President Chen Shui-bian (
Chen made the remarks at a press conference on the Marshall Islands, where he was attending a summit with leaders of the nation's six diplomatic allies in the Pacific.
"The tavern must be closed when the time comes," he said. "I will not only hand over the presidency but also the party chairmanship to president Hsieh. There is no doubt about it."
Chen, who announced his decision to accept the party chairmanship on Thursday, said yesterday he would not lead the government with the party's policy goals.
Echoing former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) comment that former presidents should not meddle in the affairs of the sitting president, Chen said he would not criticize Hsieh or tell him what to do after he leaves office. He added that he would exercise a sense of propriety and do what he said.
His second job is simple, he said, which is to unite the party, lead it in winning next year's legislative and presidential elections, and push for passage of the party's UN referendum proposal.
Chen said that next year's presidential election was different from the polls in 2000 and 2004 when the party had to contend with outside competition.
"Near year's election is a completely different ball game," Chen said. "The enemy lies within."
Chen said that the repercussions of the party's fierce presidential primary had caused a yawning chasm within the party, and the fracture must be mended or it would have a hard time winning.
It was a pity the party wasted much time over the past few months on idle spin, he said.
Chen called former DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun irreplaceable, adding that it would be a pity if Yu did not participate in the election campaign. He promised to recruit talented people to the party, including his new special assistant who is Yu's former adviser.
Commenting on the DPP's referendum proposal of seeking UN membership under the name "Taiwan," Chen said that no force could stop the rising trend of Taiwan-centered consciousness, adding that this was critical to winning next year.
He said that pushing the referendum was a joint consensus with Hsieh, dismissing speculation that Hsieh was forced to bow to the president's will.
Chen said it was impossible for the two to be divided over the issue because it concerns national interest and Taiwan's sovereignty.
Emphasizing that Taiwan and China are two different nations, Chen said that using the name "Taiwan" to apply for UN membership is a good way to remove the stumbling block of "one China."
The administration should have done it a long time ago, he said.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
SUFFICIENT SUPPLY: Taiwan has an abundance of pandemic-related goods in storage, and protocols have been implemented to ensure that the supply chain is not broken Hordes of customers descended on hypermarkets and supermarkets in Taipei and New Taipei City after the government yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert level for the two municipalities to level 3 until May 28. Earlier in the day, the Central Epidemic Command Center reported 180 new domestically transmitted cases, most of them in Taipei and New Taipei City. Despite the government urging the public to stop hoarding daily necessities, shelves were stripped bare while cashiers were working as fast as they could. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a news conference on Friday detailed the government’s inventory of masks, medical-grade isopropyl alcohol and protective clothing,
‘STAY CALM’: The nation has more than 800 million masks in stock and can produce up to 40 million a day, while hand sanitizer stocks are also sufficient The nation has an ample supply of masks to meet demand amid concerns over an increase in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. Taiwan has more than 800 million masks in stock, with daily production of 18.3 million units on average and maximum daily capacity of 40 million units, the ministry said on Facebook. The ministry’s assurance came after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said that the nation has entered the community transmission stage after several new domestic
EYES AND EARS: The navy has commissioned the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to manufacture radars to upgrade the nation’s naval monitoring stations A military enthusiast yesterday posted photographs of Taiwanese F-16 jets taking off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu with two refueling aircraft, presumably returning to Taiwan from the US for upgrades. Asked about the matter, the Ministry of National Defense declined to comment. The jets had been part of training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and had briefly landed in Honolulu, where the photographer, Aeros808, had spotted them, a source said. The jets did not land in Guam, which had been done in 1996 when the US Air Force delivered F-16s to Taiwan, the source said, adding that the