Thursday, April 24, 2014

DPP’s Tsai calls for fuel rod moratorium at Gongliao plant

NO RODS, THEN VOTE:The former DPP chair told lawmakers to first pass a resolution barring fuel rods at the plant and then facilitate a referendum
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday proposed implementing a moratorium on the installation of fuel rods at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and accelerating the holding of a national referendum to the decided the fate of the unfinished power station as soon as possible.

Tsai, who is widely tipped to win the party’s chairmanship election next month, criticized President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for insisting on using an unreliable nuclear safety inspection system and flawed referendum mechanism to determine whether the construction of the plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao (貢寮) District should continue.

President visits Presbyterian church

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Thu, Apr 24, 2014 - Page 1

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday visited the Gikong Presbyterian Church, where former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin Yi-xiong (林義雄) is staging an anti-nuclear hunger strike, as more support from politicians poured in for Lin risking his life as an admonition to the government.

Ma was unable to meet Lin — who is declining to see anyone during the hunger strike that began on Tuesday against the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) — during his three-minute visit and only signed his name on a notebook prepared by the church and left a card for Lin.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taitung legislator expects direct DPP nomination

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪) is expected to be directly recruited by the DPP as its candidate in the Taitung County commissioner election in the Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting today.

Liu announced that he would accept the party’s direct nomination as candidate in a press conference held in Taitung City yesterday.

Lin starts anti-nuclear hunger strike

HUNGRY FOR CHANGE::Lin Yi-xiong began his fast at a church in Taipei, where he was visited by the DPP’s Su Tseng-chang, who cried as he lamented failing to avert the strike
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Wed, Apr 23, 2014 - Page 1

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin Yi-xiong (林義雄) yesterday began a hunger strike at Taipei’s Gikong Presbyterian Church to demand that the government halt the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), saying that the President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration’s pledge that the plant would be safe was “a trick to fool the public.”

“So-called nuclear safety is questionable because even if the plant was completed and became operational, unassailable damage could still take place in the event of a natural disaster or human error,” Lin said.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jiang rejects DPP nuclear statute

PRECEDENT::The premier said stopping the Gongliao plant’s construction via executive order is unfeasible, as it was ruled unconstitutional when the ex-DPP government did it
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Tue, Apr 22, 2014 - Page 1

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday turned down a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) proposal for a special statute that would pave the way for a national referendum on the completion of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant after discussing the matter with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

It is not possible for the Cabinet to issue an executive order halting the construction of the plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), Jiang told a joint press conference he held with Su following their 90-minute meeting at the Executive Yuan complex in Taipei.

Former DPP chairman points finger at government before hunger strike

SACRIFICE:Lin Yi-xiong said he believed in cherishing his body, but leaders who did not listen left him with no choice, and they were the ones ‘savaging’ his body
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin Yi-xiong (林義雄) reiterated in an open letter yesterday that he is starting a hunger strike today because of the government’s insistence on ignoring mainstream public opinion and continuing with the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).

“I believe that everyone should cherish their bodies. If it wasn’t for the nation’s leaders ignoring public opinion and their insistence on constructing the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, I would not go on a hunger strike,” the 72-year-old wrote.

EDITORIAL: What lies behind soapbox speeches?

Tue, Apr 22, 2014 - Page 8

By now everyone has realized young people in Taiwan desperately want to be heard. It appears that the three-week-long Sunflower movement, during which students and protesters talked about their vision for the country inside the legislative chamber and on the streets outside, was not enough.

Since the students’ withdrawal from the legislature on April 10, various open-air forums have been organized nationwide for participants to vent their anger against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, frustration about their prospects for the future and anything else they want to say.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Experts call for a return to family farming model

BAVARIA EXAMPLE::Experts said that the government should encourage small-scale farming like the German state did, which also saw a lift in the number of tourists
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 - Page 3

Agricultural experts yesterday called for more governmental engagement in revitalization of the family farming model to save the nation’s agricultural sector from the threat of the free-trade system and the failure of past policies.

With the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) designating this year the International Year of Family Farming, experts told a forum organized by the New Century Foundation that although Taiwan is not a UN member, it should take note of the organization’s ideas and make changes.

Su, Hau talk over nuclear power plant

CONCILIATION::DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang met with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin yesterday, in the first sign of a blue-green willingness to discuss the nation’s nuclear issues
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Mon, Apr 21, 2014 - Page 1

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) met with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday to discuss the DPP-proposed national referendum on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, with both describing the meeting as “the first step toward conciliation” between the pan-green and pan-blue camp.

Su visited Hau, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), at Taipei City Hall to seek the mayor’s support for the DPP’s plebiscite on the plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮), which was submitted last week as the DPP’s solution to end the 30-year-old controversy over the plant.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Annette Lu calls on Su to enter Taipei mayoral race

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday left for a two-week trip to the US, but not before urging Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to seek the party’s nomination for the Taipei mayoral election later this year.

The press release issued by Lu’s office was unusual because she has been one of the four hopefuls vying for the DPP’s nomination and her comment hints that she might withdraw from the party’s primary. The other three are DPP lawmaker Pasuya Yao (姚文智), former Tainan mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄).

SIEGE AFTERMATH: Ker worked with speaker to end student occupation

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday confirmed that he had worked with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) behind the scenes to help bring about the students’ withdrawal from the legislative chamber, ending the Sunflower movement’s three-week-long occupation of the Legislative Yuan.

Accompanied by Ker and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池), Wang entered the legislative chamber on the morning of April 6 and met with the students 20 days after they began their occupation of the Legislative Yuan compound on March 18 in protest against the government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade agreement.

DPP plans new law to resolve nuclear dispute

SIMPLE MAJORITY:The party is proposing a statute that will make it easier to vote on whether the nation should continue building a new nuclear power plant
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it plans to propose a special statute that will pave the way for a national referendum to resolve the decades-long controversy over the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced the plan at a press conference after it was approved at the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting, saying that stopping the construction of the plant has always been a party goal.

TAO rejects renegotiating pact

NO PRECEDENT:The Chinese official said agreements between countries should not be reconsidered, after a referendum was proposed for the cross-strait trade pact
By Peng Hsien-chun, Chris Wang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesperson Fan Liqing (范麗青) yesterday said that there is no precedent for reopening negotiations on signed agreements between countries and that the “authority” of treaties inked by authorized representatives from both sides of the Taiwan Strait must be defended.

Fan made the remarks at a routine press conference in China yesterday amid growing calls for the government to renegotiate the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement it signed with Beijing on June 21 last year.

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.