If Beijing does not order the release of human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), “problems will arise” when the Chinese delegation arrives in Taipei for the Summer Universiade in August, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said.
China’s handling of the Lee incident is “strange” and “runs counter to global norms,” Ko said in an interview published yesterday by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper).
Ko said he had no preconceived notions about Lee’s arrest almost three weeks ago, but Beijing should have disclosed on what grounds it detained him and allowed his family to visit on the second or third day of his detention.
“This is the way of civilized nations,” he said, adding that he was concerned about China, as a superpower, demonstrating behavior that is at odds with the civilized world.
China’s handling of the Lee case provided insight into why, despite all the benefits that China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has offered Taiwanese businesspeople in China, there is still a general antipathy toward China among Taiwanese, Ko said.
“It is very simple. The Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜) incident probably scared off half of Taiwanese, while the Lee Ming-che incident scared off the other half,” Ko said, refering to a seemingly forced apology by the Taiwanese K-pop idol after she displayed a Republic of China flag on a South Korean TV show last year.
“Maybe they do not find it unusual, but to Taiwanese it was beyond shock and awe,” Ko said, adding that the two incidents showed a fundamental difference between Taiwanese and Chinese beliefs, which is an issue Beijing should be mindful of.
As China plans to send a delegation of at least 700 to Taipei to compete in the Summer Universiade, problems will arise if Beijing does not handle the Lee incident with caution, Ko said.
Ko said that although Taipei’s extensive experience with dealing with protesters is enough to guarantee the safety of Chinese delegates, he cannot control public sentiments toward the delegation.
“Who do you think spectators will root for if China and US went head-to-head in a match?” he asked.
Taiwanese attitudes toward the Chinese delegation would have a profound political effect on Beijing and the world through live broadcast of the Games, he said.
Asked what messages he would convey to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) if he meets Xi’s aides on his trip to China for the Taipei-Shanghai Forum in June, Ko said that it is unclear whether he would meet with them.
If he has a chance to meet with Beijing officials, he would urge China to respect “universal values and global norms” in addition to promoting exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, so that disagreements can be resolved by an increase in goodwill, Ko said.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South