Typhoon Mindulle has brought an unbelievable disaster to central and southern Taiwan since Friday. Some aspects of the disaster are severe enough to be comparable to the tragic consequences of the 921 Earthquake five years ago. Nothing is more urgent than rescue work at the moment. We urge the central government to immediately relocate the rescue effort's headquarters to central Taiwan to carry out more effective disaster relief.
Major flooding, caused by the torrential rains brought by the typhoon, is in fact a result of an accumulation of long-term problems: deforestation, illegal or excessive land use and improper river management. Also, the deteriorating quality of mountain soil as a result of earthquakes makes Taiwan vulnerable to severe flooding.
Ever since President Chen Shui-bian (
There are several weaknesses in the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) disaster response and relief mechanism when it is confronted with a natural disaster with record-breaking precipitation. Many high-ranking government officials reside in the least typhoon-affected city, Taipei, which had only a few evening showers during a warm weekend, and saw hardly a trace of the typhoon. Plus, the emergency reporting system between the central and local governments failed to work properly and government officials therefore misjudged the scale of the disaster in central and southern Taiwan.
As a result, government agencies have once again lagged far behind non-government religious and charity groups in relief and rescue work. Meanwhile, our leaders are not aware of the disaster situation, and cannot determine the order of priorities. For example, Premier Yu Shyi-kun, who controls the most government resources, surprisingly visited Chiayi and Hualien Counties right after the typhoon -- rather than Taichung and Nantou Counties, which were the most seriously affected.
Ironically, Vice President Annette Lu (
According to the Cabinet's Council of Agriculture (COA), it will offer NT$5 billion in emergency loans to farmers and fishermen in disaster areas, at an interest rate of 1.5 percent. In comparison, however, the government has offered NT$280 billion of loans to the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (
No wonder people condemn the government for favoritism at this very crucial moment. Does the government really have to make money off of people who lost their homes and loved ones?
In light of the government's apparent incompetence, we suggest that all religious and charity groups nationwide, along with disaster relief and rescue organizations, quickly propose concrete relief plans and set up a fund for donations. The fund should be jointly-handled by the government's disaster relief center under appropriate monitoring and management, so as to avoid political interference with, or abuse of, the fund.
The current administration should remember that Taiwan's voters are comparing its performance with its predecessor.
This performance will surely be reflected in the upcoming legislative elections.
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Chung Yuan ChristiaN University is clearly in bed with the People’s Republic of China. This can be the only explanation why the school’s authorities have done their utmost to shield a student, who lodged a complaint against an associate professor, and then used thuggish tactics to compel the teacher to issue two separate apologies to China. The original complaint, filed by an unnamed Chinese student, was for remarks by associate professor Chao Ming-wei (招名威) during a class on the origin of COVID-19. A second complaint was filed by the same student after Chao, during an apology, stated that he was a
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During my twenty-two years in the US Senate, I became a student of Taiwan and its history. I was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, and have made at least 25 trips to Taiwan and have been invited as an observer to two of the nation’s presidential elections. Taiwan’s continuous economic miracle has seen the nation transition from a mixed agricultural-industrial society at the end of Japan’s 50 years of jurisdiction to today’s economic powerhouse, unmatched by most nations of the world. Just as outstanding has been Taiwan’s decades of resistance and