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

274 articles in total 
Taiwan’s presidential race: President Tsai against Han and Soong

The People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong finally announced that he will run again for president in the coming January 2020 elections on November 13, 2019.  Soong’s announcement ended the month-long public suspicion that Soong might launch his fourth attempt for presidency.  Four days later, President Tsai picked former Premier Lai Ching-te as her running mate for the presidential election.  Tsai-Lai will face Nationalist Chinese Party’s Han-Chang (Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu and former Premier Chang San-cheng) and PFP’s Soong-Yu (Sandra Yu is former chairwoman of an advertisement firm).   KMT’s Han picked Chang several weeks ago.   Han’s has little experience in nation-wide politics and the lack of general knowledge was regarded as his weakness.  He needs Chang to enforce his team’s policy-making.   Soong’s associates recommended him to pick a woman as his running mate to attract female voters. Sandra Yu was well-known in the advertisement industry, but most people know little about her.    Soong was not politically active for the past four years.  However to maintain PFP’s presence in the Legislative Yuan, his entering of presidential election might attract more people to vote for PFP’s candidates.  During the news conference, President Tsai cited reforms that started during Lai’s tenure as premier, such as tax reforms, subsidized preschool education, long-term care programs, and improvements in the business environment and investment climate, among others, and said these measures are now starting to bear fruit.  Lai said “I will do everything I can to help President Tsai accomplish her goals, which are to win re-election and secure a legislative majority” during his acceptance speech.   According to the recent polls, Tsai received more than 40% support, while her opponents Han only received less than 25% and Soong  was able to gain 8% support.  

Post: 2019-12-03
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The Chinese threat to Taiwanese Sovereignty

The Hudson institute hosted a panel discussion “The Chinese threat on Taiwanese sovereignty” on November 22, 2019.  Seth Cropsey, Director, Center for American Seapower, Hudson Institute, was the moderator for the session.  The panelists included Ian Easton, project 2049, Rick Fisher, International Assessment and Strategy Center, Riley Walters, Heritage Foundation, and Christian Whiton, Center for the National Interest.  The organizer stated “The People’s Republic of China continues to increase its political interference and military pressure on Taiwan. It has peeled away states that formerly recognized Taiwan’s sovereignty; stepped up its efforts to interfere with Taiwan’s national elections; restricted Chinese tourists to Taiwan; violated Taiwanese airspace; and repeated its threats to force what China calls “reunification.”   The event focused on China’s increased bullying, examining the causes, Taiwan’s responses and how the United States should respond.


Post: 2019-12-01
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The full text of TAIPEI Act 2019

Text: S.1678 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)

To express United States support for Taiwan's diplomatic alliances around the world.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the “Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019”.



(a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 (Public Law 96–8) states that it is the policy of the United States “to preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan”.

(2) The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 states that it is the policy of the United States “to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan”.

(3) Taiwan is a free, democratic, and prosperous nation of 23,000,000 people and an important contributor to peace and stability around the world.

(4) Since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen as President of Taiwan in 2016, the Government of the People’s Republic of China has intensified its efforts to pressure Taiwan.

(5) Since 2016, the Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, the Solomon Islands, and Kiribati have severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of diplomatic relations with China.

(6) Taiwan currently maintains full diplomatic relations with 15 nations around the world.

(7) Taiwan’s unofficial relations with the United States, Australia, India, Japan, and other countries are of significant benefit in strengthening Taiwan’s economy and preserving its international space.

(8) According to President Tsai Ing-wen, the severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of diplomatic relations with China is “part of a series of diplomatic and military acts of coercion” by China.

(9) The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–409) states that—

(A) it is United States policy “to support the close economic, political, and security relationship between Taiwan and the United States”; and

(B) the President should—

(i) “conduct regular transfers of defense articles to Taiwan that are tailored to meet the existing and likely future threats from the People’s Republic of China, including supporting the efforts of Taiwan to develop and integrate asymmetric capabilities, as appropriate, including mobile, survivable, and cost-effective capabilities, into its military forces”; and

(ii) “encourage the travel of high-level United States officials to Taiwan, in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Act”.



