The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is mulling establishing a task force focused on studying Taiwan entering Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotations, a party official said yesterday.
If established, the task force may comprise party officials and think tank experts, and would conduct studies on negotiation strategy, policy recommendations and the holding of exchanges with foreign governments, as well as international academics, DPP Department of International Affairs director Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠) said.
The DPP sees joining the proposed free-trade bloc as key for Taiwan’s future and even though President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) also supports entering TPP talks and has expressed hope that Taiwan will be a member by 2020, his administration has yet to engage in any preparatory work, Liu said.
The DPP has already reached out to the international community for information on other countries’ assessment and negotiation strategies, said Liu, who recently returned from a trip to Japan.
From Dec. 2 until Thursday last week, Liu’s delegation met with Japanese academics and politicians to learn from the experiences they have gained from Tokyo’s ongoing TPP negotiations, he said.
Liu added that the DPP has established bilateral communications with Taiwan’s informal allies in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, as well as the US, which the party deems crucial for its success in future elections and for the nation’s diplomatic presence.
Having established a representative office in Washington, the DPP has also started sending delegations to Tokyo every couple of months and to Seoul every six months, he said.
“It is part of our effort to connect Taiwan with the ‘democratic alliance,’ a proposal initiated by DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) advocating collaboration between Taiwan and other democracies in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the establishing of a mechanism to affirm that our positions and Taiwanese mainstream public opinion are understood abroad,” Liu said.
Separately yesterday, DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said the party wants China to promote regional stability and refrain from escalating tensions.
Lin made the remarks in response to Beijing’s criticism of the DPP’s position on China’s new air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Fan Liqing (范麗青) said yesterday in Beijing that by accusing China of expansionism, urging collaboration with Japan and the US and protesting the ADIZ, the DPP was trying to incite cross-strait disharmony.
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