Taiwan News: Transitional Justice Commission Vice Chair Resigns over Inappropriate Comments

Taiwan News: Transitional Justice Commission Vice Chair Resigns over Inappropriate Comments
REUTERS/Richard Chung
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The vice chairman of the Transitional Justice Commission has resigned a month after he drew widespread criticism for remarks about a Kuomintang mayoral candidate.

Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) comments about New Taipei mayoral candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) were viewed as being politically motivated and inappropriate.

Speaking to reporters after stepping down, Chang apologized for describing Hou as "the worst example of transitional justice."

The remark referred to Hou's role in the attempted arrest of Taiwan independence advocate Cheng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) in 1989.

According to Chang, he offered his verbal resignation to commission Chairman Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) in the hope of ensuring the commission remains impartial.

Huang has also apologized for what he said was his negligent supervision of Chang, which led to misunderstandings about the commission's efforts to deliver transitional justice in Taiwan for the martial law period between 1945 and 1992.

青年來吐槽論壇
Photo Credit:TNL Brand Studio
Kuomintang New Taipei City mayoral candidate Hou Yu-ih is at the center of a transitional justice storm.

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The Ministry of Education said Wednesday that National Taiwan University needs to elect a new president.

Education Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) said the university must re-elect a president from the five candidates short-listed for January's ballot.

That list includes Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), whose election initially sparked the stand-off between the ministry and the university.

According to Yeh, the university can re-elect Kuan, but only if it makes a decision in regards Taiwan Mobile vice president Richard Tsai's (蔡明興) continuing participation in the presidential selection committee.

Yeh said the committee must either remove Tsai from the committee or ban him from casting a ballot in the re-election.

Speaking to reporters, Yeh said if the university refuses to accept the proposal, his office will be forced to respond to two administrative appeals that call on the ministry to approve Kuan's appointment, leading to further problems for Taiwan's leading higher education institution.

葉俊榮
Photo Credit:教育部
Education Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong hopes to confirm the election of National Taiwan University's President some nine months after controversy erupted over the election of Kuan Chung-ming.

Read More: OPINION: National Taiwan University's Integrity Is Under Siege

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The Mainland Affairs Council is accusing Beijing of trying to weaken Taiwan's sovereignty by issuing new residence permits for Taiwanese nationals who live, working and study in China.

The council said the move is aimed at altering cross-Strait relations and it is urging Taiwanese who have applied for the cards not to be part of China's United Front tactics against Taiwan.

The United Front is the work unit under the Communist Party of China's Central Committee responsible for conducting influence operations on behalf of the Chinese government overseas.

The MAC also warned about other downsides to China's new residence permits, such as increased taxes and social insurance and compromised privacy protection.

The statement comes after China's Taiwan Affairs Office claimed that 22,000 Taiwanese nationals had applied for the residency permits since Sept. 1.

The MAC is disputing that figure, saying it has been collecting information via different channels, which will serve as reference for drafting future policies.

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The United States is reiterating its support for Taiwan by recalling its top diplomats to three Central America and Caribbean countries that have recently severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of Beijing.

The U.S. Department of State has recalled its ambassadors to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and its Charge d'Affaires to Panama.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said the three envoys have been recalled for consultations on ways in which the U.S. can support strong, independent, democratic institutions and economies throughout Central America and the Caribbean.

According to Nauert, the White House will continue to support Taiwan as it seeks to expand its already significant contributions to addressing global challenges and as Taiwan resists efforts to constrain its appropriate participation on the world stage.

The move is being applauded by Taiwan-backers in the U.S.

Read More: OPINION: US Diplomatic Recalls Should Not Inspire Taiwanese Confidence

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花蓮縣長傅崐萁涉炒作合機股票案判刑8個月定讞
Photo Credit: 中央社
Former Hualien Magistrate Fu Kun-chi is on his way to prison for insider trading.

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Hualien Magistrate Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) against an eight-month prison sentence for stock speculation.

The ruling is final and means Fu must now report to prison.

Fu, who stood for election as an independent, was accused of having speculated in stocks of Taipei-based Hold Key Electric Wire & Cable using dummy accounts from October 2003 to January 2004.

He was sentenced to four years and six months by the Taichung District Court for violating the Securities and Exchange Act in 2008 and appealed that ruling and a later High Court ruling.

The case then went to the Supreme Court, which returned it to the High Court twice before Fu was eventually sentenced to 16 months for stock speculation, commuted to eight months.

Fu appealed that verdict to the Supreme Court.

He has also been removed from office under the Local Government Act that stipulates heads of local governments be removed from their posts if they have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to terms of imprisonment.

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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wednesday that she aims to turn Taiwan into a globalized platform for financial management.

Tsai said the government plans to achieve this goal by improving the stability and efficiency of existing financial systems and updating related regulations.

Tsai made the comments during a meeting with Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat at the Presidential Office.

According to the president, Taiwan is now following international financial regulations, is changing outdated rules and is fully committed to opening up to foreign investors in order to enhance the efficiency of the island's financial systems.

Tsai also said her administration is trying to build Taiwan into a globalized financial management platform by expanding the size of financial institutions and improving incentives to encourage integration.

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Another nine foreign professionals have been approved for naturalization in Taiwan without surrendering their original citizenship.

The Ministry of the Interior said the nine hold special qualifications in the fields of education, economics, culture and arts.

Approval of the nine applicants brings the total number of foreign professionals to have been granted naturalization to 59 since new Nationality Act regulations went in to affect in March of last year.

The regulations allow for high-level foreign professionals to obtain Republic of China citizenship without relinquishing their original nationality.

The move is as part of government efforts to recruit and retain top talent from around the world.

Read Next: OPINION: Time to Say Goodbye to 'Chinese Taipei'

This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)

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