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Taiwanese pride suffers under Ma: poll

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A majority of Taiwanese said they did not feel more proud to be a citizen of the Republic of China (ROC) after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in May 2008, a poll released by the Taiwan Thinktank ahead of Double Ten National Day showed yesterday.

The poll showed that 65 percent of respondents said they had not felt their sense of pride as an ROC citizen grow after Ma assumed office, while 31.3 percent said they had.

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PRC official targeted Tibetans: reports

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Chinese Vice Minister of Public Security Chen Zhimin (陳智敏), who led a delegation on a secret visit to Taiwan in the middle of last month for meetings with officials from various security-related agencies, was in Kathmandu weeks before, where he sought to strengthen Sino--Nepalese cooperation against Tibetan activists, reports showed.

During a visit on July 26, Chen, who headed a delegation of 11 officials, announced new financial assistance to Nepalese security agencies to better monitor and prevent Tibetan refugees from engaging in “anti-China activities” on its soil, Nepalese media reported.

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Liu Xiaobo wins Nobel Peace Prize

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Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), a key participant in the “Charter 08” initiative, was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize yesterday for using non--violent means to demand fundamental human rights in his homeland, igniting a furious response from China, which accused the Norwegian Nobel Committee of violating its own principles by honoring “a criminal.”

Chinese state media immediately blacked out the news and Chinese government censors blocked Nobel Prize reports from Web sites. China declared the decision would harm its relations with Norway, while the Nordic country responded that was a petty thing for a world power to do.

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Security experts warn on China threat

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An expert on cross-strait relations yesterday emphasized the need for openness and transparency, as well as for the ruling and opposition parties to reach a consensus in formulating government policy on relations with China.

“There should not be secrecy ... there should be a broad national debate, and nothing should be done until a consensus of both parties is reached about what the ultimate goals are,” said Arthur Waldron, an international relations professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Japan worried over ROC interpretation

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The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government’s stance that there’s no need to object to China’s territorial claim to the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) since the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution states that China is still considered a territory of the ROC on Taiwan has prompted concerns from Japanese officials over the political implications of this interpretation, sources from diplomatic circles said.

A meeting was held on Sept. 29 at the Presidential Office where discussions concentrated predominantly on the Diaoyutais issue.

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Chinese security chief’s visit kept secret

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A visit to Taiwan by Chinese Vice Minister of Public Security Chen Zhimin (陳智敏) and his delegation earlier this month was shrouded in secrecy and intentionally unpublicized, even as talks were held with senior government officials, an investigation by the Taipei Times showed yesterday.

Chen, who is believed to be the second-highest-ranking Chinese official to visit the nation in the past 12 years in an official capacity, was in Taipei from Sept. 13 through Sept. 18 and met representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and the Ministry of Justice.

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Chen warns DPP on Taipei election

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Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday warned the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not to be too optimistic about its prospects in the Taipei mayoral election in November, saying the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had yet to launch what he expects to be a “mudslinging campaign.”

In comments published in Neo Formosa Weekly, which resumed publication in electronic format in September last year, Chen said it was unfair to say that the DPP’s candidate for Taipei City mayor, Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), and its candidate for the soon-to-be-renamed Sinbei City, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), were not committed to their campaigns and had set their sights on the next presidential election in 2012.

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Newsflash

The ruckus surrounding Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) Hong Kong trip continued to escalate yesterday as the Democratic Progressive Party accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Wu of lying about the reasons for Wu’s trip, urging them to tell the truth.

“Wu’s Sept. 5 trip to Hong Kong pertains not only to his allegiance to the country, but also to the honesty of the leader of our country,” DPP spokesman Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) told a news conference. “We therefore hope that Wu and President Ma will clearly explain everything to the public.”