More speculation about the infighting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) emerged yesterday with a magazine report that Ma had forced Wang’s removal as a pre-emptive measure to safeguard his chairmanship of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
The cover story in the latest edition of the Chinese-language weekly The Journalist (新新聞) said the alleged influence peddling scandal surrounding Wang was orchestrated by Ma to foil a plot to have Wang succeed Ma as KMT chairman should the party lose in the seven-in-one elections next year.
The story said that several major KMT figures, including former party chairmen Lien Chan (連戰) and Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄), Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), have been scheming against Ma.
The story said the group planned to get a resolution passed at the party’s convention on Sept. 29 demanding that Ma, who was re-elected chairman in June, take full responsibility for the party’s performance in next year’s elections and hand over his position to Wang.
The Special Investigation Division of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has accused Wang of illegally lobbying for Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) in a breach of trust case by urging then-minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) and Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) to use their influence to stop an appeal of a not-guilty verdict for Ker.
While the allegations, made on Friday last week, still have to be investigated by the Control Yuan, the KMT’s Central Evaluation and Discipline Committee decided on Wednesday to revoke Wang’s membership, which, if upheld, would force him to step down as legislator-at-large and as speaker.
The allegations against Wang have sparked various conspiracy theories involving Ma: that he wanted to defeat party factions close to Wang in the party’s Central Standing Committee election on Saturday last week, that he was unhappy with the stalled review in the legislature of the cross-strait service trade agreement and the proposed referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City, or that he wanted to consolidate his leadership in the party to ensure he plays a key role in nominations for next year’s elections.
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance
CROSS-STRAIT CONCERNS: At the same US Congress hearing, Mira Resnick said a US government shutdown could affect weapons sales and licenses to allies such as Taiwan A Chinese blockade of Taiwan would be a “monster risk” for Beijing and likely to fail, while a military invasion would be extremely difficult, senior Pentagon officials told the US Congress on Tuesday. Growing worries of a conflict come as China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan, holding large-scale war games simulating a blockade on the nation, while conducting near-daily warplane incursions and sending Chinese vessels around its waters. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner said a blockade would be “a monster risk for the PRC [People’s Republic of China].” “It would likely not succeed, and it
‘HARASSMENT’: A record 103 Chinese warplanes were detected in 24 hours, posing severe challenges to security in the Taiwan Strait and the region, the ministry said Taiwan yesterday told China to stop its “destructive unilateral actions” after more than 100 Chinese warplanes and nine navy ships were detected in areas around the nation. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) described the number of warplanes detected in 24 hours as a “recent high,” while Beijing has so far refrained from issuing any official comment on the sorties. “Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defense had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft, which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,”
IMPORTS: Fifty-four million imported eggs with a value of more than NT$200 million had to be destroyed, mostly because they expired in storage facilities Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) last night announced that he would resign from his post. Local media on Sunday reported that Chen had resigned due to controversy over the ministry’s egg import program. Later that same evening, the Executive Yuan said that Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) had asked the minister to stay on to resolve the issue. Chen Chi-chung last night made public his decision to resign on Facebook, saying that this time he would not be dissuaded. Chen Chi-chung earlier yesterday apologized for the furor surrounding the egg import program, but added that misinformation had made the problems worse. The government was