Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) late on Sunday night finished his one-day cycling trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung, where he was met by protesting Taiwan Statebuilding Party members, who said Ko was using the 228 Incident to turn the spotlight on himself.
Ko, who is also the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman, embarked on his third cycling trip to southern Taiwan at nearly 1am on Sunday, arriving at Changhua behind schedule at about 11am. He then returned to Taipei by high-speed rail to attend a 228 Incident memorial event, before traveling to Tainan in the afternoon to continue the trip.
He originally planned to arrive at Kaohsiung’s Dayi Junior High School in Kaohsiung at 9pm on Sunday, but his cycling team arrived just before 10pm. Ko was greeted by about 200 cheering supporters, as well as about 50 protesters.
Holding signs that read: “Stop taking advantage of the 228 Incident, we refuse to let pain become entertainment,” the protesters had a brief incident with police, who blocked them from approaching Ko.
The protesters said the purpose of Ko’s annual cycling trips on Feb. 28 is not to commemorate the Incident, as he allocated more city government funds for the cycling trip than for the memorial event in Taipei, adding that they suspect Ko’s real aim is to attract attention.
Ko said that Taiwan is a democratic and diverse society with many voices, so there is nothing unusual about people protesting against him.
Asked whether he was exhausted from the trip, Ko said he began the trip at 1am, rode for about 160km, returned to Taipei and continued for another 56km — adding up to almost 220km in one day — so he was tired and just wanted “to get a good night’s sleep.”
TPP spokesperson Yang Bao-zheng (楊寶楨) later yesterday said that “instead of criticizing another opposing party’s chairman for taking a different approach in commemorating the 228 Incident, they [the Taiwan Statebuilding Party] should ask why the ruling party is continuing to handle the past authoritarian regime’s legacy half-heartedly.”
Ko’s attitude toward transitional justice is “to solve current problems, prevent them from happening again and to hold people accountable for their past wrongdoings,” Yang said, adding that the ruling party cannot even solve problems such as issues concerning the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
TPP secretary-general Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) promised to arrange a discussion between the Taiwan Statebuilding Party and TPP members, so that they could hopefully overcome any biases and find the best direction for Taiwan, Yang added.
Additional reporting by CNA
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: The mayors of the two largest cities voiced concerns over hidden cases, while all other local governments are to follow eased CECC guidelines All local governments, with the exception of Taipei and New Taipei City, are to allow dine-in services at restaurants after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would on Tuesday lower a nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2. The center on July 8 allowed the resumption of dining at restaurants nationwide — despite keeping the alert level at 3. At the time, this prompted all cities and counties, except Penghu Country, to keep local dine-in bans in place. Following Friday’s CECC announcement that COVID-19 prevention measures would be further relaxed, the Taipei and New Taipei City governments
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide