Tuesday, December 31, 2013

EDITORIAL: Beware trying to win over Beijing

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming’s (柯建銘) recent proposal to freeze the Taiwan independence clause in the party charter has raised eyebrows on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, with Beijing praising him as a man of vision and DPP members sharply divided over the pros and cons.

The initiative was not unprecedented, but the proposal itself and the controversy surrounding it seem to have immediately reflected two things:

First, DPP members feel a strong urgency to facilitate dialogue between the DPP and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), fearing that an inability to do so will be the party’s Achilles heel in the next presidential election and a deciding factor in its perennial inferiority to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on cross-strait relations.

DPP lawmaker pushes coalition opposition plan

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) yesterday outlined a plan for an opposition coalition to settle on a Taipei mayoral candidate, adding that he did not rule out entering the race himself if the process was agreed upon.

“Our priority [in the Taipei mayoral election] should be bringing an end to the Chinese Nationalist Party’s [KMT] grip on the capital, rather than narrowly aiming for a DPP victory,” Yao said.

Independence beats ‘status quo’ in poll

TIME FOR CHANGE?A DPP official said it was surprising that keeping the ‘status quo’ had low support from respondents in a party survey, as this contradicts previous polls
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The majority of Taiwanese favor independence over unification and identify strongly with the name “Republic of China (ROC),” as well as with the national flag, but are less receptive to the national anthem, a recent public opinion poll conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) showed.

Online news site Newtalk obtained and published the results of the survey — which were not released to the public — on Sunday.

Monday, December 30, 2013

DPP still split over Ker’s independence clause plan

HOT TOPIC::DPP whip Ker’s suggestion that the party suspend its independence clause has sparked furious debate as the DPP struggles to form a consensus on its China policy
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Mon, Dec 30, 2013 - Page 1

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming’s (柯建銘) proposal to facilitate cross-strait dialogue by freezing the party’s so-called “Taiwan independence clause” was again the subject of debate among academics and party members yesterday, with former DPP lawmaker Julian Kuo (郭正亮) and National Chengchi University professor Tung Cheng-yuan (童振源) supporting the initiative.

Most DPP members, including Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), oppose the proposal, which was submitted by Ker at a meeting to discuss the party’s China policy on Thursday, saying that it betrays the party’s founding spirit.

Rivals pan Taipei mayor hopeful

POPULAR CHOICE:Physician Ko Wen-je, whose competence to lead the city has been questioned by other possible candidates, is doing well in public-opinion polls
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Independent Taipei mayor hopeful Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has come under fire from rivals questioning his credentials and inexperience.

“I don’t think blackening my name would help their support rates,” said the National Taiwan University Hospital physician, who is trailing only former Taipei EasyCard Corp president Sean Lien (連勝文) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in public opinion polls conducted on the capital’s mayoral election.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

DPP voices opposition to stadium conversion plan

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chi Cheng (紀政) yesterday voiced their opposition to a Taipei City Government plan to turn a soccer stadium into a backpackers hostel.

The city government plans to renovate the Zhongshan Soccer Stadium and turn the multi-purpose facility, with a capacity of 20,000 for soccer games and up to 40,000 for concerts, into an international cultural exchange center for young people.

DPP to use poll as Greater Taichung party primary

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) opinion poll in Greater Taichung on Monday is to determine the party’s candidate for arguably one of the most important constituencies in the mayoral and commissioner elections scheduled for December next year.

The poll will serve as the party primary to determine whether incumbent DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) or DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) will be the party’s candidate, with poll results to be announced on Tuesday.

DPP, China at odds on whip’s proposal

‘MAN OF VISION’:Beijing said Ker Chien-ming’s proposal to suspend the party’s so-called ‘independence clause’ was a positive sign, while the DPP said it was a non-issue
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming’s (柯建銘) proposal to suspend the party’s so-called “Taiwan independence clause” to boost its chances of returning to power was deemed unnecessary by his own party yesterday, but it earned rare acclaim from China.

Beijing, which rarely agrees with the DPP, praised Ker’s proposal yesterday, with Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Fan Liqing (范麗青) describing the caucus whip as “a man of vision” and his initiative as “a positive sign, as well as an important step in the right direction if the initiative is approved by the party.”

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ker tells DPP to freeze its charter on independence

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday proposed freezing the party’s so-called “Taiwan independence charter” to boost its chance of returning to power.

Ker, who convened the last of a series of meetings on the party’s China policy yesterday, proposed the idea unexpectedly in an article titled: DPP China policy with a new global perspective, but stressed that the views expressed in the paper were his own.

Kuo corruption case shows judiciary ‘barbaric’: experts

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former minister of transportation and communications Kuo Yao-chi’s (郭瑤琪) conviction on corruption charges epitomized the judicial system’s “decadent, primitive and barbaric” nature, academics told a symposium in Taipei yesterday.

Kuo’s conviction on Dec. 5 was a perfect example of how helpless Taiwanese are before the law and illustrated how every encounter citizens have with the judiciary is similar to a game of Russian roulette because their fate is determined by pure luck, the academics said at the forum on Taiwan’s judiciary, which was organized by the Taiwan Association of University Professors.

Ma fails another performance review: TISR

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his administration received another dismal report card on his performance as head of state this year, earning 44.3 points out of a possible 100 in a Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR) poll that was released yesterday.

The results marked the second public opinion poll in two weeks in which the president has failed to come close to making the passing grade of 60, having been awarded just 39.2 points in a survey conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party and released on Dec. 18.

DPP slams Ma for pro-China interview

‘STRANGE’:The DPP’s chairman said it was odd that the president was talking about Chinese interests throughout the interview, during which he said he wanted to meet Xi
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday criticized comments President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) made in an interview which touched on the possibility of meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) next year and saying that the cross-strait service trade agreement cannot be renegotiated, as some have requested.

The Hong Kong-based Chinese-language Yazhou Zhoukan quoted Ma as saying he would love to meet Xi at the APEC summit in Beijing next year and make a “historical breakthrough in cross-strait relations,” while rejecting that the service trade pact can be altered because “Taiwan is not like the US” in that it cannot unilaterally demand that an agreement be changed by using its economic strength.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

DPP releases report on public’s top complaints

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) released a report examining complaints from the public and named the seven-in-one elections as its priority for next year.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said his party’s No. 1 goal next year is to win the seven-in-one local elections and said President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has no one to blame but itself for the public discontent that has almost reached a boiling point.

Ko pledges candidacy decision by March

NO HURRY:The independent said a media report was incorrect in its claim that he would join the DPP before the end of this year and said there was no need to rush
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

National Taiwan University physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday that he would make a final decision on whether to join the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) by March.

Ko, an independent who has a better support rating than the four DPP aspirants in the Taipei mayoral election, refuted a media report that he would join the DPP by the end of the year, saying that the decision would come likely sometime in March.

Court probes, detains two former DORTS officials

TIP OF ICEBERG?DPP legislators yesterday panned the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou for alleged links to possible corruption at the MeHAS City project
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Taipei District Court yesterday granted a request by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office to detain two former Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) officials for their roles in a possible corruption case related to the “Mass Rapid Transportation (MRT) Xiaobitan Station Joint Development” project.

Following a hearing of three hours, the court decided to detain former director of the DORTS’ development branch, Kao Chia-nung (高嘉濃), and former DORTS section chief Wang Ming-tsang (王銘藏) to prevent collusion on testimony.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

PTS exploiting workers: lawmaker

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) yesterday accused the Public Television Service (PTS) of exploiting contract workers and trying to shun its responsibility as an employer.

Accompanied by Huang, a former PTS contract worker surnamed Lin (林) told a press conference that he had only seen his contract twice — on the day it was signed and after he left PTS — and was also told that he would not be covered by the labor insurance and the National Health Insurance programs.

Chu leading in mayoral election: poll

AGENDA?A spokesperson for Yu Shyi-kun, the DPP’s candidate in the New Taipei City race, said the poll seems to have been conducted to influence the KMT primary
By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

A survey of potential candidates in the race for New Taipei City (新北市) mayor next year showed incumbent Eric Chu (朱立倫) would enjoy a support rating of 58 percent if he seeks re-election, while his rival from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), former DPP premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫?), had 19 percent.

The poll, released by the Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) yesterday, also showed that New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) would have a 44 percent support rating if he were to represent the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the election, while support for Yu would be 29 percent.

Majority supports renegotiation of trade pact: DPP

TRANSPARENCY ISSUE:Respondents were unsure about China’s intention to uphold the requirements of the trade agreement, the DPP survey showed
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The majority of respondents in a opinion poll support the renegotiation of the cross-strait service trade agreement and view the handling of the pact by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration as “undemocratic,” the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

“The survey results showed that transparency has been the most serious concern to arise from cross-strait engagement. If this administration does not change the opaque way in which it handles cross-strait affairs and continues to view cross-strait interactions as party-to-party relations, public discontent will continue,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a news conference.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

DPP threatens war over KMT agenda move

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The pan-green camp yesterday criticized Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) for his insistence on placing the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement on the legislative agenda on Thursday, saying that Chang’s plan would be a violation of party negotiations.

Despite negotiations convened by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) last week that reached a consensus that the screening of the pact would not take place before the final public hearings are held on March 10, Chang, joint convener of the Internal Administration Committee, expressed his intention to deal with the agreement this week.

UDN opinion poll biased: Annette Lu

NOT RELIABLE:The former vice president said voters have a good understanding of the political implication of opinion polls and enjoy ‘playing with the pollsters’
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A public opinion poll that suggests independent aspirant Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) would be the strongest candidate for the pan-green camp in the Taipei mayoral election next year appears to be biased and have a political agenda behind it, said former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), one of the aspirants in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Taipei primary.

“Media and politicians have been overly obsessed with public opinion polls in recent years. Surveys have been utilized by either the media or election campaigns to distort the real voice of the people,” Lu told a press conference, in which she unveiled her campaign theme song and her vision for Taipei.

EDITORIAL: Presidency or legislative majority?

While the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has vowed that it will do everything possible to win the presidential election in 2016, former premier Yu Shyi-kun has been advocating a different idea. While winning the presidency is important, winning a majority in the 113-member Legislative Yuan could be even more crucial for safeguarding Taiwan’s sovereignty and prosperity, Yu says, adding that “de facto governance” would not be achieved until the DPP wins a legislative majority.

Yu, the longest-serving premier under the 2000 to 2008 DPP administration, understands to what extent a legislative minority can hamper an administration, as many DPP-initiated bills and proposals were blocked by the majority Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) during his tenure, while domestic politics was deadlocked by party ideology.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Groups protest service trade agreement

KEEPING MUM::A group said it prepared a questionnaire on lawmakers’ positions on the service trade agreement, but that none of the KMT legislators was willing to fill it in
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - Page 1

Without a mechanism to regulate cross-strait negotiation and safeguard local industries, the livelihoods of millions of Taiwanese will be at stake if the government pushes the cross-strait service trade agreement between Taiwan and China through the legislature, hundreds of protesters said yesterday.

“If [the pact] is not screened clause-by-clause, we’ll fight to the very end,” Chen Chih-ming (陳志銘), president of the Kaohsiung Federation of Labor Unions, told protesters, who braved low temperatures and wind to gather in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei.

The protesters demanded that several pieces of legislation be passed to ensure transparency and democratic principles before the pact is screened by the Legislative Yuan.

Friday, December 20, 2013

DPP wants bills before pact

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Three pieces of legislation must be passed and a complete list of meeting documents, the negotiators involved and categories to be liberalized must be disclosed before the Legislative Yuan begins its screening of the cross-strait service trade agreement, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.

“The entire process of the agreement — from the first day of negotiations to the day the pact’s contents were announced — has been opaque and undemocratic. The people of Taiwan have been unable to learn about and assess the potential impact of the deal on the economy and industrial development,” DPP lawmakers Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君), Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) told a press conference.

Government works to deport fugitive officer from the UK

ON THE RUN:Emily Yeh said that she decided to leave the military because her comrades made fun of her age and she had been ‘treated as a weirdo’
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Government agencies said yesterday that they are working with the UK on the deportation of a fugitive Taiwanese military officer and reiterated that the officer’s long stay in the UK was for personal reasons rather than a defection.

Emily Yeh (葉玫), an officer in the Military Intelligence Bureau, was detained at an immigration center in Bedfordshire, England, on Tuesday after being detained by the UK Border Agency for illegal immigration, the Central New Agency (CNA) quoted British newspaper the South Wales Argus as saying yesterday.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ma, KMT warned over service pact

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Civic groups and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday warned President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) over their reported plan to push the cross-strait service trade agreement through the legislature in an extra session, saying that such a move would have “consequences.”

As the current legislative session draws to a close, sources say the KMT caucus is planning to propose holding a two-week extra session beginning on Jan. 2 to pass the government’s budget plan, legislation related to government reform and the trade pact.

Chai Trong-rong suffers stroke, in critical condition

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) underwent an emergency operation yesterday after suffering a stroke and remained in critical condition at press time.

Chai, 78, was found unconscious by his maid at about 8:30am in his residence in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Banciao District (板橋) and was transported to National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital for treatment.

Ma flunks out of president class: poll

F IS FOR FAIL:The premier and local KMT officials also failed the survey conducted by the DPP, which said that according to the results, Ma did not even qualify for a retake
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) received 39.2 points out of a possible 100 for his performance as head of state this year, an opinion poll conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) showed yesterday.

Ma’s administration also received poor grades, with Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) earning just 42.4 points and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) mayors and commissioners bagging 57.5 points, all below the passing grade of 60, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) told a press conference.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

TSU questions readiness of freeway payment scheme

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) yesterday raised concerns over the “pay as you go” freeway toll scheme, questioning the budget, toll rate and the authority’s ability to track unpaid tolls.

“The readiness of the program is highly questionable,” Hsu told a press conference after Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said on Monday that the scheme would be implemented on Dec. 30.

Ko still undecided after meeting DPP’s Su

YES OR NO?Ko Wen-je and Su Tseng-chang held a 90-minute closed-door meeting yesterday to discuss the physician’s ideas and plans for the Taipei mayoral race
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), a physician who is mulling running in next year’s Taipei mayoral election, met with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday, but said he had not made up his mind about the joining the party.

However, he was reportedly leaning toward joining eventually.

“I believe that the decision will be made shortly after several issues have been worked out. However, I am glad that we had a pleasant discussion and established a direct channel communications,” Ko said after the 90-minute closed-door meeting at the DPP headquarters in Taipei yesterday morning.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

EDITORIAL: DPP’s factionalism raises concerns

Tue, Dec 17, 2013 - Page 8

“Taiwan Next,” the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) campaign slogan in last year’s presidential election, remains fresh in some people’s minds, but the real issue to pay attention to, in terms of domestic political development, is “DPP Next.” Specifically, what should happen to the party now.

The next presidential election is a little over two years away, but the DPP’s factionalism, which seems never to have gone away, has left supporters and observers scratching their heads, wondering what will happen to the party, which is desperate to regain power.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tsai opens ‘Hakka culture’ office

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday established an office in Guanxi Township (關西), Hsinchu County, as part of her effort to deepen her connection with the predominantly Hakka constituencies in northwestern Taiwan.

“The office was established with the aim of learning from the Hakka culture, exploring local people’s needs, as well as avoiding the so-called ‘Taipei perspective’ so we can consolidate the power of the Hakka people and bolster Taiwan’s future,” Tsai, a Hakka, said in the opening ceremony, according to a press release issued by her Taipei office.

‘Oral History’ about DPP establishment launched

DIVERSITY:Containing interviews with important figures from the founding of the DPP, it shows the range of views around the one unifying goal of freedom and democracy
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The founding members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have had different goals for both the future of the party and Taiwan from the day the DPP was established — Sept. 28, 1986. This was the reflection of several founding members in a book documenting the party’s establishment and at a ceremony to launch the book yesterday.

The diversity of DPP members’ political ideology could be regarded as a natural phenomenon, considering the political atmosphere of the dangwai (黨外, “outside the party”) — period before the party was born, said Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深) Academia Sinica research fellow and chief editor of Oral History of the DPP, in which 15 politicians and political advocates are interviewed about the party’s establishment and early days.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ko Wen-je still undecided about DPP membership

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), an independent hopeful for the Taipei mayoralty, yesterday said he was still contemplating joining the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), but hinted that his doing so could cost the DPP the election.

“Why would you want to lock a lion up in a cage when you know that it’s going to cost you the election?” Ko said, when asked about his relationship with the party in an interview with Newtalk, an online news site.

Sean Lien is clear favorite for Taipei mayor: survey

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) was the most qualified candidate for the Taipei mayoralty, while incumbent Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) is expected to face a tough battle if he decides to seek re-election next year, a survey released yesterday showed.

Conducted by Taiwan Indicators Research Survey (TISR), respondents were asked who they saw as qualified among 11 hopefuls in Taipei and six in Greater Taichung, both seats considered symbolic, must-win constituencies for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Su to meet with Ko Wen-je to discuss polarizing Taipei bid

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said he may meet with National Taiwan University physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) as early as next week to discuss Ko’s strained relationship with the party.

Ko, an independent who has been leading all pan-green camp aspirants in the DPP primary for Taipei mayor in public approval ratings, has been mulling whether to join the party.

DPP considers forming TPP task force

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is mulling establishing a task force focused on studying Taiwan entering Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotations, a party official said yesterday.

If established, the task force may comprise party officials and think tank experts, and would conduct studies on negotiation strategy, policy recommendations and the holding of exchanges with foreign governments, as well as international academics, DPP Department of International Affairs director Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠) said.

DPP attacks SID for spying on it, others

‘NEXT’ STORY::The report says the SID provided Ma Ying-jeou with details of Wang Jin-pyng’s schedule and meetings and a call between Ker Chien-ming and Rex How
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - Page 1

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday condemned the Special Investigation Division’s (SID) reported political surveillance of the party and several individuals, saying that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and officials in charge should be held accountable.

The latest edition of the Chinese-language weekly Next Magazine yesterday reported that the division carried out political surveillance of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), the DPP and a publisher who has voiced opposition to the cross-strait service trade agreement.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Food prices have surged on power hikes: TSU

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Electricity and fuel price hikes have driven up commodity prices and affected the livelihoods of people from all walks of life, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus said yesterday.

Citing data provided by the Council of Agriculture, the caucus told a news conference that using the council’s list of 322 agricultural and seafood products as basis, the prices of 189 items had risen in comparison with the same period last year.

DPP riven by factionalism as primary polls heat up

BACKLASH:Annette Lu said the primaries have become a proxy for competition between party heavyweights and could cost the party dearly during the elections
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Divisions within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have come to the fore again, as the party prepares for the seven-in-one elections next year, with former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) warning that it could turn away public support.

Lu, who is hoping to represent the DPP in the race for Taipei mayor next year, said the Taipei primary has become a “proxy war” between party heavyweights and could result in a public backlash.

KMT will face its past honestly: Ma

OPPRESSION REMEMBERED:Victims of the 228 Incident and their relatives attended a Taipei concert, while Kaohsiung Incident survivors also marked Human Rights Day
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) cannot evade its responsibility for past human rights violations and will face up to the past honestly, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.

Speaking at a memorial concert in Taipei on International Human Rights Day, Ma said whether it is the 228 Incident or the White Terror era, his party must face its mistakes with a reflective attitude.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Su, AIT chair discuss Chinese zone

MAINTAINING STABILITY:The DPP chairman underlined the importance of all countries in the Asia-Pacific region working together to lower tensions and avoiding conflict
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) met American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt yesterday to discuss the party’s China policy and the recent escalation of regional tensions due to China’s demarcation of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the DPP said.

Burghardt, who arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a five-day visit, met with Su at the DPP headquarters for a 60-minute closed-door meeting, according to a press release issued by the party.

CPC is failing at corporate reform efforts: lawmaker

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday accused CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) of failing to undertake corporate reforms, citing its increased expenditure on water, electricity and public relations.

Having spent NT$5.35 billion (US$18 million) last year and NT$6.35 billion this year on water and electricity bills, CPC allocated NT$7.2 billion for the same items in its budget plan for next year, DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) told a news conference.

EDITORIAL: Ma must uphold human rights pledge

Tue, Dec 10, 2013 - Page 8

When it comes to cross-strait affairs and policies, similarities are hard to find between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), except for one thing: human rights.

Administrations under the two parties both emphasized human rights as one of their core values and said Taiwan’s advocacy for human rights and democracy could serve as an example and model for the Chinese Communist Party regime.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Kuo to fight conviction

DPP TARGETED?Lawyers said that DPP officials are being targeted in corruption cases and that situations where the KMT have been accused were being ignored
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former minister of transportation and communications Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪), who was sentenced to eight years in prison on corruption charges on Thursday, said yesterday that she would resort to all possible legal proceedings to fight the conviction.

“I have never received bribes... A reputation is not earned in one or two days. I have spent my entire career as a public servant building a good reputation. All my associates know I am not someone who can be bribed,” Kuo told a press conference in Taipei.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Lu again plays down her age in her bid for Taipei

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

In response to recent comments about her age, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who aspires to win the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nomination for the Taipei mayoral election next year, yesterday said that it is the “brain” rather than “age” that matters.

“The way I see it, the media and some politicians should stop dwelling on the subject and move on to the more substantial issues. The fact that [former premier] Yu Shyi-kun (游錫) won the New Taipei City (新北市) primary and [former Keelung mayor] Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) won in Yunlin County says it all: Voters do not care about age,” Lu said.

Public disagrees with ADIZ response: poll

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A majority of respondents view President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) response to China’s demarcation of its East China Sea air defense identification zone (ADIZ) as “too soft,” a public opinion survey conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has shown.

Of the 1,338 valid responses, 75.2 percent said that the Civil Aeronautics Administration should not comply with China’s request for flight plans, while 15.4 percent agreed with the move, according to the DPP poll conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Renegotiate service trade pact: groups

RECIPROCITY?The pact will require Taiwan to open almost all its industries to Chinese investment, but China is not offering the same back, protesters said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Representatives from civic groups, the manufacturing and retail industries and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday voiced their strong opposition to a proposed cross-strait service trade agreement on the sidelines of a public hearing at the legislature on the agreement’s impact on local businesses.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Taiwan ‘need not’ choose sides on zone

QUESTION OF APPROACH::A former US State Department official said the key issue about the zone is governments in the region approaching disputes through dialogue
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Thu, Dec 05, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwan’s handling of Beijing’s demarcation of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) is not a matter of choosing between the US-Japan alliance and China, and President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration’s call for resolving the dispute through dialogue is welcome, former US deputy secretary of state James Steinberg said yesterday.

“It is a question of all the governments in the region trying to reach and approach their disputes with dialogues and discussions” despite differences of opinion about sovereignty and territory, Steinberg said in response to a media inquiry.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Legislature votes on CEC

The Legislative Yuan yesterday voted to retain Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairperson Chang Po-ya (張博雅) and Vice Chairperson Liu Yi-chou (劉義周) in their posts, and approved four nominees to the commission. After legislators cast their ballots along party lines, Chang, 71, and Liu both won another four-year term by a margin of 65-42, with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers endorsing the Executive Yuan’s nominees and the opposition parties voting against them. The Democratic Progressive Party caucus said it voted against the nominations because President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had used the commission as a political tool during the so-called “September strife” and because the candidates did not include representatives from the opposition.

Former premier wins DPP primary for New Taipei

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former premier Yu Shyi-kun won the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) primary for the New Taipei City (新北市) mayoral election next year after defeating former lawmaker Chuang Shuo-han (莊碩漢) in a public opinion poll, the party announced yesterday.

Yu, who served as premier from 2002 to 2005, is expected to be nominated as the DPP candidate in next month’s Central Executive Committee meeting, DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) told a press conference.

Schools to teach Nanjing is ROC capital: ministry

POSITIONING::In a document sent to schools across the nation, the Ministry of Education said teachers should clearly explain the positioning of the ROC capital
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Wed, Dec 04, 2013 - Page 1

A government document ordering schools’ procurement of teaching materials that mark Nanjing as the capital of the Republic of China (ROC) and Taipei as the current location of the central government indicated President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration’s persistent attempts to promote the links between Taiwan and China, as well as the administration’s misinterpretation of the Constitution, lawmakers and academics said yesterday.

A photograph posted by National Taipei University of Education professor Lee Hsiao-feng (李筱峰) on Facebook yesterday, which showed a Ministry of Education document issued on Monday to schools nationwide, went viral on the Internet.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

EDITORIAL: DPP and KMT not moving forward

This November marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of US president John F. Kennedy, and the fifth year since former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was detained and imprisoned on charges of corruption.

On Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy, one of the most beloved and respected presidents in US history, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. However, the premature end to Kennedy’s presidency did not erase him from people’s memory.

Quite the contrary, what Kennedy did and said during his three-year period in the White House was — and still is — able to inspire the American people.

Students vow to fight for same-sex marriage

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Dozens of university student associations and student organizations across the country yesterday announced the establishment of an alliance to support the legalization of same-sex marriage, saying that the time is ripe for such a change to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Citing the results of several public opinion polls conducted by various institutions in the past year, student representatives said at a press conference in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei that more than half of the respondents supported revising Article 972 of the Civil Code and legalizing same-sex marriage.

Jailed activists’ daughters ask government for help

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The daughters of two imprisoned Chinese dissidents yesterday at an international press conference appealed for the government’s assistance to help rescue their fathers, while Taiwanese human rights activists demanded that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) call on Beijing to release 18 political prisoners.

“My father has always seen Taiwan’s democracy as a model for China. Hopefully, the Taiwanese government and the Taiwanese people will not let him down,” Ti-anna Wang (王天安), daughter of activist Wang Bingzhang (王炳章), told a public hearing at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Netizens allege conspiracy over accidents

By Chen Ching-min and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer
Mon, Dec 02, 2013 - Page 3

Two accidents and other incidents involving activists has spurred speculation on the Internet that the incidents might have been “carefully orchestrated” by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in an effort to eliminate dissidents.

The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who also doubles as KMT chairman, has been bombarded with criticism for the past year over a wide range of issues, from the forced demolition of four houses in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔) and the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement to the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) in July and the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao Dictrict (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市).

DPP camp held for Chinese students to boost understanding

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has taken a first step toward closer engagement with Chinese students in Taiwan with a two-day student camp, hoping the activity will foster better understanding between the two sides.

In the camp, held on Saturday and yesterday by the party’s think tank, 34 students focused on democracy and human rights as well as Taiwan’s history and its struggle for human rights.

Cairo Declaration as legal basis incorrect: advocates

‘FALSE PERCEPTION’:A history professor said that the president’s interpretation of the Cairo Declaration could bolster Beijing’s sovereignty claim over the Diaoyutai Islands
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) interpretation of the Cairo Declaration, issued on Dec. 1, 1943, as the legal basis of Taiwan’s “return” to the Republic of China (ROC) after World War II was not only incorrect, but also dangerous because his rhetoric was exactly the same as that of Beijing, pro-independence advocates said yesterday.

“[Ma’s interpretation] fits right in with the ‘one China’ framework, which would be interpreted by the international community as saying Taiwan is part of China because hardly anyone would recognize the China in ‘one China’ framework as referring to the ROC,” Taiwan Society President Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲), a former president of the Academia Historica, told a press conference.