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Prosecutors add more charges in Chen Shui-bian case

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Taipei District Prosecutors yesterday added more charges against detained former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), alleging the former president instructed his former aides to lie about the reimbursement processes for the presidential “state affairs fund.”

Prosecutors allege that in 2006, when he was still in office, Chen called a meeting at the Presidential Office with former Presidential Office deputy ­secretary-general Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成) and former Presidential Office director Lin Teh-hsun (林德訓) to instruct them to lie about inappropriate receipts that were used in reimbursements for the fund.

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Beijing warns Obama on Dalai Lama meeting

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Beijing yesterday warned US President Barack Obama against meeting the Dalai Lama, saying it would “seriously undermine” Sino-US ties — the latest salvo in an escalating row between the two powers.

Beijing also said no progress was made in the latest round of talks between Chinese officials and envoys of the spiritual leader, saying the two sides remain “sharply divided” on the future of the Himalayan region.

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Chinese anger over arms sale ‘not warranted’: US

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White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Monday that China’s threat to impose sanctions on US companies manufacturing weapons systems for sale to Taiwan was “not warranted.”

Analysts said the unusually blunt reaction from Gibbs reflected a new policy by US President Barack Obama to “push back” against what is seen as overly antagonistic actions by Beijing whenever the US does something it doesn’t like.

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Tibetan envoys back in India after talks with Beijing

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Envoys of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama returned to India yesterday after talks in China on the future of the troubled Himalayan region, a spokesman for the Dalai Lama said.

The two envoys arrived back in New Delhi following meetings with Chinese government representatives which began in Hunan, before moving to Beijing at the weekend, the Dalai Lama’s senior secretary Chhime Chhoekyapa said.

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Taiwan must push for jets, subs: DPP

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The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday urged the government to push for more arms from the US in the wake of press reports that the Navy may have detected a Chinese submarine in the waters off Kaohsiung last week.

DPP spokesman Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said the government should not let national defense slacken in the wake of the alleged submarine intrusion and other aggressive Chinese military action.

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No appeal on Chen’s assets

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Prosecutors investigating former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) corruption and money laundering cases yesterday said they would not appeal a High Court ruling to unfreeze certain assets of the former first family.

In November, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigation Panel (SIP) confirmed that it had requested the court to freeze NT$300 million (US$9 million) in bank accounts, stock holdings and real estate holdings of several members of the former president’s family.

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US positive on arms deal

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Despite strong Chinese objections, there was a generally positive reaction throughout the US on Saturday to US President Barack Obama’s decision to sell more than US$6 billion in Patriot anti-missile systems, helicopters, mine-sweeping ships and communications equipment to Taiwan.

The Washington Post said that even though the new arms package did not include the sale of 66 F-16C/D fighters, “that does not mean the Obama administration has rejected Taiwan’s request.”

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Newsflash

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate and party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) lauded late democratic activist Fu Cheng’s (傅正) life-long contribution to Taiwan at a commemorative event held yesterday to mark the 20th anniversary of his death.

The commemoration took place at Taipei’s Grand Hotel — the site where he and other democracy activists founded the DPP in 1986.

“On Sept. 28, 1986, the DPP was formed at the Grand Hotel. Today, at the same place, we hold a memorial ceremony for one of the party’s funding fathers, democracy activist Fu Cheng,” Tsai said in her speech.