Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lien’s ‘Taiwan is a troublemaker’ comment draws fire

By Mo Yan-chih and Chen Ching-min  /  Staff reporters

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan’s (連戰) recent comment to outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) that “Taiwan is a troublemaker” drew criticism from opposition legislators yesterday.

In a meeting with Hu on Tuesday, Lien said that “for a long time internationally Taiwan has been [seen as] in truth a troublemaker.”

DPP pans Ma over 228 Massacre

UNDEMOCRATIC:Hsiao Bi-khim said Ma’s ‘attempt to rewrite history’ was totally unacceptable in a democracy and he should be ashamed of his ‘two-handed’ strategy
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) demand that academics relaunch a study of the 228 Massacre in 1947 is part of his de-Taiwanization effort, and the president owes the victims and their families an apology, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.

Showing a document issued by the Presidential Office to Academia Sinica which recommended the institution’s Institute of Modern History revisit the controversial incident and uncover the “real facts,” DPP lawmakers told a press conference that it was part of Ma’s de-Taiwanization effort.

Liu Xiaobo petition delivered to Ma

A NOBEL ACT:The DPP said not only should President Ma Ying-jeou forward the petition to have Liu Xiaobo released to Beijing, but he should also sign it himself
By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

As part of a globally coordinated effort to have imprisoned Chinese dissident and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) released, exiled Chinese democracy activists Wang Dan (王丹) and Wuer Kaixi, accompanied by Taiwan Association for China Human Rights chairman Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏), delivered a petition signed by more than 600 Taiwanese to the Presidential Office, asking the office to forward it to the Chinese government.

Initiated by Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu in December last year, more than 400,000 people worldwide have signed the petition urging the Chinese government to release Liu immediately, and yesterday was the date set for delivery of the petitions to Chinese diplomatic posts around the world, Wuer Kaixi told a press conference in front of a monument to commemorate victims of the White Terror era on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office yesterday morning.

DPP promises all-out ‘referendum war’

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it was determined to engage the government head-on in a “referendum war” over the referendum proposal on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市).

“The Executive Yuan did not submit the proposal to resolve the controversy, but to cover up the construction of the plant with unreasonable legislation,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a press conference, titled “No nuke, no fear,” held at the party’s headquarters yesterday.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FEATURE: Business owners struggle to promote Taiwan

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 - Page 5

Wu Cheng-san (吳成三) has arrived at his Taipei bookstore every day for the past 20 years hoping to do good business. On a typical day earlier this month he was once again disappointed, but not surprised.

The tiny shop — Taiuan e Tiam (Shop of Taiwan) — stands in a quiet alley opposite the National Taiwan University campus and was established in March 1993 as the first Taiwan-themed bookstore.

Talks on cross-strait politics necessary: Lien

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Negotiations on political issues are unavoidable in the future if cross-strait relations are to continue developing, former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday.

During a meeting with outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) yesterday in Beijing, Lien said that academics and non-government organizations that specialize in cross-strait ties should engage in extensive exchanges about and conduct studies on political dialogues and negotiations between Taiwan and China.

KMT agrees to talks on Referendum Act

DAY-LONG WAIT::The new premier’s policy address to the legislature was delayed from 10am to 6:20pm as opposition lawmakers protested a planned referendum
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 - Page 1

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration yesterday agreed to discuss what is perceived to be an unusually high threshold stipulated in the Referendum Act (公民投票法), which is crucial to the success or failure of a planned referendum to determine the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

However, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and KMT Policy Committee chief Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) both consider the law’s thresholds “reasonable.”

Opinion poll finds most people opposed to nuclear power and US pork imports

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Most people oppose the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and the importation of US pork containing ractopamine, a public opinion poll found yesterday.

The survey, released by Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR), found that 59.6 percent of respondents oppose the construction of the nuclear power plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), with only 26.1 percent expressing support and 14.3 percent saying they had no opinion.

Restrictions on US pork will not be lifted: officials

PLEDGE:The officials said that the government would not succumb to outside pressure and sacrifice the livelihoods of farmers in trade negotiations with the US
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan will not lift the ban on US pork imports containing the feed additive ractopamine, government officials reiterated in a public hearing yesterday to assuage doubts expressed by lawmakers and representatives of local pig farmers.

At the hearing organized by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), dozens of pig farmers representatives expressed concerns over a potential relaxation of US pork import safter the upcoming round of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) negotiations between Taiwan and the US.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ma promises to listen to public on nuclear issue

JOINT DECISION?:The premier yesterday said that the new Cabinet would discuss nuclear matters in the next legislative session, to be followed by a public discourse
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Sun, Feb 24, 2013 - Page 1

Saying he has taken public concerns over the safety of the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant to heart, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday promised his administration would listen to and communicate with people from all sectors of society before making a decision on the issue.

“Civic groups, women’s groups and the Alliance for Mothers to Oversee Nuclear Power Plants have all voiced their concern. We all live on the same island and face the same challenges. We will be very cautious in establishing public facilities,” Ma told Cabinet members.

Minister dismisses remarks on A-bian

HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT?:The minister of justice said that the prison in which Chen was held had made ‘great efforts’ to take care of the former president’s health
By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter
Sun, Feb 24, 2013 - Page 3

Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) yesterday dismissed a remark by the Control Yuan that the judicial system was responsible for imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) health.

“What we have had said about [Chen’s] health condition was not groundless but based on the information provided by professional physicians,” Tseng said.

Lawmaker pans ‘negative’ MOFA film

By Chris Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporters
Sun, Feb 24, 2013 - Page 1

A film on the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), which was sanctioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, could tarnish Taiwan’s international image with its negative depiction of Japan, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) demanded that the ministry immediately pull the video, the first of a three-part series, saying it has jeopardized Taiwan’s national interests.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

NCC’s media bill unworkable: lawmaker

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The National Communications Commission’s (NCC) draft anti-monopoly media bill was hastily formulated to deal with a review of the nation’s compliance with a pair of international covenants by an international panel, a lawmaker claimed yesterday.

The draft bill tries to tackle the issue, but uses the wrong formula to calculate monopolization under which “no media merger would be defined as a monopoly,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said.

DPP urges transparent Lien, Xi and Ma meetings

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) should make former KMT chairman Lien Chan’s (連戰) meetings with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) transparent to ease people’s doubts over secretive cross-strait engagement, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

Lien is set to lead a delegation to China tomorrow and become the first senior Taiwanese politician to meet Xi since the presidential designate was named General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in November last year.

Lee Teng-hui back in court

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former president Lee Teng-hui is escorted by bodyguards yesterday on his way to the Taipei District Court for a pre-trial procedure after he was indicted in 2011 on charges of embezzling state funds.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday appeared in court for a pre-trial procedure after being indicted on charges of embezzling state funds in 2011. Lee did not comment on the trial.

Ma should learn from Chiang: DPP

HISTORY LESSON::A DPP legislator said if Ma really saw Chiang Ching-kuo as his role model, he should ‘have the guts’ to suspend work on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Sat, Feb 23, 2013 - Page 3

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should learn from his mentor, late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), and make the voice of the people his top priority and suspend construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, a lawmaker and anti-nuclear activists said yesterday.

Despite being an authoritarian, Chiang, who ruled Taiwan from 1978 to 1988, ordered the suspension of plans to build the nuclear power plant in 1985 “because people still had concerns about nuclear power,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) told a press conference.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Editorial: Hsieh’s Web experience a lesson

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 - Page 8

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) was on Wednesday able to laugh it off when his account on Chinese microblogging Web site Sina Weibo was shut down less than 24 hours after he made it public.

The suspension did not come as a surprise, as people know how tightly the Chinese government runs its Internet controls and clamps down on free speech, but this was special because it happened to Hsieh.

Family education crucial to preserving languages: Su

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Family education is the most significant factor in promoting and preserving mother languages in Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday on International Mother Language Day.

“It is regrettable that some parents have not tried to teach their children how to speak their mother language,” Su said at a press conference organized by the Taiwan Mother Tongue Alliance to promote native languages, including Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Hakka and other Aboriginal languages.

Su slams lack of a nuclear consensus

HOPES DASHED::The DPP chairman said that he was disappointed by Ma’s disregard for the opposition and for public opinion regarding the nation’s nuclear future
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Fri, Feb 22, 2013 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday criticized President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for his insistence on completing construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), saying that Ma has violated his pledge to seek a consensus on the issue.

“Ma has violated his pledge to seek a consensus with the opposition and has discredited Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) plans to meet with opposition leaders to create a more friendly political climate less than 24 hours after Jiang’s extension of an olive branch [to opposition groups],” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lee Teng-hui’s office denies report that he influenced Japanese prime minister

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The office of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday denied a report depicting Lee as the mastermind behind Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent policy to depreciate the yen.

