Fri, Sep 23, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Tsai says MND should be abolished, calls Paal a rat

BY KO SHU-LING  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker yesterday asked the pan-blue camp to abolish the Ministry of National Defense if the pan-blues persist in boycotting the special arms procurement plan, thereby leaving soldiers to fight with obsolete weaponry.

"I have no idea why the pan-blue alliance continues to block the arms procurement plan, coming up with different excuses every time," said DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳). "They should be held partially responsible for the death of Army Captain Sun Chi-hsiang (孫吉祥)."

Sun died from severe internal bleeding after being run over by an armored vehicle, whose accelerator was out of order. The vehicle has been suspended from use.

If the armed forces are equipped with archaic equipment, Tsai said that the defense ministry is sending the nation's children to their deaths if a military conflict breaks out in the Taiwan Strait.

"I'm calling on the pan-blue camp to abolish the defense ministry if it doesn't allow the purchase of more advanced weaponry and the replenishing of the ministry's inadequate and out-of-date arsenal," he said.

Tsai also blamed the US government for causing the current conundrum, and called on the US to embrace new thinking in terms of cross-strait policy.

Tsai singled out Douglas Paal, director of the American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) Taipei office, and likened him to a "rat."

"The US government sends him over here, but we find that he relays inaccurate information to Washington and leads the US president to make misjudgments and utter unexpected remarks," he said. "It is like `raising a rat to bite the bag.'"

"Raising a rat to bite the bag" is a Chinese idiom that means supporting those who betray you.

Tsai was referring to a critical State Department report on the operations of the AIT Taipei office.

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