(a) SENSE OF CONGRESS.—It is the sense of Congress that the United States Government should—

(1) support Taiwan in strengthening its official diplomatic relationships as well as unofficial partnerships with countries in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world;

(2) consider, in certain cases as appropriate and in alignment with United States interests, increasing its economic, security, and diplomatic engagement with nations that have demonstrably strengthened, enhanced, or upgraded relations with Taiwan; and

(3) consider, in certain cases as appropriate and in alignment with United States interests, reducing its economic, security, and diplomatic engagement with nations that take serious or significant actions to undermine Taiwan.

(b) CONSULTATION.—Not less than 30 days before increasing or decreasing the United States Government's economic, security, or diplomatic engagement with another nation as a result of an action taken by that nation to either strengthen or undermine ties with Taiwan, the Secretary of State shall consult with the appropriate congressional committees with respect to the proposed United States action or actions.

(c) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to supersede or otherwise alter obligations to comply with the notification procedures applicable to reprogramming pursuant to section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2394–1).



It should be the policy of the United States—

(1) to advocate, as appropriate—

(A) for Taiwan’s membership in all international organizations in which statehood is not a requirement and in which the United States is also a participant; and

(B) for Taiwan to be granted observer status in other appropriate international organizations;

(2) to instruct, as appropriate, representatives of the United States Government in all organizations described in paragraph (1) to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to advocate for Taiwan’s membership or observer status in such organizations; and

(3) for the President or the President's designees to advocate, as appropriate, for Taiwan’s membership or observer status in all organizations described in paragraph (1) as part of any relevant bilateral engagements between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, including leader summits and the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue.



It is the sense of Congress that the United States should engage in bilateral trade negotiations with Taiwan, with the goal of entering into a free trade agreement that is of mutual economic benefit and that protects United States workers and benefits United States exporters.



In this Act, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—

(1) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

Passed the Senate October 29, 2019.

Post: 2019-11-08
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US Senate and House passed Taipei Act 2019


The US Senate passed legislation asking the government to help Taiwan keep its remaining 15 diplomatic allies, while supporting its international presence.  The legislation titled Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act of 2019, or TAIPEI Act 2019, was unanimously passed on Oct. 29, 2019.  The next day, the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee passed the bill unanimously.   The act, initiated by US Senator Cory Gardner, was introduced in May to express US support for Taiwan’s diplomatic alliances. In September last year, Gardner initiated TAIPEI Act 2018, but it failed to clear the Senate.   During the proceedings, Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) said, "Taiwan is a critical ally in the Pacific and ought to be a role model for other nations across the globe."  Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL) echoed Chabot's sentiment and said that it was time for the U.S. to recognize Taiwan as a country, according to the report.  This year’s act authorizes the US Department of State to consider “reducing its economic, security and diplomatic engagements with nations that take serious or significant actions to undermine Taiwan.”  The US government should also help Taiwan gain participation in international organizations, either as a member or an observer, and express its support for Taiwan’s international participation when it interacts with Beijing, the act says.  The House will have its own version of the act.  Once it passes the House, a committee made up of both legislative bodies would work out differences between the two versions to come up with a single version before returning the bill to both bodies for approval.   The act would then be sent for the approval of US President Donald Trump, who would have 10 days to sign it into law, or veto it.

Post: 2019-11-07
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Taiwan will push UN participation

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that Taiwan will actively push UN participation campaign on August 23, 2019.  The Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Wu-chaio Hsieh detailed the international campaign aimed at giving the 23 million people of Taiwan a voice in the activities, meetings and mechanisms of the United Nation.  This is the multichannel international campaign.   According to the MOFA, several Taiwan’s diplomatic allies will present a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling on him to address Taiwan’s exclusion from the world body on the basis of fairness, justice and inclusiveness, as well as its pledge to serve all peoples around the world.  The 74th session of the UN General Assembly begins September 17, while the UN General Debate running from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30.  In 1971, Taiwan was expelled from UN.  The seat was given to the People’s Republic of China (PROC).  Taiwan’s government has been pushing to join the UN every year since 1993.  Taiwan’s attempt was unsuccessful due to strong opposition from PROC.   This year’s strategy will be different from the past.  In addition to writing letter to the Secretary-General, Taiwan’s allies will speak up for it at the assembly; holding a series of forums on vital issues, such as sustainable development, universal healthcare and youth empowerment in New York; and a march emphasizing the important of Taiwan’s UN participation.   Last year Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu said “Taiwan deserves to have a role in the United Nations, just as any other countries in the world” in an interview.  Every year, China used its clout to block Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations as well as affiliated organizations.  Over the last two years, China has stepped up the pressure to Taiwan.     Taiwan really needs the help from more peace-loving countries to fight back China’s blocking.


