Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday panned Vice President Chen Chien-jen’s (陳建仁) apology for taking a vacation while southern Taiwan was mired in floodwater after days of heavy rain, urging him to step down.
The Chinese-language United Daily News on Monday reported that Chen was on a family vacation in Kinmen from Thursday to Saturday, and that he had donned a cap and a mask while visiting several tourist sites, but was recognized due to the large entourage escorting him.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has sparked a number of controversies amid the flooding, including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday traveling in a CM-32 “Clouded Leopard” armored vehicle to survey the flooding in Chiayi County’s Budai Township (布袋) and Premier William Lai (賴清德) a day earlier saying that critics of the government’s handling of the flooding “can play god and see whether they can prevent the same amount of rain from flooding these places,” KMT caucus secretary-general William Tseng (曾銘宗) told a news conference.
Chen’s vacation on Kinmen was the most staggering of the controversies, he said.
Accusing the Tsai administration of “callousness” toward public lives being at risk, Tseng said the caucus does not accept Chen’s apology and he should resign.
A vice president going on vacation under normal circumstances will not be reprimanded, but Chen had “picked the wrong time and the wrong place,” KMT caucus vice secretary-general Ko Chin-en (柯志恩) said.
Chen did not attend the commemoration ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the 823 Artillery Bombardment on Kinmen on Wednesday last week, but went there a day later on a private trip, Ko said.
Former premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) and former Executive Yuan secretary-general Hsueh Hsiang-chuan (薛香川) resigned over the heavy casualties caused by Typhoon Morakot in 2009, Ko said, urging Chen to do the same.
Liu and Hsueh were censured by the then-opposition DPP because Liu went for a haircut and Hsueh dined with his father-in-law when Typhoon Morakot was battering the nation, but when Chen went sightseeing in Kinmen during the flood, the DPP remained silent, she said.
The DPP should not apply double standards to political appointees, and Chen should know when to quit, she said.
The KMT caucus would spare no effort to hold Chen and Lai accountable over the flooding problems and demand that the two step down, KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) added.
MONITORED BY JETS: Chinese aircraft included Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, suggesting that China refueled its short-range jets during flight The air force scrambled again yesterday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Ministry of National Defense said, the latest increase in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the nation, often in the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). Over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1, when China marked its national day, Taiwan said that nearly 150 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft entered its ADIZ, not territorial
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the
EXTRADITION POSSIBLE? The suspect, who is quarantining upon arrival in Xiamen, is accused of killing a coffee trader on a street near his house in Sindian District The suspect in an execution-style murder of a businessman in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店) has fled to China and officials are negotiating his extradition, the New Taipei City Police Department said on Tuesday. The suspect, surnamed Huang (黃), took a flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 2pm on that day to Xiamen, where he is staying in a quarantine hotel, as required by Chinese COVID-19 regulations, the department said. Investigators accuse Huang of shooting dead a local coffee trader surnamed He (何) on a street near his residence when he was returning from dropping off his daughter at her
BACK HOME: Lawmakers said the government should have known that the military reservist would be turned away from his United Airlines flight from Guam to Palau A military reservist vaccinated with Medigen’s COVID-19 vaccine, who was not allowed to board a United Airlines transit flight from Guam to Palau on Sunday, has returned to Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. After local media reported the incident on Tuesday, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center, told a news briefing that day that the reservist might not have paid enough attention to the US territory’s quarantine regulations. At a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday, lawmakers asked Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials to clarify