China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 22, 2015
Executive Summary: Tsai Ing-wen has long been known as "kong xin Cai" or "content-free Tsai" because she has refused to clearly state her political views. Meanwhile, her speeches, discussions, or articles are filled with pretty words such as "equal justice", "progressive values", "citizen participation", "Taiwan First!", "The People", and "democracy". More recently, she has held forth on "regional governance", "generational justice", "the new economy", "the new agriculture", "creativity", and "innovation". Her rhetoric has remained theoretical. Little if any of it can be translated into concrete policy. Her rhetoric has remained at the "communications platform" level. It has yet to coalesce into a real program with cost-benefit analysis.
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Tsai Ing-wen has long been known as "kong xin Cai" or "content-free Tsai" because she has refused to clearly state her political views. Meanwhile, her speeches, discussions, or articles are filled with pretty words such as "equal justice", "progressive values", "citizen participation", "Taiwan First!", "The People", and "democracy". More recently, she has held forth on "regional governance", "generational justice", "the new economy", "the new agriculture", "creativity", and "innovation". Her rhetoric has remained theoretical. Little if any of it can be translated into concrete policy. Her rhetoric has remained at the "communications platform" level. It has yet to coalesce into a real program with cost-benefit analysis.
"Content-free Tsai" did not acquire her nickname overnight. When Tsai Ing-wen first became party chairperson, progressive scholars flocked to her. They had high hopes for this old style bureaucrat who hailed from academia and the civil service system. They saw in her qualities atypical of politicians. They imagined her transformed into a new era progressive politician. Many pinned their hopes of transforming old politics into new politics on her.
Content-free Tsai's story has a second chapter. When the aura around the DPP's four party princes began to fade, Tsai Ing-wen became the DPP savior. She began her ascent to the summit of power. Avoidance of conflict and pandering to voters became Tsai Ing-wen's guiding light. This, needless to say, merely reinforced her "Content-free Tsai" image.
Content-free Tsai's story is now in its third chapter, namely, her "final mile". In contrast to 2012, Tsai Ing-wen is almost certain to win the campaign ahead of us. The DPP already sees itself as the "ruling party elect" at the central government level, in addition to being the ruling party in most local jurisdictions. It sees the Kuomintang and voters through these glasses. As a "ruling party elect " presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen now finds it difficult to maintain her conflict avoidance motivated policy ambiguity. She finds herself compelled to respond to voter questions and voter expectations. As a result, Tsai Ing-wen has gradually issued a series of policy checks. The first pertains to cross-Strait policy.
Tsai Ing-wen says the DPP's basis for cross-Strait relations is "maintaining the cross-Strait status quo", in other words, maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait and the continued development of cross-Strait relations. According to Tsai Ing-wen this is the key to cross-Strait relations, and the DPP goal upon returning to power. She assures us that "The DPP is confident in its ability to handle cross-Strait relations and avoid accidents. It will not stir up opposition, conflicts, and confrontation."
The moment she uttered "maintaining the status quo", everyone was baffled. They wanted to know Tsai Ing-wen's definition of the "cross-Strait status quo". They wanted to know why she wanted it maintained. Over the past month people have learned what Tsai Ing-wen means by the status quo. It means "follow and uphold the United States' definition of the status quo". From the DPP's anti-Mainland standpoint, such a position is relatively stable. On the surface it avoids the mistakes that earned Chen Shui-bian the moniker of "trouble maker".
But this is clearly an unbalanced and dangerous policy. DPP cross-Strait policy would fall victim to short-term fluctuations in Sino-US relations. It would greatly increase friction, disagreement, and conflict between Taipei and Beijing. In the long run, it may not even be in the best interests of the United States. In sum, Tsai's has proposed a cross-Strait policy riddled with uncertainty.
Tsai Ing-wen's social and economic policies are rife with contradictions and dangers as well. Recently, when Tsai Ing-wen visited the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park, she declared that "Taiwan has too many holidays", and touched off a wave of controversy. According to reports Tsai Ing-wen was addressing a business group. Therefore she first assured them that she was not anti-business, that she was concerned no only with industrial workers and farmers, that she had no objection to FTAs, that she did not support the luxury homes tax, capital gains tax, and sin taxes. She assured them that her commitment to equal justice would not undermine her commitment to efficiency and competitiveness. When Tsai Ing-wen addresses entrepreneurs she boasts about suppressing labor welfare to maintain industrial competitiveness. Meanwhile, she also trumpets her commitment to "progress" and "justice".
Tsai Ing-wen has recently talked up a "new model for economic growth". She advocates a "from small to big" industrial strategy. She says the primary force behind next generation economic growth is SMEs, not Big Business. She says it is people with smarts, not traditional capitalists. She says knowledge and innovation are more important than capital. Therefore "Taiwan's economic development can no longer rely exclusively on traditional capitalists and the wealthy." Frankly, Tsai Ing-wen's "new economic growth model" is a hodge-podge of anti-Big Business sentiment, "small is beautiful" philosophy, green economics, and new economics. It has no connection to the reality of the global economy. It runs counter to the development strategies of the world's major nations. It reveals total incomprehension regarding the relationship between Big Business and SMEs. Such an economic policy is utterly divorced from reality. It promises false equality and false progress.