Post: 2019-08-28
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China-Taiwan Relations and Strategies

The Center for Asia Pacific Policy, Rand Corporation, presented a half-day discussion of China’s relations with Taiwan on July 5, 2019.  The event was co-sponsored with Institute for National Defense and Security Research (INDSR), Taiwan.  The Rand’s event program stated “China’s relations with Taiwan have varied depending on the political leadership in the two entities, and their changing concepts of security.   Military preparedness and economic power have recently emerged as additional factors in the relationship.  We will discuss these issues through the ongoing work of scholars of the region”.   Dr. Rafig Dossani, Director of Center for Asia Pacific Policy, Rand, Dr. Cheng-yi Lin, INDSR, and Abraham Chu, TECO-LA delivered opening remarks, followed by an opening speech by Minister Ming-tong Chen, Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan.  The event had three sessions: Session I: The PRC’s Taiwan Policy, Session II: The PRC’s Military Strategy, and Session III Taiwan’s China Policy and Military Strategy.   The followings are the topics and speakers for each session.

Session I: 1. Economic issues, Rafig Dossani

                  2. Geopolitical Strategy, Sale Lilly, Rand

                  3. China’s Unified Front Work toward Taiwan, Tzu-chieh hung, INDSR

                  4. Chinese Views of “One Country, Two System” and Implications for Taiwan,   

                      Derek Grossman, Rand

Session II: 1. China’s Military Modernization, Cortez Cooper, Rand

                   2. Asymmetric Military Relations across the Taiwan Strait, Jyh-shyang Sheu,    


                   3. A New Level of Warfare or More of the same? What the PLA is doing with

                      Artificial Intelligence, Christian Curriden, Rand

Session III: 1. The Political Economy of Taiwan’s Defense, Kharis Templeman, Stanford


                    2. Developing the Future: Acting Right Now through Learning from the Past,

                        Wen-jenq Chen, National Security Council, Taiwan

                    3. Scorecard: Taiwan’s Strategic Readiness and Resilience, Jyun-yi Lee, INDSR

Post: 2019-07-25
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Taiwan’s Democracy and the Free and Open Pacific: A mayoral perspective

On July 10, the Wilson Center invited Cheng Wen-tsan, mayor of Taoyuan City, Taiwan, to give a talk about Taiwan’s role in Indo-Pacific region.

The Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy unveiled by President Trump has been regarded as a roadmap for U.S. engagement in Asia. It can also be seen as a new vision for the United States as it grapples with the rapidly shifting political, economic, and security realties of the region. For Taiwan, the question is how FOIP configures in defining and strengthening Washington's relations with Taipei. Join us for a discussion of FOIP with the mayor of Taoyuan City, Cheng Wen-tsan, who became the youngest mayor among Taiwan's six special municipalities when he first won his seat in 2014.

Post: 2019-07-25
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Cross-Strait Relations: Present challenges & Future Developments

The Heritage Foundation and the Prospect Foundation, Taiwan, co-hosted a conference “Cross-strait relations: Present challenges and future developments” on July 2, 2019.   The agenda are shown below.


Keynote Remarks (9:30 a.m.)

Chen Ming-tong, Mainland Affairs Council Minister, Republic of China (Taiwan) Introduced by: Bridgett Wagner, Vice President, Policy Promotion, The Heritage Foundation

Host: Walter Lohman, Director, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation

Panel 1: Taiwan-US-China Relations and the Situation of the Taiwan Strait (10:30-11:45 a.m.)

I-Chung Lai, President, The Prospect Foundation
Bonnie Glaser, Senior Adviser for Asia, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Richard Bush, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation – Moderator

Remarks by The Honorable Jonathan Moore
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of International Organization Affairs US Department of State

(11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)


Luncheon in Allison Foyer (12:15-1:15 p.m.)

