Amid speculation that Beijing would object to the presence of former vice premier Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as Taiwan's representative to the APEC leaders' summit in Sydney, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday that China's suppression of Taiwan goes beyond matters of political affiliation or gender.
"China's oppression has been constant and it has nothing to do with who is in power or what political party you belong to," Chen said. "If [Beijing's opposition to Tsai's participation at the APEC summit] is true, it would demonstrate that its suppression of the country does not have anything to do with whether you are a man or a woman."
Chen made the remarks in Shezi (社子), Taipei City, yesterday afternoon in response to a report published in yesterday's edition of the Chinese-language China Times.
The report said that Chen was considering naming someone else after Beijing had objected to Tsai's appointment as the nation's special envoy to the APEC leaders' summit next month.
Chen did not confirm whether he had appointed Tsai but said the country must not give up simply because of oppression from China. He also urged the government to stick to principles and strive for acceptance.
Acting Presidential Office Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said Chen was still assessing various options and would name a representative in accordance with the original schedule, preferably before Chen embarks on a journey to Central America on Aug. 20.
Taiwanese presidents have been barred from attending APEC summits because of objections from China. As a result, the president has to appoint a representative to go on his behalf.
Pan-blue camp lawmakers yesterday blamed Chen's proposed referendum on the country's UN bid under the name of "Taiwan" as the reason behind Beijing's opposition.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tseng Yung-chuan (
"Beijing's reaction does not come as a surprise because the UN bid irked the US and China," Tseng said, adding that he was nevertheless disappointed with the boycott.
People First Party spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) also blamed Chen, saying that his "improper handling" of the country's bid to join the UN was the cause of Beijing's action.
Lee also slammed China for boycotting Tsai's participation at the summit.
"As the Chinese and Taiwanese economies are closely related, the two sides should talk and help each other," he said. "China will not gain anything by oppressing Taiwan."
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted