TSU joins DPP in organizing Oct. 25 rally


Sat, Oct 18, 2008 - Page 3

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday accepted an offer from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to be a co-organizer of a “safeguard Taiwan” rally scheduled for Oct. 25.

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) extended the invitation in person during a visit to TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝).

At a news conference held after the meeting, Huang said the TSU would take an active role in the event because the demonstration’s theme is one of the party’s longstanding goals.

“The theme of the rally — protesting ‘black-hearted’ products from China and protecting Taiwan’s sovereignty — have been key issues the party fights for, and so the TSU has decided to support and join the rally,” Huang said.

The DPP has accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of “tilting excessively toward China” and sacrificing Taiwan’s sovereignty by adopting a series of liberalization measures toward China since Ma’s inauguration on May 20.

These measures include launching nonstop cross-strait charter flights on weekends, opening Taiwan up to more Chinese tourists, allowing cross-strait currency trading, raising the cap on China-bound investment by local enterprises from 40 percent of their net worth to 60 percent and recognizing Chinese academic degrees.

Regarding the DPP’s invitation for the TSU’s spiritual leader — former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) — to take part in the demonstration, Huang said the 85-year-old Lee seldom takes part in public rallies. However, Huang said he would pass on the invitation to Lee.

Tsai said that anyone who supports the rally’s goals is welcome to take part, whether they are for or against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Allegations of money laundering have been lodged against Chen and have complicated the issue as some party members have demanded that the party bar Chen from taking part.

When asked if Chen would lead a group in the rally, Tsai said “the details of the rally are still being planned.”

DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) told a separate press conference yesterday that the rally would depart from five separate assembly points before meeting up on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

The five gathering points are Mengjia Park (艋舺公園) in Wanhua District (萬華區), the main entrance of National Taiwan University, the Welcome Business Center on Zhongxiao E Road, the Zhongshan Soccer Stadium and the Chunghsing Bridge (中興橋) in Sanchung (三重), Taipei County.

He said the DPP has also decided to hold three evening rallies in Taipei from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30, but added the party has not decided the sites of those rallies.