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KMT rejects order to pay compensation


Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang speaks at a news conference in Taipei on Jan 3.
Photo: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has refused to pay Cabinet-ordered compensation of NT$864.88 million (US$28.43 million) for selling properties appropriated from the Japanese colonial government, with the party saying that the properties were legally acquired and that it would appeal the order.

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Campaign to scrap ‘two areas’ starts

To remove legal obstacles for the nation’s “normalization,” a coalition has launched a campaign to scrap the “Taiwan Province” designation and a law defining China as the “Mainland area” of the Republic of China (ROC).

During an academic forum in Taipei yesterday, the first event of the campaign, a coalition of groups and academics called for the termination of the Taiwan Provincial Government and the Taiwan Provincial Consultative Council and for the removal of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例).

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Opportunities and independence

A major general of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) revealed that former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), while he was in office, intended to send four military officials to China for a military exchange, and Beijing had likewise wanted to send four military officials to Taiwan.

However, these plans were hindered by the US before they were realized.

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US backs expanded military exchanges, port calls

The US House of Representatives on Friday passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which includes US backing for expanded military exchanges with Taiwan and amendments to US Navy port of call stops in Taiwan.

The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which serves as the foundation for commercial, cultural and other relations between Taiwan and the US, and the “six assurances” are included in the bill, which cleared with a 344 to 81 vote.

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A chair forever to be left empty

An empty chair was once placed on a stage to represent Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波). Sadly, that chair will now forever stand empty. On Dec. 10, 2010, then-Nobel Peace Prize chairman Thorbjoern Jagland placed the Nobel citation and medal on a blue upholstered chair in Oslo to symbolize giving the award to Liu. That Liu was in a Chinese prison and that neither his wife nor any relative was allowed to attend the ceremony to accept the award showed “that the award was necessary and appropriate,” Jagland said.

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Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, 61, dies in custody


Liu Xiaobo speaks during an interview in a park in Beijing, China, on July 24, 2008.
Photo: AP

China’s Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) died yesterday while still in custody following a battle with cancer, authorities said, after officials ignored international pleas to let him spend his final days free and abroad.

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Newsflash

A major new bill to strengthen and enhance the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) has been introduced to the US Congress by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairperson of the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee.

“With the TRA and the 2000 Taiwan Relations Enhancement Act, it is the most important piece of Taiwan legislation in the US Congress over the past 30 years,” said Coen Blaauw, an executive with the Formosa Association For -Public Affairs.

Known as the “Taiwan Policy Act of 2011,” the bill may have enough bipartisan support to pass the Republican-controlled House, but it is likely to have a harder time in the Senate.