Political activist Yen Ming-wei (顏銘緯) and academics yesterday lashed out at what they called the China-leaning statements President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has made during recent interviews with foreign media outlets, while calling on Taiwanese to refrain from going down the same mistaken path as Hong Kong.
“Poor Taiwan, so far away from God and so close to China,” Yen said at a news conference in Taipei organized by the Taiwan Association of University Professors.
He revised a quote often attributed to former Mexican president Porfirio Diaz: “Poor Mexico, so far way from God and so close to the US.”
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“However we choose to interact with China, we should not forget that we should always insist on Taiwan’s sovereignty,” said Yen, a freshman at National Sun Yat-sen University and director of Greater Kaohsiung-based activist group Flanc Radical’s electoral campaign in the municipality.
Turning to the incident on Friday last week in which he reportedly hurled a book at Ma as the latter was leaving a public event in Taipei, Yen said that he threw it not because he wanted to hurt the president, but because he is becoming increasingly anxious about the nation’s future, as Ma seems to be “selling Taiwan out to China with all his China-leaning policies, remarks and actions.”
“I wanted to remind him about Taiwan’s status as a sovereign state, which is also the message that the book Formosa Betrayed conveys,” Yen said of the book he threw.
National Cheng Kung University political science professor Leung Man-to (梁文韜) said that while the president continuously reiterates a position that the so-called “status quo” between Taiwan and China should be maintained, “his policies and actions show otherwise.”
“We simply cannot trust the Ma government,” he said.
A Hong Kong native, Leung said that Taiwan is now traveling on the same path as Hong Kong and might end up in the same political trouble as the territory faces today.
“We should learn a lesson from Hong Kong,” Leung said.
Aletheia University professor Chen Li-fu (陳俐甫) shared Leung’s view.
“I have known many friends from Hong Kong for more than 20 years and they are all opposed to Taiwanese independence,” Chen said. “But after what happened yesterday [Sunday], they have probably realized why Taiwanese want to be independent.”
Chen said that the “one country, two systems” framework proposed by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) was originally designed for “unification” with Taiwan, but was first put into practice in Hong Kong.
“Obviously, that framework has now failed and we should seriously think about whether we [Taiwan] want to follow in Hong Kong’s footsteps,” he said.
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
Taiwanese have donated more than NT$10 million (US$329,946) to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, following an appeal for help by a Yilan-based Italian priest to save his “other homeland.” Catholic Father Giuseppe Didone on Wednesday issued a public letter asking for donations to be made to the fundraising center of Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong to purchase emergency provisions, including surgical masks and protective gowns, for medical personnel in Italy. Didone yesterday expressed his gratitude and said that he was touched by the love shown by Taiwanese. While state-funded hospitals in Italy are mostly adequately supplied, many local clinics are suffering from
Taiwanese sports are to return next weekend, with the baseball and soccer leagues starting their new seasons, although there are to be restrictions for spectators and protective measures due to COVID-19. The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) season was originally scheduled to begin on March 14, then pushed back to March 28, before settling on next Saturday. “To conform with the government’s mandate limiting crowds at outdoor events, we will strictly limit the total number of people at each league game at fewer than 200,” CPBL secretary-general Feng Shen-hsieng (馮勝賢) said. “This figure will include the players, coaches, team employees, ballpark