President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) asked Taipei residents to support DPP candidate Lee Ying-Yuan (李應元) who knew how to cooperate with the central government, rather than the incumbent Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who preferred to work in opposition. \nChen also pointed out that Ma has yet to give a clear undertaking that he will finish a second term as mayor were he to win, rather than abandoning the people of Taipei less than halfway through his term to run in the 2004 presidential election. \n"Should [Taipei residents] vote for someone who only wants to be a four-month mayor or someone who is sure to attend to his mayoral duties for a full four-year mayoral tenure?" Chen said at a rally for Lee late yesterday. \nChen also lashed out again at Ma's proposal to use Sungshan Domestic Airport as a base for direct cross-strait flights. \nChen said that such a policy would put the nation's security in jeopardy. \n"As the nation's president, I can't be like Ma, who is willing to put national security concerns aside and thinks such an issue is not important," Chen said. \nChen called on the public not to let down its guard against China, which still has 400 missiles targeted on Taiwan, threatening the safety of Taiwan's 23 million people. \nFollowing Saturday's televised debate between Lee and Ma, Chen took part in a three-hour street procession with Lee earlier yesterday. \nMa yesterday attended the openings of the campaign headquarters for his KMT comrades Chang Teng-fan (張鄧芳), Chiang Nai-hsin (蔣乃辛), Chen Chin-chi (陳進棋) and Chen Cheng-chung (陳政忠), whom are all running for the Taipei City Council. \nPrior to the street procession, Lee made an appearance at Taipei City Council candidate Chen Cheng-teh's (陳正德) campaign headquarters opening, where Lee talked about a second debate with Ma, which has yet to be scheduled. \n"I think the focus of the second debate should be on city governance, moral integrity and the sense of identification with this land," Lee said. \nLee said that these two latter issues were just as important as candidates' visions for Taipei's development in selecting a mayor for the nation's capital. \nMa however though that the issues should not be included in the second debate. \n"I don't think it is a good thing to digress in our debating topics away from city governance-related issues," Ma said. \n"I am perplexed about why Lee wants to talk about moral integrity during the debate, a matter which I think has no relation to city governance," Ma said. \n"And to the issue of national identification, the fact that we are both running for Taipei City mayor -- doesn't that demonstrate that we've already recognized this land." \nMeanwhile, KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday both stumped for their respective candidates in the Kaohsiung mayoral and city councilor elections. \nLien took the opportunity to dismiss speculation that KMT candidate Huang Jun-ying (黃俊英) is a DPP supporter at heart while Soong criticized the Chen administration for its planned security checks on certain government officials, painting it as an exercise in "green terror." \nThe checks have been suggested in the wake of a number of national security officials defecting to China. \nParticipating in a forum held for KMT City Council candidates at a military housing compound in Tsoying, Kaohsiung City yesterday, Lien told compound dwellers -- most of whom are KMT supporters -- that Huang is a 100 percent pure pan-blue camper. \n"Since I've known him for years, I can guarantee you that he's a son of the blue sky," Lien said, referring to the name of the opposition camp and the color of the KMT flag. \nLien also called on the pan-green camp to stop giving Taipei's Ma a hard time. \n"Please stop asking him about whether he's interested in running for the presidency. Didn't he make it clear already at yesterday's televised public debate that it has never been on his agenda?" Lien said. \nLien yesterday also reiterated his party's hope to cooperate with Soong's PFP in the Kaohsiung mayoral election. \n"We're not giving up our hope yet to work with the PFP," Lien said. \n"But if, unfortunately, the plan eventually falls flat, I'm afraid that the voters will have to exercise their own wisdom to pick the best candidate." \nSoong, in Kaohsiung City to campaign for PFP candidates for the city council, took the opportunity to lambaste Chen's administration and called on voters to use their ballots to embarrass the ruling DPP in the mayoral elections. \n"Since the DPP swept to power two years ago, it has shown its ineptitude in managing the country," Soong said. \n"It has not only driven local businesses out of Taiwan, but also has made everybody's life a living hell. What's more, it blames its own failure on the opposition parties." \nThe pro-China Soong also lashed out at the Chen administration's planned security check. \n"It's an exercise of `green terror,'" Soong, once prominent in the KMT repression known as the White Terror, said. \nThe government has proposed a draft measure that will allow the Ministry of Justice to conduct loyalty checks on government workers in such sensitive fields as national defense, foreign affairs, technology, intelligence gathering, business, economies and cross-strait affairs.
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest