Sat, Nov 12, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Ex-officers seen at event in Beijing

By Tu Chu-min and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Retired lieutenant general Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) was yesterday spotted in the audience as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) cautioned against “separatism” at an event held to mark the 150th anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) birth.

Xi praised Sun for the revolution against the Qing Dynasty, say ing that “the separation of Chinese territory will not be tolerated.”

During a live televised broadcast of the ceremony, New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), Wu and other retired military officers were seen sitting in the audience.

Wu has recently been active in opposing reforms of the pension system proposed by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), and, along with National Civil Servant Association president Harry Lee (李來希) and National Federation of Education Unions vice president Liu Ya-ping (劉亞平), formed a group to fight the proposal.

On Jan. 3, the group led more than 10,000 people in protest on streets outside of key government buildings in Taipei.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) yesterday criticized the former officials’ attendance at the ceremony in Beijing, saying that participation by retired Taiwanese officials at a Chinese government event was an “extraordinarily ridiculous situation.”

Tsai Shih-ying said that Wu, as a former military officer, was responsible for the protection of Taiwan, adding that Wu’s attendance at the event in an “enemy state” raised the question: “Does he have Taiwan in his heart?”

“These men receive monthly pensions of between NT$100,000 and NT$200,000 and enjoy many social benefits in Taiwan, yet they take to the streets and go on TV criticizing the government,” DPP Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) said on Facebook

“Sitting next to Chinese People’s Liberation Army officers and listening to Xi, do you not feel embarrassed?” Wang asked.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ma Wen-chun (馬文君) said retired military personnel attended the ceremony not to listen to Xi, but to honor Sun, but added that it would be inappropriate for them to participate in military exchanges.

Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said that Wu is already retired, adding that the ministry had no further comment on the matter.

No comment was available from Wu at press time last night.

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