Thursday, October 31, 2013

Taiwanese prefer independence over unification: survey

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Given the option independence or unification with China, a majority of Taiwanese prefer independence over unification, an opinion poll released yesterday showed.

Asked about their position on cross-strait relations, 66 percent of respondents supported the “status quo,” 24 percent wanted independence and 7 percent supported unification with China, according to the survey conducted by cable news channel TVBS between Thursday last week and Monday.

Lee Chin-yung wins DPP’s Yunlin primary

MORE PRIMARIES SET:An opinion poll will be conducted tonight for the Pingtung County commissioner race and one will be conducted on Nov. 18 in Nantou County
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Keelung mayor Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) will be the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) nominee for the Yunlin County commissioner election next year after Lee won the party primary yesterday.

Lee beat two other contenders in a public opinion poll conducted on Tuesday by three survey companies, earning a support rate of 29.96 percent, DPP Secretary-General Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) told a press conference.

Lien Hui-hsin probed by prosecutors

HOT WATER:Former vice president Lien Chan’s daughter could face up to two years in jail for violating the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act if she is Geneherb’s chief executive
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Lien Hui-hsin (連惠心), daughter of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), was listed as a defendant yesterday for her role in a case involving her investment in a nutrition supplement company whose weight-loss pills were found to contain unauthorized drugs.

Previously listed as a witness, Lien Hui-hsin was subpoenaed yesterday evening as a defendant by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office after days of speculation about her role at Geneherbs Biotechnology Co (菁茵荋生物科技), whose weight-loss product Wellslim Plus+ was confirmed to contain banned substance, cetilistat, a lipase inhibitor designed to treat obesity.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lawmakers slam lack of cover for NSC temp workers

SWEATSHOP?Only Fu Jen University and the National Defense Medical Center provide insurance coverage for most part-time staff, legislators said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Only 2 percent of the more than 80,000 temporary assistants taking part in National Science Council (NSC) research projects in collaboration with universities nationwide are covered by the labor insurance and national health insurance (NHI) programs, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.

“University campuses should not be sweatshops and these workers should not be orphans excluded from the social security net,” DPP legislators Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) and Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) told a press conference, urging the Ministry of Education to warn universities not to violate the law, and the Council of Labor Affairs to immediately carry out inspections and fine offenders.

Nuclear waste deals signed with China, legislator says

UNPUBLISHED:The KMT legislator alleged that former president Chen Shui-bian signed deals on the handling of Taiwan’s nuclear waste in China
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former premier Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) both instructed the signing of unpublished agreements with China regarding the storage of Taiwan’s nuclear waste in Gansu Province in China, a lawmaker said yesterday in a plenary session at the Legislative Yuan.

Siew, who was premier from 1997 to 2000 and later served as vice president, asked Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) to sign a nuclear waste storage deal with Beijing when he was premier, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said yesterday.

Tsai Ing-wen to remain neutral in DPP primaries

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she will take a neutral position in the upcoming party primaries for the seven-in-one elections next year amid controversy after one candidate claimed to be endorsed by her.

Tsai said in a press release yesterday that she gave her blessings to all aspirants in the primaries and would try to assist them all, but would stay neutral during the primary process.

Legislative Yuan passes New Zealand trade pact

BUILDING BLOCKS:The DPP said the trade agreement is beneficial to both nations, and urged the government to continue pursuing similar pacts with other trade partners
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A free-trade agreement (FTA) between Taiwan and New Zealand was passed by the Legislative Yuan yesterday, the first FTA Taiwan has signed with a non-diplomatic ally.

Lawmakers across party lines lauded the bilateral economic cooperation agreement, the first FTA with a country other than China that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has signed since 2008, saying that it was a step forward in Taiwan’s participation in regional economic integration.

Lien defends daughter’s investment

SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIO:Lien Chan said he did not want any ‘improper influence’ in the probe of Geneherbs’ diet pills and that he had full confidence in his daughter
By Mo Yan-chih and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters

Former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday defended his daughter Lien Hui-hsin’s (連惠心) investment in a nutrition supplement company whose weight-loss pills were found to contain unauthorized drugs, and said there may be political influence behind the investigation into the company.

Lien Hui-hsin on Sunday admitted she had invested in Geneherbs Biotechnology Co (菁茵荋生物科技). She had previously denied any involvement in the management of the firm.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lawmakers blast NSC, GMP issuer

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused the National Science Council (NSC) of concealing information relating to the adulteration of edible oil for two years, and a non-profit company of malfeasance for issuing good manufacturing practice (GMP) certificates to the two companies at the center of the scandal — Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co (大統長基) and Flavor Full Food Inc (富味鄉).

A research project on sesame oil products sponsored by the council in 2011 found that four of the seven products on the market contained between 31 percent and 44 percent soybean oil, but the council did not disclose the full project report and has refused to provide details, DPP Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) told a news conference.

Opposition slams KMT-CCP suggestions

‘IMMEDIATE DANGER’:The DPP and TSU criticized the forum’s recommendation to push for the trade service pact’s ratification, despite the lack of public support for it
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The pan-green camp yesterday criticized the 19-point recommendation reached by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Sunday, saying it showed contempt for the legislature and the mainstream opinions of the 23 million Taiwanese.

The recommendation, reached and announced at the ninth KMT-CCP forum that was concluded on Sunday in Nanning, China, listed the implementation of the cross-strait service trade agreement as a top priority.

EDITORIAL: Wanted: Taiwan’s ‘Naoki Hanzawa’

Tue, Oct 29, 2013 - Page 8

Taiwanese audiences have been fascinated by the Japanese television drama Naoki Hanzawa, which depicts how a framed office worker takes revenge on his vicious supervisor, seemingly reflecting many people’s attitude toward upper management.

Naoki Hanzawa is a banker who is asked by his branch manager to be accountable for an unsecured loan of ¥500 million (US$5 million).

Facing the risk of being transferred and dismissed, Hanzawa does what he can to recover the loan, as well as hunt down evidence of the manager’s misconduct to prove his innocence.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Back up Diaoyutai claims: experts

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan needs to find “critical dates” recognized by the international laws to better assert its claim of sovereignty over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) and to counter Japan’s claim, academics and researchers said yesterday at a forum.

“Substantial jurisdiction will prevail against the mere citing of historical maps and records that are hard to track and confirm. In that sense, without a doubt Japan holds legitimacy over its claim of the Senkaku Islands under international law,” said Wang Hoon-ting (王雲程), a researcher of Taiwan’s international status.

Quickly ratify service pact, former KMT officials urge

‘SECOND CUBA’::Former SEF chairman Chiang Pin-kung said the nation could lose ground to South Korea as it pursues an FTA with China, risking economic isolation
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Mon, Oct 28, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwan will have to speed up the ratification process of the cross-strait service trade agreement and negotiations for a trade in goods pact with Beijing in the wake of aggressive talks between South Korea and China for a free-trade agreement (FTA), former government officials from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration said yesterday.

“South Korea would be ecstatic to see a prolonged stall of the service trade pact in the Legislative Yuan and a signing of the South Korea-China FTA before the cross-strait trade liberalization is completed,” former Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) told a press conference.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Retrocession Day marks era of suffering

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Far from inspiring respect, Retrocession Day triggers entirely different feelings among Taiwanese and Aborigines despite the government’s promotion of the event for more than 60 years, advocates said yesterday.

The national memorial day in commemoration of Taiwan’s “return to the motherland” is a part of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) propaganda and a distortion of history, former Academia Historica president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said.

Lee Teng-hui concludes round-the-nation journey

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday concluded his round-the-nation trip with a final stop in Yilan County, saying that his final wish was to visit Yushan (玉山), the highest mountain in Taiwan.

“I’ve asked my doctor about [visiting Yushan] and was told that such trip would not be recommended due to my health condition. I’m hoping that my ashes can be scattered on top of Yushan after I die,” said the 90-year-old in Yilan. “Being buried on Yushan would mean that I would be with Taiwan forever.”

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tibet must be lesson for Taiwan: dissident

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The 10th Panchen Lama was murdered by former Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶), a prominent Chinese dissident said in Taipei yesterday as he warned that Beijing’s cultural genocide in Tibet could serve an example for those Taiwanese who still have false expectations of China.

Citing the findings from his private interviews with Chinese and Tibetan officials, Yuan Hongbing (袁紅兵) told a press conference that the 10th Panchen Lama, Choekyi Gyaltsen, was poisoned to death in January 1989 rather than dying from a heart attack as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claimed.

Activists file lawsuit against Japanese PM in Yilan

SHINZO ABE SUED:The activists also criticized President Ma Ying-jeou for making concessions in bilateral fishery negotiations with Japan that ‘sacrificed Taiwan’s territory’
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A group of activists filed a lawsuit against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) at the Yilan District Court yesterday, as well as a lawsuit against a judge at the court for malfeasance and treason.

Led by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏) and former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), dozens of activists accused Abe of “infringement of Taiwan’s fishing rights” following Japan’s nationalization of three of the islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan.

Translation services part of China’s trap: legislator

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The liberalization of translation services across the Taiwan Strait, scheduled to take effect following the ratification of the cross-strait service trade agreement, could be part of Beijing’s “cultural unification” efforts and it would also hurt the sector in Taiwan, a lawmaker said yesterday.

Chinese competitors could leverage their higher capital and lower costs to purchase translation copyrights and squeeze out Taiwanese companies from government tenders once the pact takes effect, Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) told a press conference yesterday.

Demanding Huang’s phone records not legal: minister

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Making the telephone records of Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) available to a Legislative Yuan task force probing a wiretapping controversy would require Huang’s consent due to their private nature, Minister of Justice Lo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) said yesterday.

Responding to a media inquiry at the legislature in Taipei, Lo said that the task force under the Legislative Yuan’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee could not request Huang’s records from his phone company without Huang’s agreement because a telephone record is a personal asset.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

EDITORIAL: When all else fails, let the shoes fly

Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - Page 8

It seems that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) cannot go anywhere without encountering flying shoes and protest banners. There have been so many shoe-throwing incidents that they are no longer news.

The shoe-throwers come from all walks of life — students, rights advocates, pan-green and independence supporters, and housewives — and they were motivated by a variety of reasons: from Ma’s role in the recent political strife, to the merciless cases of land expropriation and Ma’s comments depicting cross-strait relations as not being state-to-state or international in nature.

Legislature to review free-trade accord with New Zealand next week: Wang

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The free-trade agreement (FTA) between Taiwan and New Zealand is scheduled to be screened, and hopefully passed, in the Legislative Yuan next week, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday.

The bilateral economic cooperation agreement, with the official title of the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC), was signed on July 10. New Zealand’s parliament has already ratified the accord.

Removing Falun Gong posters a mistake: Tourism Bureau

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Tourism Bureau yesterday said that an administrative order demanding local governments remove posters and billboards put up by the Falun Gong movement at tourist attractions was a “rookie mistake” made by a new official and the bureau would revise the order within a week.

Blasted by lawmakers and representatives of Falun Gong in a news conference, Tourism Bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Hsi-tsung (張錫聰) said that the document, issued on Sept. 26, which asked all Falun Gong posters to be removed, was a mistake.

Gangsters protecting Ma: lawmakers

‘WHITE WOLF’:Chang An-le’s vow to protect the president against protesters to maintain social order is a disgrace in a democracy like Taiwan, DPP legislators said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A former gang leader’s plan to ensure President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) safety in the face of the growing number of protests and to take action against the protesters serves as a warning that the Ma administration could resort to not only secret agents, but also gangsters to govern like the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) did in the past, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday.

Chang An-le (張安樂), the head of the China Unification Promotion Party, yesterday said that he planned to establish an “action alliance” to support prosecutors amid the snowballing controversy over wiretapping practices, in particular wiretaps of the legislature, and did not rule out putting together a 2,000-member squadron to protect the president from protesters who have been shadowing the president at recent events.

Committee slams SID for meeting no-show

ABSENT::Legislators passed a resolution condemning SID officials who did not show up at a legislative meeting and referred the officials to the Control Yuan for investigation
By Rich Chang and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - Page 1

A legislative committee yesterday passed a resolution condemning Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) and the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office for holding the legislature in contempt after SID officials failed once again to attend the committee’s meeting yesterday to answer legislators’ questions.

Lawmakers on the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee voiced their anger after SID spokesman Yang Jung-tsung (楊榮宗) and SID prosecutor Cheng Shen-yuan (鄭深元) — who was in charge of wiretapping Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and the legislature’s switchboard — failed to attend the meeting.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Former VP enters Taipei mayoral race

CROWDED RACE:Annette Lu has joined a long list of aspirants for the DPP candidacy, including a non-DPP member, Ko Wen-je, who enjoys strong support
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) confirmed yesterday that she would soon formally announce her bid in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) primary for the Taipei mayoral election next year.

Lu ended long speculations about her candidacy in the primary on the sideline of a forum in Keelung, telling reporters that she did not think Taipei would be the DPP “weak spot” that most people think it is.

Wiretapping alarms London-based group Liberty International

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

An international alliance of political parties called for the government to respect judicial independence and the three separations of powers in its resolution, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

“Liberty International [LI] is alarmed at the recent revelations of widespread wiretapping, carried out under flimsy legal pretexts by the Special Investigation Division [SID] of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on parliamentarians in Taiwan, notably including the Speaker of Parliament, the Opposition Whip and the Parliament’s central switchboard,” the DPP quoted the LI press release issued yesterday as saying.