When Tsai Ing-wen addresses middle class, lower class, and underprivileged voters, she invariably talks about national responsibility and distributive justice. When she addresses environmental groups she invariably promises a nuclear-free homeland by 2025, 50 billion Kilowatt hours of green electricity in 10 years, the establishment of a smart grid, and measures to save 30 billion Kilowatt hours of energy in 10 years. Alas, she never tells us the source of the revenue. She never says anything about overall fiscal reform. These are her "irresponsible leftist policies". When Tsai addresses business groups, she objects to tax increases, questions shorter working hours, stresses market economics, market efficiency, and market competition. These are her "dishonest rightist policies."
Uncertain cross-Strait policies, irresponsible leftist policies, and dishonest rightist policies. These are the rubber checks Tsai Ing-wen has issued. Can the people and the international community really trust such a person?
原因是她始終說不清楚她的政治主張。同時，她的演講、 談話或是文章論述，始終堆砌著漂亮的詞藻，如：公平正義、 進步價值、公民參與、台灣主體、人民、民主等等，最近一段時間， 又多了區域治理、世代正義、新經濟、新農業、創意、 創新等美麗語彙，但是說了半天，仍然停留在理念的層次， 極少化為可以實踐操作的具體政策，或者就是停留在要打造「 溝通平台」的層次，未能形塑出實際的綱領、路徑圖， 也沒有成本效益分析。
進步學者」包圍了蔡英文， 希望將這位學界與公務體系出身的舊官僚， 憑藉著其非典型政治人物的某些特質，改造成新時代的進步政治家， 成為許多人翻轉舊政治、打造新政治的寄託所在。
當民進黨的所謂四大天王年華逐漸老去、政治魅力逐漸消退時， 蔡英文越來越成為民進黨的救世主，越來越接近權力的頂端。於是， 迴避矛盾、討好選民就成了蔡英文論述的主軸，當然也就更加鞏固、 深化了她「空心蔡」的形象。
2012年，擺在眼前的這場選戰，蔡英文幾乎是十拿九穩， 民進黨也早就以中央準執政黨、 地方最多數執政黨的姿態面對國民黨和選民。作為「準執政黨」 總統候選人，蔡英文已經很難維持過往那種「迴避矛盾」 的政策模糊，必須回應選民的提問與期待，於是， 蔡英文陸陸續續推出了一系列政策支票， 其中第一大部分是兩岸政策。
，也就是維繫台海和平及持續兩岸關係穩定發展的現狀， 據蔡英文表示，這是兩岸關係的核心， 也是民進黨重返執政後致力目標，她還信心滿滿的保證「 民進黨有信心可以處理好兩岸關係，避免意外，更不會挑起矛盾、 衝突和對立。」
各方反應多是不瞭解蔡英文定義的兩岸現狀為何， 也不知道她要如何維持現狀。一個多月過去，人們發現， 蔡英文所謂的維持現狀，其實大約就是「 追隨並維持美國定義的台海現狀」。從民進黨的反中立場來看， 這樣的立場是理所當然也是相對穩健的， 表面上似乎可以避免重蹈陳水扁時代的「麻煩製造者」覆轍。
不但將使民進黨的兩岸政策隨著中美關係的短期波動而擺盪， 也將大大提高兩岸之間發生摩擦、齟齬甚至衝突的機率，長期來看， 其實也未必符合美國的根本利益。總而言之，蔡所提出的是「 不確定的兩岸政策」。
蔡英文在參訪彰濱工業區時，提到台灣勞工「放假太多」， 引發一波爭議。據了解，蔡英文在面對工商團體時， 先後提出了不仇富反商、不獨尊勞工農民、不反對簽訂自貿協定、 不支持豪宅稅、證所稅、奢侈稅，更不以「公平正義」損害「效率」 、「競爭力」等承諾。矛盾的是， 當蔡英文面對企業主大談抑制勞工福利，以維持產業競爭力的同時， 卻又擺出了「進步」、「公平正義」的姿態。
以小搏大」的產業戰略主軸， 她認為下一個世代引領經濟成長的主力，是中小企業，不是大企業； 是有腦袋的人，不是傳統資本家；知識與創新比資本重要，因此「 台灣經濟發展不能再獨厚傳統資本家與有錢人」。坦白說， 蔡英文的所謂新經濟成長模式，是揉雜反財團情結、某類型「 小就是美」的生態經濟理念和知識新經濟概念的集合體， 實際上完全脫離了全球經濟發展的現實， 背離了世界主要國家發展戰略性產業， 也完全不瞭解巨型企業與中小企業之間的產業鏈關係， 這樣的經濟政策，只能是脫離現實的假平等、假進步政策。
總是把國家責任與分配正義掛在嘴邊，面對環保團體， 更提出畫大餅的「以2025非核家園的達成為總目標」、「10年 開發綠色能源500億度」、和透過建立智慧電網等措施來「10年 節電300億度」的新能源政策， 但是卻從來說不清楚穩定財源何在，更避談整體性的財稅改革， 這完全是「不負責的左派政策」。而當蔡英文轉身面對工商團體時， 又反對加稅、質疑工時縮短，強調市場經濟、效率與競爭， 可稱得上是「不誠實的右派政策」。