At a rally in Kaohsiung yesterday celebrating the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) 20th birthday, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said that the DPP could continue as the governing party after the 2008 presidential election as long as it had faith in itself.
Chen, listing the party's "birthday wishes" to a gathering of high-spirited DPP supporters in Kaohsiung last night, said the DPP would win the year-end Taipei and Kaohsiung mayoral elections and that the party would win a majority in the legislative election next year.
"If we take a good, hard look at ourselves, correct our mistakes, uphold our integrity, do the right thing and move in the right direction then the DPP will have faith in itself and will be successful [in retaining office]," he said.
Government exists for the sake of the public, Chen said, adding that his administration would do its best to increase investment in local industry, develop job opportunities and bridge the gap between rich and poor.
Chen said the government would work to deliver a new constitution that "responds to the current situation," join the UN under the name "Taiwan" and hold a referendum calling for the recovery of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) stolen assets.
The DPP's most senior officials, including Vice President Annette Lu (
Referring to the government's achievements, Su said that many DPP supporters might not be satisfied with what the party has achieved over the past few years, and that the DPP would review its approach.
Leading the crowd in a thumbs-up gesture -- in response to the thumbs-down gesture of former DPP chairman Shih Ming-teh's (
Yu said the party would aim for Taiwan to become a "normal country" within 10 years.
Denying "pro-China media" charges that he deliberately stoked ethnic conflict, Yu said that he would not subscribe to, read or buy advertisements in the Chinese-language China Times as long as he was in office.
Yu also called on the party faithful to stand behind the president because "he stands for the nation and did not commit any crime."
Acting Kaohsiung City Mayor Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) told the rally that the party had fought for democracy and freedom. She said the party would not forget the core values upon which it was founded.
Earlier in the afternoon pro-DPP activists had marched through the city shouting"Long Live Taiwan!" and other slogans, with Lu and Su riding in a vehicle among them and beating drums.
Like many marchers, Lu was wearing green, the party's color.
About a dozen people carried a massive cloth banner with the slogan "Stand Up, Taiwan" written across it, while colored balloons floated overhead.
Yu gave a double thumbs-up as a sign of support for Chen, who didn't take part in the march but was scheduled to speak later at the rally.
The president's son, Chen Chih-chung (
A 36-year-old man surnamed Jang said that he and his mother had traveled to Kaohsiung from Taichung the previous night to make up for an event he missed on Sept. 16 when the Taiwan Society staged a large rally in Taipei.
A supporter of the DPP since it was in opposition, Jang displayed posters written in Chinese and English to "help the foreign media understand that the KMT needs to return its stolen assets."
National Cheng Kung University Professor Chen Shean-jen (
Organizers said 350,000 people took part in the march, but an initial police estimate put the crowd at 105,000.
Kaohsiung police said that more than 2,700 officers were standing by, while 200 barbed-wire barricades had been erected.
The Central Weather Bureau could issue a sea alert for Super Typhoon Mawar, as it is forecast to turn north and come closest to Taiwan from Tuesday to Wednesday next week. Mawar was downgraded from a super typhoon to a typhoon after sweeping across Guam on Wednesday night, knocking down trees and leaving much of the US territory without power. Many residents of Guam yesterday remained without power and utilities after Mawar tore through the remote US Pacific territory the previous night, ripping roofs off homes, flipping vehicles and shredding trees. There were no immediate reports of deaths and injuries, but the
ADJUSTMENTS: Over the next five years, every year except 2026 would have only one makeup workday to compensate for national holidays, the government said The Executive Yuan (EY) yesterday announced the official workday calendar for next year, which includes one makeup day and four holidays with more than three days off. It also announced new standards for makeup days in the event of consecutive holidays. The Directorate-General of Personnel Administration cited the importance of the Lunar New Year and Tomb Sweeping holidays to the public as its reason to mandate flexible off-days. The 115 total off-days dovetail with dates that international financial markets are closed, minimizing the effects of state holidays on stock and currency exchange trading, it said. Over the next five years, only the calendar for
INVASION UNPOPULAR: Chinese would likely accept their government having a softer stance toward cross-strait relations, one of the coauthors of the article said Interest among the Chinese public in the issue of China’s unification with Taiwan is low, researchers said, citing the results of a poll. An article titled “Assessing Public Support for (Non-)Peaceful Unification with Taiwan: Evidence from a Nationwide Survey in China,” published in the Journal of Contemporary China on May 14, showed that only 55 percent of those surveyed in China would support the use of military force to achieve unification with Taiwan. In the survey, which polled 1,824 people on the question of how they would like to see the issue of Taiwan’s unification with China resolved, “only one out of
EMBRACE CHANGE: Jensen Huang told NTU graduates that instead of worrying about AI itself, they should worry that people with expertise in AI would be taking their jobs Artificial intelligence (AI) is redefining the computer industry, and Taiwanese companies could play a major role in replacing the world’s traditional computers as they are the foundation of the industry, Nvidia Corp cofounder and CEO Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said in Taipei yesterday. Huang made the remarks while giving the keynote speech at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) commencement ceremony. AI has created immense opportunities, and versatile companies can be expected to take advantage and boost their position, while less flexible firms would perish, he said. “In every way, this is a rebirth of the computer industry and a golden opportunity for the companies of