President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) began his campaign for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman election, in which he is the sole candidate, by giving seven presentations in southern Taiwan yesterday.
Ma proposed dealing with party assets, enhancing cooperation between the party and the government, using the Central Standing Committee as the communication platform between the party and the government, reforming the party, offering candidates with integrity and cultivating younger talent.
“I am not running in the KMT chairman election to expand my power, but to fulfill my responsibilities ... The KMT should continue its reform efforts and fight corruption,” Ma said in Pingtung County.
He promised that the KMT would not own any businesses if he was elected and that it would play an assistant’s role in helping implement government policies.
When asked to comment on the Ministry of National Defense’s anti-corruption efforts, Ma said he had ordered the ministry to get to the bottom of the alleged corruption to restore public confidence.
The ministry released a report earlier this month that said 142 employees were suspected of graft or bribery and would be referred to military prosecutors for investigation.
Ma said he would review the progress of the investigations every three months.
“By doing so, I believe all the people will know our determination to fight corruption,” he said.
The ministry was studying the possibility of establishing government ethics agencies to prevent corruption, Ma said.
He also expressed his support for the Ministry of Justice to regulate the conduct of political critics in the media, but said solid proof should be presented if such individuals were to be investigated.
Ma visited Pingtung, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County, Tainan City, Tainan County, Chiayi County and Chiayi City yesterday.
In Kaohsiung City, Ma promised to attend the opening ceremony of the World Games on Thursday.
He also reiterated his hope of communicating with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and extended an invitation to DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for talks. He promised to seek cross-party cooperation with the DPP if elected.
Ma is scheduled to give eight more platform presentation meetings in central Taiwan on Saturday, and then visit Penghu, Matsu and Kinmen on Sunday.
The Presidential Office said Ma would only campaign on weekends and after working hours, and would pay for all his campaigning expenses to ensure no national resources are used.
It said no Presidential Office staffers would accompany him on campaign events.
The KMT election will be held on July 26.
‘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
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations