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Nuclear energy to take center stage in Taiwan politics

After weeks in which a trade pact with China dominated news coverage in Taiwan, nuclear energy is set to take center stage as mid-term elections are drawing near. The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party proposed a special law Monday authorizing a referendum to be held on the fate of a problem-plagued fourth nuclear power plant now under construction, hoping it will proceed to the full-house legislative session for a second reading.

Taiwan ex-VP's son secures nomination to run for Taipei mayor

Sean Lien, the son of Taiwan's former vice-president Lien Chan, Saturday won the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party's nomination to run for mayor of Taipei. The 44-year-old, who was born into one of the island's richest political families, has promised to donate his mayoral salary to charity if elected in November -- following a precedent set by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Taiwan urges Japan to apologize, compensate "comfort women"

Taiwan called on the Japanese government on Thursday to apologize and compensate Taiwanese women forced to work in military brothels during World War II. President Ma Ying-jeou said the U.N. Human Rights Council declared in 1995 that Japan's military sexual slavery system constituted a war crime.

China's Xi purging corrupt officials to put own men in place: sources

By Benjamin Kang Lim and Megha Rajagopalan BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to use a purge of senior officials suspected of corruption to put his own men and reform-minded bureaucrats into key positions across the Communist Party, the government and the military, sources said.

Taiwan hails first US cabinet-level visit for 14 years

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday met Gina McCarthy, the first US cabinet-level official to visit the island in 14 years, and hailed her trip as important for ties with Washington. "This is the first time since 2000 for a cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan from the United States. It is of great significance for bilateral ties," Ma said while meeting McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979.

China investigates two more allies of former security chief

Two officials with ties to China's powerful former domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang have been placed under investigation, Chinese media and officials said, amid ramped-up speculation that Zhou himself is being targeted. Zhao Miao, a standing committee member of the Communist Party committee in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern Sichuan province, is being investigated for alleged "serious violations" of discipline, according to the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

US plans first cabinet visit to Taiwan in 14 years

The top US environmental official will visit Taiwan in the first trip by a cabinet-level leader from Washington to the Chinese-claimed island in 14 years, officials aid Saturday. Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, will travel to Taiwan and Vietnam from Monday through Wednesday to discuss cooperation, her agency said in a statement. The trip would be the first by a cabinet-level US official to Taiwan since 2000 when then US president Bill Clinton sent transportation secretary Rodney Slater.

China says Taiwan protests won't affect relations

BEIJING (Reuters) - Protests by students in Taiwan who occupied the island's parliament in opposition to a trade pact with China will not affect the development of relations between Beijing and Taipei, state media quoted a top Chinese official as saying on Friday. The three-week occupation of parliament - which had been accompanied by mass street demonstrations - ended on Thursday, although the students have vowed to press on with the campaign against the trade deal.

Ma's pro-China drive hits trouble as Taiwan students come of age

The last time Taiwanese students mobilised en masse, they brought about an end to decades of martial rule. Now, they are scenting victory in a new battle for the island's soul as they repel government plans to embrace China ever closer. For both sides, the debate about strengthening trade ties with the giant mainland is an existential one. President Ma Ying-jeou says that without his mooted pact in services, the economy of heavily export-reliant Taiwan risks sliding into irrelevancy.

Taiwanese students end 24-day occupation of Parliament in opposition to Chinese trade pact

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Students ended their unprecedented, 24-day occupation of Taiwan's Parliament late Thursday after receiving assurances that a Chinese trade pact they see as imperiling the island's autonomy would undergo legislative review. The pact would allow Chinese and Taiwanese service companies, including banking, telecommunication and tourism firms, to operate in each other's territory. Opponents who fear it could cost Taiwan jobs or even its democracy also criticized the ruling party's attempt to push the pact through without a detailed review.
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