The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Saturday accused the government of promoting a “cult of personality” after soldiers were last week seen celebrating President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) with song and dance during an inspection in Tainan.
On Friday, Tsai attended a disaster response exercise of the army’s 54th Engineer Group.
After the drills, female soldiers made heart shapes with their hands while posing for photographs with the president.
Photo: Rictchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE
As Tsai departed, they shouted: “We love you president,” before waving their hands in the air and singing pop diva A-mei’s (張惠妹) Whenever I Think About You, the lyrics of which include the line: “Happiness is how I feel whenever I think of you.”
KMT spokesman Chen Wei-chieh (陳偉杰) on Saturday wrote on Facebook that the incident was reminiscent of the military’s flattery culture of the past, and that it is inappropriate for heads of state to be the object of pageantries that exceed the bounds of customary military honors.
Tsai should not have used the pretext of touring the troops for self-aggrandizement, he wrote, adding that the public was “flabbergasted” by the display.
“People online are comparing what happened to scenes of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, and this has caused embarrassment to our service members,” Chen wrote.
“The Democratic Progressive Party’s bad taste has harmed the image of soldiers as disciplined professionals, and the military should have taken care to maintain its neutrality from politics,” he added.
In response, an army spokesperson said the soldiers’ passionate display of spontaneity and innovation is within military regulations and should not be distorted.
The military hopes the public will respect the opinions of its personnel and continue their support of the armed forces, they added.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
TOURIST HOTSPOT: The air charter services would drastically cut travel time to the world-renowned beach with its service to Caticlan, instead of Kalibo Royal Air Philippines is to launch next month direct flights between Taiwan and the Philippine city of Caticlan, a closer entry point to tourist hotspot Boracay. The airline will initially offer six charter flights between Dec. 26 and Jan. 15, with the flight frequency increasing to one per day during the Lunar New Year and winter holidays from Jan. 19 to Feb. 8, it announced at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. The charter flight services will drastically cut travel time to Boracay to about two hours and 45 minutes. Before the new route is launched, travelers from Taiwan who