Former gang leader Chang An-le (張安樂), who heads the China Unification Promotion Party, led hundreds of people to the streets near the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday to demand that the students who have been “illegally” occupying the legislative chamber “return the legislature.”
Chang, known as the “White Wolf,” said on Monday that he would not take part in yesterday’s counter-protest, but he did not explain his change of heart yesterday.
He said the two main student leaders, Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) and Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), were “employed students,” a phrase coined during the Martial Law era to refer to students who worked for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime to spy on their peers and report any “unlawful” action against the state.
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times
Chen and Lin led hundreds of students in the occupation of the legislative chamber on March 18. The student protesters, who have grown into the Sunflower movement, are demanding that a mechanism to monitor cross-strait talks be established before legislators resume their review of the controversial service trade pact with Beijing.
Accompanied by two student members of the pro-unification New Party — Wang Puchen (王炳忠) and Lin Ming-cheng (林明正) — Chang and his supporters engaged in an hours-long standoff against supporters of the Sunflower movement at one end of Zhengjiang Street, with scores of policemen acting as a buffer between the two sides.
Chang and his group criticized the police for being “blind to the criminal activities” inside the Legislative Yuan, while blocking “law-abiding citizens” from entering the building, “which belongs to everybody.”
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
One woman called the students in the legislative chamber “green guards” who were being directed by the Democratic Progressive Party.
At one point, Chang, apparently upset by pro-Sunflower supporters calling him a gangster, angrily shouted: “You are all fucking offspring of Chinese, but you do not deserve to be Chinese. Chinese people do not want you.”
The students responded with applause and laughter, with many shouting: “We are not Chinese anyway. We are Taiwanese.”
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Thousands of students supporting the Sunflower movement gathered outside the Legislative Yuan — mostly along Qingdao E Road — to protect those inside.
They responded to Chang and his protesters by singing Island’s Sunrise (島嶼天光), which has become the Sunflower movement’s anthem, and chanting: “Retract the cross-strait service trade agreement” and “Safeguard our democracy.”
Mocking Chang, who allegedly paid for “walkers” to join his demonstration, the students said: “We do not need ‘employed walkers’ to protect democracy.”
Hearing that Chang’s group was asking to meet with student representatives to deliver a petition, Fu Jen Catholic University philosophy professor Shen Ching-kai (沈清楷), who was outside the legislature, said the pro-pact demonstrators were directing themselves at the wrong people.
“Should not those in power be the ones held accountable for people’s complaints?” he said.
Responding from the legislative chamber, Chen said that Chang and his group should be appealing to the Presidential Office, not the anti-pact students.
“The president and the lawmakers are the people who have the real power. The question is not to ask us when are we leaving the Legislative Yuan, but when these people will begin to solve the problem.”
One pro-Sunflower student was hurt after being chased by pro-pact protesters, who threw bottles at him.
Chang’s followers included members of the pro-unification Patriot Association and the Chinese Cross-Strait Women’s League.
His group dispersed after 5pm, but Chang said he would be back.
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
SWITCH TO BEIJING: The government severed diplomatic relations about an hour after Honduras announced the move, saying that no semi-official ties would be maintained Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Honduras and ended all cooperation with the Central American country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, about an hour and a half after the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter at 8am Taiwan time that the nation would cut its ties with Taiwan. Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Wednesday sent Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina to Beijing to negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations. She announced the plan on March 14 on Twitter. “To safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, Taiwan is terminating diplomatic ties with Honduras with immediate effect” after communication with
MEDIA, SOCIETY FOCUS: Doublethink Lab said that Beijing is trying to coerce countries that rely on China economically to pursue policies in its favor China has stronger influence over Taiwan’s media and society than any other country, the Taipei-based Doublethink Lab think tank said yesterday, as it announced its China Index gauging Beijing’s global influence. Taiwan ranked 11th overall among 82 countries assessed, but first in terms of social and media influence, Doublethink Lab chairman Puma Shen (沈伯洋) told a news conference in Taipei. More than 200 experts and academics participated in the project, including some highly influential figures, Shen said. The index collects information from countries worldwide to gauge China’s influence and assess how Chinese policies affect them, Shen said. In terms of Chinese