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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Presidential Office rejects Dalai Lama’s criticism

The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed comments by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who said the Chinese Nationalist (KMT) administration appeared to be “aimless.”

Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said the direction of the administration was clear.

“Our policy is Taiwan is always the focus and the people’s interest comes first,” he said.

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TSU to relaunch ECFA referendum

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) announced yesterday that it would submit a new referendum proposal tomorrow that aims to ask voters whether they agree with the government’s signing of a controversial trade pact with China.

Unhappy that the Central Election Commission (CEC) rejected a similar proposal earlier this month, the opposition party said it had gathered the necessary 86,000 petition forms to launch the first phase of a new referendum drive and did so faster than expected.

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KMT will pay price for Taiwan-PRC ECFA

The massive protest march and rally in Taipei Saturday organized by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and Taiwan Solidarity Union highlighted the continued anxiety in Taiwan over the unilateral drive by President Ma Ying-jeou and his Chinese Nationalist Party government to ink a bitterly controversial "Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement" (ECFA) with the People's Republic of China.

Ma and other KMT officials and pro-KMT news media commentators have called on the opposition to accept the accomplished fact of the ECFA, which will be signed in Chongqing, China tomorrow by Taipei's Strait Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Ping-kun and Beijing's Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin, and to monitor its implementation "rationally."

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The central bank takes action

The central bank on Thursday surprised the market by announcing to raise its three benchmark interest rates by 12.5 basis points, effective Friday. Prior to Thursday, the central bank had cut interest rates by a total of 237.5 basis points since September 2008, and most economists had forecast the bank would not raise rates until later this year or early next year.

So, what was the main reason prompting the central bank to make its first rate move since February last year? Based on the bank’s press statement and what central bank governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) said on Thursday, it was aiming to gradually bring market rates up to “normal levels” after it halted quantitative easing measures in March, because it was concerned about negative “real” interest rates — when the nominal interest rates are lower than the inflation rate.

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Japan extends ADIZ into Taiwan space

Japan has extended its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) so that it now overlaps with sections of a zone controlled by Taiwan, but foreign affairs officials said yesterday that would not make any difference in practice, as an understanding has been reached between the two parties on how to handle the sensitive matter.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said on condition of anonymity that Tokyo informed Taipei “one or two days ago” that its extension of the ADIZ from Yonaguni Island westwards would come into force yesterday.

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Taiwan citizens should march for our future

All Taiwan citizens who believe that they should have a voice on the future economic and political direction of our society should participate in tomorrow's "Let the People Decide" and "Oppose the One-China Market" rally in Taipei City tomorrow afternoon.

The march, organized by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, will take place only three days before representatives of the Chinese Communist Party-ruled People's Republic of China and Taiwan's Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government will sign a bitterly controversial "Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement."

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Newsflash


Members of the Northern Taiwan Anti-Curriculum Changes Alliance yesterday afternoon stage a flash protest at the Taipei First Girls’ Senior High School in the hope of drawing more public attention to their opposition to the Ministry of Education’s changes to high-school curriculum guidelines.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times.

Scores of student organizations from various high schools in Taipei staged their first flash protest at the Taipei First Girls’ Senior High School yesterday in the hope of drawing more public attention to the issue of their opposition to the Ministry of Education’s controversial changes to the high-school curriculum guidelines.