SID unconstitutional, illegitimate: experts

SYSTEMIC FAILURE?A law professor said that the agency had become something everyone loves to hate because of the flaws inherent in the prosecutorial system
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, which has been in the eye of a recent political storm, should be abolished because of its inherent illegitimacy and unconstitutionality, as well as the design of the special prosecutors system, legal experts said yesterday in Taipei.

“Let me say this: Taiwan would not become a worse place to live without the SID, but it will become more chaotic if the division is kept,” lawyer Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文龍) told a forum organized by Taiwan Forever Association to discuss the increasing calls to scrap the division.

Friday, October 18, 2013

DPP caucus to end boycott of Jiang’s speech

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday said it would end its month-long boycott of Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) policy report to the Legislative Yuan today.

“Caucus members have reached a consensus that we will let Jiang make his report tomorrow,” DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said after the caucus met in the afternoon, the third meeting it has held over the issue.

Divided views on DPP’s China efforts

TAIPEI FORUM:Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai said that while participants disagreed on approaches to China, they felt Taiwan needed to strengthen its own democracy first
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Participants in a forum organized by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday supported the party’s efforts to promote democratization in China, but appeared to be divided on the possible outcome of those efforts and what impact they would have on Taiwan.

“While opinions toward the DPP’s support and assistance of the democratic movement in China varied, everyone agreed that Taiwan should strengthen and deepen its own democracy before trying to make a contribution to Chinese democracy,” Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), convener of the forum, said afterwards.

Ma accused of ‘lying’ about relations

FLIGHTS OF FANCY?Nan Fang Shuo said that Ma and the KMT have been distorting the Constitution, while Ma dismissed concerns about his portrayal of cross-strait ties
By Chris Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporters

Political analysts and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians yesterday criticized President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for describing cross-strait relations as not international and cross-strait flights as domestic flights.

“What Ma has been doing in the past five years, in terms of external relations, is lying. He lied to the Taiwanese, the US and Beijing, hoping to reap benefits and personal gains,” political commentator Nan Fang Shuo (南方朔) said on the sidelines of a DPP-organized forum in Taipei.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tsai’s office dismisses rumors about China visit

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The office of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday denied a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker’s comment that Tsai will visit China next month, saying that the speculation was “baseless.”

In a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee yesterday, KMT lawmaker Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), a confidant of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), said Tsai’s visit to Beijing, scheduled for the middle of next month, had been approved by Chinese officials.

Lawmakers call for end to improper wiretapping

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The law must immediately be amended to stop rampant improper and unconstitutional wiretapping practices, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday, in response to prosecutors’ reported wiretaps on a minister and a lawmaker.

Yesterday’s edition of the Chinese-language Next Magazine reported that the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office had wiretapped mobile phone conversations between Minister of the Interior Lee Hung-yuan (李鴻源) — then-deputy commissioner of Taipei County — and Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅).

DPP vows to seek investigation into Ma, Jiang

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday vowed to keep pushing for an investigation into President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) role in the current political strife, but appeared to remain uncertain on its next step forward after its no-confidence motion against the Cabinet failed on Friday.

The party’s weekly Central Standing Committee yesterday said that positive action should be taken to seek the abolishment of the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, the truth behind the division’s wiretaps on the legislature and the establishment of an investigative committee in the Legislative Yuan, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hundreds rally for no-confidence motion

STEP DOWN:The president and Premier Jiang Yi-huah should both resign because they have abused their power and also violated the Constitution, protesters said
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

More than 1,000 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters and members of civic groups rallied outside the Legislative Yuan yesterday morning ahead of the legislature’s vote on a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet.

The rallies were organized by the DPP, the Constitution 133 Alliance and the Taiwan Association of University Professors around the Legislative Yuan compound to apply pressure on Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators to support the motion.

DPP says no-confidence motion failure not a setback

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday denied the failure of its no-confidence motion against Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) was a setback and vowed to continue to work with others to bring down President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.

“The vetoed proposal was neither a failure of the DPP nor a failure of the people because the result of the vote did not reflect the true voice of the people,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told an afternoon press conference.

KMT defeats no-confidence motion

PARTY LINE::The KMT used its legislative majority to easily beat the motion against the premier, who happily visited the legislature later to thank his supporters
By Chris Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporters
Wed, Oct 16, 2013 - Page 1

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after the no-confidence motion against Jiang failed, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) tried to regroup in its fight against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.

The proposal, jointly tabled by the DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), was rejected by a margin of 67 to 45, with all 112 legislators voting along party lines. All 65 KMT lawmakers and two other lawmakers voted against the motion, while the votes in favor came from the DPP’s 40 lawmakers, the TSU’s three and two from the People First Party.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Academics demand Jiang resign

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter Staff reporter

Hundreds of academics yesterday called on Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to step down for his poor performance as head of the Cabinet and for violating the Constitution.

The academics issued a joint appeal titled “The shamelessness of intellectuals is a national disgrace,” in which they listed the “four mistakes” they said Jiang has committed.

Legislators debate no-confidence move

NO CONSENSUS:Prior to the vote in the Legislative Yuan today, ruling and opposition lawmakers yesterday contested the validity of a motion to topple the Cabinet
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Legislators yesterday spent almost six-and-a-half hours at the Legislative Yuan debating a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet, but ended with no consensus.

Seventy-five of the 112 lawmakers were given five minutes each in the plenary session to opine on the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) proposal before the motion is put to a vote this morning.

EDITORIAL: When social instability is required

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 - Page 8

As lawmakers assemble to vote on a motion of no confidence in the Cabinet this morning at the Legislative Yuan, chances are that the motion will fail like last year’s no-confidence motion as legislators vote along party lines.

Chances are that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would then claim — again — that the result reflects the public’s hope of a stable political and social atmosphere, and that the opposition should be condemned for stalling legislative proceedings and causing political instability.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

DPP asks public to back motion of no-confidence

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE:DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said Jiang’s efforts to rally support for himself would not be enough to secure his redemption
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

With less than 48 hours before it is put to a vote, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday tried to generate public support for the opposition’s no-confidence motion against the Cabinet, saying that Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) removal would be a huge blow to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

While Jiang has reportedly been busy calling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to garner support since the DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union initiated the proposal on Friday, Su said Jiang’s efforts “came too late because the premier has not only failed in numerous policy areas, but also took part in the political conspiracy plotted by Ma [against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平)].”

Motion against Cabinet is the ‘right’ step: academics

DISSOLUTION:The Taiwan Association of University Professors said that more urgent than a Cabinet reshuffle was dissolving the legislature, as it does not represent the public
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The no-confidence motion initiated by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union against the Cabinet is the right thing to do not only because the latter has been incompetent and is involved in an ongoing political dispute, but also because the Legislative Yuan no longer represents mainstream public opinion, academics told a press conference yesterday.

Several professors from the Taiwan Association of University Professors (TAUP) called on the public and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators to support the motion, which is to be put to a vote tomorrow and which the professors said is “more of a constitutional issue than a competition between political parties.”

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Views on independence depend on China’s policy: poll

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A survey released yesterday suggested that nearly 70 percent of respondents think Taiwan and China are two separate countries and that less than 10 percent think that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to “a divided Republic of China [ROC].”

The survey, conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR), showed that 69.7 percent believe that Taiwan and China are “two countries with separate development,” 9.6 percent think that both sides belong to “a divided ROC” and 2.4 percent see the two as belonging to “a divided People’s Republic of China [PRC].” A further 18.2 percent had no opinion, the survey showed.

Chinese telecom products a threat, legislator says

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Government agencies’ procurement of Chinese-made telecommunications products could pose a serious threat to national security, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) said yesterday.

Huang cited statistics compiled by her office that say 46 government agencies, including the Presidential Office and the Executive Yuan, had purchased telecommunications products made by China’s Huawei Technologies.

Cross-strait ties affect the world: former AIT head

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s military and economic strategic significance should not be underestimated as cross-strait relations have a serious impact not only in Asia, but the rest of the world, former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director William Stanton said in Taipei yesterday.

China is interested in Taiwan because of its geographic location in the first island chain, a key region for Chinese military projection and a strategically important area close to the East China Sea and the South China Sea, Stanton said.

Su slams Ma’s definition of cross-strait ties

‘NOT INTERNATIONAL’:Ma’s statement was consistent with the government’s position that cross-strait relations are not state-to-state relations, a minister said
By Chris Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporters

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and former chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) statement that cross-strait relations are “not international relations” during his Double Ten National Day speech on Thursday was unacceptable.

“If cross-strait relations are not international relations, I would like to know what they are,” Su said.

SID wiretap not deliberate: panel

ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR:The panel said prosecutors should have known from telephone records that the wiretapped number did not belong to an individual
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

An 11-member panel of the Ministry of Justice yesterday released its final report on the Special Investigation Division’s (SID) alleged wiretapping of the Legislative Yuan’s switchboard, concluding that the incident stemmed from administrative errors rather than a deliberate attempt to bug the legislature.

Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang (陳明堂) told an afternoon press conference that Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) and two SID prosecutors, Yang Jung-tsung (楊榮宗) and Cheng Shen-yuan (鄭深元), would be the subject of further investigation by the ministry’s Prosecutors Evaluation Committee.

Friday, October 11, 2013

DPP slams presidential address

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) assertion that “cross-strait relations are not state-to-state relations” and the ignoring of his role in the ongoing political instability in his Double Ten National Day address showed he is a “cold-blooded” and incompetent national leader, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

“The Taiwanese wanted to know how Ma planned to resolve the current political gridlock, which in fact was created by Ma himself, but the president not only ignored the issue altogether, but also made more pledges,” DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said.

Su announces no confidence motion

By Chris Wang and Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporters
Fri, Oct 11, 2013 - Page 1

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced yesterday that the party would be initiating a motion of no confidence against the Cabinet as early as today to “have the Taiwanese be the judges of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration with ballots in their hands.”

“We are initiating the proposal as a constitutional measure to counter the constitutional crisis created by Ma and to stabilize domestic politics... Since the people no longer trust the current administration, a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet is an inevitability,” Su told a press conference, held at the DPP headquarters to coincide with the national day ceremony.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Taiwan’s actions at APEC flawed: DPP

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration’s participation in the APEC summit has restricted Taiwan’s strategic options and international engagement with its sole focus on cross-strait relations at the annual meeting, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

“The APEC summit, one of several international events that Taiwan takes part in as a full member, was supposed to be a setting where Taiwan could actively expand its international visibility and interaction. Unfortunately the Ma administration only approached the meeting as an arena for cross-strait political dialogue,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.

DPP to file no-confidence motion

PARALYZING:DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien called on KMT legislators to have the courage to back whatever the opposition does to hold Ma accountable for his actions
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) is set to announce the party’s plan to initiate a no-confidence motion today against what it described as Presdient Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration’s destruction of the Constitution and political destabilization.

Su plans to skip the Double Ten National Day ceremony and to make the announcement at a press conference titled: “Action for democracy. No-confidence motion for the people,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said after the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Government use of temps ‘outrageous’

OUTSOURCING:The government now employs 11% of the nation’s temporary workers, accounting for up to 74% of employees at some agencies and they have few rights
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The government agencies’ hiring of temporary workers has reached an “outrageous level” and should be perceived as a national disgrace, lawmakers and labor rights advocates said yesterday, demanding the government eliminate the hiring of temporary workers within three years.

“It’s absurd that, in some places, temporary workers are in charge of work related to visa and passport issuance,” Taiwan Labor Front (TLF) secretary-general Son Yu-lian (孫友聯) told a press conference in Taipei.

Lo Chih-cheng announces bid for New Taipei mayor

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), director of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) New Taipei City (新北市) chapter, yesterday announced his bid to run in the city’s mayoral election next year.

Lo, 48, is the second candidate to enter the race, following former premier Yu Shyi-kun, 65.

Highlighting his campaign theme of “generational responsibility,” Lo told a press conference held in Banciao District (板橋) that young politicians had always played important roles in Taiwan’s democratization and that was why he decided to run after giving it long consideration.

Chen Chih-chung ‘not eligible’ for DPP membership

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Greater Kaohsiung chapter yesterday approved the application of Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), son of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), to rejoin the party, but DPP headquarters said the younger Chen is not yet eligible to apply.

The chapter approved Chen Chih-chung’s application yesterday afternoon. The approval would be reviewed by a panel at the party’s headquarters in Taipei, according to DPP regulations.

TSU to file another treason complaint against Ma: Huang

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday said it would again file a complaint against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for treason, for creating the so-called “1992 consensus,” and launch another petition drive to recall Ma.

TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) at a press conference denounced the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office’s decision to dismiss his previous lawsuit against Ma, filed in October 2011, and said he would provide new evidence in the pursuit of another legal action.

DPP caucus says MOJ and prosecutors could help Ma

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei Prosecutors’ Office and a Ministry of Justice (MOJ) panel would be assisting President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration’s political purging if they cleared Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) of any wrongdoing, as reported by some media outlets, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday.

Huang has been placed under investigation by the prosecutors’ office for reporting to Ma on an ongoing investigation involving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) alleged improper lobbying, and by the ministry panel for wiretapping the Legislative Yuan’s general line.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

EDITORIAL: Building a better legislature

Tue, Oct 08, 2013 - Page 8

While no one would deny the role of the legislative branch under the constitutional system, seldom do most people listen to what lawmakers actually say on the floor of the Legislative Yuan, apart from watching edited video clips on television.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Chao-hao’s (劉櫂豪) questioning of Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) on Sept. 25 became a rare exception as the video recording of his 13-minute-long question-and-answer session went viral on the Internet, attracting more than 430,000 hits.

Airlines and unions split on trade pact

READY FOR TAKEOFF:Airlines such as EVA Air and China Airlines urged the government to speed up ratification of the cross-strait trade agreement
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Aviation industry representatives were divided on the cross-strait service trade agreement at a public hearing yesterday, with airlines welcoming market liberalization while airport operators and unions expressed concerns about increased competition.

The hearing at the Legislative Yuan, was the seventh of 16 hearings scheduled in the current legislative session, which aim to gather businesspeople from various sectors to discuss the pact, which is to be assessed and voted on by lawmakers.

DPP tells Jiang to apologize and quit

TIME TO STOP?A former DPP lawmaker urged the party to end its boycott of Jiang, saying it could spark a backlash as the public is tired of the deadlock in the legislature
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter Staff reporter

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) should apologize and step down over his role in a “well-calculated political plot” to remove Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) from his position, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday.

If Jiang did not apologize to the Legislative Yuan for his role in the political fracas and the Special Investigation Division’s wiretaps on the legislature’s main line, the DPP would continue to boycott Jiang’s report to the legislature, DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) told a press conference.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Wang in APEC hints at Ma-Xi meeting: analysts

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi’s (王郁琦) participation in Taiwan’s delegation to this year’s annual APEC meeting is meant to pave the way for a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at next year’s summit in Shanghai, some opposition politicians and political analysts say.

The council has never sent its minister to the summits before and has been an invisible presence in previous meetings, in which it has only had a hand in preparatory work. This is why the inclusion of Wang — a close Ma aide — in the delegation this year and his agency’s leadership in making arrangements for talks between former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), Ma’s APEC envoy, and Xi yesterday have raised observers’ suspicions, although Wang and the council have denied a hidden agenda.

Handling of prosecution fines unequal: lawmaker

FUNDING INEQUALITY:A DPP legislator said having prosecutors’ offices handle deferred prosecution fines was illegal and favored donations to urban groups
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The more than NT$1 billion (US$34 million) in accumulated fines paid each year by people who have been granted prosecution deferrals should be handled by the national treasury instead of local prosecutors’ offices, so the money can be put to better use, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said.

Lesser fines have been remitted to the treasury over the years since 2002, when Taiwan adopted a deferred prosecution system that allows prosecutors to grant defendants’ request for a deferral if they agree to fulfill certain requirements, such as paying fines, Lee said in a press release.

Political division must be resolved: Xi Jinping

LANDMARK EVENT::Beijing is willing to negotiate with Taiwan under the ‘one China’ framework, the Chinese president told former vice president Vincent Siew in Bali
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Mon, Oct 07, 2013 - Page 1

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) highlighted the “one China” framework and the urgency of resolving the cross-strait political division so it would not be “passed on from generation to generation” in his meeting with former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) yesterday in Bali, Indonesia, ahead of the annual APEC summit.

“The longstanding political division between the two sides will have to be eventually resolved step-by-step as it should not be passed on generation after generation ... We have reiterated that we are willing to engage in reciprocal negotiations on bilateral political issues with Taiwan under the ‘one China’ framework,” Xi was quoted as saying in a 30-minute closed-door meeting with Siew.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Former Tainan mayor willing to run in Taipei

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) yesterday said he was prepared to stand as a candidate in the Taipei mayoral election next year, but stopped short of saying that he would enter the party primary.

“This is not a press conference to announce my bid, but one to tell people that I am ready to stand as the DPP’s candidate and I’m up for the task,” Hsu, a former Tainan mayor, told a press conference in Taipei.

DPP’s Ker Chien-ming sues Ma, Huang

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday filed a lawsuit against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) over the leaking of secrets in a wiretapping scandal, saying that the Ma administration’s “governance by secret agents” has to be stopped.

Accompanied by DPP lawmakers, Ker filed the lawsuits at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, accusing Ma of instigating the leaking of secrets and leaking secrets, and Huang of several offenses, including leaking secrets, defamation, leaking personal information, providing false statements, malicious persecution and suppression of evidence.

Ma, Jiang summoned by prosecutors

TESTIMONY:The president, the premier and a former Presidential Office official were questioned individually, as was the prosecutor-general, who is listed as a defendant
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was summoned by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday evening as a witness in a case involving Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming’s (黃世銘) alleged leaks of details of an investigation into allegations of improper lobbying against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chang (羅智強) were also subpoenaed as witnesses last night.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

DPP launches task forces to prepare for elections

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

In preparation for the seven-in-one elections next year, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday established three task forces to deal with candidate nominations and public opinion polls, the party said.

