Independent Taipei mayor-elect Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday announced that People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) has accepted his offer to become his top policy adviser.
“Soong’s administrative team during his term as Taiwan provincial governor has always been considered the most efficient team, and I have a lot to learn from him,” Ko told a press conference immediately after his more-than-an-hour-long meeting with Soong yesterday morning.
“Soong talked about a lot of things during the meeting, but I feel that I still have much to learn from him, therefore I would like to invite him to be my top policy adviser,” Ko said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Ko then repeated the invitation three times, saying that as a first-time mayor, he does not know what challenges are ahead and therefore needs an experienced political leader to give him advice.
Soong gladly accepted the offer, saying that he does not care about the title, but would like to help as much as he can. He added that he would accept the position without pay and promised that he would not interfere in Ko’s appointment of officials.
He then told Ko that “there is no other way to handle public affairs, but to always have the public in mind and to be patient.”
Commenting on the controversies that Ko has triggered with his recent remarks on certain policy projects, Soong said that he admires Ko for his honesty and being himself.
“Are these not the personality traits that attracted voters and led to his election?” Soong asked.
However, Soong added that as a mayor, Ko should also try not to talk too fast and advised that Ko should have at least three types of assistants by his side.
“The first is a troubleshooter who is able to identify problems and help solve them; the second is someone who can take down promises or complaints that Ko makes or receives when meeting with people, and follow up on these issues afterwards,” Soong said. “And the third is a spokesperson who has to take part in meetings and understands what Ko thinks, so that he or she may serve as a buffer for Ko.”
Asked if he agrees with Ko on cross-strait relations, as Ko believes Taiwan and China are two separate countries, while Soong supports a “one China” policy, Soong said that they are actually on the same page, as at the core, both of them believe that cross-strait relations should develop peacefully and in a moderate way.
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
RULES IGNORED: CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said that crew members who break the rules would be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine Three EVA Airways flight attendants were fired last month and this month after they failed to follow the government’s quarantine requirements. This was the first time that flight attendants have lost their jobs for quarantine failures. One flight attendant reportedly breached the quarantine mandate by going to school, visiting relatives and dining with friends, while lying to the company about her activities, EVA Air said. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) have established disease prevention measures for cabin crew members, such as monitoring their health and reporting their temperature daily, the company said. While on flight duty, crew
A group of overseas Taiwanese in Norway are taking a case on their national identity to the European Court of Human Rights — with plans to file the case in the first half of next year — after Norway’s Supreme Court rejected their appeal to change their listed nationality from “China” to “Taiwan,” Joseph Liu, a Taiwanese lawyer living in Norway, told reporters on Monday. One of the initiators of the movement, “My Name, My Right,” Liu and his group plan to hire lawyers from the UK and France who know European law and have knowledge of Asia to represent them,
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority