The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government.
David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded.
Local police suspect the shooting was politically motivated after they found notes in Chou’s car indicating that he did not believe Taiwan should be an independent state separate from China.
Internet users have accused Chou of involvement in Las Vegas Chinese for Peaceful Unification, a semi-official organization of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), with branches in several countries.
An April 3, 2019, report on the media platform Las Vegas Chinese News Network said that Chou attended the founding ceremony of the group and was an outspoken supporter of former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) during Han’s presidential campaign.
A picture published with the report showed Chou holding up a banner calling for the “annihilation of separatist demons.”
Group founder Gu Yawen (顧雅文) yesterday told the China Review News Agency that Chou did attend the 2019 founding ceremony, but had seemed “too radical” to her and had not attended group events since the second half of 2019.
FAPA president Minze Chien (簡明子) said that FAPA members were “shocked and horrified by this horrific shooting.”
FAPA is a “Taiwanese-American organization that promotes freedom, human rights and democracy for the people of Taiwan,” Chien said.
“We strongly condemn this act of cowardice in the strongest terms possible. We, therefore, urge the authorities to prosecute this heinous crime as a politically motivated hate crime, and label any groups he was affiliated with as domestic terrorists,” FAPA said.
Chou was born in Taiwan in 1953 and raised there before emmigrating to the US, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles Director-General Louis Huang (黃敏境) said on Monday, adding that the man who was killed and the five injured were also Taiwanese-Americans.
The victim has been identified as 52-year-old doctor John Cheng (鄭達志). He leaves behind a wife and two children.
In Taipei, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) condemns all forms of violence, and expressed her condolences to Cheng’s family and hoped for the fast recovery of the wounded.
Chang said the president had asked Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who is based in Washington, to visit California soon to express the government’s willingness to offer assistance to the families of the victims.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: China might impose a blockade, conduct limited force operations, use an air and missile campaign, or resort to an invasion, the report said The US Department of Defense has identified four possible military courses of action that China could take against Taiwan, but did not offer any guess on when Beijing might be ready to act. In an annual report to the US Congress released on Tuesday titled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022, the department gave a broad overview of China’s military capabilities, strategy, ambitions and intentions. The report devoted significant space to developments related to Taiwan, against which it said China had intensified diplomatic, economic, political and military pressure last year. For example, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
Taipei on Friday rejected Hanoi’s characterization of its recent live-fire drill near Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) as “illegal,” saying that Taiwan’s claim to the small island in the South China Sea was “unquestionable.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement that the comments made by its Vietnamese counterpart about the military’s routine live-fire drills near Itu Aba on Tuesday were “unacceptable.” Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang called Taiwan’s military activity “a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty,” saying it had caused tensions and complicated the situation in the region. Hang
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to offer advanced 4-nanometer chips when its new US$12 billion plant in Arizona opens in 2024, an upgrade from its previous public statements, after US customers such as Apple Inc pushed the company to do so, according to people familiar with the matter. TSMC is expected to announce the new plan when US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visit the facility near Phoenix for a ceremony on Tuesday next week, the people said. The TSMC plant had been slated to make 5-nanometer semiconductors, a standard that would be far
PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE MEETING: The statement by the former US representative came as Congress is poised to back US$10 billion to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities Former US representative Will Hurd yesterday said visiting Taiwan has made him realize that China’s “one country, two systems” framework is not a feasible solution for Taiwan. Hurd, who is visiting Taiwan with an international delegation, made the remarks when meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in Taipei. There is bipartisan support for Taiwan in Washington, with Republicans and Democrats agreeing that only the 23.5 million Taiwanese can decide the nation’s future, said Hurd, a trustee at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund think tank. Former German lawmaker Marieluise Beck said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed mindsets