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July 22, 2017

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DPP sees trust crisis between ages

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's society is faced with a crisis of trust among generations instead of political divisions, according to opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader when laying the groundwork for pursuing the party's policy guidelines for the coming decade.

Speaking at a seminar on social development yesterday, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen clarified that the DPP's current efforts of formulating its "10-year policy guidelines" are not targeted at short-term election platforms, but aimed a drawing up comprehensive national and social policies.

Tsai said the nation is bound to deal with the inevitable challenge and impact from a quickly aging population since elderly people will account for 16 percent of Taiwan's total population in 10 years and that the percentage will probably rise even higher.

"Against this backdrop, what our society will face in the future may not be distrust between our two major political camps, but distrust among different generations," Tsai said.

Acting on her directive, the DPP plans to draw up a package of "10-year policy guidelines" later this year as the first step to help address challenges Taiwan will face in the coming decade, Tsai said. "I hope the DPP will be a visionary and forward-looking party that is able to foresee future problems our country may face and map out tactics to resolve them," Tsai said.

With the local population aging, Tsai said, Taiwan may see its population decline after peaking off in the next decade.

Moreover, she went on, young people will shoulder an increasing financial burden while facing substantial changes in industrial trends and job markets.

In the coming decade, Tsai said that local people may become increasingly reliant on public health care and that society could undergo wealth redistribution.

With the younger generation assuming increasing financial burden, Tsai predicted that a crisis of trust could erupt among different generations.

"To avoid the worst-case scenario, we need to have foresight, insight and a broad perspective in formulating policy initiatives," Tsai said.

Expressing her aversion to intransigence, Tsai said the DPP will promote social dialogue at public forums to pool wisdom and resources to deal with future challenges and boost the well-being of Taiwan's people.

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