President Chen Shui-bian (
Speaking in an interview with CNN last week, which aired yesterday noon in Taiwan on the station's Talk Asia program, Chen said that he and his running mate, Vice President Annette Lu (
"If it were not for that incident, we would have garnered more support in the rally organized on the eve of the election," Chen said.
The president was referring to the attempted assassination on March 19, 2004, in which bullets grazed Chen's stomach and hit Lu's knee while the pair was campaigning in Tainan.
Chen defeated the joint ticket of then Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (
Chen said in the interview that he was very upset upon learning that the rest of the campaign rallies would be canceled because of the incident.
"I honestly did not know I was hit by a bullet and needed medical care. I thought it was firecrackers," he said.
While some have argued that the assassination attempt was staged, Chen said he and Lu did not need to put their lives in danger, as they were sure they would win.
"I believe such an assumption was cooked up by those who refuse to accept defeat," he said.
Chen said that while Taiwan's transition from authoritarianism to a democracy has been bumpy and shaky, Taiwanese are willing to face the challenges and make sacrifices if necessary.
a normal country
As the national leader, Chen vowed to turn Taiwan into a normal country, adding that Taiwan has yet to achieve normalization because the Constitution did not obtain the approval of the people.
"The 23 million people of Taiwan need a new constitution that is timely, relevant and viable," he said.
Chen said he was pleased to see that more than 60 percent of the public now identify themselves as Taiwanese, compared with 36 percent when he was first elected as president in 2000. He added that he would like to see the figure rise to 70 percent or 75 percent before he leaves office next year.
Describing the "state affairs fund" case as a political issue, Chen said Taiwan was experiencing the growing pains of an evolving democracy but he believed the judicial system would eventually prove his innocence.
When asked whether he would be willing to testify and defend himself in court after leaving office, Chen said "absolutely," because everybody must respect and follow the law.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000