KMT Blames Global Financial Crisis for Economic Stagnation
by Crystal Tai
Taiwan's ruling party, the Kuomintang denies that Taiwan is teetering on the brink of recession. The party's Executive Secretary, Shao Ping-yun cited statistics that Taiwan's standing in the Asian market remains number one, even though economic growth has stayed at an average of 2.81% between 2008 and 2014.
"Taiwan's economy is not stagnating under the Kuomintang's rule. It is topping the world," he said in a news conference to Hong Kong Baptist University students in Taipei. But he later added that the 2008 financial crisis has weakened Taiwan's economy.
"Taiwan is just one of the countries that suffers from the impact of the global financial crisis. Kuomintang has already done its best in the midst of it," Mr Shao says.
His comments are in stark contrast to the pessimistic outlook shared by many Taiwanese.
According to Taiwan's CommonWealth Magazine's 2016 State of the Nation Survey, 41% of the respondents thought that a weak economy topped the list of challenges in society.
But the Democratic Progressive Party accuses the Kuomintang of failing to react to Taiwan's economic woes.
"Our economy is highly dependent on China and our policies fail to save our weakening economy. We should diversify our industry to decrease our dependency," the DPP's Deputy Director of Department of Youth Development Huang Shou-ta, said in a briefing to the students.
The parties' comments come just days ahead of Taiwan's presidential election. The economy and cross-Strait relations are widely debated issues throughout the campaign.
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