Hundreds of people yesterday rallied outside Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Fai’s (費鴻泰) liaison office in Taipei as part of a campaign to recall KMT lawmakers who support the cross-strait service trade agreement that has Fai as its top target.
The protesters held up signs calling on Fai to respect not only President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) opinions, but also the public’s. They also urged him to support the adoption of legislation to monitor cross-strait agreements before the service pact undergoes legislative review.
The protesters began to gather outside the Taipei City Hall MRT station at about 2pm, then marched through the busy shopping area around Taipei 101 to Fai’s office in Xinyi District (信義), attracting many onlookers join along the way.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
However, when the crowd arrived at Fai’s office, they were met with closed doors and police officers who declared the rally illegal and told them to disband immediately. The activists told police: “We’re just passing by” and verbal clashes ensued.
Unable to meet with Fai or his staff, the demonstrators put up a list of the telephone numbers for the lawmaker’s Xinyi office and his office at the Legislative Yuan so the public can keep pressuring him.
Kao Jo-yu (高若有), a National Taiwan University student and one of the campaign’s initiators, urged the KMT caucus deputy secretary to support drafting an oversight law before reviewing the trade pact.
“As a lawmaker who is meant to represent the people, I would like to call on Fai to ignore what Ma has asked him to do and do what the voters want instead,” Kao said. “We are asking him to promise to support enacting a law monitoring cross-strait negotiations before reviewing the service trade pact.”
“It’s okay if he doesn’t want to see us or answer the phone today, let’s keep calling him,” campaign spokesman Lin Tzu-yi (林祖儀) told the crowd. “I would like to remind Fai to be aware that the public has shown a lot of support for our campaign, such as by making donations and signing recall petitions.”
Since its launch at midnight yesterday, the campaign has collected NT$5.5 million (US$184,000) in donations and more than 10,000 volunteers. It is titled the Appendectomy Project (割闌尾行動), since in Chinese, the term for blue-camp legislators, lan wei (藍委), is homophonous with “appendix” (闌尾).
‘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
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient