Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Acting Chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) yesterday stepped up her criticism of a proposal to remove portraits of Republic of China (ROC) founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) from public buildings, questioning whether president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) ultimate goal is to eliminate the ROC.
“As an ROC citizen, a KMT member for 22 years and the interim chairperson of the party, I must solemnly share my thoughts on Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] Legislator Gao Jyh-peng’s (高志鵬) plan to abolish the legal requirement to hang a portrait of Sun within public buildings,” Huang said in a statement.
Huang said she wondered whether the proposal is part of Tsai’s policy and if the eradication of the ROC is her ultimate objective.
“If not, please ask your party’s lawmakers to shut up. Have the ROC citizens given their permission for the removal of our founding father’s portraits? People voted the DPP into power in the hope of living in a more dignified manner, not for the party to eliminate the ROC,” Huang said.
In 2004, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the DPP confirmed Sun’s status as the ROC’s founding father for the sake of ethnic harmony, yet the DPP has once again tossed around the issue after gaining complete control of the government in an apparent move to manipulate ethnic divisions, Huang said.
Huang, who is vying for the KMT chair, said she has instructed all KMT legislators to block Gao’s proposed draft act, adding that the party’s core values — including that the ROC is on Taiwan, the so-called “1992 consensus” and the “one China, with different interpretations” initiative — would remain.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted to making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said Tsai pledged to make this year “the first year of reforms” after she secured victory in last month’s presidential election.
“However, judging from the DPP’s conflict-thirsty nature and the provocative draft bills it has put forward in the past … what we have been feeling is more like ‘the first year of a cultural revolution,’” Lin said.
Lin said the DPP has failed to draw up bills on more pressing issues, such as disaster prevention, people’s livelihoods and the economy, instead taking aim at Sun, which shows that the party is not prioritizing the well-being of the nation and its people.
After his death in 1925, Sun was compared to US founding father and former president George Washington, with then-military commander Fan Zhongxiu (樊鍾秀) referring to Sun as the “father of the nation,” Lin said.
“Later, in 1940, the KMT regime issued a decree that the rest of China would call Sun the ‘father of the nation,’ offering a legal basis for his title,” Lin said, accusing the DPP of launching autocratic schemes and power struggles under the pretext of transitional justice.
Separately yesterday, former KMT vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) drew a parallel between Sun and democracy movement pioneer Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), who self-immolated on April 7, 1989, to protest against the authoritarian KMT regime.
“Both Sun and Deng had fought for democracy and freedom for the Zhonghua minzu [Chinese ethnic group, 中華民族]. While they were born in different eras, their insistence on achieving those values were the same,” Hau said.
Hau said that not long after Gao tabled the proposed bill, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) recommendeded designating the day of Deng’s death “Freedom of Speech Day.”
The two proposals show that the DPP is still motivated by political ideology, Hau said.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the