Politicians from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the New Party gathered yesterday at an event in Taipei where they lashed out at the student-led Sunflower movement, which had protested the government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade agreement.
Former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) called the Sunflower movement a “coup d’etat,” saying that something characterized by riots and violence “did not deserve to be called a student movement.”
The Sunflower movement cannot be compared to the May 4th movement, when thousands of Chinese students protested on May 4, 1919, against the Treaty of Versailles’ acknowledgement of Japan’s territorial claims in China, Hau said.
Taiwan has built up its democracy over 60 years, but the Sunflower movement now has it damaged beyond repair, Hau said.
New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) said that the way the students had behaved in leading the Sunflower movement was an “act of betrayal.”
Condemnation against the protesters is not enough, Yok said, adding that he demanded that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and law enforcement authorities look into their legal responsibility in accordance with the law and “never treat them with leniency.”
KMT Deputy Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said he represented Ma — who serves as chairman of the party — at the event yesterday, which was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the New Revolutionary Alliance (新同盟會).
Tseng said that the KMT had received many complaints condemning those who occupied the legislative chamber from March 18, stormed into the Executive Yuan complex on March 23 and besieged Taipei’s Zhongzheng First Police Precinct on April 11. The letters were also critical of the “irrational” hunger strike by former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) against the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).
It is easy to tell that opposition parties were behind the movements and that their aim was to “usurp” the government’s power, Tseng said.
The students and others who engaged in the civil disobedience movements deserved nothing but condemnation, he added.
Former Taipei EasyCard Corp (悠遊卡)chairman Sean Lien (連勝文), the KMT’s candidate for the upcoming Taipei mayoral election who also attended the event yesterday, said the spate of protests showed that “some people with ulterior motives” attributed the problems stifling Taiwan’s economic development to cross-strait relations and had managed to turn the dissatisfaction and frustration about the situation into forces that drove people to the streets.
“This is a new crisis facing the Republic of China,” Lien said.
Meanwhile, retired general Hsu Li-nong (許歷農), head of the New Revolutionary Alliance, called for Taiwan to sign an agreement with China that both sides of the Taiwan Strait be referred to as “China.”
The alliance, whose purpose is to push for unification, is planning to bring about the signing of the agreement, Hsu said.
In response, Sunflower movement leader Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) said: “As is often the case with a democracy, student movements are a form of social movement.”
“Throughout Taiwan’s democratization against the KMT’s authoritarian rule, Hau has blocked progress, but now he is posturing as a paragon of democracy,” Lin said. “This is an insult to Taiwanese.”
“Hau has shown a total lack of understanding about democracy or people’s rights to freedom of expression,” Lin said. “It reflects his antidemocratic, military character.”
Additional reporting by Chen Yen-ting
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no