Responding to comments about his absence from the first televised Taipei mayoral election debate yesterday, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that those with questions about the performance of his administration can find answers on Google.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) and independent candidates Lee Hsi-kun (李錫錕) and Wu E-yang (吳萼洋) participated in the televised debate held by Television Broadcasts Satellite (TVBS) yesterday afternoon.
Asked yesterday if he was worried that his absence would make him the main target of the debate and whether he would watch it to help him in the next one, Ko said he was used to being criticized by the media, as he has been their target for more than a year.
“I always find it boring when [election] opponents attack me for not being a good administrator,” he wrote on Facebook, adding that he is busy and works hard from 7am every day.
During the debate, Ting said that Taipei faces two major challenges, that the DPP sows political conflict rather than effecting economic development and that Ko hones his showmanship rather than his performance as mayor, causing the city to lose its global competitiveness and city residents to be stuck with low salaries.
Taipei is falling behind in comparison with many global cities, Ting said, adding that he plans to focus on urban renewal and disaster prevention if he is elected, as more than 4,000 buildings could be expected to collapse if a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit the city.
Yao said that Ko’s absence was an insult to the nation’s democracy, as Taipei is Taiwan’s capital and Ko is the city’s mayor.
Yao said he would address the low birth rate, urban renewal and economic development if he was elected, and would work to protect democracy while implementing transitional justice.
He criticized the elections for being influenced by China, citing KMT Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) recent online popularity, which Yao said was the work of China’s “Internet army” and Chinese-funded media.
Lee said that if he is elected, he would free the way for people to make money and encourage Taipei’s “nighttime economy,” adding that attracting more tourists to the city and allowing them to enjoy it at any time of day would boost economic growth.
Wu said that his main principles are “safety, health, wisdom and tolerance.”
He said he believes that cross-strait relations should be improved through negotiations, although he refused to elaborate.
Wu said he was asked to run for mayor by a Buddha, adding that he was the only “tolerant candidate.”
Lee said Ko is an inconsistent administrator whose irresponsible behavior set a bad example for children, while Wu said that Ko is making a mess of city development, and lacks tolerance and the ability to execute plans.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two