Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Monday expressed concern over the state of politics in Taiwan, calling the nation’s political environment “extreme” and “full of uncertainties” at a meeting with Taiwanese reporters during his visit to Israel.
Asked about a speech he is to make during a planned visit to the US next month, Ko said that he had not finalized it, but alluded to its content by saying that “democracy and freedom are Taiwan’s core values.”
Ko said that an Israeli lawmaker told him that Israel and Taiwan share common values, as the two are among a handful of nations that have implemented a full democracy.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
Visiting other nations and exchanging ideas has allowed him to understand the strengths and value of Taiwan in the global society, Ko said.
Asked about Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa’s (嚴德發) criticism of a remark Ko made on Sunday that Taiwan’s education is not integrated with national defense and private industry, the mayor said that he stands behind his opinion that Taiwan could learn a lot from Israel, which has successfully integrated such concepts and has made great strides in cybersecurity.
His opinion was not intended as a slight against Taiwan, he said.
Asked about a survey showing that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) would be a popular choice for president if he runs in next year’s election, Ko said that opinion polls only reflect current opinions and that things could change drastically in 10 months.
Before the mayoral elections in November last year, Ko said that Han’s online popularity rapidly rose above his own in about 50 days, overturning expectations, so he thinks that the nation’s politics are changing to become more “extreme.”
Taiwanese public opinion is like a tsunami in an extreme climate, he said.
Opinion polls are only for reference, Ko said, adding that he would continue to carry out his duties.
It is pitiful that there is so much speculation about the presidential election when there are still 11 months to go before the poll, he said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,