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ANALYSIS: Taiwan's negotiators not on the ball

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The recent dispute between Taipei and Beijing over additional cross-strait flights highlights the administration’s need to improve its negotiating skills, analysts said.

Taiwan suspended five cross-strait flights operated by Chinese airlines in retaliation for decisions by Beijing that affect Taiwanese airlines. The dispute centers around the distribution of 50 flights added to the schedule after negotiations in May.


Land seizure comes under fire

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In the wake of the Miaoli County Government’s forced seizure of farmland in Jhunan Township’s (竹南) Dapu Borough (大埔), residents of Taipei County’s Gongliao Township (貢寮) are worried about the possible ecological impact of a plan to take over wetlands in Tianliaoyang Village (田寮洋) and turn the area into a housing complex.

According to a plan initiated by the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) in March, a total of 688.5 hectares of land in Gongliao would be expropriated to sell to major corporations to build hotels or housing complexes.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 25 July 2010 01:11 ) Read more...

Rights groups condemn Beijing after Uighur journalist jailed for 15 years

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Human rights groups yesterday condemned China’s jailing of an ethnic Uighur journalist who spoke to foreign journalists about last year’s deadly riots in Xinjiang.

A court in Urumqi, capital of the far-western region, sentenced Gheyret Niyaz to 15 years in jail for endangering state security, the Uighurbiz.net Web site reported on Friday.


Aboriginal activist denies claim petition was rejected

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Pingpu Aboriginal activist Jason Pan (潘紀揚) yesterday denied a statement by the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) that the UN has rejected a petition he filed to sue the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government for not recognizing Pingpu Aborigines’ Aboriginal status.

Pan, director of the Taiwan Association for Rights Advancements for Pingpu Plains Aborigines, made the remarks at a press conference in Taipei held following his recent return from UN headquarters in Geneva.


China used excessive force during Tibet protests: HRW

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Chinese security forces fired indiscriminately on Tibetan protesters in 2008 and beat and kicked others until they lay motionless on the ground, a rights group said in a report detailing unrest that the government says it suppressed legally.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released yesterday — using rare eyewitness accounts — examines China’s crackdown on the broadest anti-government uprising the country has faced from Tibetans in nearly 50 years.


US bid to seize Chen properties raises queries

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The US may have been influenced by pressure from Taipei in its decision to seize properties in New York and Virginia that had allegedly been bought with bribes paid to the former first family, a Taiwan-born lawyer said.

The US Department of Justice has filed civil forfeiture complaints against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), based almost entirely on information from President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration and before Taiwanese courts have made a final ruling in the case, said Yang Tai-yu, who now runs a law practice in Iowa.

Last Updated ( Friday, 23 July 2010 07:52 ) Read more...

CNNiReport: When the Excavators Came to the Rice Fields

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In the eyes of farmers, their land is like life itself, painstakingly farming and protecting the land. Sadly, they are sometimes faced with terrible treatment.

In order to develop Jhunan Science Park, MiaoLi County government located in central Taiwan, plan to expropriate the farmland in Dapu. The government valued the land using the government assessed and publicly announced land value of the price, a sum of money that falls far below the market value. Some local farmers do not want to accept this expropriation order and naturally unwilling to hand over land rights.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 July 2010 22:01 ) Read more...

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Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) yesterday defended the party’s proposal to introduce special guards in the legislature to maintain order, saying the system would prevent fistfights and other clashes among legislators from damaging the nation’s reputation.

“There are too many violent clashes in the legislature, which damages the nation’s reputation abroad ... We looked into effective measures used in the US and Europe, and the proposal is still under discussion,” King said yesterday in Chiayi County.