The first cross-strait government-to-government meeting has again reflected President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pro-unification stance and could jeopardize Taiwan’s future dealings with China because it had trapped Taipei in Beijing’s political agenda, pro-localization advocates said yesterday.
Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi’s (王郁琦) failure to bring up the sovereignty issue and challenge Beijing’s anti-Taiwan independence claim in his meeting with Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) in Nanjing last week showed that Ma has always been a unification advocate who does not see the interests of the Taiwanese as his priority, Taiwan Society president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) told a news conference in Taipei.
“Ma has always had that illusional sentiment toward a Great China, which is why Taiwan’s sovereignty and human rights have never been high on his agenda,” Chang said.
Beijing unilaterally listed “anti-Taiwan independence and the insistence on the [so-called] 1992 consensus as the official consensus between governments across the Taiwan Strait, a claim that Wang and his ministry never challenged — either during or after the meeting — and “that is dangerous,” Chang added.
The meeting reaffirmed that a platform for political negotiation has been established and the proposed meeting between Ma and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) was already on the table, Taiwan Thinktank councilor Tung Li-wen (董立文) said.
Given that Wang touched upon political issues that the Legislative Yuan had prohibited prior to his departure to China through a resolution, Tung said that a legislative committee monitoring the cross-strait negotiations should be established as soon as possible.
This year could be “a year of unexpected acceleration” for the development of the cross-strait relations, Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive director Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) said.
As political negotiation is on the table, Ma could abandon his previous pledge of “first the economy, then the politics” and “first the easy, then the difficult” and take initiatives in follow-up events this year, including the meeting between Xi and former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-Chinese Communist Party forum and Zhang’s return visit to Taiwan, among others.
Ma has already betrayed his pledge that Taiwan’s future should be decided by the 23 million Taiwanese, Lai said, since his administration has remained mum about China’s claim of agreement on opposing Taiwan independence.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
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Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up