Sat, Sep 21, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Political Maneuvering: Minister visits Kaohsiung, Han says crime rate down

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, left, and Cianjhen Precinct Police Chief Lin Hsin-huang hold an envelope with the text “Bonus reward: NT$200,000, from the mayor” in Kaohsiung yesterday, after suspects were apprehended in connection with brawls in the district.

Photo: Huang Hsu-lei, Taipei Times

Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) yesterday visited Kaohsiung, the latest in a slew of top officials to visit the city in connection with a recent spate of violent incidents in the city.

Since a pet shop in Cianjhen District (前鎮) was vandalized on Tuesday, there have been intermittent street brawls near the store and a gun has been fired.

The incidents are reportedly linked to a dispute between two livestream hosts.

Twenty-five people have been detained, but no serious injuries were reported.

Earlier in the day, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) accused the Democratic Progressive Party government of politicizing crime ahead of next year’s presidential and legislative elections.

Han is the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate.

The city’s crime rate is down by 2 percentage points and its crime closure rate is up by 2 percentage points compared with the same period last year, Han said, adding that Kaohsiung has the third-highest closure rate among the nation’s six special municipalities.

“The government’s heavy-handed actions could hurt Kaohsiung’s image,” he said. “Who will take responsibility if the city loses investors or tourists?”

Hsu said that the spate of public disturbances left the central government with no option but to intervene.

“There have been brawls in Kaohsiung for three consecutive days, shots have been fired and police authority is under attack,” he said.

“We cannot allow … such incidents to spread... To that end, Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner [Huang Ming-chao (黃明昭)] and other officials have been dispatched to Kaohsiung” to hold a law enforcement conference, Hsu said.

Separately yesterday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said: “The Executive Yuan has acted appropriately by paying attention to law and order in the city and its actions are not motivated by any desire to interfere with Han.”

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