The Ministry of Justice yesterday said that it is considering whether the nation should enact legislation to target hate crimes after a shooting targeting the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church last week killed one person and injured five.
The suspect is 68-year-old David Weiwen Chou (周文偉). He was born in Taiwan before emigrating to the US.
He was a member of the National Association for China’s Peaceful Unification, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said. Police found notes in his car expressing his dislike of Taiwanese and indicating that Taiwan should not be an independent state separate from China.
Chou is believed to have targeted the Irvine congregation as the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan has been supporting Taiwanese independence.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) last week told a news conference in Taipei held by the Presbyterian Church that he would propose legislation to punish hate crimes.
“Many countries have taken similar legal actions to deter hate crimes and hate speech,” Lo said. “The DPP will work with opposition parties to ensure that laws protect people against hate crimes.”
Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) told reporters at the legislature in Taipei that the ministry could begin by reviewing comparable regulations in other nations.
“We will also consult the opinions of legal experts on this matter,” Tsai said. “If the current regulations are deemed to be inadequate to prevent hate crimes, we could consider proposing a new bill.”
Meanwhile, the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church on Sunday morning held a memorial service for 52-year-old sports physician John Cheng (鄭達志), who was killed while trying to stop the gunman on May 15.
Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) attended the service on behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
“Cheng voluntarily took the bullet from the suspect and prevented a massacre with his life... His sacrifice is a testimony of the integrity, kindness and bravery of Taiwanese people and will stay in everyone’s heart,” Hsiao wrote on Facebook.
“The suspect resorted to violence and harmful actions simply because of differences in political ideologies, which in comparison seemed fragile and insignificant,” she wote, adding that she has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office to protect Taiwanese expatriates.
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
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
NOT JUST CHIPS: Although semiconductor processes are on the list, it also includes military technology and post-quantum cryptography to combat emerging cyberthreats The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) yesterday released a list of 22 technologies it considers crucial to the nation’s security and competitiveness, including the 14-nanometer semiconductor process and advanced chip packaging. For the first time, the council made a list of core technologies with an aim of preventing secret information about those technologies being leaked to foreign countries, which could put the nation’s security and the competitiveness of local industries at risk. For years, local semiconductor companies have faced challenges from talent poaching and theft of corporate secrets by Chinese competitors, who are seeking to rapidly advance their technology capabilities through