Saying that the main problem obstructing the UN referendum issue originated in China and not the US, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday urged everyone in Taiwan to focus on the right target.
"We are not taking aim at the US or US President George W. Bush. The enemy is China and the Chinese Communist Party," Chen said on a visit to Taichung yesterday.
"China is the dictator that does not want to talk about democracy and ignores the will of 23 million Taiwanese ... it is China that's stopping Taiwan from joining the UN," he said.
Democratization is what scares China the most, and democracy's most concrete expression is a referendum, Chen said, adding that, as a sovereign country, Taiwan had the right to join the UN.
The nation's 15th annual bid to join the world body will be put before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
In a videoconference with the Overseas Press Club of America in New York last night, Chen said that the US had been the first to change Taiwan's official title.
He said that when Taiwanese apply for a US visa with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), they list their nationality as "Republic of China" on the application form, but when they receive the visa their country of origin is given as "Taiwan."
"Why is it acceptable for the US to change our country's name, but when we ourselves want to change our country's name, it is considered wrong?" Chen asked.
Earlier yesterday, Chen urged people to take part in the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) rally to be held in Kaohsiung this afternoon in support of the party's UN referendum proposal on entering the UN under the name "Taiwan."
The rally today is scheduled to start at the intersection of Chungshan and Minsheng roads in Kaohsiung at 4pm and head north along Chungshan and Bo-ai roads to the intersection of Bo-ai and Shennung roads.
In addition to Chen, senior pan-green camp politicians including Vice President Annette Lu (
Chen is to deliver a speech at the rally that will be transmitted via a live video uplink to a similar event in front of the UN's New York headquarters.
The DPP has said it expected 500,000 people at the rally.
In response to the scale of the rally, the Kaohsiung Police Bureau plans to implement traffic controls in the afternoon and evening. No vehicles will be allowed south to Chungcheng Fourth Road, north to Wufu Third Road, west to Linsen First Road and east to Chunghua Third Road between 1pm and 7pm.
The youth department of Hsieh's office yesterday launched a campaign titled "Taiwan, My Country" and presented a campaign logo in the form of a burning phoenix, which the department said symbolized the transformation of Taiwan.
"Most young people in Taiwan now believe that Taiwan is a nation and that Taiwan's voice must be heard," the youth department's chief executive officer Chang Chia-ling (
Another logo, using a fire motif, was also unveiled, carrying the slogan "I love Taiwan love me" (我愛台灣愛我).
Chang said the logo symbolized that patriotism should become a fashionable idea in Taiwan.
At a separate setting yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus Secretary-General Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) accused the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York of mobilizing Taiwanese students in the US to participate in the rally at the UN headquarters.
The office even offered students between US$20 and US$75 as compensation, Kuo said.
In response, Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (
Huang said that promoting Taiwan's participation in the UN was a government policy and that the government held similar rallies or campaigns every year.
The KMT plans to hold its own rally this afternoon in Taichung to promote its proposed referendum on returning to the UN and other international organizations.
The rally will start at 4pm at 823 Park and march toward the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, where a party is to be held until 9pm.
The KMT has created 10 floats for the rally featuring different themes to highlight civic problems, such as credit card debt and the suicide rate.
KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (
Former KMT chairman Lien Chan (
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu