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News & Events
In this section you will find current news and events from ITS and other organizations.

301 articles in total 
Biden said US would defend Taiwan

During a “CBS 60 Minutes” interview, US President Biden said US military forces would defend Taiwan if there was “an unprecedented attack.  Biden was interviewed by Scott Pelley earlier and the interview was aired on September 18.  Asked to clarify if he meant that unlike in Ukraine, US forces — American men and women — would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden replied: “Yes.”  In response to the question of whether Taiwan is or should be independent, he reiterated earlier in the interview that the US’s “One China policy” had not changed.   “We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago. And that there’s One China policy, and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence. We are not moving -- we’re not encouraging their being independent,” he said. “That’s their decision.”    Biden’s statement was clearer than previous ones about committing US troops to defend the nation.  The tension between Taiwan and China was rising following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visited Taiwan in August.  China tried to intimidate Taiwan by firing missiles into the surrounding waters and flying fighter jets nearby.  The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 14 approved “Taiwan Policy Acts”, a bill that would formally designate Taiwan a “major non-NATO ally” and sell it more military hardware.  In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “sincere gratitude” to Biden for “affirming the US government’s rock-solid promise of security to Taiwan.” and also emphasized that Taiwan would continue to boost its self-defense capabilities.  Biden’s statement signaled an end to the debate over “US’ strategic ambiguity or strategic clarity” .

Post: 2022-09-23
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Pelosi visited Taiwan

 

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her delegation traveled to Taipei on August 2, 2022.   Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was the first of a sitting US House speaker since 1997, when Republican Newt Gingrich traveled to Taipei and met with then-president Lee Teng-hui.  The other members of Pelosi’s delegation are House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano, House Ways and Means Committee Vice Chair Suzan DelBene, House Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi and US Representative Andy Kim.   During her 19-hour stay, Pelosi also visited the legislature, the Jingmei White Terror Memorial Park in New Taipei City and attended a noon banquet at the Taipei Guest House attended by businesspeople and national security officials.    Pelosi said that her delegation traveled to Taipei to make it “unequivocally clear” that the US stands with Taiwan and is proud of the two sides’ enduring friendship.   President Tsai Ing-wen received the delegation at the Presidential Office in Taipei, where she awarded Pelosi the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon in recognition of her long-term support and contributions to the Taiwan-US relationship.   Pelosi said she accepted the award with “great humility” on behalf of the members of the US Congress who are united in their support for Taiwan and looks forward to wearing it on Capitol Hill “as a symbol of our treasured friendship.”   “On this strong foundation, we have built a thriving partnership grounded in our shared values of self-government and self-determination,” with a focus on mutual security interests and economic ties, she said.   Tsai thanked Pelosi for her devoted friendship with Taiwan.  Pelosi previously visited Taiwan in October 1999, showing particular concern over the 921 Earthquake that happened on Sept. 21 just before her visit.

Post: 2022-08-23
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The new Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st Century Trade

 

Taiwan and US announced a new trade talk “The new Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st Century Trade” on Wednesday, June 1.  The initiative is to provide a mechanism for economic and trade talks between the two nations in 11 areas, excluding tariffs.  Premier Su Tseng-chang said it has significant strategic implications, as it shows that Taiwan is a priority trading partner of the US and vice versa.   Su further said it represents a new model of Taiwan-US engagement that not only provides a road map for signing a bilateral trade pact, but would also help the two nations develop a more comprehensive, substantive, cutting-edge and sustainable economic partnership.   It largely parallels the US’ Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which excluded Taiwan when it launched last week.   It would also be of great benefit to Taiwan’s efforts to join regional trade mechanisms such as the IPEF and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The first round of negotiations is to be held late June in Washington, Minister Without Portfolio John Deng told reporters following a virtual meeting with Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi.  New Taiwan-US trade negotiations could move more quickly than broader talks with 12 Indo-Pacific nations, given strong interest in Taipei and Washington to deepen economic ties, Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said on Thursday.   American Institute in Taiwan Director Sandra Oudkirk said that the institute is ready to support the advancement of the exciting initiative, which aims to develop concrete ways to deepen the US-Taiwan economic relationship.   In a Facebook post on Wednesday evening, President Tsai Ing-wen wrote she was hopeful that the new bilateral trade initiative between Taiwan and the US would eventually lead to a trade agreement.

