Comments to Chinese leaders by the nation’s APEC envoy, as well as interference by Beijing in the January elections, raise serious concerns about the China policy of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration and the democratic nature of the elections, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.
It is lamentable that former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), Ma’s envoy to the APEC summit, failed to mention the president’s “10 guarantees” when he discussed the idea of signing a cross-strait peace agreement during a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in Sinjhuang (新莊), New Taipei City (新北市), yesterday morning.
Lien put forward the issue of signing a cross-strait peace agreement during his 55-minute meeting with Hu in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Saturday, prior to the main APEC leaders’ summit, saying he hoped both sides “could start to exchange views on the peace issue.”
Ma’s erratic stance on the peace initiative has raised concerns about his administration’s stability, -credibility and its policymaking process, Tsai, the DPP’s presidential candidate, said one day after the party criticized Lien and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for “starting to negotiate with the Chinese Communist Party on the peace accord behind closed doors.”
Elaborating on comments she made on Saturday, when she said China has acted as a “helping hand” for the KMT in the presidential election, Tsai said that “anyone who has been watching this election closely would reach the conclusion” that China has been assisting the KMT “in a lot of ways.”
Tsai called on Beijing to stay neutral and to stop interfering in Taiwan’s elections.
DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) listed five ways in which China has interfered with the election in a press release.
One was by sending -provincial-level purchasing delegations to boost Ma’s economic performance, Chen said.
Another was the use of incentives, he said, including the offer of cheap airline tickets so Taiwanese businesspeople could return to Taiwan for the elections, Chen said.
“Such tactics are aimed at only one thing, helping the KMT win the presidential and legislative elections,” Chen said.
Discussing the possible peace agreement yesterday, Presidential Office spokesperson Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said Ma had already said that current conditions were not right for discussions on a cross-strait peace pact, adding that there was little chance that any peace agreement would be promoted in the next four years.
“If the conditions are right, we will put the matter to a referendum,” he said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit