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China jails Liu Xiaobo for 11 years

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One of China’s most prominent dissidents, Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), was jailed yesterday for 11 years for campaigning for political freedoms, with the stiff sentence on a subversion charge swiftly condemned by rights groups and Washington.

Liu, who turns 54 on Monday, helped organize the “Charter 08” petition, which called for sweeping political reforms, and before that was prominent in the 1989 pro-democracy protests centered on Tiananmen Square that were crushed by armed troops.

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Prosecutors indict 22 in former first family case

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Prosecutors yesterday issued indictments against 22 people, including former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), for money laundering, taking bribes or helping the former first family hide and launder money.

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigation Panel (SIP) yesterday announced the fourth round of indictments to be served to members of the former first family and high-profile businesspeople.

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MOF says politics did not stop tax deal

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The Ministry of Finance yesterday said the breakdown of cross-strait negotiations on a tax pact on Monday was mainly the result of a dispute over levying income tax on China-based Taiwanese businesspeople according to where they reside or where they get paid.

The ministry said the breakdown was not related to sovereignty, apparently contradicting comments a day earlier by Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who said the deal was delayed because the treaty would have treated Taiwan the same as Hong Kong.

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Think tank urges US to strengthen Taiwan relations

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A Washington think tank is advising US President Barack Obama to foster closer diplomatic, defense and economic relations with Taiwan to offset China’s “potentially coercive” embrace.

In an eight-page policy brief, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) concludes that US cross-strait policy remains based on a “tangled and complex web of decades-old doctrine, law and joint statements.”

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CROSS-STRAIT TALKS: SEF, ARATS ink three pacts, drop one

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A demonstrator holds up a burning Chinese flag in protest against the cross-strait talks being held at the Windsor Hotel in Taichung yesterday. Negotiators from China and Taiwan met for the fourth round of trade talks and signed three pacts.
PHOTO: REUTERS

Taipei and Beijing yesterday signed three agreements and agreed to place the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) on the agenda at the next round of cross-strait talks next year.

The deals signed yesterday — on the fishing industry, quality checks of agricultural products, and standardizing inspections and certification — bring to 12 the number of pacts inked by the two sides since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) assumed power in Taiwan in May last year.

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Nation rallies against Chiang-Chen talks

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The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said more than 100,000 people flooded the streets of Taichung City yesterday to protest against the government’s China-leaning policies on the eve of the fourth round of cross-strait negotiations since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in May last year.

Police denied the DPP claim that the protest attracted 100,000 people, saying there were only about 30,000.

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‘Detente’ disarray after Chinese snub

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The effectiveness of the government’s policy of cross-strait detente was thrown into doubt again yesterday after a Chinese delegate to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen on Thursday opposed Taiwan’s bid for entry to the group.

A Central News Agency report said that after nine of Taiwan’s allies, including Kiribati, Palau, Gambia, Swaziland, Sao Tome and Principe, Burkina Faso, St Lucia, St Christopher and Nevis and Nicaragua, had spoken in favor of Taiwan’s bid for inclusion in the global response to climate change, a member of the Chinese delegation cited the “one China” principle and said the initiatives in favor of Taiwan’s bid to join as an observer had “hurt the feelings of the 1.3 billion Chinese people.”

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Page 122 of 136

Newsflash

Nearly 200 Tibetans and Taiwanese yesterday took to the streets in Taipei to voice their support for the independence and freedom of Tibet, while remembering those Tibetans who sacrificed their lives in an uprising against Chinese occupation of their country in 1959.

“Tibetans want to go home! The Dalai Lama wants to go home!” the crowd shouted as they marched. “Tibet belongs to Tibetans! Chinese Communist Party [CCP] get out of Tibet!”

Before the parade began, Tibetans performed a skit to show China’s repression of Tibetans.