President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday said Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) is the founding father of the nation and the flag of the Republic of China is "the flag of our country." \nChen made the remarks in the wake of an uproar caused by Examination Yuan president Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) and Examination Yuan member Lin Yu-ti (林玉体), who earlier this week said that while Sun was worthy of respect, they did not support his designation as the nation's father. \n"Sun Yat-sen is the founding father of our country and the flag of the ROC is the flag of our country. There is nothing to argue about, to smear or to distort," said Chen while visiting a temple in Neihu, Taipei City accompanied by number of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative candidates. \nLater in the day, Chen's campaign trail took him Yunlin, Changhua and Taichung counties where Chen pledged to pass the National Pension Law (國民年金法) should the pan-greens win a majority in the legislature. The passage of the law will allow senior citizens aged 65 or older to receive a monthly pension of NT$7,500, Chen said. \nThe legislation governing the Resolution Trust Cooperation (金融重建基金, RTC) would be the new legislature's priority to help advance the nation's economic development, added Chen. \nStating that many key bills have been stalled in the opposition pan-blue controlled legislature, Chen appealed to voters for support so that the DPP, together with its political ally the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), could "achieve its goal of winning a stable pan-green majority in the new legislature and secure greater progress in reform." \nChen, who also doubles as the DPP's chairman, told the crowd that he would be a lame duck if the pan-greens do not control the new legislature. \n"On March 20, you gave me a chance to have a second term in office, I hope that on Dec., 11, you will give me a clear majority too in the new legislature to help [me] fulfill promises made during my re-election campaign," Chen told the crowd while in stumping for DPP hopefuls in Yunlin County. \nAt the venue, Chen took the opportunity to rebut recent remarks made by opposition People First Party (PFP) chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) who prophesied that there would be a catastrophic cross-strait war next year should the pan-green camp be granted a majority in the legislative elections. \n"If this person can really predict the future, then why was he wrong in prophesying his own fortune?" said Chen, referring to Soong's unsuccessful bids in the 2000 presidential election and this year on a joint ticket with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰). \n"If he can't be right about himself, how correct can he be about Taiwan?" Chen said. \nCiting incidents in 1996 where China lobbed nuclear-capable missiles into the Taiwan Strait as well as China's threatening rhetoric in the run up to the 2000 presidential election -- when the KMT held both the majority in the legislature and controlled the government -- Chen said that one ought not to relate cross-strait war to the pan-green camp and to intimidate Taiwanese people with war. \nAccording to DPP headquarters, Chen is slated to carry out a swing of at least 42 rallies nationwide in all 27 constituencies in the run-up to the Dec. 11 legislative election. Chen will today travel to Keelung City and Taipei County to stump for the DPP's legislative candidates in these regions.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly