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KMT securing of Ketagalan Blvd. restricts freedom of speech: Taiwan DPP

KMT securing of Ketagalan Blvd. restricts freedom of speech: Taiwan DPP

The ruling Kuomintang's (KMT's) securing the right to use Ketagalan Boulvard or the plaza in front of the Presidential Office in downtown Taipei during a top Chinese envoy's visit to Taiwan in early November is tantamount to restricting local residents' freedom of speech, an opposition leader said Friday.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen was referring to the KMT's registration with Taipei City police authorities for use of Ketagalan Blvd. in the first week of November when Chen Yunlin, president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), will visit Taiwan.
"We don't know the purpose of the KMT's registration for use of Ketagalan Blvd., but it seems to me that the KMT was trying to restrict freedom of speech during Chen's visit, " Tsai told a news conference during which she also explained the main goals of a mass rally to be staged by the party at Ketagalan Blvd. Saturday.
The DPP is collaborating with another opposition party -- the Taiwan Solidarity Union -- and several pro-independence groups to organize mass marches through five parts of Taipei.
Participants in those parades will then gather at Ketagalan Blvd. in front of the Presidential Office to voice their opposition to what they call the current KMT government's China-leaning policy and China's shipments of toxic or substandard foodstuffs to Taiwan.
Tsai said it is clear that the DPP's mass rally at Ketagalan Blvd. is to express its opinions on issues of public concern and voice its protest against the government's pandering to China.
In contrast, she said, the KMT's control of the site in early November is apparently aimed at restricting fredom of speech and freedom of expression.
With the right to use the plaza falling into the hands of the KMT, opposition parties and supporters will be unable to stage anti-government or anti-China activities there during Chen's visit.
Meanwhile, DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang said the party looks forward to atract up to 500,000 people to join the marches whose main goals include pushing China to apologize for shipping
melamine-tainted milk products and food ingredients to Taiwan and compensate local victims and pushing President Ma Ying-jeou's administration to apologize for what he calls its many wrong policies.


Updated : 2021-10-18 09:57 GMT+08:00