 

Post: 2022-06-14
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Taiwanese would go to war for Taiwan

 

The Russia’s war in Ukraine brought lots of attention in Taiwan because both Taiwan and Ukraine faced an aggressive neighbor.  It’s nothing new that China threatened Taiwan all the time and repeatedly claimed that China would use force to take over Taiwan.  Even though China spent billions to strengthen their military force, it is the fact that China still not strong enough to launch a meaningful attack on Taiwan.   For decades, with the help of US, Taiwan had already built up a strong military force which is good enough to fight against China.    “Today Ukraine, Tomorrow Taiwan.” is a catchphrase that has emerged over the last two months.     As reported in Taiwan’s media, China might seriously take some sort of aggressive actions against Taiwan in the coming months.  Some experts agreed that China has the capability to attack Taiwan anytime, but not ready for launching a full-scale war toward Taiwan.  Recently, the Taiwan government said it will not start a war with China but will itself “full on”.   It is no secret that military tensions with China, are at their worst in more than 40 years.  Almost daily, China mounted mass air force incursions into Taiwan's air defense identification zone that was part of a pattern of what Taipei views as stepped-up military harassment by Beijing.  Although no shots have been fired and China's aircraft have stayed well away from Taiwan's airspace most time.  The day after Russian’s invasion, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen described the situation Taiwan faces as “fundamentally different” while Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng said it was “inappropriate” and “demoralizing” to claim that Taiwan would be next.  Recently, a poll conducted by Institute for National Defense and Security Research found that about 73 percent of Taiwanese would fight for their nation in the event of a Chinese invasion.

 

Post: 2022-05-08
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President Tsai met Admiral Mike Mullen and Secretary Pompeo in Taipei

 

In early March, President Tsai met former US top officials in Taipei.   First, US President Joe Biden sent a delegation of former senior defense and security officials to Taiwan.  The visit, led by one-time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen, came at a time when Taiwan has stepped up its alert level, wary of China taking advantage of a distracted West dealing with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.   Mullen, a retired navy admiral who served as the top US military officer under former US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was accompanied by four top former senior defense and security officials, including Meghan O’Sullivan, a former deputy national security adviser under Bush; Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense under Obama; and two former National Security Council senior directors for Asia, Mike Green and Evan Medeiros.    Referring to the delegation led by Mullen, the senior administration official said: “The selection of these five individuals sends an important signal about the bipartisan US commitment to Taiwan and its democracy, and demonstrates that the Biden administration’s broader commitment to Taiwan remains rock solid.”   The delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng and Premier Su Tseng-chang to discuss regional peace and stability, Taiwan-US relations and various areas of bilateral cooperation, the government said.

Pompeo was accompanied by his wife, Susan Pompeo; his former adviser on China policy, Miles Yu; and nine other people.   During his four-day trip, Pompeo and his wife met with senior government officials and business people before he gave a speech organized by the government-affiliated Prospect Foundation.   President Tsai Ing-wen awarded a special honor to the visiting former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in recognition of his contributions to promoting closer ties between Washington and Taipei during his tenure.   Tsai praised Pompeo’s groundbreaking measures in lifting US Department of State restrictions on how US officials interact with their Taiwanese counterparts in the absence of official ties, and facilitating high-level visits by US officials.  Regarding his decision to end restrictions on exchanges between diplomats, Pompeo said it was a “simple, right and proper” decision to make.   It was not partisan or political, but represented “American commitments,” he said, adding that it had been in his country’s best interests, and in the interest of securing and building on the friendship between the nations.

