tsai noted that cross-strait relations are an extremely complex and sensitive topic that is closely tied to the survival and development of the people of Taiwan. Cross-strait peace and stability are essential to maintaining security and peace in the region, and if neither foreign governments nor the people of Taiwan have faith in the government, the long-term result will be a fundamental threat to stable development in cross-strait relations and ultimately, the future of Taiwan.

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