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.
‘ASSERTIVE STEPS’: The report says that the US should enable Taiwan to construct asymmetric defense capabilities that would allow it to engage China on its own terms US President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday declassified a report that casts the defense of Taiwan as critical to the Indo-Pacific strategy of checking China’s ascent, Bloomberg reported yesterday. “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” has governed the US’ strategic response to China since Trump approved it in February 2018, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. “Beijing is increasingly pressuring Indo-Pacific nations to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a ‘common destiny’ envisioned by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” O’Brien was cited as saying. The report assumes that China would “take increasingly assertive steps to compel unification
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
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‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same