The assault by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Lin Cheng-chieh (
The incident heightens concerns over whether next month's anti-Chen sit-in led by former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh (
DPP supporters plan to travel to the sit-in to oppose the anti-Chen protesters. The already frosty feelings between the two camps have deteriorated as a result of weeks of renewed mud-slinging. There is, as always, the potential for things to get out of control.
Shih and his followers have a perfect right to express their opinion on these matters. But why does a 24-hour sit-in need to last weeks instead of a few days? Shih has said that the purpose of his rally is not just to make a point. Rather, it is to achieve a specific result that he and his supporters feel is necessary -- Chen's resignation.
This issue is therefore about a lot more than protecting the freedom of speech of Shih and his supporters. The question begs itself: What makes Shih and his supporters so special that much of a capital city's government district should come to a standstill for so long and the spirit of the Constitution be trampled on to entertain his and their demands?
No matter how one justifies the sit-in in ideological or administrative terms, this action at the end of the day is a form of political coercion, not a phase of spirited debate. What happens when Chen does not resign? Will Shih pack up his things and go home, or will he continue to use mass mobilization to encourage the ignoring of democratic processes?
It is the duty of city officials to approve and reject the nature and time of a rally. In this case, has Taipei City adequately weighed up all of these factors to reach a balanced decision that protects freedom of speech and the interests of the city and the nation?
This is an open question, and it is disturbing that the correctness of the decision depends so much on events that are yet to take place.
As Taipei mayor and open supporter of the protest, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
So many of us seem to refuse to compromise on matters in a manner that we demand of others. This is especially the case with those who trumpet their self-righteousness to the public.
And those who dare to disagree are not just expressing a dissenting opinion; they are absolutely wrong and become objects of hatred and resentment.
The prevalence of this attitude indicates a lack of maturity within and the volatile nature of this nation's democracy. The rivalry between different groups in this country feeds off this extremism, and this is cause for concern for those who hope that a more stable common ground can be built up for the benefit of all citizens.
On Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) spoke during the opening ceremony of this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA). For the first time in the assembly’s history, attendees, including Xi, had to dial in virtually. Xi made no acknowledgement of the Chinese government’s role in causing the COVID-19 pandemic, nor was there any meaningful apology. Instead, he painted China as a benign force for good and a friend to all nations. Except Taiwan, of course. The address was a reheated version of the speech Xi gave at the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Xi again attempted to step into the
The World Health Assembly (WHA) held its annual meeting this week; Taiwan was still not represented. Its journalists were also barred from covering the online-only proceedings, despite the nation’s clearly demonstrated pandemic expertise that has set an example for the world. When the SARS epidemic reached Taiwan from southern China in 2003, dozens of lives were lost, but its health experts learned the importance of general testing, masks, technology to locate infected persons, swift decisions and quarantines. The lessons were applied immediately across Taiwan when COVID-19 arrived this year. From 2009 to 2016, Taiwan participated as an observer in the assembly under