Thoughts on the Tsai-Han-Soong Debates

First, by way of disclaimer, I won’t pretend I understood or cared about everything that was said. I skipped over Soong’s minutes. I did understand what I did understand though.

Han belongs in the loony bin, not on the debate stage. But I think he did ultimately bring up some good issues. Here are some clashes I deem worth mentioning.

  1. Economy. Tsai claimed that Taiwan was first among the Tigers for the first three quarters this year and will be first next year. It’s quite obvious she’s talking about GDP growth rate. In response, Han pointed to some statistics, including about wages, to demonstrate how bad things are. One time he said, “Let me tell you a scary statistic. In 2019, the average labor annual wage for those under 30 was only $392,000.” In concluding that segment he said, “How dare you say we’re doing the best among the tigers!” Although GDP growth rate, isn’t be-all, end-all, it is an aggregate measure. Furthermore, Han made no comparison to any other country. Hello, everyone is doing bad. Han argued that the most oft-used words to describe their situation during her term were:
    2016: 苦
    2017: 忙
    2018: 翻
    2019: 亂
    Clever, but ultimately meaningless.
  2. Budget. Tsai noted that she balanced the budget, and brought the debt down from 36% of GDP to 31%, with other countries noticing. I think pension reform had a lot to do with a lot of it. She didn’t mention it outright, obviously because those who had their pension cuts would still be pissed. So she talked about the benefits instead. In order to bring down the debt, one needs to have an annual surplus. So I’m guessing that the contraction in debt-to-GDP ratio was due to the budget being balanced and GDP rising.
  3. Tourism. Tsai championed the fact that tourism levels are at an all-time high, in spite of the fact that Chinese tourism has fallen. Han made this outrageous claim that Tsai was counting anyone who set one foot on CKS airport as a tourist. That means a layover at CKS counted as tourism. And Tsai didn’t attempt a rejoinder to such an outlandish claim for some reason. Han also said, instead of looking at just tourists, we should look at tour buses and talk to street vendors. Tour buses in Gaoxiong decreased from 128 to 1, highlighting a fact brought up by Brian Jones that Japanese and Korean tourists tend to stay in Taipei. Tsai again did no rejoinder, other than saying that she won’t sacrifice our long-term sovereignty for short-term economic benefits.
  4. Trade. I felt that this was the area the Fish was most useful. He displayed a Venn diagram of countries in the RCEP, and countries in the CPTPP, with Taiwan as the odd man out, the “orphan,” in his words. He charged Tsai with the fact that during her term, she did not have a single breakthrough in the arena of free trade agreements, and the Ma and Abian both did better. He also explained that everyone else had zero tariffs to sell their goods in certain countries, and we didn’t.
    In response, Tsai listed the following:
    (a). We are seeing great improvement in Taiwan’s integration in the global economy (no specifics).
    (a). There is historically high support for nations of the world for Taiwan to join international organizations (no specifics).

She also said she won’t sacrifice Taiwan’s sovereignty for international space. I wished she had talked about the path to greater free trade.

Some other things Tsai said:

We apologized to aboriginals, and Han was racist in his remark about “Marias,” an allusion to Filipina workers.

The best way to scare China, the best way to protect ourselves is to be united.

China is changing the status quo, not us.


When Korean fish becomes president we will officially close and relocate our business elsewhere. Already planned. Its sad when the better of the 2 doesnt understand stupid peopld and thus cannot speak to them on their level.

This election i am truly worried, do not ever assume Tsai has it in the bag…she did the first time she lost too…


That is very depressing. I just said to some people today don’t count Han out. It sounds like he owned that debate from your excellent summary. I don’t want to wake up to this nightmare being president. :slightly_frowning_face:
Tell me some good news your post is very worrying, I thought she is a lawyer but her counters seemed lame. WTF

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He will I guess loose the election big time. I saw this today (all the unhappy people), from the city that elected him and most of his support is gone.


She didn’t. In 2012 she was behind Ma in most polls. Only those who lived in their own bubbles believed she would win.

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

First of all, no one takes the debate seriously and nobody would vote based on who did better in a debate nobody bothered to watch. The days of people deciding which candidate to support because of debates are long gone.

The only thing Han owns is his supporters. None of these valid points he brought up were valid at all. He is bringing KMT down with him.


Isn’t Tsai trouncing him in the polls or is there some other data you’re seeing/hearing?

Technically yes, but Fishy-boy asked all his supporters to boycott the “unfair” polls about the time Soong came onto the scene so unclear how representative the chart is.


I REALLY hope I am wrong and you guys are right…

I guess we will see who decides to show up and vote. Hopefully i am wrong!


Yeah because that’s what a winning candidate would do: tell his supporters to lie in polls.


I hope you are wrong too :rofl:

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I listed all his supporters. He’s got the upper 1% as well as the lower classes. The government employees, including military, police, teachers and bureaucrats especially from state enterprises will vote en masse against Tsai. That is a powerful block. Then you have the useful idiots, the disenfranchised, homeless, without jobs or irregular jobs or unpaid vacations. And they are rabid. They will go to vote and make their families vote for them. They are canvassing the elderly, who also will vote for a return to the old days as promised and women have no business in the Presidential Office. There are massive disinformation campaigns on LINE targeting them.

The young, the educated, are a minority. Even though most Taiwanese would prefer at least the status quo, most do not grasp the dangers of the traditional choices. And they are the ones most limited when it comes to voting. Difficult to leave their jobs and travel.

The DPP is corrupt and the New Party people are not sincere, they say. Sigh…


I personally know a handful of people who are either visiting in Taiwan and staying through the election or coming in specifically to vote. All are retired. All plan to vote for the Fish.

I seriously doubt that I know every person intending to do this but every person who is rabidly following the election seems to be voting in the same direction.


That sounds like he’s just trying to save face or make an excuse for why his numbers are down. He probably said that after seeing some brutal internals. I doubt enough people would boycott to make a difference.


We shall see who buys who beers after election. I see it going blue :frowning:

I, unfortunately, see it much like icon

Again hope we are wrong…but…maybe me and icon can cry in each others arms on election night when we are pointing and slobbering we told you so :frowning:

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I believe he has a similar appeal as Trump. I know quite a few Trump supporters and they often take part in all the recent politcal trends via Trump. I wouldn’t underestimate it honestly.

Genuinely interested in this. Is there merit to Han’s claim (airport) or a counter argument?

Also genuinely curious why 128 buses down to 1. Can anyone shed light on these two issues? Surely a reduction in mainland tourists wouldn’t be the sole reason of tour reductions, no?

I will buy both @Explant and @Icon a craft beer if Han wins.

Educated tourists tend to take tourbusses less. Also back in the day of chineae tourism on steroids, group travel was the only way they could come. So i cant comment on numbera, but ya i could see those numbers at the extreme ends being possible

Considering the quality of the buses and tours, only Mainlanders with no other choice would take those. Remember those were run by Chinese companies.

A neighbor was telling me about this sad hotel in Hualien, right on the beach. This vs are so bad rooms are all musty because they have no occupation that justifies turning on the a.c… Now, I’d love a seaside hotel in Hualien, why isn’t this place advertised for other tourists, not only boatloads of Mainlanders? Maybe because Taiwanese have a choice not to pay 19k for a musty room?

Thanks bro. I’ll bring the tissue.