Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) yesterday accused Taipei City’s Police Department of abusing its authority by keeping him under surveillance when Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) visited Taiwan last week.
Chuang and other DPP Taipei City councilors also condemned the police for resorting to what they said was excessive force against protesters opposing Chen’s visit.
Chuang said he and fellow councilors Liu Yao-ren (劉耀仁) and Huang Hsiang-chun (黃向群) found two police officers outside his office in Shihlin last Wednesday, two days after they went to the Grand Hotel to express opposition to Chen’s visit.
“People should enjoy freedom from fear. Why do I have to be followed around by the police because Chen Yunlin came to Taiwan?” Chuang asked yesterday during a question-and-answer session at the Taipei City Council.
Ho Ming-chou (何明洲), chief of the department’s Shihlin office, denied sending police to keep the councilors under surveillance, adding that the police enjoyed the right to “collect intelligence” when necessary.
“I think you should take more responsibility for the matter than me because the rallies you held were illegal,” he said.
Chuang and three other DPP Taipei City councilors protested against Chen outside the Grand Hotel and inside the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel in Taipei last week, and were involved in physical clashes with police on several occasions.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) rejected Chuang’s accusations, and condemned the DPP councilors and other DPP politicians for damaging Taipei City’s international image with violent protests during Chen’s visit.
“I think Taipei City was the biggest loser during Chen’s visit. The city’s image was seriously damaged in the international community,” Hau said.
At a separate setting yesterday, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) asked the National Police Agency (NPA) to conduct a review of the police response to protests against Chen Yunlin’s visit, criticized by many for excessive use of force.
Recounting Liu’s remarks made at the weekly Cabinet meeting, Executive Yuan Spokeswoman Vanessa Shih (史亞平) yesterday said that Liu had expressed appreciation and gratitude to the police for their hard work, but also asked the NPA to improve its tactics for maintaining order during rallies.
Liu didn’t specify on which occasions police handling of the protests was questionable, Shih said.
Liu also urged the NPA to take care of the more than 150 police officers who were injured on duty while safeguarding Chen’s safety, Shih said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN
‘CROCODILE TEARS’: The Taiwan Statebuilding Party said the Kaohsiung mayor was only apologizing after a poll revealed that 45% of the city’s residents favored a recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a city council session yesterday apologized for taking three months off last year to campaign for January’s presidential election. Han said that he was now prioritizing municipal affairs and was focused primarily on preventing the spread of COVID-19. He was “doing two days’ work each day” to make up for time lost, he said. Han on May 5 attended a city council session for the first time in 201 days, giving a report on pandemic response measures. At yesterday’s session, Han said the Kaohsiung City Government would be injecting NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) into the
Taipei City Councilor Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) on Saturday urged the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs to designate the Japanese colonial-era Showa Building (昭和樓) a cultural heritage site to protect it from being demolished. Wu made the remarks after the department on Tuesday last week visited the building to evaluate it for preservation, a standard procedure before a public building that is more than 50 years old is razed. The Showa Building, on Zhongxiao E Road Sec 2, was a rare kind of office building when it was constructed in 1942, Wu said. The three-story building was built with reinforced concrete and has European-style
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to