At a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Premier Su Tseng-chang said the successful re-election of President Tsai Ing-wen with a record high 8.17 million votes on January 11 reflects not only the president's resolve to defend and protect Taiwan's sovereignty and democracy, but also the people's support for her administrative policies over the past three and a half years. The election outcome also demonstrates public recognition for the Cabinet team's hard work and efforts.
The premier expressed gratitude to national legislators across all political parties for their cooperation over the past year in passing many important pieces of legislation that improved the nation's welfare. In particular, he thanked the Democratic Progressive Party for championing marriage equality and for standing up for the advancement of human rights at a critical moment in history.
Premier Su also thanked his predecessors, former premiers Lin Chuan and Lai Ching-te, for laying down solid foundations in policy administration that continue to yield fruitful results. This past year, the Executive Yuan approved 255 major programs, including over 40 valued at over NT$10 billion (US$333.9 million) each.
In addition, the premier thanked like-minded democracies throughout the world for their many years of support and assistance. These nations have spoken up on Taiwan's behalf at a time when the country finds itself constrained and under pressure on the global stage. Substantive aid from the U.S. such as friendly legislation, arms sales, and even help with combating misinformation offer a prime example.
The major elections of 2016, 2018 and 2020 impressed upon all the rapidly changing nature of public sentiment, the premier said. A government's efforts and success are readily apparent and carefully considered by the people, who then pass judgement at the ballot box. Yet voters are always willing to offer second chances, and this is the most invaluable aspect of Taiwan's democracy.
On the first working day following Saturday's election, the premier tendered the Cabinet's mass resignation to President Tsai, who on that same day asked Premier Su to stay on as head of the Executive Yuan. The premier then did likewise for the entire Cabinet, requesting that members remain to face together the many domestic and international challenges ahead. Looking forward, Premier Su said that many important issues await the executive team's immediate attention, including promoting the president's new policy objectives, meeting the expectations of all sectors of society, and coming to grips with as yet unsolved problems.
In the new year, every Cabinet minister must carry on working assiduously, maintaining effectiveness, quickly responding to popular opinion, and making a difference in people's lives. Both the team and its policies should be continuously reviewed and calibrated in order to avoid disappointing the public.