Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday said that the Legislative Yuan has heard the students’ demands and that he would use all possible channels to seek a solution and respond to their appeals.
Wang issued a statement last night calling on the students who have been occupying the legislative chamber since Tuesday evening in protest against the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement to remain calm, exercise self-control and take care of their well-being as well as the public property inside the Legislative Yuan.
“These are items paid for by taxpayers’ money and we hope the Legislative Yuan can resume its normal proceedings soon and find a solution through democratic means,” the statement said.
Photo: Lu Chun-wei, Taipei Times
Earlier yesterday, Wang ruled out calling in law enforcement officers to remove the students from the chamber.
“For now, I am only thinking of the students’ safety and am not considering having them removed by force,” Wang said in response to reporters’ questions.
Having students occupy the legislative chamber is not a question of legislative autonomy, but of social order, Wang said.
It is not that the police have no right to intervene in the protest because it is taking place in the legislature, but the top concern for now is the students’ safety, he added.
Wang has not been to his office in the legislative building since the students stormed and occupied the chamber on Tuesday.
Security has been tightened in front of Wang’s office.
Police have also set up barricades on Jinan Road and Zhenjiang Street, both of which lead to the legislative building.
Only lawmakers and members of the press with legislative passes are allowed to enter the building.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Office said last night that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would exercise his right of mediation in accordance with Article 44 of the Constitution by summoning Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Wang and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) this morning to talk about the Legislative Yuan resuming its duties.
Article 44 states: “The President, if not restricted by other articles in the Constitution, may summon the presidents of the five yuan to mediate a solution to inter-yuan disputes.”
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut