The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus on Tuesday claimed that the Taipei Times, other local English-language newspapers and international agencies are bowing to pressure from the Chen administration by suppressing coverage of the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) scandal and other government mishaps.
KMT Legislator Su Chi (
Su claims that he is a "long-time reader" of the Taipei Times, though this is doubtful, given that he missed every one of our numerous reports on the KRTC debacle. Perhaps, as a rookie at the Legislative Yuan and facing tough competition from the likes of grandstanding independent Legislator Chiu Yi (
Well, he sure has this time -- by making a complete fool of himself. And not just because the pro-unification China Post was on his list of targets.
This newspaper has not only reported on the KRTC scandal since day one, it also ran a full-page special report on the controversy on Monday. We also covered the arrest of Tu Shi-san (杜十三) on page 3 of Tuesday's edition, which Su claimed we failed to do. This did not stop him from propagating his conspiracy theory that the Taipei Times is attempting to play down the DPP's poor performance in government.
This is nonsense. Over the years this newspaper has taken to task any number of Democratic Progressive Party icons for their poor judgement and lack of achievement, including President Chen Shui-bian, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Chen's coterie of tainted advisers.
For Su to make one false accusation is forgivable, but how does a professor and former Government Information Office head -- and key figure at the KMT think tank that sent the risible Bulletgate pamphlet to the US Congress -- get it wrong again and again?
Su criticizes us for having a "clearly pro-green" tinge and an overt political stance.
This need not concern him. The Taipei Times cares to ally itself with neither the Chen administration nor the KMT. The people of Taiwan and Taiwan's national interest are the primary object of our editorial support. And it is the right of any media organization to express its opinions, a right that also applies to pro-China media outlets -- whom Su refuses to criticize.
Indeed, Su conveniently forgets the good old days under KMT rule when members of his own party's Central Standing Committee -- the KMT's highest decision-making body -- served on the management of two major Chinese-language newspapers, the United Daily News and the China Times.
If Su is right that the Taipei Times is the main source of information on Taiwan for overseas governments, think tanks and media outlets, then we take this responsibility very seriously: Our job is to report what happens here and to communicate both mainstream and fringe thinking to the international community.
We also make mistakes, and we correct them as they occur. It is hoped that Su will likewise show some grace and apologize to the Taipei Times for his comments, if only to soothe readers who fear a resurgence of pan-blue-camp shooting of messengers that once prevailed under seasoned spin doctors like him.
It is quite the irony when former British prime minister Boris Johnson — a buffoon who for far too long was taken seriously — is branded a buffoon for saying something deadly serious. Following Johnson’s withering criticism of China at a business forum in Singapore on Wednesday last week, the event’s organizer, Michael Bloomberg, apologized to attendees, saying that Johnson was “trying to be amusing rather than informative and serious.” However, Johnson’s characterization of China as a “coercive autocracy” that had showed “a candid disregard for the rule of international law” was spot-on. His comments evoked the wisdom of the Austrian-British philosopher
Although internal Chinese politics are largely defined by meticulously concocted mysteries, it is an open secret that the battle for who will ascend to the highest echelons of Zhongnanhai is decided at the Beidaihe resort. It is where factions within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) engage in horse-trading over leadership selection and delegate appointments long before the party’s national congress. What unfolded at last month’s 20th National Congress was predetermined at the Beidaihe gathering in August. In this context, the CCP, and particularly Chinese President and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平), used the event to project power and party unity.
There has been a surge of global interest in Taiwan’s security in recent years. Amidst the noise, it can be easy to lose sight of broader trends that are shaping the environment within which Taiwan operates. Taking a broader view can bring into focus what tasks are most important for Taiwan to protect its democratic way of life. At the global level, several trends are unfolding in parallel. First, great power competition is intensifying. Russia is employing violence to seek to redraw boundaries. China is advancing its ambitions by operating below the threshold of conflict. China-Russia relations are unnaturally close by
The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau and the New Taipei City Prosecutors’ Office recently uncovered misconduct by Kaohsiung news outlet China VTV Co (中華微視公司). The company is being investigated for allegedly having financial connections with China without the approval of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission. China VTV also allegedly conducted an information campaign by creating videos in line with Chinese propaganda and posting them on social media, aiming to foment social division and mistrust in the government, prosecutors said. This is nothing short of exhilarating, as it means that the government is finally using legal means to stop pro-China “accomplices”