The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday continued its criticism of the Presidential Office’s rejection of former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) application to visit Hong Kong tomorrow, comparing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Taking to Facebook to vent his discontent, KMT Central Policy Committee director Alex Tsai (蔡正元) wrote that Tsai Ing-wen has severely damaged the nation’s international image by turning down Ma’s request to visit Hong Kong.
“Ma was originally going to deliver a speech in front of a group of journalists from Time, The Economist, the New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, Dow Jones, Barron’s, Reuters and Google,” Alex Tsai said.
These media outlets form the Society of Publishers in Asia in Hong Kong, Alex Tsai said, which has been endeavoring to promote freedom of speech and freedom of the press, as well as to present awards to brave journalists.
“Ma giving a speech at an award ceremony to be held by the society would have been a rare golden opportunity for him to boost Taiwan’s global image. Yet Tsai Ing-wen decided to cite national security concerns as a pretext to ground Ma. What is the difference between the president and the CCP?” Alex Tsai said.
He added that the president’s peremptory move has ignorantly tarnished the nation’s international image.
Alex Tsai made the remarks a day after Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) announced the office’s decision to turn down Ma’s request to attend the group’s Awards for Editorial Excellence ceremony at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre tomorrow, citing national security concerns and the highly sensitive nature of the former leader’s planned destination.
Under the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法), former presidents are required to obtain approval for any international travel plans within three years of leaving office and to file such an application 20 days prior to departure.
Meanwhile, former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) wrote on Facebook that Tsai Ing-wen’s refusal to give the green light to Ma’s trip has sent a clear message to the public, that the pan-green camp intends to trap the former president in Taiwan to launch a political vendetta against him via the media and the judicial system.
Urging members of the pan-blue camp to refrain from distancing themselves from Ma, or gloating over the former president’s humiliation, Chiu said Ma and the KMT now share the same destiny and are in it together, for better or for worse.
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