JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Poll is for voters to side with democracy: Luo | The Jan. 11 elections are for voters to side with democracy and choose parties that protect the nation instead of those that take China’s side

JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Poll is for voters to side with democracy: Luo

JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Poll is for voters to side with democracy: Luo

JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Poll is for voters to side with democracy: Luo

JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Poll is for voters to side with democracy: Luo

JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Poll is for voters to side with democracy: Luo

JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Poll is for voters to side with democracy: Luo
JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Poll is for voters to side with democracy: Luo
  • By: taipeitimes.com
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The Jan. 11 elections are for voters to side with democracy and choose parties that protect the nation instead of those that take China’s side, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Luo Wen-Jia (羅文嘉) said yesterday, pointing to anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

“Taiwanese have emotional feelings about what is happening in Hong Kong... The situation there could be better if the Hong Kong Legislative Council had a majority of democratic parties, then it [the territory’s government] could not do as it pleases,” Luo said at the launch of a campaign video at the DPP headquarters.

“Taiwanese should cherish our democratic system, with government by majority rule,” he said. “However, as we face intimidation from China, it is likely that our legislature will be comprised of many political parties after the election.”

“However, there are only two large party blocs in the legislature. One aims to safeguard Taiwan, while the other is pro-China. The two paths are totally different and there is no ambiguity between them,” he added.

The DPP is spearheading the movement to protect and defend Taiwan’s democracy, which is a different path from the other bloc, Luo said, urging people to vote the parties that safeguard Taiwan into a majority at the Legislative Yuan.

“We must unite together and consolidate the votes to bolster the legislative seats for parties that uphold progress and democracy,” he said.

The campaign video is centered around a “legislative seat,” in which people take turns sitting and voice their support in different cities.

It begins with three young people saying: “Do not be afraid, Taiwan will not become Hong Kong,” and a young woman saying: “Do not believe China. Please believe in democracy.”

At the end, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) says: “Please use your ballot to say ‘no’ to [China’s] ‘one country, two systems’ principle.”

Luo criticized the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for placing retired army general Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) in the No. 4 spot in its list of legislator-at-large nominees.

Wu is known for his pro-China and pro-unification stance, and has participated in China’s national day celebrations in Beijing.

“For most of the KMT’s history, its most important support came from people and groups defending the existence of the Republic of China [ROC]. Now with Wu placed near the top on the nominee list, the KMT is trampling the ROC under the feet of the People’s Republic of China [PRC]. It has abandoned the ROC,” Luo said.

“In the past, the ROC and PRC were adversaries, but with equal political standing. Now the KMT has gotten rid of the ROC, now there is only the PRC,” Luo added.

“Wu has visited China and sat among the audience to hear a speech by [Chinese President] Xi Jinping (習近平). He served as consultant for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. These are the facts and not mere labels imposed by others,” Luo said.

Many people have lost faith in the KMT, “because the KMT has been transforming into the Chinese Communist Party. This is not the original KMT, it has caused its supporters, who were defenders of the ROC, to have misgivings and despair.”

JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Vote show of sovereignty: Tsai

JAN. 11 ELECTIONS: Vote show of sovereignty: Tsai

Taiwan is showing the world that it is a sovereign nation where people have the right to vote for their president, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday after completing her registration to be a presidential candidate at the Central Election Commission office in Taipei.

She was accompanied by former premier William Lai (賴清德), who is her vice presidential candidate.

The registration made it official for them to represent the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the Jan. 11 presidential election.

“There are special significant meanings to this presidential race. First, it highlights that the Republic of China, Taiwan, is a free and sovereign nation, and that people have the right to vote, and the freedom to choose from among political parties and presidential candidates,” Tsai said when commenting on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and interference by China.

“Second, Taiwan is a free nation full of diversity, and political parties are free to compete in elections. We want to emphasize these two important values for the world to understand that Taiwan is a democratic nation, with open competition for political parties, protection of human rights and people enjoying the freedom to vote,” she told reporters.

Tsai said it is clear that China has been interfering in the elections for quite a long time and that most Taiwanese are aware of this.

Asked about the passage of a Chinese aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, Tsai said: “Most people agree that China’s meddling in our elections through different means has worked to destroy our democracy.”

The carrier’s passage came hours after Tsai named Lai as her running mate, which pundits perceived as China’s attempt to intimidate Lai, who supports Taiwanese independence.

