Taiwan. As a result of the December 2004 parliamentary elections, when the opposition party Nationalist Party (Guomindang, GMD) won the most seats, Taiwan got a new government in January. President Chen Shuibian appointed Frank Hsieh from his own Independent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as prime minister. Hsieh formed a DPP-led government, but the parliament was thus dominated by GMD, whose success in the election was interpreted as a desire for more cautious noises against China.
According to countryaah, Taipei is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Taiwan. The election to the Taiwan National Assembly in May was won by DPP. The National Assembly, whose sole task is to adopt constitutional amendments, decided in June that amendments to the constitution should continue to be made through referendums – and thereby abolished itself. At the same time, the number of Members of Parliament was halved to 113 from 2007.
Huge protests erupted in Taibei in March after China enacted a law that gives the country the right to attack militarily if Taiwan declares itself independent. Leaders of the opposition parties GMD and the People’s First Party (PFP) met with Chinese leaders in Beijing in April to try to calm the situation. Their travels were sharply criticized by President Chen and his government. In July, Taibei’s Mayor Ma Ying-jeou was elected new leader of the Nationalist Party, GMD.
During the autumn, a bribe shop was rolled up with a connection to DPP’s top layer. In October, two advisers to the party were fired, suspected of involvement.
During the year, China and Taiwan agreed to establish direct flights for the first time since Taiwan’s 1949 outbreak. Taiwan lost two of its few (25) diplomatic relations during the year when Senegal and Grenada chose to reconnect relations with China.
GMD won in 17 of 23 constituencies in the local elections held in December. The result was interpreted as a distrust of the ruling DPP, which only won in six constituencies. DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang chose to resign.
Chinese fighter jets violate Taiwan’s airspace
In the space of a few days, China will allow fighter jets to enter Taiwan’s airspace on at least four occasions. Several of the violations take place in connection with a US high-level visit to Taipei (see earlier in September). Taiwan responds by putting anti-robot systems and fighter jets on standby. Defense Minister Yen De-fa said during a press conference that there is an effort to avoid provocations and that the conflict is escalating, but he also emphasizes Taiwan’s right to defend itself and to launch counter-attacks.
New US summit visit provokes China
The United States is sending a State Department official to Taiwan, Keith Krach, who is responsible for economic growth, energy and the environment. Such a high-ranking American diplomat has not visited Taiwan in decades. Krach will attend a funeral for former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, who died in July. Beijing is protesting strongly and at the same time holding a military exercise near the Taiwan Strait.
Czech President marks support for Taiwan
The Speaker of the Czech Parliament, Milos Vystrcil, is greeted with a standing ovation in a speech before Taiwan’s legislative yuan, paraphrasing John F Kennedy’s famous quote “Ich bin ein Berliner” from 1963. With these words, the American president showed his support for the people of West Berlin in the face of the threat posed by the Soviet Union. The Czech politician says instead in Mandarin that he is “Taiwanese”, in sympathy for Taiwanese efforts to resist Beijing’s power. The statement led Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to warn that Milos Vystrcil would have to pay a high price for his actions. Milos Vystrcil leads a large delegation visiting Taiwan consisting of politicians, business leaders, journalists and researchers.