Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Academics urge review of Constitution to fix Taiwan

THORNY ISSUE::The academics said interpretations of the Constitution, which Annette Lu likened to outdated ‘grandmother’s pajamas,’ will help solve pressing national issues
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Wed, Apr 16, 2014 - Page 3

Following the conclusion of the Sunflower movement, interpretations of the Constitution are required if Taiwan is to resolve a wide range of thorny, imperative issues regarding its constitutional and political system, as well as the nature of cross-strait relations, academics said yesterday.

While the three-week student-led movement was ignited by protesters’ dissatisfaction with the nation’s representative democracy, several professors said the follow-up “rebuilding process” would be more of a constitutional than legislative reform drive, which was the topic of a forum organized by Citizen’s Congress Watch where they made their remarks.

Taiwan needs to woo India: Philip Ong

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan should adopt a “pivot to India” strategy to take advantage of the South Asian country’s market potential and decrease its economic dependence on China, former representative to India Philip Ong (翁文祺) said yesterday.

“I would say that for all the strategies about Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries being planned by government agencies, such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [MOFA], Taiwan would be better off adopting an ‘India strategy’ because it is be our best option,” Ong said on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony of an India-Taiwan parliamentary friendship group.

Su pledges support to DPP candidates until tenure is over

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has vowed to work hard on campaigning for the seven-in-one elections in November, despite his decision to not seek re-election or to run in Taoyuan’s mayoral election, politicians who met with Su yesterday quoted him as saying.

Former DPP lawmakers Lee Chen-nan (李鎮楠), Kuo Jung-tsung (郭榮宗) and Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) visited Su at the party’s headquarters a day after the DPP leader’s surprise announcement that he is dropping out of next month’s chairmanship election.

Ex-DPP chair Lin to start anti-nuclear hunger strike

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin Yi-xiong (林義雄) yesterday announced that he is to go on a hunger strike on Tuesday next week to urge the government to halt construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).

In a press release, Lin — who is well-known for his advocacy for the anti-nuclear movement, condemned the government for insisting on continuing building the plant — despite most public opinion polls showing that the majority of Taiwanese are against the plant being put into operation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

EDITORIAL: Implications of sunflowers for Beijing

Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - Page 8

As the Sunflower movement protest drew to at least a temporary end, its subsequent development will be closely watched not only by officials of the embattled President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration, but also those in Beijing’s Zhongnanhai.

It was not that Beijing was surprised at seeing such social unrest. Tens of thousands of protests take place in China annually, with civilian deaths resulting from brutal crackdowns reported regularly, despite the government’s efforts to hide such information.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: DPP heavyweights ponder future after exiting race

By Chris Wang

Surprise at the students charging onto the legislative floor on the night of March 18 without experiencing major resistance must be matched by wonder at the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) highly anticipated chairman election transforming from a three-way race into a likely coronation in just a single day.

With the exits of DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), victory is within arm’s reach for former chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Su, Hsieh drop out of DPP chair race

PARTY UNITY FIRST::Both said they made the moves to prevent divisions in the party being exacerbated by fierce competition for the position at a critical time
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - Page 1

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday made surprising announcements hours apart that they were dropping out of the party chair election next month, leaving former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) the favorite to win what had been expected to be a fierce three-way race.

Tsai and former Kaohsiung County deputy commissioner Kuo Tai-lin (郭泰麟) will likely be the remaining candidates in the election to determine who will lead the party from this year to 2016.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Top prosecutor’s resignation still on hold: DPP

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday questioned President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) motives in putting Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming’s (黃世銘) resignation on hold for 11 days.

Huang tendered his resignation on March 21, hours after the Taipei District Court found him guilty and sentenced him to 14 months in prison for leaking confidential information to Ma about a controversial probe into claims of undue influence on the judiciary involving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) in September last year.

TRADE PACT SIEGE: Student leaders host talk on protest on Reddit site

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Student leaders of the Sunflower movement yesterday hosted a question-and-answer session on the US-based community platform Reddit to answer questions from around the world about their protest, in another effort to use their expertise in social networking technology to communicate with the outside world.

Four students, including Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), one of the leaders, hosted the three-hour session, titled “We are the students who have taken over Taiwan’s legislature. Almost half a million people have joined us in support,” between 1am and 4am yesterday.

Survey finds young adults worried about unification

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

In an opinion poll published yesterday, young Taiwanese between the ages of 20 and 29 showed the most serious concerns about unification with China and the highest support rate for Taiwanese independence — if maintaining the “status quo” became unsustainable.

The survey, conducted by the pro-independence Taiwan Brain Trust on Saturday and Sunday, found that “young people’s concerns about the inevitable eventual unification are clear,” the think tank’s president, Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), told a news conference in Taipei.

Sunflower leaders reject Ma’s conference plan

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sunflower movement students and other activists yesterday rejected a proposal by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to hold a national affairs conference on economics and trade instead of the citizens’ constitutional conference they had called for, saying it was a “typical Ma tactic of superficial promises and substantial lies.”

Student leaders and civic groups say a citizens’ constitutional conference is needed because the nation’s current constitutional crisis and malfunctioning government.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

TRADE PACT SIEGE: DPP voices conditional support for service trade pact

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said that it has never opposed free trade and would support the cross-strait service trade agreement if it was negotiated according to due process and based on the principles of reciprocity and fairness.

The Chinese-language newspaper Apple Daily yesterday reported that Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) of the DPP said she “conditionally supported” the pact if the agreement “adhered to due process and contained a complete set of supplementary policies that would benefit Taiwan’s economy.”

TRADE PACT SIEGE: DPP to boycott legislative review of trade agreement

UNDEMOCRATIC:A student leader said that KMT Legislator Chang Ching-chung should not serve as convener since he has lost legitimacy
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it would boycott the review of the cross-strait service trade agreement by the Legislative Yuan’s joint committee today and tomorrow.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠), convener of the meeting this week, has placed the service trade agreement on the agenda to review the deal clause-by-clause.

DPP concerned about gangster interference

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Wed, Apr 02, 2014 - Page 1

Reports showed that gangsters were involved in the pro-cross strait service trade pact counterprotest organized by former Bamboo Union leader Chang An-le (張安樂) against the Sunflower movement at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said.

It called for Chang’s bail to be revoked in light of his alleged contravention of the rules of his release.

Chang, who now leads the China Unification Promotion Party, was released on NT$1 million (US$33,000) bail within hours of his return to Taiwan on June 29 last year after 17 years on the run.

No quick end to student protest: DPP

PUBLIC FEARS:A DPP official said Ma has yet to realize that many people are worried that the service trade pact would have greater political than economic implications
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The political deadlock between students occupying the Legislative Yuan and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is unlikely to end soon, because Ma is not willing to concede and has been evading the students’ demands, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials said yesterday.

“When students demanded the organization of a citizens’ constitutional conference, Ma said he would convene a national trade conference instead. Knowing Ma, that was the kind of thing he always did — evading the core issue and shifting the focus to something else,” DPP Policy Research Committee executive director Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said.