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
TWEET CONFIRMED: The US’ Morgan Ortagus backed up Taiwan, saying China only admitted that human-to-human transmission was possible as late as Jan. 20 Taiwan warned the WHO and China about possible human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus at the end of last year, but the global health body did not make it public, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Department of International Organizations Director-General Bob Chen (陳龍錦) made the remark at a news briefing in Taipei, when asked about statements made by US Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. “Dec. 31— that’s the same day Taiwan first tried to warn WHO of human-human transmission. Chinese authorities meanwhile silenced doctors and refused to admit human-human transmission until Jan. 20, with catastrophic consequences,” Ortagus wrote on
ON THE LOOKOUT: A Lockheed EP-3 reconnaissance plane was yesterday seen flying southwest of Kaohsiung, according to Twitter account ‘Aircraft Spots’ A Twitter account that tracks military aircraft movements has indicated an increase in US military activity near Taiwan, coinciding with an increase in Chinese military activity in the area. Planes from the US Seventh Fleet have been sighted frequently above the South China Sea in the past several days, and a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane was seen flying close to Taiwanese airspace southwest of Kaohsiung yesterday, according to posts by the Twitter account Aircraft Spots. The EP-3 was seen circling above the same area, Aircraft Spots said, adding that other planes from the fleet were seen in the past few days
A Taipei resident who had breached his home quarantine order was found on Tuesday night in an Internet cafe and fined NT$1 million (US$32,976), Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday, as the Taipei City Government announced a short-term COVID-19 relief plan. Huang on Tuesday afternoon publicized the name of the man, Chen Tse (陳冊), who on Saturday last week returned from Beijing and was ordered to undergo 14-day home quarantine. However, city monitoring officials were unable to contact him by mobile phone or at his home. Chen was found by police at an Internet cafe on Nanyang Street, Huang said
ACCLIMATION: Chen Shih-chung said that only ‘soft’ policies have been carried out so far, but ‘hard’ measures would be implemented if the coronavirus situation worsens The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday recommended that indoor events of more than 100 people and outdoor events with more than 500 people should be canceled, as 19 new imported cases of COVID-19 were announced, bringing the total number in Taiwan to 235. “The center recommends that from now, indoor events of more than 100 people and outdoor events with more than 500 people should be suspended to reduce the risk of COVID-19 community transmission,” said Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the center. Event organizers should refer to six indicators listed in the response guidelines