Archive for the ‘Democratic Progressive Party’ Category

No dramatic thaw with China likely after Taiwan poll

March 16, 2008
By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) – Both Taiwan presidential candidates promise better ties with China, but whoever wins, chances of a dramatic or quick thaw in ties are unlikely as sensitive political problems will be tricky to tackle.

Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential ...
Taiwan’s main opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou speaks to supporters in front of a Taiwan flag during a campaign rally in Tainan March 16, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on March 22.REUTERS/Nicky Loh (TAIWAN)

Nationalist candidate Ma Ying-jeou, the election front-runner, is seen as being more sympathetic to China, and many believe a President Ma would move fast to boost economic, trade and possibly political ties with Beijing.

Victory for his rival from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Frank Hsieh, could make a rapprochement harder, despite Hsieh promising a much more relaxed China policy than President Chen Shui-bian.

In a fresh example of their different approaches, both candidates criticized the recent violence in Tibet on Saturday, but only Hsieh tied it to Taiwan’s situation.
Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ... 
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh raises his hands with supporters during an election campaign in Tainan March 15, 2008. Hsieh condemned the violence in Tibet by the Chinese government on Saturday during a news conference. Taiwan’s presidential elections will be held on March 22.REUTERS/Pichi Chuang (TAIWAN)

“As we look at Tibet, we must think about our own fate,” said Hsieh.

Steve Tsang, Director of the Taiwan Studies Programme at Oxford University, said: “I think in the medium to long term you would see significant improvements in the relationship (if Ma wins), at least by way of easing of tensions.”

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Taiwan Opposition Group Calls for Boycott of Name Referendum

March 12, 2008

 By Jane Richards

Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 12 — Taiwan’s main opposition group, the Nationalist Party, called on its supporters Wednesday to boycott a government-sponsored referendum asking whether the island should apply for U.N. membership under the name Taiwan. The move appeared likely to reduce the chances that the referendum would succeed.

Both China and the United States have denounced the referendum as a needlessly provocative maneuver, designed by President Chen Shui-bian and his Democratic Progressive Party to emphasize the self-ruled island’s claim to formal independence.

The referendum will be on the ballot on March 22, when Taiwan will hold its presidential elections. The presidential candidates include Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party and Frank Hsieh of Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party.

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Taiwan vote could offer new start for frayed U.S. ties

March 7, 2008
By Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Taiwan voters elect a successor to President Chen Shui-bian later this month, their self-ruled island will get a fresh start in vital ties with the United States that have deteriorated on Chen’s watch.

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ...
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (L) holds up his pledge during a meeting with aborigines in Taipei March 7, 2008.
(Nicky Loh/Reuters)

What the March 22 vote will not change, however, is a complex tangle which has seen China boosting its military readiness to enforce its claim of sovereignty over Taiwan, even as the United States seeks closer ties with Beijing despite commitment under its own laws to help defend the island.

“There is a problem with cross-strait relations: it’s much less stable than one would think,” said Dan Blumenthal, a former Pentagon official and China expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think-tank.

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Taiwan nationalists celebrate vote victory

January 13, 2008
by Susan Stumme

TAIPEI (AFP) – Taiwan‘s nationalists on Sunday celebrated their landslide win in legislative elections, setting their sights on the race to succeed President Chen Shui-bian, who headed in defeat to Guatemala.

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party supporters watch fireworks ...
Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party supporters watch fireworks celebrate the party’s win of more than two thirds in the legislative elections in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008.
(AP Photo/Wally Santana)

The nationalist Kuomintang (KMT), which favours closer ties with China, and its smaller allies captured a total of 86 seats in the new 113-member parliament, to just 27 for Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

A humiliated Chen, who had spearheaded the DPP’s parliamentary campaign, immediately stepped down as chairman….

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Opposition Wins Vote in Taiwan

January 12, 2008

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party won a landslide victory in legislative elections Saturday, dealing a humiliating blow to the government’s hardline China policies two months before a presidential poll.

President Chen Shui-bian, who has been criticized for aggravating relations with China by promoting policies to formalize Taiwan’s de facto independence, resigned as chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party immediately after the extent of the defeat became clear.

”I should shoulder all responsibilities,” Chen said. ”I feel really apologetic and shamed.”

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Taiwan in Watershed Year

January 10, 2008

By Kathrin Hille in Taipei
Financial Times
January 10, 2008

If Taiwan’s warring political parties agree on anything, it is that 2008 will mark a political watershed.

Both the ruling Democratic Progressive party and the opposition Kuomintang see the presidential election scheduled for March 22 as a crucial moment for the island, which this year will bid farewell to Chen Shui-bian, the outspoken president who has been an irritant in relations with both Washington and Beijing.

….this Saturday’s parliamentary election, in which the KMT is expected to win a majority of seats in a reconstituted legislature, might prove more meaningful for Taiwan’s future.

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Taiwan: UN Referendum & Chiang Kai-shek Shrine Closed, Two Stories

December 26, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

TAIPEI (AP) – Taiwan’s opposition presidential candidate warned President Chen Shui-bian on Tuesday that pushing for a referendum on United Nations membership could bring the island disaster.The referendum, to take place in tandem with a presidential election in March, will ask Taiwanese voters whether they would support an application to join the U.N. as Taiwan rather than under its official title, the Republic of China.

“If we want to join the international ….

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Taiwan closes mausoleum of Chiang Kai-shek

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Authorities closed the mausoleum of Taiwan’s late dictator Chiang Kai-shek yesterday as part of the ruling party’s vigorous campaign to diminish the legacy of the late leader.The Defense Ministry ordered the guards to pull out and closed the spacious mausoleum in Taoyuan in northern Taiwan, shutting out dozens of people hoping to pay their respects.Chiang fled to Taiwan and ruled the island with an iron fist after his Nationalists were defeated by Mao Zedong’s communists on the mainland in 1949. His 1975 burial in the mausoleum was meant to be temporary – until the Nationalists could one day return to rule the mainland.

On Sunday, President Chen Shui-bian told a political rally that closing the mausoleum would save taxpayers money.

But the move also comes amid a campaign by Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party to wipe out the late leader’s legacy. Authorities have renamed the Chiang Kai-shek international airport and park commemorating Chiang in the capital, Taipei.

DPP officials say the democratic island should stop honoring a dictator. But many members of the Nationalist Party – now the main opposition – say Chiang blocked a communist invasion and contributed to Taiwan’s security and economic development.

Chen’s government had planned to rebury Chiang’s remains at a military cemetery near Taipei. Some of his relatives objected, saying Chiang should be buried in his hometown in China’s eastern Zhejiang Province. But other Nationalists have objected to a burial on the mainland as long as the political standoff continues with China.