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Tsai’s approval rating sinks to new low


Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation chairman You Ying-lung presents the results of the foundation’s monthly opinion poll at a news conference held yesterday in Taipei.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating has dropped to below 30 percent, the lowest of her presidency, while Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has an approval rating of about 70 percent nationwide, one of the highest for any politician in the nation’s history, according to a monthly poll by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation released yesterday.

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‘ROC independence’ not realistic

The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee on Wednesday passed the party’s new platform draft, which readopted former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) old platform of “no unification, no independence and no use of force” (不統、不獨、不武).

KMT chairman-elect Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who is to be sworn in on Aug. 20, stressed that the party would never change its name and added that it will adhere to the “1992 consensus” and to “one China, with each side having its own interpretation of what China means,” while continuing to oppose Taiwanese independence.

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Chinese threat is not military action

A defense white paper released by the Japanese government on Thursday said that the increasing capabilities of the Chinese missile forces, navy and air force create “problems for Taiwan’s weapons modernization.” The paper clearly takes the position that Taiwan must be ready for an inevitable military conflict with China. It appears to urge Taipei to increase military spending, saying that the nation’s defense budget has not increased in nearly two decades, while China’s “public” defense budget last year was 15 times that of Taiwan’s.

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Referendum could make nation more credible

US Republican Stephen Yates, a friend of Taiwan, is questioning the Taiwanese people’s determination to become independent, but the reason is not only that the US and China are strongly opposed to the idea (“Taiwan not ready for independence,” Aug. 6, page 6).

Yates reportedly said that “Taiwan is not ready” and that if Taiwanese were “willing to trade their lives, assets and sacred honor for Taiwanese independence, they would win the support of the international community.”

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North Korea hones Guam strike plans, mocks US president


People yesterday walk in front of a monitor in Tokyo, Japan, showing news about North Korea.
Photo: Reuters

North Korea yesterday announced a detailed plan to send a salvo of four missiles over Japan and toward the US territory of Guam, raising the stakes in a stand-off with US President Donald Trump, who it said was “bereft of reason.”

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Japan warns over defense

A defense white paper approved by the Japanese Cabinet on Tuesday said that Taiwan was falling behind China in modernization of weapons systems and budget allocations for defense spending.

The overall military balance was shifting in favor of China and the gap was growing wider, the paper said, adding that US arms sales to Taiwan and self-developed weapon programs might be the key to restoring the equilibrium.

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Newsflash

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday filed an administrative lawsuit over the rejection by government agencies of its application to hold a referendum on a cross-strait trade pact, saying that the government’s current referendum proposal on a nuclear power plant adopted the same rationale as the TSU’s rejected initiative.

If President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, which supports the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, was allowed to ask people if they support the suspension of the construction of the plant in a planned national referendum, the TSU proposal should not have been rejected for asking a question that was inconsistent with the proposer’s position, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said after filing the lawsuit at the Taipei High Administrative Court.