Candidate exploratory committees for the Taipei City and New Taipei City (新北市) mayoral elections, as well as a public opinion poll committee, were established after the party’s Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

Tsai gets censured over Yu Chang case

MISREPRESENTATION::DPP legislators said that they suspect the Control Yuan, in charging Tsai Ing-wen, has become a political tool of the Ma administration
By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters
Thu, Oct 03, 2013 - Page 3

The Control Yuan yesterday charged former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) with dereliction of her duties when she facilitated government investments in Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技) in 2007.

Control Yuan members Ma Yi-kung (馬以工), Yeh Yao-peng (葉耀鵬), Ma Hsiu-ju (馬秀如) and Lee Ful-dien (李復甸) called a press conference yesterday to publicize their investigation report on the Yu Chang case.

Lawmaker, lawyer accuse Ma of leaks and collusion

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was involved in leaks of secrets and collusion with Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) in their meetings and telephone calls both before and after the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) accused Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of improper lobbying, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and lawyers said yesterday.

In an interview yesterday, Ma said he met with Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and then-Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) on Aug. 31, after being briefed by Huang about Wang’s alleged violations earlier the same day.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Activists say plan a risk to environment

DAMAGING:New policies may be revised following public discussions, but still environmentalists worry that they are designed for the benefit of developers
By Chris Wang and Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporters

Environmentalists and legislators yesterday voiced their opposition to the Ministry of the Interior’s draft plan on regional development which would relax regulations on land use, saying these could lead to irreversible damage to the environment.

The draft, titled “National Regional Plan,” is set to be announced next month and would ease restrictions on development in reservoir areas, farmland and active fault zones, among other places, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) told a press conference held jointly with DPP Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇).

DPP mulls recall, no-confidence vote

GRIDLOCK::Although DPP lawmakers are split on what action to take against Ma and the Cabinet, Su gave the president two weeks to apologize before a move is made
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter
Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - Page 3

Multiple constitutional mechanisms, including a recall of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet, should be enacted simultaneously to hold Ma accountable for infringing the Constitution and staging political persecutions that have destabilized the country, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said separately that the party would take whatever action is needed within two weeks if Ma does not apologize for his mistakes and step down.

DPP continues blockade of Jiang’s legislative report

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday continued to boycott Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) report to the legislature as Jiang refused to apologize for what the DPP claims is his “infringement of the separation of powers and contempt of the Legislative Yuan.”

Jiang has been unable to deliver his required report since the current legislative session began on Sept. 17 due to disagreement over the demand made by the DPP, which has staged boycotts in four consecutive legislative plenaries.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

EDITORIAL: Ma should be held accountable

Tue, Oct 01, 2013 - Page 8

With the beginning of the new legislative session and details of the investigation into the improper lobbying and wiretapping case involving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) being revealed little by little, the public is finally getting an idea of the full extent of the controversy and the political maneuvers behind it.

Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) appeared to be in trouble when the Presidential Office proclaimed that “anything that went beyond the red line of the judiciary would not be tolerated” — a move that sets up Huang as a scapegoat for the wiretapping and the plotting that attempted to force Wang from his legislator-at-large seat.

DPP seeks ‘best constitutional option’ to respond to Ma

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said the party was still weighing the best constitutional option against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) role in the ongoing political crisis, but that it did not rule out a motion of no confidence if Ma refused to step down on his own.

The party is gauging the most appropriate moment and the momentum before committing to one of the constitutional options, including recall, impeachment and motion of no confidence, to resolve the current political crisis, Su told an international press conference.

TISR poll shows dip in support for Ma, public frustration

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval and credibility ratings in Taiwan Indicators Survey Research’s (TISR) latest poll fell to their lowest since he took office in May 2008 amid the ongoing wiretapping controversy and political turmoil.

Ma’s latest approval rating came in at 14.5 percent in the second half of last month, down 1.7 percentage points from 16.2 percent in the first half of last month, while his credibility rating was 19.1 percent, down 1.9 points. Both ratings are the lowest in the monthly tracking poll since his inauguration, TISR general manager Tai Li-an (戴立安) said in a press release.

Tsai Huang-liang drops bid for DPP Nantou primary

PARTY SOLIDARITY:Tsai made the decision after a meeting brokered by Frank Hsieh and promised full support to whoever represents the party
By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) yesterday said he had decided to drop out of the party’s Nantou County commissioner primary next year.

Tsai’s decision, which was announced after a meeting convened by former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), leaves the primary a battle between two former lawmakers, Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) and Tang Huo-shen (湯火聖).