 

Post: 2022-03-28
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“The America COMPETES Act of 2022” and Pro-Taiwan Provisions

 

On Feb. 4, 2022, the US House of Representatives passed a bill The America COMPETES Act of 2022   aimed at increasing U.S. economic competitiveness with China.  The House bill also includes some pro-Taiwan provisions previously initiated by lawmakers.  These include the draft “Taiwan Fellowship Act,” “Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act,” “Taiwan Peace and Stability Act,” and “Taiwan International Solidarity Act,” as well as “Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act.” The America Competes Act of 2022 is an omnibus bill, which would devote nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars to subsidize domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research on artificial intelligence, quantum computing and other critical technologies. The House bill incorporates key elements of a bill that passed the Senate last year.  The Taiwan Diplomatic Review Act asks the US secretary of state to negotiate a name change for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington.  The House vote took place hours after the opening ceremony for the Beijing Winter Olympics, amid criticism in the US Congress of the International Olympic Committee for awarding the Games to China.  Human rights groups have long criticized China’s rights record, allegations China denies.    The bill’s passage by the House set up negotiations with the US Senate on a compromise version of the legislation, which must pass both chambers before it can be sent to the White House for US President Joe Biden to sign.    The Senate passed its own bill — the “US Innovation and Competition Act” — by 68 to 32 in June last year.   After the vote Biden urged quick action in a statement praising what he called “vital” legislation.    In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the US Congress for its continuous efforts to deepen Taiwan-US relations through legislation and other actions that demonstrate strong support for Taiwan.

Post: 2022-02-18
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Taiwan Minister Audrey Tang spoke during US President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy

 

US President Joe Biden held aSummit for Democracysession in White House.  The event lasted for three days, from December 8 to 10.  US invited over hundred countries to participate the event.  Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang represented Taiwan. Tang was one of the speakers on Panel Discussion – Countering Digital Authoritarianism and Affirming Democratic Values .

The followings are event schedules.

Day Zero – December 8, 2021

Media Freedom and Sustainability, Co-hosted with the Netherlands

Young Democratic Leaders Discussion

Private Sector Forum: Our Business Too: Democracy & Private Enterprise Delivering Together

PANEL 1: Responsible Investment; PANEL 2: Beneficial Ownership; PANEL 3: Open and Resilient Digital Space

Empowering Prosperity: Advancing the Status of Women to Advance the State of Democracy, Co-hosted with Sweden

PANEL 1: Championing Women’s Political and Civic Participation and Leadership as the Lifeblood of Democracy; PANEL 2: Breaking Down Barriers: Countering Gender-Based Violence in all its Forms

Panel Discussion on Democracy-Affirming Technology: How Innovation Can Be Used to support Democratic Values

Panel Discussion: A Conversation on the Future of the Internet

Voices of Political Prisoners, Co-hosted with Lithuania

Day One – December 9, 2021

Opening Remarks (Biden)

Leaders’ Plenary Session (Biden, closed door)

Leaders’ Plenary Session (closed door)

Remarks – Bolstering Democratic Resilience

Panel Discussion – Bolstering Democratic Resilience: Building Back Better Together from COVID-19

Inter-Session Remarks

Remarks – Preventing and Countering Corruption

Panel Discussion – Preventing and Countering Corruption

Remarks by Republican and Democratic Governors

Closing Remarks

Day Two – December 10, 2021

Opening Remarks

Remarks – Protecting Human Rights

Panel Discussion – Expanding Civic Space: Empowering Human Rights Defenders and Independent Media Within and Across Borders

Inter-Session Remarks

Remarks – Strengthening Democracy and Defending Against Authoritarianism

Panel Discussion – Protecting Democratic Institutions: Elections, the Rule of Law, and a Resilient Information Space

Remarks – Technology for Democracy

Panel Discussion – Countering Digital Authoritarianism and Affirming Democratic Values

Youth Town Hall

Closing Remarks (Biden)

 

Post: 2021-12-18
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CNN interviewed President Tsai Ing-wen

 

CNN conducted an exclusive interview with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on October 26, 2021.   This is the first time in two year that president Tsai accepted a face-to-face interview.   The interview covered a wide range of topics.   President Tsai confirmed the presence of US military trainers on the island.    President Tsai’s remark brought global attention.    During the interview, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan was a "beacon" of democracy that needed to be defended to uphold faith worldwide in democratic values.  "Here is this island of 23 million people trying hard every day to protect ourselves and protect our democracy and making sure that our people have the kind of freedom they deserve," she said.    Tsai wouldn't say exactly how many US military personnel are on the island at present but said it was "not as many as people thought." "We have a wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing our defense capability," she said.  Speaking to CNN Tuesday, Tsai called on regional democratic partners, including Japan, South Korea and Australia, to help support the island.  "When authoritarian regimes demonstrate expansionist tendencies, democratic countries should come together to stand against them. Taiwan is on the front lines," she said.

 

Post: 2021-11-16
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Taiwan launched annual Han Kuang military exercises

 

The 37th annual Han Kuang military exercises officially began on September 13, 2021. The five-day live-fire drills are Taiwan's major war games involving all military branches. It tested the armed forces' capability to fend off a Chinese invasion.  The first day’s drills were focused on testing the military's preservation and maintenance of combat capabilities in the event of a full-scale Chinese invasion.   As part of the drills, Air Force fighter jets F-16Vs and Mirage 2000s,that were originally deployed in the western part of the island, were dispatched to Hualien Air Base in the east in a simulation of a Chinese invasion.   Military C-130 transport aircraft and IDF jets also participated the drills.  It was reported that all of the nation's major naval vessels also left their home ports and sailed to designated locations off the island's coast in preparation for confronting enemy forces.  In addition, a biological agent containment exercise was held in southern Tainan City, in response to a mock assault where troops were attacked by bioweapons.

Soldiers were promptly sent to nearby hospitals to be treated by civilian doctors. The military also rehearsed its procedures for the decontamination of vehicles and equipment during the Tainan drill.  A military aircraft emergency landing and take-off drill was held on a standard highway in southern Taiwan for the first time on September 15.  According to the military, the drill tests pilots' ability to land on the 24-meter wide road in the event airstrips at the nearby Pingtung Air Base are seriously damaged by enemy forces. 

The drill was witnessed by President Tsai Ing-wen, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng, senior government and military officials and the press.  The last day of military exercises included a drill to test the counterstrike capabilities of IDF.  After the end of the drills, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng passed on President Tsai Ing-wen's encouragement to the armed forces for their hard work during the exercises.

 

Post: 2021-09-28
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Taiwan should compete at the Olympic under the name “Taiwan” or “Taiwanese Olympic Committee”

 

As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics came to an end, Taiwan had won a total of 12 medals, including 2 golds, 4 silvers, and 6 bronzes.   Taiwan’s record-breaking performance has put a spotlight on the name of its delegation at international competitions like the Olympics.  For decades, the team Taiwan has been competed under the name "Chinese Taipei" at the Olympics.    Why 'Chinese Taipei?'     It is a very strange name only few know what’s going on.   As a matter of fact, this is a result of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to recognize Beijing over Taipei in the 1970s, which barred Taiwan from competing in the Olympics as a country.    In 1981, Taiwan reached a compromise with the IOC to compete under the name "Chinese Taipei," which essentially prevented Taiwan from presenting itself as a sovereign state. This also meant that Taiwan is barred from using its official flag or national anthem at the Olympics. Instead, Taiwan plays a flag-raising song and waves a white flag that carries the Olympic rings.    Even though “Chinese Taipei” was used in the IOC’s official publications and announcements, many foreign media preferred to use Taiwan rather than Chinese Taipei.   The ridiculous Taiwan’s team name brought attention to the international media.   The BBC explained the various names that Taiwan’s Olympic team has used over the years.   Beijing responded furiously to it.   It is time for IOC to seriously look into the core issue: is it fair to call Taiwan’s Olympic team as Chinese Taipei?   Taiwan is an independent country, not a part of China.      Under the pressure from China, IOC might delay reviewing name issue.     However, Taiwan government should actively asked for a name changing.  The first choice is “Taiwan”.  The compromised change could be “Taiwanese Olympic Committee” (TOC).  

 

Post: 2021-08-12
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