Premier Yu Shyi-kun stressed that there was no change in US policy toward Taiwan or in US-Taiwan relations, while he admitted he was "surprised" upon hearing US Secretary of the State Colin Powell's remarks on Tuesday. \n"Taiwan is a sovereign and independent state. Powell has also clarified his remarks when he was interviewed again after he went back to the US. The US' policy toward Taiwan hasn't changed, and the cross-strait issue should be resolved peacefully," Yu said when questioned by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiu Chui-chen (邱垂貞) yesterday. \nBut when speaking to the media later, Yu admitted that he was "surprised" when Powell made the remarks about unification. \n"I had read the briefing US officials gave our representative office before Powell went to China, and the briefing didn't mention anything about what he said [regarding unification] in China," Yu said. \n"The whole government -- including me -- did not get hold of any precise information on Powell's remarks beforehand, and we will review and reflect on that," Yu said. \n"I was surprised by Powell's remarks, but now he has cleared up what he meant," Yu said. \nPowell's remarks raised the ire of officials in Taiwan over the past few days, and yesterday the People First Party (PFP) caucus and the pan-green caucuses also argued over the possibility of a "peaceful resolution" of cross-strait relations. \nThe three PFP caucus whips, together with other PFP lawmakers, visited all the caucuses yesterday promoting a draft statute regarding peace in cross-strait relations, which the PFP hopes to pass in the Procedure Committee next week. \nThe draft statute stipulates that an ad-hoc committee should be established which would engage in negotiations with China about peace in cross-strait relations. \nWhile the statute received support from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus, the DPP caucus disagreed with the statute, arguing that pushing through the statute governing the special arms deal with the US would be the first step toward ensuring peace. \nAlso, the PFP failed to visit the TSU caucus at the appointed time, and the TSU was offended as a result. \nTSU caucus whip Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) rushed down to the DPP caucus office when he realized that the PFP caucus whips had skipped the TSU. \nChen then shouted at the PFP caucus whips in the DPP caucus office. \n"You'd better make it clear whether you want unification or independence!" Chen shouted. \nThen, an unidentified PFP lawmaker shouted back, "The TSU should stop promoting independence!" \nChen soon left, but the discussion by the PFP and the DPP didn't make any progress. \n"The statute is impractical and it violates the power of the administration. It also may be unconstitutional so the DPP caucus won't support it," DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said, in response the PFP caucus' request.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under