The Presidential Office has called on opponents of the government’s pension reform plan to avoid disrupting events during the Universiade Games.
The Tsai Ing-wen administration has made reforming Taiwan’s deficit-ridden pension system a priority. However, plans to reform the system have faced strong opposition, especially from retired teachers, civil servants and military personnel. These are the groups who have most benefited from generous pension provisions until now and who stand to be most affected by the reforms.
There have been rumors of a planned protest against pension reform during the opening ceremony of the Universiade Games, the world games for university athletes. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place in Taipei on August 19, with President Tsai Ing-wen set to attend. According to the rumors, some opponents of pension reform have purchased tickets to the ceremony and plan to cause a disruption.
On Sunday, Presidential Office spokesperson Sidney Lin said that athletes, dignitaries, and foreign envoys from more than 100 countries are expected to come to Taiwan for the games. Lin said the Universiade is a time for Taiwan’s people to come together and that its success is important for Taiwan’s global image.
Lin said he has confidence that the games’ organizers and Taiwan’s national security teams are ready to make sure the games proceed smoothly. He also said he believes the public will oppose those who try to further their aims by causing disruptions during the games.