Tsai speaks out on music awards row

STRIKING THE WRONG NOTE:The former DPP chairperson said President Ma Ying-jeou has failed to resist China’s forceful drive to suppress Taiwan since he took office

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Dec 03, 2012 - Page 1

People should pay heed to China’s disregard of Taiwan’s sovereignty and government over a wide range of issues, former Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.

Tsai’s comments were directed at a unilateral announcement on Thursday by organizers of the Chinese Music Chart Awards (中國歌曲排行榜) that this year’s event would be held in Taipei, despite not having received official approval from the Taiwanese government.

“Beijing has not only failed to show respect, but also intentionally disregarded Taiwan’s sovereignty and government. It seems to me that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has failed to resist China’s forceful drive to suppress Taiwan since he took office,” Tsai said on the sidelines of an event in Banciao District (板橋), New Taipei City (新北市).

“Taiwan’s sovereignty and authority will be eroded if the government does not act as the ultimate defender of the nation and meet people’s expectations. If that’s the case, society should stay vigilant and safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and political system by itself,” she said.

Any Chinese event that belittles Taiwan’s sovereignty should not be held in Taiwan, Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said.

Lin urged the joint-review committee, which consists of 26 government agencies, to reject the application for the event during tomorrow’s scheduled review meeting and said she would propose that any agency that approves the application has its budget slashed.

The National Immigration Agency on Saturday confirmed that it had received application documents from the Chinese Music Chart Awards organizers and that 26 agencies, led by the Ministry of Culture, are scheduled to jointly review the matter tomorrow.

While the event has yet to be approved by Taiwanese authorities, a Chinese tour agency has been advertising tour packages, including attendance of the awards ceremony in Taipei, since early last month.

Caissa Travel Agency’s Web site is offering three tour packages — five, six and eight-day trips — for the event. The tour parties are scheduled to leave Beijing on Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 respectively, with the tours costing from 4,299 yuan (US$690) to 7,399 yuan.

Additional reporting by Chen Hui-ping