President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is seeking re-election next month, yesterday launched another home-stay trip at a local fruit grower’s house in the Dongshih District (東勢) of Greater Taichung, seeking to consolidate his support in the crucial city ahead of the presidential election.
Ma spent a night at the house of local farmer Chan Te-sen (詹德森), a board member of the Taichung Agriculture Association, and met with a group of local farmers to discuss agricultural issues, including the price of locally grown fruits and the export of agricultural products to China under the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
“Taichung was my first stop when I launched my long-stay trips during the 2008 presidential election campaign when I stayed at a teacher’s house in the city,” Ma said when discussing the home-stay experience before visiting Chan.
“I’ve become friends with most of the families I have stayed with during the long-stay trips and [home stay] is a great way to better understand local issues,” Ma said.
The president also had rice dumpling with the farmers to celebrate the upcoming winter solstice, also known as the Dongzhi Festival (冬至).
The home-stay last night was Ma’s second stay in Taichung’s Fongyuan District (豐原).
He had stayed at the home of a local farmer in the district last month, followed by another overnight trip to a National University of Kaohsiung dormitory last month.
Taichung is deemed as a key city for Ma’s Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the presidential and legislative elections after the party almost lost the city to the Democratic Progressive Party in last year’s special municipality elections.
KMT Culture and Communication Committee director Chuang Po-chun (莊伯仲) said Ma’s stay in Taichung would help boost the president’s momentum in central Taiwan and consolidate support for the party’s legislative candidates.
Ma is scheduled to visit Chan’s grape orchard this morning and canvass at a local market to attempt to solicit voters’ support. He is scheduled for more home-stay trips next week, Ma’s re-election campaign office said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each