After President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) announced in his New Year's address that the new Cabinet would be a "Cabinet of negotiation," hopes have grown that the government and the opposition will be able to deal with the ill will in the legislature. \nThe Chen administration is the first in this country to occupy government without a majority in the legislature. Because it failed to build channels for cross-party negotiations, conflict between the parties increased. \nUnfortunately, owing to the pressure created by the March presidential election and last month's legislative elections, confrontation between the government and the opposition intensified, with a "cut-throat war" sharpening the tongues of those plying for votes. \nThe public is fed up with this political climate, a fact reflected in the lowest-ever turnout at the legislative elections. A call for stability and continuing economic growth has emerged as mainstream sentiment. Political differences must therefore be put aside so that a mechanism for cross-party negotiation can allow political and economic development to be discussed properly. It is feasible that with a coalition Cabinet, responsibilities could be shared in a way that reflects majority opinion. Yet just because it has a majority, the opposition should not simply block government policy at every opportunity -- as it has done to date, more or less -- thereby not allowing the legislature to get any work done and harming the nation's productivity. \nThe government should cease using appointments as bait, and instead approach the opposition with a more sharing attitude. Before cross-party negotiations commence, the government should not hint that any specific post will be earmarked for the opposition. Doing so would rile the more propitious among opposition lawmakers because they would sense that the government was seeking to emphasize the means of gaining office rather than the importance of the office itself. \nFor example, during campaigning for the legislative elections, Chen on at least two occasions mentioned possible appointments for the Control Yuan. This put opposition politicians in the uncomfortable position of having to agree to swapping votes in return for the spoils. \nOn the other hand, the opposition should not be too greedy and demand that government be formed by the majority party in the legislature or other unconstitutional suggestions. If Chen wishes to include opposition members in his Cabinet, then that is his prerogative under the Constitution. But the opposition parties must not forget themselves in the flush of victory and in so doing impair the machinery of constitutional government. \nThe opposition should exercise self-restraint, refrain from imposing extremist takes on every piece of legislation put forward by the government, nor should it cause conflict and obstruct genuine attempts at co-operation. This is what a "loyal" opposition must do. \nCross-party cooperation should be seen as an effort by both political camps to build a foundation of mutual trust. As political resources are controlled by the government, it should make a gesture of sincerity and engender a sense of self-respect within the opposition. Only in this way will cooperation provide the best results, and only in this way can the public be free of the recurring stalemate in which a legislature does not do its duty and plays havoc with the public good.
On Sept. 27, 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) joined the UN to become its 191st member. Since then, two other nations have joined, Montenegro on June 28, 2006, and South Sudan on July 14, 2011. The combined total of the populations of these three nations is just more than half that of Taiwan’s 23.7 million people. East Timor has 1.3 million, Montenegro has slightly more than half a million and South Sudan has 10.9 million. They all are members of the UN, yet much more populous Taiwan is denied membership. Of the three, East Timor, as a Southeast Asian
Taiwan’s status in the world community is experiencing something really different; it’s being treated like a normal country. And not just a “normal” country, more like a valuable, constructive, democratic and generous country. This is not simply an artifact of Taiwan’s successes in combatting the novel coronavirus. It is a new attitude, weighing Taiwan’s democracy against China’s lack of it. Before I continue, I should apologize to the readers of the Taipei Times. I have not visited Taipei since the opening of the American Institute in Taiwan’s new chancery building in Neihu last year, so I was unprepared for the photograph
At a June 12 news conference held by the Talent Circulation Alliance to announce the release of its white paper for this year, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) emphasized that, in this era of globalization, Taiwan should focus on improving foreign language and digital abilities when cultivating talent, so that it stands out from global competitors. I suggest the government should consider building a professional translation industry. If the public believes that there is a relationship between learning English and national competitiveness, then the nation must consider the social cost of language education. This should be assessed to maximise educational effectiveness: Is
Taiwan has for decades singlehandedly borne the brunt of a revanchist, ultra-nationalist China — until now. Ever since Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had the temerity to call for a transparent, international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing has been turning the screws on Canberra. This has included unleashing aggressive “wolf warrior” diplomats to intimidate Australian policymakers, enacting punitive tariffs on its exports, and threatening an embargo on Chinese tourists and students to the nation. A tense situation became more serious on June 19 after Morrison revealed that a “sophisticated state-based actor” — read: China — had launched a