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Police accused of political meddling

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The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the police of sabotaging the pan-green camp’s campaign activities to give the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) an edge in next Saturday’s local elections and likened the situation to the White Terror.

In the last two days, police cracked down on pan-green camp campaign activities in Hsinchu and Keelung, saying the DPP had failed to apply for permission to canvass on the streets, the DPP said.

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US policy on Taiwan unchanged: AIT

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American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt yesterday reassured President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that US policy on Taiwan remained unchanged, including its position on Taiwan’s sovereignty and commitment to help Taiwan meet its defense needs.

Burghardt’s visit comes a week after US President Barack Obama visited China. Since the US’ Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) was not mentioned in the US-China joint statement issued during Obama’s visit, the Democratic Progressive Party had expressed concern that the US might have backtracked on its commitment to Taiwan.

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Tsai discusses beef and Obama with Burghardt

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US beef imports and US President Barack Obama’s recent trip to China were key points in the discussion yesterday between American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the DPP said.

Briefing reporters, DPP Director of International Affairs Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said that during the 70-minute meeting, Tsai told Burghardt the DPP was concerned about the US’ stance on Taiwan as a US-China joint statement released during Obama’s trip had not mentioned the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the backbone of the Taiwan-US relationship since the two countries severed ties 30 years ago.

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Penghu residents say authorities threatened them

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The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and several Penghu residents yesterday accused the government and judicial authorities of threatening the island’s voters to deter them from casting ballots in the Dec. 5 local elections.

At a press conference at the Legislative Yuan, several registered Penghu voters living in Taiwan proper showed a letter issued jointly by the Penghu Prosecutors’ Office, the Penghu County Police Department and the Investigation Bureau’s Penghu office advising them not to vote in the local elections if they have a household registration in Penghu but do not live in the county normally.

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Chinese activist detained when Obama visited

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A leading Chinese human rights lawyer who tried unsuccessfully to meet US President Barack Obama in Beijing last week was detained and interrogated twice during Obama’s visit to China, a US lawmaker and a US-based Chinese activist said.

Jiang Tianyong (江天勇) had returned to Beijing after giving testimony last week at a human rights hearing in Washington on allegations of China’s forced abortion practices.

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Independence advocate Su Beng hospitalized

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Long-term independence advocate Su Beng (史明) was hospitalized in Tokyo yesterday with uremia and kidney problems.

Sources close to Su said that his condition is serious and doctors are mulling whether to begin dialysis — a treatment for kidney complications — because of his age.

Born in 1918, Su turned 91 in September.

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China moving away from free market: US

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As Taiwan moves toward finalizing an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China, a US Congressional commission reports a “disturbing trend” by Beijing away from the development of a free market system and toward greater government control of the economy.

“Contrary to its claim of being a market-oriented economy, Beijing continues to comprehensively plan, direct, support and control its economy,” said Carolyn Bartholomew, chairman of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

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Newsflash

Close to half the members of the US Senate have signed a letter to US President Barack Obama urging him to sell F-16C/D aircraft to Taiwan.

Obama has been putting off a decision on Taipei’s request to buy 66 of the advanced fighters for more than a year now and the letter is thought likely to push the issue onto the front burner.

Washington sources said the US Department of State was against the sale because it risked badly damaging already fragile relations with China, while the US Department of Defense is in favor because Taiwan’s military is in dire need of a boost.