More speculation about the infighting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) emerged yesterday with a magazine report that Ma had forced Wang’s removal as a pre-emptive measure to safeguard his chairmanship of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
The cover story in the latest edition of the Chinese-language weekly The Journalist (新新聞) said the alleged influence peddling scandal surrounding Wang was orchestrated by Ma to foil a plot to have Wang succeed Ma as KMT chairman should the party lose in the seven-in-one elections next year.
The story said that several major KMT figures, including former party chairmen Lien Chan (連戰) and Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄), Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), have been scheming against Ma.
The story said the group planned to get a resolution passed at the party’s convention on Sept. 29 demanding that Ma, who was re-elected chairman in June, take full responsibility for the party’s performance in next year’s elections and hand over his position to Wang.
The Special Investigation Division of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has accused Wang of illegally lobbying for Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) in a breach of trust case by urging then-minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) and Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) to use their influence to stop an appeal of a not-guilty verdict for Ker.
While the allegations, made on Friday last week, still have to be investigated by the Control Yuan, the KMT’s Central Evaluation and Discipline Committee decided on Wednesday to revoke Wang’s membership, which, if upheld, would force him to step down as legislator-at-large and as speaker.
The allegations against Wang have sparked various conspiracy theories involving Ma: that he wanted to defeat party factions close to Wang in the party’s Central Standing Committee election on Saturday last week, that he was unhappy with the stalled review in the legislature of the cross-strait service trade agreement and the proposed referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City, or that he wanted to consolidate his leadership in the party to ensure he plays a key role in nominations for next year’s elections.
Citigroup Inc plans to exit retail banking in 13 markets across Asia, and the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The bank would instead operate its consumer-banking franchise in both regions from four wealth centers in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London, it said yesterday in a statement. The move is part of an ongoing review of the company’s strategy by chief executive officer Jane Fraser, who took over last month. “This positions us to capture the strong growth and attractive returns the wealth-management business offers through these important hubs,” Fraser said. Citigroup is to exit its consumer
‘IMPORTANT PARTNER’: The new guidelines aim to encourage US engagement with Taiwan, which reflects a deepening relationship, the US Department of State said The US Department of State on Friday issued new guidelines governing US officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts, a move welcomed by Taipei as turning a new page in bilateral relations. Shortly before leaving office, then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 announced the cancelation of previous contact guidelines, which he said were “self-imposed restrictions” that attempted to appease the Chinese Communist Party regime in Beijing. However, the status of the guidelines has been unclear since US President Joe Biden entered the White House. Asked about the issue during a legislative session on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu
CONFIDENTIAL: The trip had not been made public until just before ex-senator Chris Dodd, and ex-state department officials Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived The government yesterday welcomed an “unofficial” delegation sent by US President Joe Biden, while another delegation led by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was headed to Shanghai. Biden’s first delegation to Taiwan is made up of former US senator Chris Dodd, and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg. They are to stay in Taiwan until tomorrow. Their arrival, on a chartered flight, had been kept confidential until media reported the visit yesterday morning, after which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a short notice that they were expected to arrive at 2:40pm. The flight landed at
‘IDEAL FIT’: A report on Sunday said that the Canadian government threatened to pull its support and funding from the HFX if the award was given to the president The government would respect the decision of the organizer of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service on whether it plans to award a prize to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. The statement was issued after US Web site Politico reported a day earlier that the Canadian government had warned the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) not to give the award to Tsai for fear of provoking Beijing. “The ministry believes that if the Halifax International Security Forum confers the prize upon President Tsai, it would be an affirmation and honor for both