*Taiwan telecom renews Falun Gong–linked TV station contractThis week the DPP also released its list of At-Large candidates. The list represents a compromise between the party's internal factions, the need for gender balance, and other issues.
On June 27, Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), a partly government-owned telecommunications company, and New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV), whose staff are mostly Falun Gong practitioners, officially renewed their contract, allowing NTDTV to use CHT's new satellite after the existing contract expires in August. The agreement enables the station to continue broadcasting uncensored news, including reports of human rights abuses and citizen activism, to Taiwan as well as major cities in mainland China. CHT had initially announced in April that it would not renew the contract, citing technical obstacles, but critics speculated that the company was aiming to please Beijing, as it had joint ventures with Chinese state-owned companies. During its negotiations, NTDTV received international support from both Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Congress, and from the Paris-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders. The station's chief executive in Taiwan thanked the island's ruling and opposition parties for their assistance, while a Taipei Times editorial hailed the development as a victory for press freedom.
* Taipei Times 6/28/2011: A small victory for freedom
* NTDTV 6/29/2011: NTD AP and Chunghwa Renew Satellite Broadcast Contract
Party officials said that the three were strategically placed just outside the “safe” zone is an attempt to mobilize their supporters, who maintain bases of support in New Taipei City (新北市) and Greater Kaohsiung, where Hsieh was the former mayor.Taiwan also upgraded its locally made IDF fighter, upgrading computer systems and giving the aircraft greater fighting power. The new upgrades may give critics in Washington further ammunition to delay the delivery of new F-16s.
“All three were willing to place themselves at the fringes of the safe list in order to boost our share of the vote. Everyone in the DPP has confidence that our share of the party list will exceed half [of the allocated seats],” DPP Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said when announcing the roster. “It shows we have ambition.”
Among the 34 candidates on the legislator-at-large roster, half of the spots were allocated to women, who received odd numbers, while all men were even numbered.
The DPP’s nominations inside the “safe” zone are divided into two broad groups: seasoned politicians, such as DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who has the No. 2 spot, and factional representatives; and community representatives, such as environmental and labor activists.
Also, David Reid, longtime blogger at David on Formosa, activist, friend and Taiwan supporter, is leaving our fair island to return to Australia later this summer. Good luck in all you do, David.
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