Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials denied comments by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) that Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the party’s presidential candidate, is a “troublemaker” seeking to manipulate voters.
The TAO also condemned Lai picking former representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) as his running mate, denouncing the Lai-Hsiao ticket as “a doubling up of Taiwanese independence advocates,” the DPP said.
It is regrettable for China to denigrate the “Lai-Hsiao” ticket for January’s presidential election, DPP spokesman Chang Chih-hao (張志豪) said yesterday.
Photo courtesy of William Lai’s campaign office
“President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and party Chairman William Lai have repeatedly stressed that the Taiwanese government does not seek to provoke [China], nor take unilateral actions to change the status of cross-strait relations,” Chang said. “Taiwan’s insistence on peace and stability is endorsed by the international community.”
TAO spokesman Chen Binhua (陳斌華) on Tuesday called Lai a “troublemaker” and advocate for Taiwanese independence, who is distorting China’s position on Taiwan to deceive voters, specifically by criticizing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for framing the elections as “a choice between peace and war.”
Chen said that by claiming that China has no plan in the coming years to attack Taiwan, Lai was “trying to downplay his role as a Taiwanese independence advocate,” which could lead to war.
“Chinese government officials have never gone through the democratic voting process, so we have no need to respond to them,” Lai said yesterday. “China has continued to cast aspersions on our democratic election, which is clear evidence of their direct interference into Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections.”
“The biggest threat to peace and stability in the region comes from China’s military expansionism, and its disdain for countries that have a free and democratic system,” Chang said, adding that the DPP is determined to safeguard peace and the nation’s democracy and economic prosperity.
He said that Beijing openly tried to influence Taiwan’s elections by mandating that Taiwanese businesspeople in China release a joint statement in support of a “blue-white alliance” between the KMT and the Taiwan People’s Party.
It also tried to interfere by initiating tax investigations into the Chinese operations of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, founded by independent presidential candidate Terry Gou (郭台銘), and attacking the Lai-Hsiao ticket, while repeating the same rhetoric that the election is a choice between war and peace, he said.
China is creating an atmosphere of fear to influence the elections, while encouraging a blue-white coalition to meddle in Taiwan’s elections, he added.
Tsai and Lai have reiterated numerous times that Taipei is open to friendly cross-strait relations, but would not surrender under the threat of force, Chang said.
“We will not go back to the old ways of military confrontation, but instead take a pragmatic approach in dealing with China, while seeking to safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
“Taiwanese have taken for granted their rights to a free society and democratic system to be as normal as breathing air. However, China considers it a provocation, as it reveals the authoritarian control of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
“They are the ones in conflict with the world, going against liberal democratic countries,” he added.
Taiwan faces more military intimidation from China, which is using covert tactics to subvert the nation’s democratic system, Chang said.
“However, the DPP will stand firm to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty, and we shall never capitulate, and will not go back to the old days of the ‘one China’ policy,” he said.
Two lottery players recently won NT$1 million (US$31,822) prizes on scratch lotto tickets they purchased on the same day at the same store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area. Taiwan Lottery Co said that the lotto wins both happened on “20 million Super Red Envelope” (2,000萬超級紅包) scratch cards sold at a shop on Kunming Street on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday on Thursday last week. The first of the winners was a married couple, who first won NT$2,000 on a NT$300 scratch lotto card, and then used their winnings to buy a NT$2,000 Super Red Envelope. After noticing that there
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
National Taiwan University (NTU) was ranked in the 126-150 band in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings 2023 released on Tuesday, falling for a third consecutive year. In the 2020 rankings, NTU took the 40th spot, improving significantly from the 51-60 band the previous year in its best ranking in past five years, THE data showed. However, since then the university’s ranking has dropped continuously, falling into the 61-70 band in 2021 and the 91-100 band in 2022. The list does not assign specific rankings to universities ranked outside the top 50. In 2020, three other Taiwanese universities were also listed in