Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she would not rule out visiting Beijing and meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) if she wins the Jan. 16 election.
Asked by reporters whether she would visit Beijing if invited, given the widespread public criticism of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) planned meeting with Xi in Singapore tomorrow, especially from the pan-green camp, Tsai said: “There are just over 70 days left until the election and considering the atmosphere in society, I think the possibility of my visiting Beijing is not too high, but if I am elected next year, if the conditions that I mentioned before — including openness and transparency, equality and dignity, and no politics are met — I would not rule out the possibility.”
However, Tsai took a tougher tone commenting on Ma’s press conference at the Presidential Office yesterday morning and his remark that tomorrow’s meeting would create the basis to “build a bridge” for future meetings and interactions between the leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
“If Taiwan’s society and its leader do not create the necessary mechanism, and follow the necessary procedures to allow society to take part in the decisionmaking process on major decisions, allowing parliamentary supervision and having transparency of information, then even if there is a bridge, it is not a concrete and stable one,” Tsai said on the sidelines of a campaign event in Penghu County.
The public does not have a problem with cross-strait interactions and meetings of top leaders unless opaqueness becomes an issue, she said.
Later yesterday, DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said during a radio interview that the DPP would not organize a “supervisory group” to monitor Ma when he is in Singapore, as the party did in 1993 when then-Straits Exchange Foundation chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) and China’s then-Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Wang Daohan (汪道涵) held a meeting in Singapore.
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
ESPIONAGE CHARGE: A TAO spokesperson said that the rights of Shih Cheng-ping were ‘fully safeguarded’ during the hearing, which handed him four years in prison China sentenced Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a former National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) professor, to four years in jail for espionage, officials said yesterday. The ruling came a month after Shih made a televised “confession” on state media. Shih, who is also a former chief economist for Chinese conglomerate Huaxia Group (華夏集團), was found guilty by a Chinese court on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) told a news briefing. Shih — who vanished after traveling to China in August 2018 — was among Taiwanese who China Central Television (CCTV) last month showed confessing to spying. CCTV often broadcasts suspects admitting to crimes, even