A senior Chinese leader yesterday urged a major port city, Xiamen, which is on the frontline with Taiwan and an important center for Taiwanese investment, to do more for the people of Taiwan ahead of next month’s elections.
Beijing has dangled the possibility of yet further economic incentives for Taipei, likely to be hit hard should the global economy spiral into crisis next year, hoping to encourage the re-election of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Ma has signed a series of economic and tourist agreements with Beijing since becoming president in 2008, though there have been no political talks and deep mistrust remains.
Speaking in Xiamen, which in parts lies just a few hundred meters from some of Taiwan’s outlying islands, Politburo Standing Committee member He Guoqiang (賀國強) said the city should actively court Taiwan and its business community.
Xiamen “should make endeavors to become a convenient channel for cross-strait exchanges, further strengthen people-to-people exchanges, as well as expand mutual understanding so as to become a lively platform for cross-strait exchanges,” said He, who is part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle.
He pledged to further protect the rights of Taiwanese and urged Xiamen to “enthusiastically do more good deeds and take actual steps to help Taiwanese compatriots.”
He was speaking at an event to mark 30 years since Xiamen became a special economic zone, set up to boost economic development and entice Taiwanese to invest in China.
He did not directly mention next month’s presidential polls, repeating only that China remained committed to seeking “reunification” with Taiwan.
“Promoting cross-strait peace and development and completing the great task of unification of the motherland are the common aspirations of all the sons and daughters of China, including Taiwan compatriots,” He said.
While Beijing says it will not interfere in the elections, it has made little secret of its distaste for the Democratic Progressive Party, even as its presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), tries to lay out a more moderate line.
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
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
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