The Chinese-language Next Magazine yesterday reported that Lee had regularly given Abe advice, including on depreciating the yen, since the Japanese leader’s meeting with him in September 2011.

Frank Hsieh’s ‘weibo’ account suddenly shut down

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former premier Frank Hsieh’s (謝長廷) account on the Chinese microblogging Web site Sina Weibo (新浪微博) was suspended for unknown reasons yesterday, less than 24 hours after he made his account public.

He joined the Web site on Feb. 9, but only announced it on Tuesday during his weekly radio talk show. Within hours, he had more than 60,000 followers.

Su calls premier, urges a meeting with DPP caucus

By Chris Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporters

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said he called Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday morning and urged him to show a “different attitude, approach and policies” from previous Cabinets and improve communication with the Legislative Yuan.

As for Jiang’s offer for a meeting with opposition party leaders, Su said that constitutionally, the premier should first meet with the DPP legislative caucus.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Isle dispute a test of Ma’s China policy

NON-COLLABORATION:The president’s pledge of non-cooperation with China on the Diaoyutai issue is likely a result of pressure from the US and Japan, analysts say
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) renewal of his pledge not to collaborate with China over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) dispute has varying implications for China, Japan and the US, and also runs counter to his administration’s “one China, with different interpretations” policy, political analysts said yesterday.

Ma on Monday said Taiwan would not cooperate with China on the sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyutais, known as the Senkakus in Japan, and listed three reasons behind the pledge.

Su reiterates opposition to ‘new’ nuclear power plant

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday reiterated its opposition to the ongoing construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), while the government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) pushed for the completion of the project as soon as possible.

The KMT caucus said it hoped that an additional budget for the plant’s construction could be passed at the new legislative session, which begins on Feb. 26, and that construction would be completed before a decision is made on whether the plant should go into operation.

Su, Tsai dismiss threat from Chen’s supporters

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday brushed off a shoe-throwing threat from a group of activists who claimed the two have not worked hard enough for the release of imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

The activists, led by Taiwan Referendum Alliance convener Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴), on Monday urged Su and Tsai to actively pursue Chen’s release. They said that if the two failed to come up with a concrete plan on seeking medical parole or a presidential pardon for Chen before the Lantern Festival on Sunday, the supporters would throw shoes at them in public settings.

Jiang wants to meet opposition leaders

UNIMPRESSED:DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said a meeting would be meaningless and the new premier would do better by explaining his plans and listening to the public
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) extended his hand to the leaders of opposition parties on his second day in office yesterday, saying he wished to meet them to facilitate a dialogue between the government and the opposition on major issues.

“Sincere communication is a very important step toward democracy. I hope that dialogue between the government and the opposition parties would ensue [after I visit opposition leaders],” Jiang said during a meeting with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Activists press DPP on Chen’s health, rights

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Supporters of imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday called for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to be more active in fighting for medical parole or a presidential pardon for Chen.

Led by Taiwan Referendum Alliance convener Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴), dozens of Chen’s supporters visited the DPP headquarters and the office of former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in Taipei yesterday and demanded to meet with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Tsai.

DPP chairman sets ‘three-four-five’ goal for Cabinet

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said he had high expectations for new Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and his Cabinet, saying yesterday that Jiang should focus on the economy to improve people’s livelihoods amid the accelerating global economic recovery.

Su said he was pushing a “three-four-five” goal for the Cabinet that was sworn in yesterday, the first working day after the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

DPP facing a busy Year of the Snake

PACKED SCHEDULE:The DPP is mulling legislation, attempts to recall the president and KMT lawmakers, as well as planning for local elections and the 2016 presidential vote
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to face an eventful and crucial Year of the Snake as Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) proclaimed a “year of preparedness” during which battles over legislation and election nominations await the party.

On Saturday, Su laid out the DPP’s plan for the lunar year in an internal meeting. It included preparatory work for the seven-in-one local elections next year, in parallel with a recall movement against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and legislators from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), as well as a simultaneous efforts from civic movements and the party’s efforts in the legislature.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Lee, DPP leaders offer encouraging words to public

NEW HOPE:The former president praised the public for facing hardships with courage and called for cooperation between political leaders and parties
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) offered encouraging messages for the new year, saying the Year of the Snake would be a better year.

DPP headquarters and the offices of Lee and Tsai released pre-recorded video messages on the video-sharing Web site YouTube ahead of the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday, which begins today.

Friday, February 08, 2013

TSU pans immigration agency controls

NOT WORKING:The reason a convict escaped from the country recently was not a lack of money, but border controls that are not functioning properly, the TSU said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday blasted the National Immigration Agency (NIA) for saying a funding shortage was the reason for a fugitive’s much-publicized escape, saying that loose border control was the real cause.

Zain Dean, a British citizen who served as chief executive of the UK-based NCL Media’s Taiwan branch, was convicted in July last year of a hit-and-run accident that caused the death of a newspaper deliveryman in March 2010, while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, and was to begin serving his sentence in September last year.

DPP chairman returns from ‘constructive’ Japan trip

INSPIRATIONAL: Su Tseng-chang visited a citizen-funded solar power station, which he said proved nuclear power was not the only option and showed citizens could make a change
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) returned home yesterday from a five-day trip to Japan and said he was pleased with the “constructive” visit, which could facilitate closer bilateral exchange.

After meetings with Japanese politicians on the first four days of his trip, Su took an opportunity for a rare “non-political” visit to a citizen-funded power station in Edogawa City, Tokyo, yesterday and found the experience “inspirational.”

Editorial: The art of choosing sides

Fri, Feb 08, 2013 - Page 8

Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) reportedly said in an interview with Agence France-Presse last week that Taiwan would like to maintain “strategic ambiguity” in dealing with Beijing and Washington (“Washington envoy interview stresses ‘strategic ambiguity,’” Feb. 5, page 3).

King’s claim has raised discussion about Taipei’s strategy, with some arguing that as Taiwan is not an international power like the US, it may not have such an option.

DPP says price stabilization first test for Jiang

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday raised concerns over the prices of everday goods during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Premier-designate Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), who served as convener of the Executive Yuan’s task force on price stabilization, will have to be responsible for the task over the upcoming holiday, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs unexpectedly changed the unwritten rule of freezing fuel prices during the Lunar New Year holiday with increases of NT$0.9 per liter in consecutive weeks, Lin said.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Protesters occupy CLA lobby after railway ruckus

By Loa Iok-sin, Shelley Shan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters, with CNA
Thu, Feb 07, 2013 - Page 1

Laid-off workers rallied in the lobby of the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) yesterday, asking to see Minister Pan Shih-wei (潘世偉), following a protest that almost paralyzed operations at the Taipei Railway Station on Tuesday night.

The protesters want face-to-face negotiations with Pan over the council’s demand that they repay loans the government gave them 16 years ago after their employers closed down their factories without paying them wages.

DPP slams Beijing over Japan comments

Hitting Back:Following criticism by Beijing over its Diayoutais stance, the DPP defended itself, and said it would continue to call for peaceful dialogue on issues
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday rejected Beijing’s criticism of the party’s “flattery of Japan” over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) dispute, saying that China’s provocative moves in the region are what should be condemned.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Fan Liqing (范麗青) on Tuesday said DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who is scheduled to return to Taiwan today after a five-day visit to Tokyo, displayed “a lack of national pride” with his “flattery” of Japan on the territorial issue.

New Cabinet almost complete, old one to resign today

By Shih Hsiu-chuan, Mo Yan-chih and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Thu, Feb 07, 2013 - Page 1

The new Cabinet to be led by premier-designate Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) is nearing completion, with 12 positions filled and Premier Sean Chen set to assume a caretaker role during the Lunar New Year holiday before Jiang’s team is sworn in on Feb. 18.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is scheduled to approve the resignation of Chen’s Cabinet this morning following the weekly Cabinet meeting, where Chen’s team of 89 political appointees are to resign en masse.

House arrest urged for ex-president

CRITICAL SITUATION:As former president Chen’s health continues to worsen, concerned parties called for him to be cared for at home rather than confined to jail
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and a group of physicians and lawyers yesterday urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to put imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) under house arrest, saying that Chen’s life is in danger because of health complications.

“Chen’s body, mind and spirit have been devastated by being locked up in prison for more than 1,500 days and by various illnesses. The best and the only way for him to fully heal is to give him a normal life, allowing him to go home and spend time with his family,” Lu told a press conference yesterday.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Legislators wonder about Ma’s silence

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday said they were speculating about why President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has stayed silent on the controversial Cabinet reshuffle, but instead has been vocal about how to handle drunk-driving violations.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) confirmed yesterday that Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, had telephoned him and said he hoped Hsieh would propose tighter regulations on drunk driving. The proposed new regulations would lower the allowable blood-alcohol limit from the current 0.55 milligrams of alcohol per liter to 0.25 milligrams, as detected in breath tests, and violators would be subject to preventive detention, Hsieh said.

Taiwan ‘should be a part of security’

REGIONAL DUTY:Taiwan should not be ignored and excluded from security plans for the Asia-Pacific region, a senior Japanese politician told the visiting DPP chairman
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan should not be excluded from the security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region, former Japanese defense minister and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba reportedly told Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) during a meeting.

In an interview with Taiwanese media following his breakfast meeting with Su — who is in Tokyo on a five-day visit — yesterday morning, Nobuo Kishi, an LDP senator, provided details on Ishiba’s closed-door meeting with Su on Monday, the DPP said in a press release.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Lawmakers voice concerns over human rights review

By Chris Wang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter and staff writer, with CNA

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers and human rights groups yesterday raised concerns over the government’s response to an upcoming review of Taiwan’s human rights report by a UN panel.

A group of international experts is scheduled to review Taiwan’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights between Feb. 25 and Feb. 27, almost four years after the nation ratified the covenants.

Lu proposes initiative for Diaoyutais

FISHY BUSINESS:Former vice president Annette Lu remained uncommitted about attempts by Taiwanese fishermen to sail to the Diaoyutais to assert their fishing rights
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday proposed an initiative to demilitarize the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) and turn them into a protected marine zone.

At a press conference at her office in Taipei, Lu said that while Taiwan’s sovereignty of the islands — known in Japan as the Senkakus — is indisputable, the initiative advocates a three-step approach to resolve their status.

Taiwan, China and Japan all claim sovereignty over the islands, which are located in the East China Sea.

Visiting Su touts closer ties with Japan

COMMON VALUES:The DPP chairman stressed the affinities between the two nations, said protecting fishing rights should take priority in the Diaoyutais and took a swipe at Ma
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan-Japan relations could be strengthened to promote regional stability because both countries share the values of democracy, freedom and human rights, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said in Tokyo yesterday.

“The DPP hopes that Taiwan and Japan can strengthen their bilateral partnership as members of a democratic alliance, which would make the Asia-Pacific a region of security, stability and prosperity by promoting dialogue and closer engagement,” Su said on the second day of his five-day visit to Japan.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Su in Japan in first trip as DPP leader

TOKYO TIES:The DPP chairman, accompanied by a 30-strong delegation, is to meet Japanese lawmakers and academics during his trip to promote bilateral relations
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and a DPP delegation arrived in Tokyo yesterday for a five-day visit to promote closer bilateral ties with Japan.

Su delivered a speech to Taiwanese expatriates in Japan about the importance of bilateral ties between political parties, think tanks and lawmakers in the first stop of his visit, which is the first overseas trip he has made since he assumed the party leadership in May last year.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Vice premier lashes out at DPP pension reform plan

PREMIUM RATES::Su Tseng-chang rebutted Jiang Yi-huah’s comments that the party’s proposal would increase the burden on workers and benefit capitalists
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Fri, Feb 01, 2013 - Page 1

Following criticism over its proposed changes to the Labor Pension Fund, which would see higher premium payments and lower payouts for private-sector workers, the Cabinet yesterday countered that the opposition’s proposal would place workers at a greater disadvantage.

In an interview with Hit FM radio early yesterday, Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), the architect behind the Cabinet’s reform proposal, said that he was “shocked” at the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) proposal, which he said would “double the premium burden on workers compared with the Cabinet’s proposal.”

Less support for independence: poll

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

An opinion poll released yesterday found that support for independence has fallen to its lowest level in three years, despite a majority of Taiwanese remaining opposed to unification with China.

Forty-four percent of respondents supported Taiwan’s eventual independence, the lowest figure since December 2009 and a drop of more than 10 percentage points from the 55.4 percent recorded in a poll conducted in August last year, according to Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR).

Editorial: Denying the ‘China factor’

Fri, Feb 01, 2013 - Page 8

A fresh round of altercations over media monopolization broke out this week as a Macau-based professor and a media outlet accused a Taiwanese graduate student of having misled renowned US academic Noam Chomsky to gain the linguist’s endorsement for the movement against media monopolization and Chinese influence on Taiwan’s media.

An image of the 84-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor posing with a poster that read: “Anti-Media Monopoly. Say no to China’s black hands, defend press freedom. I am safeguarding Taiwan here in MIT,” was posted on Facebook, giving the local movement a morale boost.