Participants at a meeting of groups that oppose signing an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China on Monday night agreed to follow an initiative to hold a rally against the proposed trade pact.
“For the time being, we will continue to support the Taiwan Solidarity Union’s [TSU] signature drive for an ECFA referendum,” Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴), convener of the Taiwan Referendum Alliance, told the Taipei Times yesterday.
“However, we think the first stage of the TSU to submit the petition signatures will come too late, as the date [for doing so] has been set for April 25,” he said.
Although Tsay said it would be nice to see the TSU petition for a referendum passed by the Central Election Committee and for the second stage of the petition process to begin, “we do not anticipate this will happen under the current atmosphere created by [President] Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.”
“We are prepared to convey a proposal to the Democratic Progressive Party, which is expected to hold a rally against an ECFA on May 20, the second anniversary of Ma’s inauguration,” Tsay said. “Our proposal is that the rally request the Legislative Yuan and/or Ma to respond to a resolution for an ECFA referendum in accordance with the Referendum Act [公民投票法], rather than just dismiss the rally at the end of the day.”
Tsay said his group was prepared to apply continuous pressure on the legislature and the Ma administration by holding rallies of between 5,000 and 10,000 protesters a day around the legislature.
“We believe it is our civil right to have a referendum on the ECFA. We are convinced that the Republic of China under Ma has clearly proved itself to be a Chinese government exiled in Taipei and that Ma has chosen to suppress the freedoms of Taiwanese by denying a referendum — even under current laws that make it extremely difficult to pass a referendum,” Tsay said.
On whether the DPP would approve the proposal, Tsay said that remained to be seen and that his organization understood that the DPP also had to keep electoral considerations in mind.
“They [the DPP] have tried very hard to please both the upper and lower classes of society,” Tsay said. “Signing an ECFA would amplify the economic gap between the rich and the poor. Some DPP spokesman insisted on TV that DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has yet to say that she is against an ECFA, though she does say that the matter should be decided via a referendum.”
“This will do more damage to the DPP than they think,” he said. “If the DPP fails to block an ECFA for the welfare of Taiwanese, we all feel that forming another stronghold to give Taiwanese a strong voice would be both a pragmatic and necessary alternative.”
Taiwan from Thursday is to reinstate visa exemptions for passport holders from 65 countries. Mandatory quarantine for arriving travelers is to be lifted on Oct. 13 , when restrictions on inbound and outbound tour groups are also to be lifted. The following is a list of answers to common questions regarding how the new regulations are to affect inbound international visitors Which passports will have visa-free entry privileges? Eleven more countries on Thursday are to join 54 countries that were given visa-free privileges on Sept. 12. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Chile, Israel and Nicaragua can stay in Taiwan for up to 90 days without a visa. Taiwan is also to resume 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of the Dominican Republic, Singapore and Malaysia. Passport holders from Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines are to be allowed to stay in Taiwan for 14 days visa-free. Taiwan on Sept. 12 resumed 90-day visa-free entry for passport holders from the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New
PRIDE AND FURY: Supporters of the Taiwan People’s Communist Party sang in Tainan, while Taiwan loyalists in Kaohsiung vowed to ‘protect Taiwan until death’ Two small Taiwanese groups at the far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked the National Day of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with flag raisings and flag burnings — opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait. Oct. 1 marks the day that Mao Zedong (毛澤東) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with the defeated Republic of China government fleeing to Taiwan at the end of that year, where — after democratic reforms — it remains to this day, neither recognizing the other. China’s national day is not officially marked in any
VOICING SUPPORT: The German ambassador to the US said that the country should not allow China to move goalposts to isolate Taiwan or break international law Relations with Germany continue to warm as German-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group chairman Klaus-Peter Willsch, leading a six-person delegation, left Germany for a six-day visit to Taiwan yesterday. The visit is yet another move by Berlin this year in support of Taiwan. The German Bundestag in May unanimously passed a resolution to support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO as an observer. German Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach added his support for Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Assembly this year. German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock in August voiced support for Taiwan in light of Beijing’s military response to US
A scooter owner is under investigation for using a sticker bearing the words “Tainan City Government Police Bureau Patrol Vehicle” on his scooter. Tainan Police Department’s Yongkang Precinct said in a press release on Thursday that it received a report about a photograph of a food delivery scooter with the sticker being shared on social media. Police launched an investigation and spotted the electric scooter on Chungcheng Road in the city’s Yongkang District (永康). The scooter owner, surnamed Kao (高), said he had bought the sticker online and put it on his scooter because he thought it was fun and special, police