In a rare move, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government refused to allow entry to Chinese officials — Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Vice Chairman Wang Zaixi (王在希) and his entourage — on the grounds that the stated reason and timing for their visits were inappropriate.
Sources said Wang had planned to attend the Taipei Forum on Friday and Saturday as the head of a group of 30 Chinese officials.
Because the forum’s stated purpose was “discussing how to stabilize peaceful cross-strait relations through the development of mutual trust” and to potentially accelerate political dialogue across the Taiwan Strait, sources said the Chinese participants were refused visas because it would take the focus away from economic issues to be discussed in upcoming bilateral talks.
The forum could have a negative impact on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) policy of “economics first, politics later,” the source said, suggesting that the National Immigration Agency had probably received instructions from higher up.
The eighth round of economy-centric cross-strait talks between Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Ping-kung (江丙坤) and ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) would clash with the politically sensitive Taipei forum, the source said, adding that the forum planned for this week has been canceled.
National Taiwan University professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) organized the forum, which invited representatives of almost all major think tanks across the Taiwan Strait.
Invitees included Chinese representatives from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chunghua Culture Promotion Society and the Center for Studies on Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, as well as Taiwanese representatives from the Foundation on Asia-Pacific Peace Studies, the 21st Century Foundation, the Taiwanese Political Science Association, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and the World Leadership Education Foundation.
Because several of the think tanks invited to the forum serve a dual purpose as peripheral organizations to the governments in Taiwan and China, the forum sparked speculation as to its potential ramifications for cross-strait politics.
Besides Wang’s affiliation with the People’s Liberation Army, other members of the Chinese delegation, including Yu Keli (余克禮), who is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of State Security, were members of renowned Chinese think tanks.
The Chinese delegation had originally included Huang Jiashu (黃嘉樹), secretary-general of the National Society of Taiwan Studies, Yen Chun (嚴峻), deputy dean of Tsinghua University’s law school in Beijing and Yen Anlin (嚴安林), assistant to the director of Xiamen University’s Taiwan Affairs Research Center and Li Peng (李鵬), a person with the same name as the former Chinese premier.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer
The Taipei City Government yesterday officially launched the “YouBike 2.0” system, an upgraded version of the bicycle rental service, saying that it aims to expand the service to more than 1,200 stations throughout the city. The system yesterday activated 160 new stations, in addition to 103 stations in the Gongguan (公館) shopping area near the National Taiwan University campus. A trial run of YouBike2.0 was launched there in January last year. The Taipei Department of Transportation said that bicycles of the upgraded system feature solar panels and card censors, which allow users to rent them by swiping their EasyCard or scanning a QR
‘COLD ATTITUDE’: The man claimed that his wife of nearly 50 years had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years and that she refused to bathe A court last month rejected a man’s application for a divorce over lack of evidence that his wife “would rather feed stray dogs” than her husband. The 90-year-old man, surnamed Chao (趙), filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 50 years, surnamed Tung (董), saying that she had not cooked or done any laundry for 40 years. “Every morning my wife goes to Gaoping Bridge to feed stray dogs and does not come home until late,” Chao said. “I am 90 and I need to be taken care of,” he said, complaining of his wife’s “cold attitude” toward him. Chao also complained in
DATA-DRIVEN: The dedicated department used big data to find sexual harassment hot spots on the Mass Rapid Transit system to take measures against perpetrators Most incidents of sexual harassment and secret photography in Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system over the past five years occurred at three stations, the Rapid Transit Division of the Taipei City Police Department said in a statement yesterday. Most incidents were recorded at Zhongxiao-Fuxing MRT Station, followed by Taipei Main and Zhongxiao-Dunhua MRT stations, the department said, adding that the results were obtained through big data analysis. The system, which serves Taipei and New Taipei City, handles about 2.2 million passengers per day, and most cases of secret photography and sexual harassment — usually involving touching a victims buttocks or chest
PRESSURE POINTS: The CCP is looking to ease travel restrictions and blast Taiwan for a lack of vaccines to sway public opinion, a Taiwanese official said In preparation for its centennial on July 1, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has begun a “united front” offensive to influence Taiwanese public opinion to force officials to lift restrictions on cross-strait exchanges, an official said yesterday. The CCP has been preparing events for the milestone anniversary, for which it reportedly plans to invite “certain” political parties and people from Taiwan. Cross-strait interactions have stalled since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the government has announced plans to restart regular exchanges. Despite the resumption of business travel in March and a Mainland Affairs Council plan presented last month to gradually restore regular