Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hundreds commemorate 228 victims

OUTRAGE::Families of the victims and rights activists condemned Hau Pei-tsun for questioning the number of people who died in the massacre
By Chris Wang and Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff Reporters
Wed, Feb 29, 2012 - Page 1
Hundreds of people marched in the streets of Taipei yesterday in memory of those who perished in the wake of the 228 Incident 65 years ago.

Representatives from various civic groups and victims’ families joined the parade, which began at Yongle Market, to commemorate victims of the bloody suppression of anti-government uprisings that began on Feb. 27, 1947, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, including many Taiwanese leaders and intellectuals.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Families of 228 Massacre victims to march today

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Civic groups and victims’ families will take to the street today to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the 228 Incident, with the focus on former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), whose recent controversial remarks on the 228 Massacre have sparked heavy criticism.

Dozens of civic groups will join the victims’ families in the march under the theme of “self-salvation to protect Taiwan,” which will take them from Yongle Market (永樂市場) to the end point of Dadaocheng wharf (大稻埕碼頭), where they will release water lanterns to pay tribute to those who perished in the massacre that began in 1947.

Singapore military ties not hurt: MND

PROTEST::A report said a Singaporean officer in Taiwan lodged a protest with the defense minister over media reports that his visit had led to the suspension of military cooperation
By Rich Chang, Chris Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporters
Tue, Feb 28, 2012 - Page 1

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday denied reports alleging that media coverage of a military exchange visit by Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) to Singapore had led to the suspension of all military cooperation between the two countries.

The Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) reported that Singapore was unhappy that Kao’s visit had been made public by Taiwanese media, adding that a Singaporean colonel, who has been stationed in Taiwan with the Starlight training program, visited the ministry on Tuesday last week to read out a protest announcement before Kao.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tsai praises late independence icons

TRIBUTE:Tsai memorialized Ng Chiau-tong, whom she described as a mentor and father figure, and Deng Nan-jung, who self-immolated when police tried to arrest him
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday paid tribute to two late iconic figures in the Taiwanese independence movement, saying the younger generation must remember their predecessors’ struggles and remember their responsibility for Taiwan’s future.

The outgoing chairperson attended a book-launch for the autobiography of former World United Formosan for Independence (WUFI) chairman Ng Chiau-tong (黃昭堂) and a photographic exhibition in memory of independence activist Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), in rare public appearances since losing the presidential election last month.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chen Chu returns after being denied a Cuba visa

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said upon her return to Taiwan yesterday that she did not want to speculate as to why Cuba denied her entry on the same day she was appointed the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) interim chairperson.

Speaking at Kaohsiung International Airport in the morning, Chen said the Cuban authorities did not explain why the country denied her entry, but she did not think the decision was connected to her appointment.

DPP, TSU boycott Chen’s beef speech

BEEF BROUHAHA::Amid the commotion, Speaker Wang Jin-pyng announced that the four caucuses would enter negotiations and a consensus was reached after six hours
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporters
Sat, Feb 25, 2012 - Page 1

Following a six-hour boycott by opposition lawmakers yesterday, Premier Sean Chen was able to deliver his report to the legislature on US beef containing traces of the feed additive ractopamine, saying a final decision on lifting a ban would be issued via an executive order later this year.

Based on a resolution approved by the legislature, the government would not lift the ban in the near future, Chen said late in the afternoon after a tumultuous day in the legislature.

Friday, February 24, 2012

President ‘favors Chinese students at expense of locals’

BLINDERS:Rather than focus on a plan to begin a 12-year compulsory school curriculum, Ma told education officials to attract Chinese students
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would sacrifice the interests of Taiwanese students by his initiative to allow more Chinese students to study in Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.

The relaxation of regulations and an influx of Chinese students could put local students’ rights to education and work and the fair distribution of educational resources at risk, DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said.

Pan-green lawmakers may boycott premier’s speech

STORM BREWING::Opposition parties said they would stage separate boycotts of the premier’s speech, but it remains to be seen how the tiny TSU would stage a protest
By Chris Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporters
Fri, Feb 24, 2012 - Page 3

Pan-green parties are expected to stage different boycotts today against Premier Sean Chen’s policy report to the legislature over a dispute on loosening restrictions on imports of US beef containing traces of the animal feed additive ractopamine.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said it would respond to Chen’s address on the opening day of the new session of the legislature with a “strong and determined boycott,” while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said it would boycott “in some form.”

“Public health is always the No. 1 priority for the TSU and we will not give an inch on the issue,” Huang told a press conference.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chen Chu to take the helm at DPP

NOT FORGOTTEN::Outgoing DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen said she was deeply touched by the emotional drain felt by her supporters after the election loss last month
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter
Thu, Feb 23, 2012 - Page 1

Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) was appointed acting chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday to fill the void left by outgoing DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

The veteran politician is set to take over the party helm on March 1 to serve out the remainder of Tsai’s term, which runs until May 20.

Public health No. 1 priority, DPP says

BEEF BALLYHOO::The DPP said the Ma administration was ready to sacrifice people’s health to assuage the US with its ‘obvious’ intention to lift the ban on ractopamine
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporters
Thu, Feb 23, 2012 - Page 1

A small group of protesters gathered outside the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in Taipei yesterday, calling on the US not to press Taiwan on beef imports, while opposition lawmakers and heads of local governments called on the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to make public health its No. 1 priority.

Chanting slogans, displaying posters and performing a skit intended to show that imports of US meat products containing the feed additive ractopamine would endanger public health, about 30 protesters, led by Labor Rights Association executive director Wang Chuan-ping (王娟萍), chanted: “Oppose the US imposing drugs on Taiwan,” “Defend the people’s right to health,” “Protest against the US over internal interference” and “Protect the local livestock industry.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tsai expresses concerns over escalation in Tibet

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday expressed concerns over the situation in Tibet amid an intensifying crackdown by Chinese authorities and called on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to voice his concerns to Beijing.

DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she was “heartbroken” about increasing reports of self-immolation protests by Tibetans in her meeting with Dawa Tsering, director of the Tibet Religious Foundation of H.H. The Dalai Lama, yesterday, said Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), deputy executive director of the party’s New Frontier Foundation think tank.

Lu reviews DPP’s poll loss

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday unveiled her own review of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) loss in the Jan. 14 presidential election, directing most of her criticism at DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Released one day before Tsai submits her own election review to the party, Lu’s lengthy analysis —10,000 characters — said Tsai had made “several fundamental mistakes” and “tactical errors” during her campaign, and that the DPP should carry out a reform to conquer the “last mile” to return to power.

Lawmaker urges ‘US-style’ party reforms for the DPP

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should carry out reforms to reorganize itself as a “US-style” political party rather than a “traditional Leninist” party so that it can become a true “people’s party,” a DPP lawmaker said yesterday.

DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) told a forum he was not proposing total reform, but the party should at least change the makeup of its decisionmaking body and party primary mechanism to incorporate “the voice of the people.”

Former premier criticizes history books

CONTROVERSY:Hau Pei-tsun questioned why a history textbook designed during the DPP administration was still being used and described it as ‘too Taiwan-centric’
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) caused a stir yesterday when he criticized the content of high school history textbooks over the country’s name and the 228 Incident, which he said jeopardized the nation’s founding spirit and had implications for independence.

In an op-ed in the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday, the retired general — Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) father — said he was displeased after reading his granddaughter’s junior-high school history textbook, which refers to the country as the “Taiwan region” and includes Taiwan proper, Kinmen, Matsu and islands in the South China Sea as its territories.

Hau Pei-tsun said the islands were territories of the Republic of China (ROC) and that “Taiwan region” was not the official name of the country under the ROC Constitution.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MND faces accusations of gender discrimination

‘UNCONSTITUTIONAL’:The MND bars women who had oophorectomies or people who are colorblind from applying to military schools, rights groups said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Lawmakers and rights groups yesterday said the Ministry of National Defense had devised unconstitutional recruiting regulations that discriminate against women and the handicapped for military academic institutions.

Women who have had an oophorectomy (surgical removal of an ovary) and people who are colorblind are barred from applying to military schools, while some military schools are male only, lawmakers told a press conference.

DPP pans Ma over nuclear plant

‘LIES’:The president’s insistence on starting operations of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant belies his promise of creating a nuclear-free homeland, the opposition party said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Judging from his recent policies, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) presidential campaign pledge of a nuclear-free homeland is a lie, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.

Ma defied the recommendations and warnings of several prominent consultants on the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and insisted on launching the operation of the plant, which is inconsistent with his pledge of “gradually achieving the goal of becoming a nuclear-free country,” the DPP caucus told a press conference.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ma has failed to deliver on 228 pledge, critics say

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has failed to deliver on his pledge to find the truth about the 228 Massacre and its perpetrators, civic groups and victims’ families said yesterday.

Civic groups plan to highlight Ma’s disappointing record on transitional justice in his first term with two marches to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the massacre, group representatives told a press conference.

In a violent suppression of anti-government uprisings that began on Feb. 28, 1947 — two years after the end of Japanese colonial rule — Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) troops killed between 18,000 and 30,000 people, the majority of them Taiwanese and including many of the island’s leaders and intellectuals.

Beef likely to be on front burner in the legislature

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Legalization of the animal feed additive ractopamine and the ensuing lifting of a ban on US beef imports with residue of the additive are likely to be the first hotly debated issues in the new legislative session, which begins on Friday.

Many lawmakers from across the political spectrum are opposed to loosening restrictions on the drug, which promotes leanness in animal meat, and the related proposition of lifting a ban on imports of US beef containing residue of the drug.

Although the government has said it has no fixed position on the issue, the opposition has said that it suspects the ban on US beef imports could be lifted soon because of strong US pressure.

Friday, February 17, 2012

DPP accuses MOFA of shielding deported envoy

BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS:DPP lawmakers criticized the foreign ministry for not suspending Jacqueline Liu once she returned home and continuing her salary
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter, with CNA

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of “shielding” Jacqueline Liu (劉姍姍), the former director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City, Missouri, who returned to Taiwan on Wednesday after pleading guilty in a US federal court to labor fraud.

“The ministry tried to cover up for Liu from day one, but her pleading guilty was like a slap in the face to the ministry,” DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said.

‘Taishang’ school songs have pro-China lyrics

‘MOTHER CHINA’:Two of the schools had what the DPP calls ‘inappropriate’ lyrics, while a third did not, showing that the lyrics were not compulsory
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

School songs at two Taiwanese government-funded taishang (a term used for Taiwanese businesspeople working abroad) schools in China reflected a serious national identity problem, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.

The school song of the taishang school in Shanghai described China as the “motherland” while the school song of the Dongguan taishang school in Guangdong Province contains the words “working together to establish a great China (共創大中華),” DPP legislators Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) and Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) told a press conference.

DPP pans Beijing mayor’s record

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday expressed concern over the human rights record of visiting Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong (郭金龍), as the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) also protested China’s illegal seizure of the assets of a Taiwanese businessman.

The Beijing mayor and a 500-member delegation arrived in Taipei yesterday for a six-day visit focusing on cultural events.

DPP members criticize election review

POSTMORTEM:Critics said that concerns over stability, administrative resources and strategic voting were old hat, and Tsai had failed to adequately explain or defend herself
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members yesterday criticized outgoing DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) draft election review, saying it missed the point and evaded Tsai’s responsibility and that of her campaign team in the Jan. 14 defeat.

Tsai, who lost the presidential election last month to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) by about 800,000 votes, submitted a draft review to the party’s Central -Standing Committee on Wednesday and outlined six primary reasons for the loss.

Former Mainland Affairs Council vice chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said the report lacked introspection, in particular about Tsai herself and her campaign team, and had totally “missed the point.”

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ractopamine too risky, activists say

BEEF KERFUFFLE:Scientists and activists say relaxing a ban on food containing residues of ractopamine poses a risk to human health because of the lack of clinical studies
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Relaxing a ban on US meat products containing the controversial animal feed additive ractopamine poses too much of a risk for the health of Taiwanese, so the government should take time to deliberate on any such decision, academics and civic groups said at a public hearing yesterday.

While the US maintains pressure on Taiwan to open its meat market, scientific data, experiments on the human body and Taiwan’s risk assessment system were not sufficient for a final resolution of the trade spat, they told a hearing organized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Pan Men-an (潘孟安) and Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉).

DPP questions Wu’s trip to the Boao Forum

By Chris Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporters

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday raised questions over the appropriateness of vice president-elect Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) attending the Boao Forum for Asia, saying his presence at the Chinese symposium as a “business leader” would constitute a “self-deprecating” move.

Having stepped down from his post as premier on Jan. 31, Wu is scheduled to attend the annual conference being held in Hainan, China, from March 31 to April 3. He is expected to meet Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (李克強), who is expected to become premier in the next transition of power in Beijing.

Citing information on the forum’s official Web site, DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said Wu would attend the forum as a “business leader” in his capacity as “senior adviser of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation.”

DPP cites six main reasons for loss

TECHNICAL SIDE::The DPP said the KMT was more ‘successful’ in crisis management and there was little evidence its opposition to the ‘1992 consensus’ turned off voters
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter
Thu, Feb 16, 2012 - Page 1

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday outlined six primary reasons for its loss in the presidential election last month and concluded that the party’s support rate took a dramatic hit in the final two weeks of the campaign.

However, the DPP decided to put on hold a thorough discussion of the future direction of its China policy, arguably the most important factor behind its loss, opting to focus on the “technical” side of the election in a Central Standing Committee meeting when outgoing DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) submitted a draft election review to the party.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Forum examines DPP’s failings

INCONSISTENT ON CHINA::One analyst pointed to Tsai Ing-wen’s oscillating stance on the ECFA as an example of why she failed to win the public’s support in the poll
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter
Wed, Feb 15, 2012 - Page 3

While the impact of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) corruption scandal on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is debatable, if the party is serious about winning the next presidential election, it will have to reassess its China policy to win the public’s support, analysts said yesterday.

Opposition to the so-called “1992 consensus” was not the reason why the DPP lost the Jan. 14 presidential election, rather it was the party’s failure to formulate and articulate its China policy, the analysts said at a forum held by the Taiwan Brain Trust to discuss the DPP’s loss.

KMT trying to trick public on US beef imports, DPP says

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of attempting to hoodwink Taiwanese by adopting a two-pronged strategy to deal with the controversial issue of ractopamine in US meats.

KMT legislators have said they are seeking to amend legislation to set limits or impose an outright ban on the presence of the feed additive in meat, but the executive branch, led by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), has been working behind the scenes to open the Taiwanese market to US meat products containing the drug, DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) told a press conference.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

FEATURE: DPP scrambles to find new leader, direction

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

With Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) due to step down at the end of the month and the next major election two years away, the DPP has been scrambling to find its next party leader.

Many DPP politicians were mentioned as possible contenders as discussions heated up after Tsai’s resignation following her loss in the presidential election last month, but the party has yet to determine the direction in which its leadership should be heading.

Discussions have centered on whether the party should undergo a generational shift and let the young generation take over or retain a seasoned senior politician as its leader.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ractopamine concerns aired at public hearing

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Academics and representatives of local meat and civic groups yesterday expressed concern about the controversial animal feed additive ractopamine, saying the government should be cautious about opening up to imports of US meat products containing the drug.

The use of ractopamine would bring “additional and unnecessary risk” to food safety and more assessments and tests — in particular on the drug’s effect on high-risk groups, such as pregnant women and people suffering from chronic diseases — need to be conducted, many of the representatives said in a public hearing at the legislature in Taipei.

Clean by-election urged

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called for a clean election in today’s by-election for the township chief of Huatan (花壇) in Changhua County — the third election of its kind in two years. DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) urged judicial officials to keep an eye out for vote-buying in the region, which was why results of the previous two Huatan Township elections had been nullified. “Inactive investigation would be an encouragement of vote buying and detrimental to Taiwan’s democracy,” Lin told a press conference, adding that the party is confident of victory if the election is conducted fairly.

Ex-general repeats ‘one China’ remarks in China

CONDEMNATION::The Presidential Office said it was awaiting confirmation that Hsia Ying-chou actually said Taiwan and China’s militaries shared the goal of unification
By Mo Yan-chih and Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporters
Sat, Feb 11, 2012 - Page 1

A retired general’s alleged comments that the Republic of China (ROC) Armed Forces and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) shared the same goal of unification have sparked concern, prompting the Presidential Office yesterday to say it would not approve of such comments if they were proven to have been said.

Former ROC Air Force general Hsia Ying-chou (夏瀛洲) reportedly lauded the close ties between Taiwan and China during a forum in the Chinese city of Xian on Wednesday.

Friday, February 10, 2012

DPP has ‘reservations’ on Ma’s tax policies

TAX THE RICH:The TSU said the government should levy a wealth tax on the top 5 percent of earners, instead of imposing capital gains tax on securities transactions
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday it “had reservations” about the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) proposals to raise taxes and to impose a capital gains tax.

KMT Legislator Tseng Chu-wei (曾巨威) said that imposing a capital gains tax “is a road Taiwan must take,” while Control Yuan President Wang Chien-hsien said he would like to have been finance minister so that he could implement a series of measures to raise taxes.

Ma already broke campaign vows: DPP

PRESIDENT’S U-TURNS:Sudden changes of policy on social housing and US beef are only ‘the tip of the iceberg’ in terms of Ma’s broken promises, a DPP legislator said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has already broken his campaign promises less than a month after winning re-election, taking a sharp turn on a wide range of policies, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

Ma proposed implementing a social housing program and reiterated his opposition to lifting the import ban on US beef during his re-election campaign, but he and his administration are now making dramatic U-turns on those issues, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) told a press conference.

Watchdog urges media restraint in Makiyo case

By Shelley Shan and Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporters
Fri, Feb 10, 2012 - Page 1

The National Communications Commission yesterday urged the media to exercise self-discipline when covering an alleged altercation involving singer and actress Makiyo, adding that it will closely monitor if any media outlet violates regulations.

Makiyo’s Japanese friend Takateru Tomoyori is alleged to have attacked a taxi driver after refusing to buckle up his seatbelt. The driver, surnamed Lin (林), sustained serious head injuries, two fractured ribs and a concussion.

The incident caused a media sensation as more details were released after prosecutors launched an investigation.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Tsai to submit post-election report

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will submit a post-election review of the party’s performance on Feb. 22, the DPP said yesterday.

On the same day, the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) would name an acting chairperson to replace Tsai, who will step down on March 1, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said after a weekly Central Standing Committee (CSC) meeting yesterday.

The long-awaited report would be Tsai’s last major task before stepping down as chairperson.

TSU threatens legislative boycott

EQUAL VOTES::The Taiwan Solidarity Union is pushing for the creation of medium-sized constituencies and that the party list threshold be lowered to 2 percent
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter
Thu, Feb 09, 2012 - Page 3

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) will use a proposal to amend the Constitution and change the legislative electoral system as a bargaining chip in today’s party negotiation, the party said yesterday.

“The TSU is determined to achieve this goal at all costs, including a boycott of negotiations if the other parties do not agree to include the proposal in the legislative agenda,” TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) told a press conference.

Taiwan tries to cut Iranian oil imports at behest of the US

HARD TO DO:At 6.8% of Taiwan’s crude oil imports, Iran is the nation’s third-largest source of oil after the DPP had expanded Iranian crude oil imports
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan is trying to cut its crude oil imports from Iran after the US expressed its wish for Taiwan’s inclusion in a collaborative international sanctions scheme to curb Iran’s nuclear program, sources told the Taipei Times yesterday.

The US and the EU last month approved sanctions on imports of Iranian crude oil and a freeze of assets of the Iranian central bank, agreeing on a July 1 deadline for countries to end their oil contracts with Iran.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Annette Lu warns DPP on impact of generational shift

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) might suffer a greater loss in the next presidential election if it decides to carry out a “generational change” within the party’s ranks, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday.

“We had a generational change for the recent presidential election and the result was an 800,000 vote loss. I don’t know what the losing margin would be if the party decides to continue to move in the same direction,” she said.

NCC urged to halt Want Want-CNS deal

FREEDOM TO CHOOSE:The DPP is concerned about the rights of cable TV viewers, about 80% of whom are forced to accept a flat rate fee, as well as dull programming
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged the National Communications Commission (NCC) to block Want Want China Times Group’s attempt to acquire China Network Systems (CNS) as the committee convenes this week to screen the deal.

“The DPP urges the National Communications Commission to block the highly controversial deal, which, if approved, would create an inter-media monopoly that threatens freedom of speech in Taiwan,” DPP spokesperson Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said in a press release.

DPP says CPC Corp, Taiwan bent regulations

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

A folk ritual event sponsored by CPC Corp, Taiwan, in Hualien County in December was used as a campaign event for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative candidate, which could constitute a violation of election law, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator said yesterday, vowing to file a lawsuit.

State-owned CPC provided NT$200,000 to sponsor a religious ceremony organized by Cheng An Temple in Sincheng Township (新城), Hualien County, on Dec. 15, but the ceremony was used to campaign for KMT candidate Timothy Wang (王廷升) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) told a press conference in Taipei.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Tsai denies 2016 presidential bid

MEDIA SPECULATION:Two candidates that have been touted as the Democratic Progressive Party’s next possible chairperson are said to have no interest in the job
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) denied yesterday that she was taking steps toward a bid for the party’s presidential candidacy in 2016, the party said in response to media reports.

“Chairperson Tsai is working on a complete review of the presidential election loss and the DPP’s future direction before her resignation takes effect on March 1. She has not made any plan for her office or worked toward the 2016 candidacy as reported,” DPP spokesperson Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) told a press conference.

DPP urges KMT backing of reforms in legislature

USED FOR BLOCKING:The opposition parties in the legislature say the KMT has long used the notoriously opaque Procedure Committee to block their proposals
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to answer a call by opposition parties to reform the Procedure Committee by improving its transparency.

“Since the opposition parties — the DPP, the People First Party (PFP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) — have all supported the proposition, the KMT’s position would be crucial. We call for its immediate positive response,” DPP caucus chief secretary Chen Ting-fei (陳庭妃) told a press conference.

No set stance on beef imports, Ma says

DOUBLE STANDARD::A DPP legislator questioned why Ma would feel differently about ractopamine in beef, since Ma openly opposed the chemical’s presence in pork in 2008
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter
Tue, Feb 07, 2012 - Page 1

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said his administration has no predetermined position or timetable regarding the importation of controversial US beef products, despite speculation of a possible policy change by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

“We have always maintained the same position as US officials — that Taiwanese have concerns about US beef imports and the use of ractopamine,” Ma said at a press conference for the handover of the premiership.

Ma said the US beef issue is not new as Taipei had been engaged in a dispute with Washington over the importation of offal two years ago and more recently the two have sparred over the use of ractopamine.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

DPP to press for probes into vote-buying allegations

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it would step up pressure on the judiciary to investigate several vote-buying cases stemming from the Jan. 14 legislative elections.

“The Central Standing Committee [CSC] today concluded that the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] had taken vote--buying to a whole new level in the legislative elections with a lot of new tactics,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said after the weekly committee meeting.

The meeting also decided to highlight the judiciary’s inaction on a vote-buying lawsuit filed by then-DPP legislative candidate Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) in Chiayi County’s first district against his KMT rival, Wong Chung-chun (翁重鈞).

DPP expects much from new caucus

REFORM AGENDA:The party plans to push a series of reforms advertised during its recent election campaign, as well as revisit non-passed proposals seen as priorities
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has high expectations for its 40-member legislative caucus in the new session, with seven more seats than in the outgoing legislature, party heavyweights said yesterday.

“One thing is sure — that we will do our best to monitor the [President] Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)] administration, in particular its economic performance in the wake of any global economic downturn,” Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), the DPP’s incumbent caucus whip, said at a press conference that laid out the caucus’ plan for the new session and introduced new caucus officials.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

New DPP leaders must be ‘resolute’: Tsai Ing-wen

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) next generation of politicians should be “resolute and ready to take charge” to prepare the party for future challenges, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.

“The DPP is in dire need of talented political leaders at this moment. We need those who are resolute and ready to take charge, as well as those who understand how to set the agenda and initiate social discussions,” she said in Greater Kaohsiung.

TSU to push for electoral reform

CHANGES:The party, an ally of the DPP, will also push for amendments to the Referendum Act as it returns to the legislature after a four-year absence
By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) plans to push for an amendment to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) and changes to the single-district electoral system in the new legislature, which begins today, the party said yesterday.

The TSU will “relentlessly” push for political reform in the legislature, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) told reporters. Huang’s party won three legislator-at-large seats after passing the 5 percent threshold in the Jan. 14 legislative elections.

The pro-independence party, which had no member in the 113-seat legislature during the past four years, is now eligible to establish a party caucus and participate in interparty negotiations, although it is still a small party.

DPP nominates candidates for top legislative posts

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it has put forward two nominees for the speaker and deputy speaker positions of the new legislature, which will be seated today.

Veteran DPP legislators Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) have been selected to run for the two top positions in the legislature, said DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), one of the five members of a team that is coordinating the matter.

Cabinet reshuffle sees 16 new names

CHANGES::Among the 47 officials in the new Cabinet, 36 are male, 11 female. A handover ceremony for the new and outgoing members will be held on Monday
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporters
Wed, Feb 01, 2012 - Page 1

Premier-designate Sean Chen yesterday unveiled his Cabinet lineup after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) formally announced his appointment, with 16, or about one-third, of the 47 positions reshuffled.

All the Cabinet members were chosen because of their skills, which matched their respective positions, and regardless of their ethnicity or party affiliation, Chen told a press conference.