“Through the past four years, we have laid down a solid foundation for Taiwan to become more secure and set up the fundamentals for economic development,” Tsai said.

“We have also diligently built up the social welfare net for people and have undertaken important national construction projects,” she added. “For these ongoing works, give us another four-year term so that we can make Taiwan better and stronger. We can improve people’s lives and make the nation more secure.”

Lai said now that he and Tsai have officially entered the race, “we will present platforms for social welfare programs and policies to improve economic prosperity. We will visit to city and every district to gather support from the people.”

The goal is for the Tsai-Lai ticket to win the presidential election, and for the DPP to gain a majority in the legislature “for Tsai to have more strength to safeguard Taiwan, defend our democracy and better deal with the changing situation at home and abroad,” Lai said.

Facial paralysis more common in fall, winter: doctor

Facial paralysis more common in fall, winter: doctor

Temporary facial paralysis, or Bell’s palsy, is particularly common in the fall and winter months when viruses are more active, a Taipei neurologist said on Monday after Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was reportedly diagnosed with the condition.

Temporary facial paralysis is primarily caused by infections — particularly viral infections — leading to an imbalanced immune response, said Wang Shuu-jiun (王署君), director of Taipei Veterans General Hospital’s Neurological Institute.

Treatment typically involves using corticosteroids to reduce swelling and inflammation of the facial nerves, he said.

People with temporary facial paralysis should start taking medication as soon as possible, as delayed treatment could reduce its effectiveness, Wang added.

Most patients who are treated recover in one to two weeks, he added.

Temporary facial paralysis is not uncommon, Wang said.

It is usually more likely to occur in the fall and winter when colds are more common and viruses are more active, he said.

Some people experience pain in the ears before the onset of the condition, he added.

People who experience symptoms that they suspect to be from temporary facial paralysis should consult a neurologist to determine the cause and begin treatment, Wang said.

The Executive Yuan in a statement on Sunday said that Su earlier in the day had visited a hospital, where a doctor diagnosed him with temporary facial paralysis caused by overwork and a viral infection.

Additional reporting by Chiu Yen-ling

Tall people at more risk of arrhythmia relapse: study

Tall people at more risk of arrhythmia relapse: study

Taller people might be at greater risk of relapse after undergoing cardiac catheter ablation to treat arrhythmia, a study by Taipei Veterans General Hospital has suggested.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by hospital vice superintendent Chen Shih-ann (陳適安).

The team analyzed data from nearly 700 people with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, a kind of arrhythmia, the hospital said.

The study showed that after receiving catheter ablation, people who were taller — particularly women taller than 160cm — had higher relapse rates, it said.

“It was the first time in the world that it has been discovered that people with atrial fibrillation who are taller have a higher relapse rate,” Chen said.

Although the increased risk of relapse might be associated with a greater atrial diameter in taller people, further research is needed to determine the cause of the connection, he said.

He and his team are in the final stages of preparing the study for submission to an international journal, Chen said.

Their finding agrees with a study by Penn Medicine published on Friday last week suggesting that taller people are at higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation, he said.

Researchers found that for every 2.54cm increase in height above 170.18cm, the risk of atrial fibrillation increases about 3 percent, Penn Medicine said.

Penn Medicine comprises the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

To explore the connection, the researchers analyzed data from the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Trials consortium and the Atrial Fibrillation Genetics Consortium using “a statistical method which uses genetics to precisely estimate the relationship between the two traits,” it said.

“Their analysis revealed that genetic variants associated with height were also strongly associated with [atrial fibrillation], suggesting that increased height may be a cause,” Penn Medicine said, adding that the relationship “remained strong” even after adjusting for traditional risk factors such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Analysis of nearly 7,000 individuals enrolled in the Penn Medicine Biobank using a similar statistical method also found that height — and its genetic variants — were “strongly associated” with an increased risk of the condition, it said, adding that this finding was “independent from traditional clinical and echocardiographic risk factors.”

The Penn study is “among the first to demonstrate that height may be a causal — not correlated — risk factor for [atrial fibrillation],” it said.

The prevalence of atrial fibrillation in Taiwan is about 1 percent, Chen said.

Patients with atrial fibrillation have a three to five times higher risk of having a stroke, he said.

People in the high-risk group for atrial fibrillation, including those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar or heart disease, should receive regular screenings, he said.

They should also be extra cautious of potential symptoms, such as heart palpitations, he added.

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