Thu, Nov 26, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ko questions use of nation’s flag in Islamic State video

Staff writer, with CNA

After the Republic of China flag was one of the flags shown on a new video released by the Islamic State (IS) group, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said he wondered what put Taiwan is on group’s radar.

He also criticized the US’ mentioning of Taiwan as part of a regional coalition against the group.

“Taiwan is a country that treats Islam in very friendly way. Why has [the IS] puts us on its list? It makes no sense,” Ko said when asked by reporters about the video. “We are not allowed to join the United Nations, or [other] international organizations. Taiwan has never been treated as a country.”

Not until Taiwan is needed to pay for something or share in a workload is it called upon, Ko said, adding: “It is dreadful.”

However, Taiwan must deploy anti-terrorist measures since that is what everyone in the world has to do now, he said.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Tuesday said that there was “a wide range” of options in combatting terrorism and that the Islamic State was not the only focus of the government’s anti-terrorism efforts.

The government has cooperated with the US on many fronts since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the US, Ma told reporters during a visit to central Taiwan, adding that “our objective is to help ensure world peace.”

One way was to help refugees, and Taiwan donated 350 prefabricated houses for refugees in Syria last year to help them survive a harsh winter, he said.

“Strengthening checks and inspections at customs points is another way of fighting terrorism,” Ma said

Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday agreed on the need to help refugees, saying that “we should not lag behind others” in this regard.

“We should do our best to fulfill our responsibility as part of international society,” in the interests of the safety, peace and wellbeing of humankind, Tsai said.

However, People First Party presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) said that while Taiwan is opposed to terrorism and violent threats, it “does not wish to be part of any specific coalition.”

Taiwan’s inclusion in any such coalition will cause fear and worry among its people, he said.

The US is a good friend of Taiwan, “but why does it not think of Taiwan when something good happens,” he said.

During the Cold War, Taiwan was a front-line defense for the democratic camp against communism, Soong said.

“Now, we do not have to put the people of Taiwan at risk,” he said.

Taiwanese need to realize that their nation is small and cannot afford to “come out front,” he said.

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