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September 26, 2017

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Tsai calls for Ma to stop placing her quotes out of context

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday called for President Ma Ying-jeou to refrain from quoting her words out of context and misinterpreting them.

Tsai made the remarks after Ma this Wednesday quoted a speech she made last year in Singapore. Tsai dubbed Taiwan a "free island" in her speech, saying that the label would be able to fully realize Taiwan's strategic value in the Asia-Pacific region. After quoting Tsai, the president asked whether there was a difference between Tsai's words and the Free Economic Pilot Zones that are ready to be launched now?

Tsai has previously said that the pilot zones are not a solution for Taiwan's economy.

The chairwoman released a statement early yesterday, saying that she has placed much emphasis on the three aspects of the "free island ideology" when she delivered the speech: the free economy, diverse cultures and democratic rule. Her point, Tsai said, was to indicate that Taiwan has prioritized a free economy too much. "(Taiwan) does not put much importance on its diverse cultures and the democratic rule. How would Taiwan be able to stand its ground in Asia in future?" Tsai asked.

The free island ideology is one dedicated to the equal development of three aspects; the goals are not based on the same level as President Ma's, said Tsai.

"I have emphasized in my speech that, in order for Taiwan to become a truly free economy, the country should be pushing for overall free trade and investments with other countries. We should be 'the world's Taiwan,' not 'China's Taiwan.'"

It is crucial for Taiwan to adjust its economic structure based on a larger scope and introduce new economic energy, said Tsai.

"I must formally remind President Ma to refrain from quoting out of context, and to understand the meaning behind my words before quoting them ... most of all, not to use these misused quotes to hide the fact that the pilot zones are the result of a mixed batch of policies and a wrong example," the chairwoman concluded.

The KMT Hits Back

The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) refuted Tsai's accusation that Ma had quoted her wrongly. "Our Chairman Ma has quoted almost the entire speech made by DPP Chairwoman Tsai, there should be no issue of him quoting her out of context," said KMT spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信).

Tsai's criticism does not hold true, said Chen, who stressed that Ma has indeed quoted Tsai and did not miss out the said three aspects of the free island ideology.

Ma was indicating that Tsai's direction in boosting Taiwan's economy did not differ from the KMT's, said Chen.

"What Tsai has mentioned in the past is exactly what the government is working for right now, and what the pilot zones are aiming at," Chen pointed out.

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