President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) last night stressed that he had not altered his basic stance on upholding Taiwan's national sovereignty and dignity, amid the recent controversy triggered by opposition party leaders' trips to China.
"We will never waver in our insistence to push forward democratic reforms, and we will uphold the political line of identifying with Taiwan," Chen said. "And we will continue to commit ourselves to turning Taiwan into a normal, progressive, beautiful and great country."
The president made the remarks last night while meeting with ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) city and county chiefs, legislators and party leadership to communicate with them on the controversy within the party regarding Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (
The remarks were made against the backdrop of criticism that the DPP leadership's stance toward the visits has been inconsistent, which has caused party members' support to waver in the runup to next Saturday's National Assembly elections.
Noting that China is well known for its "united front" tactics against Taiwan -- which aim to co-opt key sectors of Taiwanese society in order to further Beijing's goal of unification -- Chen urged the party and public to stay united, saying that only China would benefit if the nation becomes divided.
"Just because recent polls suggest that support for the DPP has declined, [that doesn't mean that] the grassroots supporters have shifted their support to other parties," Chen said. "Party members need to have confidence in ourselves."
Chen said that while he did not oppose Lien and Soong's trips to China, that does not mean that he agrees with all of their rhetoric during their visits.
Saying that China had attempted to collaborate with the opposition parties to influence the upcoming election and hence prevent democratic reforms, Chen called on party members to stay united and confident.
Also see story:
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient