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No consensus on ‘1992 consensus’: Lai

Premier William Lai, left, and Mainland Affairs Council Minister Katharine Chang speak during a question-and-answer session at the legislature in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The issue with the so-called “1992 consensus” is that there is no consensus about whether it exists or what it actually means, Premier William Lai yesterday told legislators yesterday, adding that the nation needs to address the problem.


Taiwan, democracy and defense

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) devoted a considerable portion of her Double Ten National Day address on Tuesday last week to Taiwan’s military. She gave her comments pride of place in the section of the address on “Safeguarding Taiwan’s Democracy and Freedom.”

In doing so, she seemed to be defining the goal of Taiwan’s defense policy as defending democracy. She praised “our brothers and sisters” in the armed forces saying: “All of you are staunch defenders of Taiwan’s democracy, freedom and way of life.”


Independence camp making gains

There was a time when the term “pro-independence” was considered a synonym for radicals, outdatedness and irrelevance, similar to most people’s image of the pro-unification camp nowadays.

When former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was in power, the “pro-independence” position was hijacked for reasons of political expediency and so heavily propagated that most people became numb to the issue.


Xi’s ‘dream’ has no place in Taiwan

Premier William Lai (賴清德) on Tuesday called on Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to adjust his strategy toward Taiwan. Looking for a new cross-strait development plan, Lai urged Xi to work toward easing tension and hostility between the two nations.

His words were likely in anticipation of Xi’s attitude toward Taiwan after the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which opened in Beijing yesterday.


Cabinet willing to cancel minesweeper contract: Lai

A minesweeper ordered by the Ministry of National Defense from Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co is under construction in a dry dock in Italy in an undated photograph.
Photo courtesy of Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co

The Cabinet would dissolve a multibillion-dollar contract to build minesweeper ships with financially troubled Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co (慶富造船) if necessary, Premier William Lai (賴清德) told lawmakers yesterday.


Referendum better than drawn-out protests

The independence referendums recently held by the Kurds and the Catalans have renewed the referendum debate among Taiwanese.

In European and North American democracies, referendums are as natural as breathing and sleeping. After all, is there a more democratic way to find out what a plurality of the public thinks about an issue that cannot be resolved by other means?

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The US should deepen and broaden its military relations with Taiwan, a conference on military growth in the Asia-Pacific region has been told.

Project 2049 Institute executive director Mark Stokes said that Taipei could play a bigger role in US defense policy and make a significant contribution to the Pentagon’s new Air Sea Battle strategy. As the US Department of Defense and the administration of US President Barack Obama moves to rebalance its forces in the Asia-Pacific region they should rebalance relations with Taiwan, Stokes said.