The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday said it would propose constitutional amendments to remove the “one country, two areas” article from the Constitution, abolish the Taiwan Provincial Government and lower the minimum voting age from 20 to 18.
An amendment made to the Constitution in 1991 “to meet the requisites prior to national unification” recognizes the “Chinese mainland area” as opposed to the “free area,” and both areas make up the Republic of China.
“The constitutional identification of ‘one country, two areas’ is the biggest joke in the history of constitutional democracy, because the idea goes against the principle of popular sovereignty, which states that the authority of a nation is created and sustained by its citizens,” NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
“Taiwan is a sovereign nation with a population of 23 million people and there is no ‘Chinese mainland area’ in this nation,” he added.
Surveys have shown that more than 70 percent of Taiwanese believe that the “cross-strait relationship” is international in nature, and abolishing the “one country, two areas” article is key to normalizing Taiwan’s status and dealing with the notorious legacy of the now-defunct National Assembly, Huang said.
Abolishing the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) is a further step that needs to be taken toward the normalization of the nation, he added.
Lowering the voting age is a global trend to encourage young people to exercise their political rights, but the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) unreasonable boycott of a proposal to lower the voting age last year obstructed a potential youth empowerment and constitutional amendment, Huang said.
“There are 890,000 people aged between 14 and 16, and they can cast their first ballot in the next presidential and legislative elections in 2020 if the amendment can be put to a referendum and approved in the next nine-in-one elections in 2018,” he said.
The constitutional changes in 1998 stripped the Taiwan Provincial Government of its authority, essentially making it a nominal institution, but it still costs the nation millions of New Taiwan dollars every year, the NPP said.
Asked whether the proposed amendments would be associated with Taiwanese independence and upset China, Huang said domestic reform has to be undertaken independent of other nations’ opinions, even though attaining international recognition is an important step toward the normalization of Taiwan.
NPP Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said no politician, regardless of their affinity, would be willing to sacrifice Taiwan’s democracy, liberty and human rights, and no one would accept China’s interference in Taiwan’s constitutional reform.
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
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
Don Quijote, the biggest discount store in Japan, is opening its first store in Taiwan today. The three-story Don Don Donki store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, which operates 24 hours a day, has already created 400 jobs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a press release. Many Taiwanese, including Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), consider a trip to Don Quijote an essential stop in Japan. “I have been to Don Quijote at least 10 times myself,” Huang said yesterday at a news conference announcing the store’s opening. “They are rendering an important service, because we cannot travel
‘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