Amid bickering between the Presidential Office and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan’s (連戰) office about Lien’s “one-China” comments, Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday defended Lien’s contribution to cross-strait relations.
Wu, in meeting with members of the Cross-Strait Business Development Foundation at the Presidential Office, said the path to the institutionalization of cross-strait negotiations has been a difficult and challenging one, and without Lien and other cross-strait experts in both the public and private sectors, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would not be able to promote peaceful cross-strait relations.
“Chairman Lien’s trip to China in 2005 and his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) helped the two sides to break the ice and launch a series of cross-strait exchanges,” Wu said.
Lien visited Beijing earlier this week for four days and met with Hu and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平). When meeting with Xi, the former KMT chairman said that cross-strait relations should be based on the principles of “the ‘one China’ framework, cross-strait peace, mutual interest and integration, and the revitalization of the Zhonghua minzu (中華民族) [Chinese ethnic group].”
Lien’s “one China” remarks, as well as another comment that political negotiation is unavoidable for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, raised concerns about the government moving toward unification, prompting the Presidential Office to immediately deny that Lien served as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) messenger and that the comments represented the Ma administration’s cross-strait stance.
The Presidential Office’s response irritated Lien’s office director, Ting Yuan-chao (丁遠超), who insisted that Lien discussed his thoughts on cross-strait development in a meeting with Ma prior to his Beijing trip.
Presidential Office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) yesterday shrugged off the criticism by Lien’s office and said that Ma did not ask Lien to give any messages to the Chinese leaders.
“What is certain is that chairman Lien, when discussing his Beijing trip with President Ma before meeting with Xi Jinping, did not mention the remarks he was going to make. President Ma also did not ask chairman Lien to deliver any message to the Chinese leaders,” she said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
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The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung