The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday said that it would not attend today’s Double Ten National Day celebrations, but shrugged off any link between its decision and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s ongoing hunt for the KMT’s ill-gotten assets.
“The KMT caucus has decided not to attend tomorrow’s Double Ten National Day ceremony since the DPP caucus was absent from such events when the KMT was in power,” KMT caucus convener Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟) said.
Asked whether the decision was prompted by efforts by President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration to recover the KMT’s ill-gotten assets, Liao said: “Why would it have anything to do with party assets?”
The decision is primarily due to the DPP’s disrespect of minority parties and its absence from previous Double Ten National Day celebrations, Liao said.
The KMT’s attendance at future National Day ceremonies will hinge on the DPP’s behavior, Liao said, adding that it would make an appearance should the ruling and opposition parties reach a reconciliation.
DPP caucus chief executive Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said it would be better for the KMT caucus to boycott the ceremony than to try to sabotage it.
New Power Party caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said he would represent the caucus at today’s celebrations.
As access to the Double Ten National Day ceremony, which is to take place in front of the Presidential Office Building from 9am to noon, is closed to the public, the Ministry of the Interior is encouraging people to watch online (www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQCApNs7LNw&feature=youtu.be).
Among the politicians who are to attend today’s ceremony are former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and Republican Party Chairwoman Hsu Hsin-ying (徐欣瑩).
The Taichung Prison yesterday afternoon said that it had not approved an application by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is on medical parole, to attend.
KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) declined to attend without giving an explanation.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee director Chow Chi-wai (周志偉) downplayed speculation that Hung’s no-show is also due to the handling of the KMT’s potential ill-gotten assets.
“It is natural for the public to harbor such an opinion, but I am not going to comment on this. All I know is that Ms Hung will not be attending tomorrow morning’s ceremony,” Chow said.
Tsai only attended National Day celebrations once during Ma’s two terms in office, in October last year, when she decided to show up as part of her call for political reconciliation and tolerance.
RULES TIGHTENED: Passengers arriving from Sydney and Los Angeles tested positive for COVID-19, while passengers arriving from Seattle all tested negative Seventeen of the 217 passengers who arrived on long-haul at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday morning tested positive for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the positivity rate was higher than expected. Yesterday was the first day that the government enforced stricter health guidelines for the testing of passengers arriving on long-haul flights. They must undergo a polymerase chain reaction test immediately after arriving at the nation’s international airports. Those who test positive are sent directly to hospitals to avoid spreading the virus to people working in and around the airports and at quarantine hotels. Victor Wang (王必勝),
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
‘CHAOS’: Victor Wang, the CECC’s on-site commander at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, said testing of arrivals has sped up in time to meet holiday demand For now, people are not banned from eating and drinking on trains, despite the rise in locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. “On Sunday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that the nation would remain on a level 2 COVID-19 alert until at least Jan. 24. So we will follow the center’s disease prevention guidelines for passengers on public transport systems,” Wang said. However, bus and train depots have been asked to disinfect facilities more frequently, he said. The center’s new