Fulfilling its earlier promise, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday took advantage of the Lunar New Year to call on former party members to come back to the fold.
\n"The KMT, with a grateful attitude and the utmost respect, would like to invite 18 new members to the presidium of the Central Advisory Council (CAC). In this new year, we hope to use your experiences to hold ourselves to the spirit of the cock that crows despite the dark and rainy night," said KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday while issuing invitations to senior pan-blue politicians.
\nIn honor of Wednesday's Lunar New Year's day, the KMT held a tea gathering yesterday at its Taipei headquarters for Lien to officially meet with blue camp old guard members and invite them to become members of the presidium.
\nA focus of media attention yesterday was the inclusion of former KMT members Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村), Lin Yang-kang (林洋港), Hsu Li-lung (許歷農) and Shao En-hsin (邵恩新) on the list of presidium candidates.
\nAll four were former KMT heavyweights who are either now independents or New Party members.
\n"By welcoming Hau, Lin, Hsu and Shao back into the KMT's ranks, the KMT is fulfilling the decision made in our Jan. 19 Central Standing Committee meeting to invite `old comrades' to rejoin the KMT. This is only the first of such invitations," KMT Spokesman Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) said in a statement released Saturday night.
\nThe KMT decided last month to begin inviting former party members back into the party as part of its efforts to consolidate the pan-blue camp. The party also decided last month to amend its party's regulations so that ex-members who had been expelled from the party or whose party membership had been revoked more than a year ago could immediately apply to re-join the party with no restrictions.
\nThe amendment has been widely viewed as an appeal to members of the People First Party (PFP). The PFP and KMT were originally slated to merge after last December's legislative elections, but the two parties have remained split after disagreements in the runup to that election.
\nAt yesterday's new year's meeting, Hau urged PFP Chairman James Soong (
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy
‘SEXUAL ASSAULT’: Taipei prosecutors said that cooperation agreements between Taiwan and the Czech Republic grant Czech officials protection against prosecution The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reaffirmed that it would not charge a Czech official with sexual assault because he is protected by diplomatic immunity. The office released a statement saying it has verified that the man works for the Czech Economic and Cultural Office Taipei’s foreign affairs corps and is thereby protected from criminal prosecution. A foreign graduate student in Taiwan had filed a complaint alleging that the section head of the Czech Economic and Trade Section had sexually assaulted her on April 21 last year. The woman said the Czech official had invited her to his home and then forced her