Sunday, December 02, 2007

Taiwan Defense Minister Vowed to Crush Congress

At a congressional defense committee hearing, General Lee Tien-yu, the Defense Minister of Republic of China (ROC) told the legislators that Taiwan military is only loyal to the president. The issue at stake is a possible constitutional showdown between the president and the congress amid next year's presidential election. The legislators are worried that the president may declare martial law to suppress the election, possibly using military pressure from the mainland as an excuse. General Li agreed with the congress's assessment that Taiwan would not be under military pressure from the mainland at the time. However he also said, if the president declared the martial law regardless, and if the legislation vetoed the president's order, the Taiwan military would only be loyal to the president personally.

The military has been traditional a stronghold of the pro-reunion KMT party. In the seven years since Mr. Chen Shui-bian assumed the presidency of the ROC, all military ranks were replaced with people loyal to Mr. Chen.

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