Campaigning is as bad as ever. In the run-up to the Kaohsiung City Council by-elections on Saturday, there have been reports that several candidates are under investigation for vote-buying aimed at guaranteeing the support of local factions.
We still remember how former Kaohsiung City Council speaker Chu An-hsiung (朱安雄) was convicted of having paid NT$5 million to both pan-blue and pan-green councilors in exchange for their support in the 2002 council speaker election. Thirty-four city councilors were accused of having accepted bribes, and 16 were convicted and relieved of their duties. With one councilor having resigned voluntarily and one DPP councilor aiming for the year-end legislative elections, 18 city council seats will be contested in Saturday's by-election.
Chu was sentenced to 22 months in prison for vote-buying during the city council elections in 2000, and another 44 months for his vote-buying scheme in the council speaker election in 2002. After the announcement of the verdict last year, Chu fled overseas.
What is worse is that because several DPP councilors were involved in the case, the party's "anti-black gold" commitment has taken a blow. The only clean party is the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), whose two city councilors resisted the pecuniary temptation. This has led to a considerable increase in the TSU's prestige in Kaohsiung. Although the former councilors have lost their seats after being found guilty, they are now seeking to participate in the by-elections by registering in the name of their wives or children.
The Constitution protects each and every citizen's right to participate in politics, and this right should not be curtailed due to the crime of a family member or a relative. But all political observers who understand Taiwan's politics know that the constitutional spirit is just a moral loophole for politicos who have committed crimes and want to re-enter politics. In constitutional and legal terms, this is a wholly legitimate idea, but ethically, it is seriously flawed.
These controversial candidates include Chu's daughter, Chu Ting-shan (
The people of Kaohsiung should use their sacred right to vote to clean up the city's electoral culture. After all, the city councilors are elected by the people, who must take responsibility for the candidates they select. They should consider the possible results of what electing members of these "vote-buying families" will really mean.
The ruling party must meet its commitment to eradicating "black-gold" politics so that there isn't a repeat of the 2002 speaker election, with its rampant use of bribery. One of the reasons President Chen Shui-bian (
Legislative elections are already scheduled for year's end, so the candidates that the DPP puts forward must have no mark of corruption, or the party that came out the victor in the presidential election may be rejected by the electorate at the end of the year.
French firm DCI-DESCO in April won a bid to upgrade Taiwan’s Lafayette frigates, which has strained ties between China and France. In 1991, France sold Taiwan six Lafayette frigates and in 1992 sold it 60 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. To prevent arms sales between the nations, China negotiated an agreement with France and in 1994 in a joint statement, France promised that there would be no future arms sales to Taiwan. From China’s point of view, the DCI-DESCO deal constitutes a breach of the agreement, but the French stance is that it is not selling Taiwan new weapons, but instead providing a
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
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in her inaugural address on May 20 firmly said: “We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo.” The Chinese government was not too happy, and later that day, an opinion piece on the Web site of China’s state broadcaster China Central Television said: “While Tsai’s first inaugural address four years ago was read by Beijing as an ‘unfinished answer sheet,’ the one she presented this time was even more below-par.” Speaking to the China Review News Agency, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies vice president
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