Tokyo, Dec. 18 (CNA) Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party
(DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh said here Tuesday that he is
confident of a landslide victory in the March 22 election, expressing
the hope that he will beat his rival, Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang
(KMT), by 250,000 votes.
Hsieh, who is in Japan for a four-day visit, made the remarks at
a news conference after delivering a speech at the Foreign
Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo.
On the Jan. 12 legislative elections, he said the DPP
estimates it can capture 50 seats in the streamlined
On the widening gap between Taiwan's rich and poor, Hsieh said
the KMT encourages manufacturers to invest in China and claimed that
this leads to rising unemployment, while his policy is to support
small- and medium-sized enterprises, claiming that this means
factories will not have to make an exodus overseas too soon.
He also said that both he and President Chen Shui-bian advocate
Taiwan's independent sovereignty but that he differs from Chen on
economic issues such as relaxing restrictions on locals investing in
Addressing the concerns related to constitutional re-engineering,
he said that according to the Constitution, constitutional amendments
require the consent of three-quarters of the legislators. As the
DPP is aiming at 50 seats in the legislature, constitutional
amendment will be beyond the means of the DPP and therefore
there should be no concern about resultant cross-Taiwan Strait
He claimed that although China insists on its "one China"
principle, if he is elected, China will "have to" respect the will of
the Taiwan people, who will never accept the terms of "one China."
He pointed out that China will face a litany of challenges in the
coming 20 years, such as the issues of environmental protection, the
widening wealth gap and other social and economic woes.
Taiwan went through all these problems and maybe it can be of
assistance. It is not good for China to isolate Taiwan, Hsieh said,
expressing the hope that China will treat minor countries peacefully
in keeping with its "international responsibility."
He also criticized Ma for not speaking up for Taiwan during a
visit he made to Japan last month and his description of the DPP
as a "troublemaker," which he described as "not fair." Hsieh
described his party as "a creator of a cultural and peace miracle."
Hsieh later called on Takeo Hiranuma, president of the Alliance
for Japan-ROC Friendship, and 21 members of the alliance, a
pro-Taiwan group of congressmen and senators.
Hiranuma wished Hsieh victory in the election. Former Defense
Minister and now congresswoman Yuriko Koike was also on hand to greet
Hsieh said that if he is elected president, he is sure that the
DPP will become the dominant force in the legislature, because if the
KMT loses, the party will splinter into Chinese Nationalist Party and
the Taiwanese Nationalist Party, and Chinese influence will gradually
fade from Taiwan politics, leading to the nation moving toward the
path of normalization.
Hsieh said the ratio of those who identify themselves as
Taiwanese rather than Chinese was 30 percent in 2000
when President Chen Shui-bian won his first election with 39.5
percent of the votes.
In 2004, the ratio of those of those who identify themselves as
Taiwanese rose to 46 percent, and Chen was re-elected with 50.1
percent of the votes.
Although recent public opinion polls on the issue vary, with the
figures standing at around 70 percent or at least over 62 percent,
Hsieh said he is confident of an overwhelming victory in the
Senator Yasuhiro Oe noted that Ma said during his visit that he
knows Japan, but Oe said Japan needs a pro-Japan president for
Ma is generally considered to hold a tough stance on such issues
as conflicting fishery rights and Japanese claims on the
controversial Tiaoyutais Islands, known as the Senkaku Islands in
Hsieh then called on former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori
to exchange views on the cross-strait situation.
(By Mike Chang, Yang Ming-chu and Lilian Wu)