“What we need is the Meiji Restoration, not the Boxer Rebellion,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday, in response to a New Power Party (NPP) statement that the Taiwan People’s Party (TTP) would become a “rootless political party” if he, the party’s chairman, continues to avoid national sovereignty issues.
Ko launched the party last month, and on Sunday, while introducing the party’s legislative nominees, said that other parties have all made the mistake of trying to compete with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party on the spectrum between pro-unification and pro-independence.
The TPP would avoid such a mistake by focusing on improving governance, he said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
NPP Secretary-General Wu Pei-yun (吳佩芸) afterward on Sunday issued a press release saying that if Ko continues to avoid explaining his stance on national sovereignty, the TPP would become a “rootless political party.”
A party’s stance on national sovereignty would not conflict with its ability to govern a nation, and might even be supplementary to its governance, she said, adding that as Taiwan, a democratic nation, faces threats from the People’s Republic of China, its political figures should not be ambiguous about their stance.
Ko yesterday said his party is clear on “Taiwan being the top priority.”
“What we need now is the Meiji Restoration, not the Boxer Rebellion,” he added.
The Meiji Restoration was a political and social revolution in Japan that ended the power of the last feudal military government of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868, and brought about the modernization and Westernization of the country.
The Boxer Rebellion was an officially supported peasant uprising that took place in China from 1899 to 1901. The uprising was against Western imperialism and Christianity, and attempted to drive all foreigners from China, but was ended by an eight-nation alliance and China had to pay reparations.
Several NPP members have said they cannot accept Ko’s stance that the “two sides of the Strait are one family.”
Ko said that the phrase is not about politics, but about cross-strait relations in general, and Taiwan has to think about its global positioning in light of the US-China trade dispute.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center