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September 24, 2017

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Shen to stop fighting over spat with Wang

Veteran Legislator Shen Fu-hsiung yesterday described himself as "dead" in the wake of rumors that his foe in his recent over-hyped verbal battle had won backing from President Chen Shui-bian.

The legislator of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party revealed he would make a formal announcement of his own "death" on Thursday at the debut of his new book, and then stop talking about the recent controversy.

"From Thursday on, I will stop the fight," said Shen, who has found himself ever more alienated from the party and the president since March when he was entangled in allegations of Chen taking illegal contributions from a fugitive tycoon.

He has been in the spotlight again since early this month when popular pro-independence TV political commentator Wang Ben-hu launched a tirade in his prime time show on Chinese Television System against Shen.

Shen fought back, and Wang quickly played victim by resigning from the CTS show that he had just hosted for a few days.

Legislator Chen Chien-ming of the Taiwan Solidarity Union claimed that President Chen had made a call to Wang to express his regards.

Shen questioned the truth of the TSU colleague's revelation, but he expressed indifference to the president's stance even if it was true.

"I don't care what side Chen Shui-bian takes. What I care about is where Taiwan is heading. I would expect the president to make such a choice," Shen said.

Legislator Tsai Huang-liang, whip of the DPP caucus, said under normal circumstances, it was unlikely for the president to take the initiative to phone Wang.

Even if he had wanted to show concern over the row, the president would have called both Wang and Shen, Tsai suggested.

Even the TSU legislator, Chen, later explained that he was reporting to the media what Wang had told him about the phone conversation with the president.

Legislator Chen said he also wondered how Wang had managed to make contacts with the president.

Wang, known for his staunch pro-independence talks in his programs, has close ties with many DPP and TSU figures.

Last month rumors emerged that Wang received former President Lee Teng-hui's blessing for his Taipei mayoral bid.

Wang has also claimed that he dined with Lee — the "spiritual leader" of the TSU — last Saturday.

The China Times Express cited unnamed sources as saying that Wang was among a group of media personalities entertained by Lee Saturday.

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