Panel 2: China Sharp Power against Taiwan and U.S. (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Wen-Cheng Lin, President, Foundation on Asia-Pacific Peace Studies
Puma Shen, Assistant Professor, Graduate of Criminology, National Taipei University
Mark Stokes, Executive Director, Project 2049
Dan Aum, Director of the Washington, D.C. Office, The National Bureau of Asian Research - Moderator


Panel 3: Chinese Domestic Politics and Its Impacts on Taiwan-U.S.-China Relations (2:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m.)

Ho-Fung Hung, Prof. in Political Economy, Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Yun Sun, Director of the China Program, Stimson Center
Cheng-Yi Lin, CEO, Institute for National Defense and Security Research
I-Chung Lai, President, The Prospect Foundation – Moderator


Panel 4: Cross-Strait Economic Relations and the US-China Trade War (4:15-5:30 p.m.)

Ming-Fang Tsai, Professor, Department of Industrial Economics, Tamkang University
Rupert Hammond-Chambers, President, US Taiwan Business Council
Riley Walters, Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation
Walter Lohman, The Heritage Foundation – Moderator


Post: 2019-07-24
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Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu won KMT’s presidential primary

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu will represent the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the 2020 presidential election.   On July 15, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih announced that Han defeated other four candidates in the polls conducted in the last seven days.    Han received a 44.805% support, while his closest challenger, former Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Kuo receiving 27.73% support. The polls were conducted by five different pollsters in a very complicated manner.  First, the polls compared the popularity of five candidates.  Its weight was only 15%.  Next each candidate ran against President Tsai Ing-wen, representing DPP; and independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, a potential candidate from third group.  This accounted for 85% of weight.     According to the news released by KMT, five polling companies gather a total of 15,185 valid samples via landlines (home).   The telephone survey did not include cell phone.    Among the other contenders, former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu received 17.90% support, Chou His-wei 6.02%, and Chang Ya-chung 3.54%.   Chu was KMTs presidential candidate in 2016 and was defeated by President Tsai by wide margin.   Chu prepared for 2020 comeback for long time.  Unfortunately, this time KMT supporters prefer Han.   Terry Kuo jumped into the race only three months ago.   If he entered the race earlier, he might win the race.    Han was elected to the office of Kaohsiung only six months ago.  His decision to seek higher office irritated residents of Kaoshiung.  As a result, two citizen groups would intensify efforts to recall Han.  Citizens Mowing Action and We Care Kaohsiung are leading a campaign to collect signatures to force a recall vote on the mayor.  They critisized Han as a runwaay mayor who is uninterested in governing the city and who broke his promise and lied to his supporters.  The disappointment and anger toward Han were reflected in the number of signatures that the campaign organizers have collected for a recall petition.      To this date, they collected over 130,000 signatures.  Regarding Hans political career, in the worst case, Han might get beaten by President Tsai in the presidential election next January and be removed from his office by a successful recall later.

Post: 2019-07-20
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President Tsai won DPP’s presidential primary


President Tsai Ing-wen will represent the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the 2020 presidential election.   On June 13, DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai announced that Tsai defeated former Premier Lai Ching-te in the polls conducted in the last three days.    The polls were conducted by five different pollsters in a three-way manner.  The poll compared the popularity of Tsai and Lai against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (most likely a KMT candidate) and independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.  Tsai beat Lai by 8.2 percentage point.  Comparing Tsai-Han-Ko, Tsai received an average support rate of 35.67%, while Han and Ko received support rates of 22.7% and 24.51%, respective4ly.  In the case of Lai-Han-Ko, the support rates are Lai 27.48%, Han 23.47% and Ko 27.38%.  The polls collected a combined total of 16,051 valid samples through cellphone and house phone interviews, accounting for 7,995 and 8,056 samples, respectively.  Each pollster was required to collect a minimum of 3000 sample (1500 minimum for both cellphone and house phone interviews).  This is the first time that a huge sample was collected through interview of cellphone and house phone in Taiwan.  The DPP's presidential primary generated lots of attention because President Tsai was challenged by her trusted right-hand man, former Premier Lai.   After announcement, Lai and Tsai chatted briefly.  Later President Tsai held a news conference that she would meet Lai in the coming days to discuss the partys election strategy.   Tsai said By having an open competition, we can have progress.  I want to thank Lai for his criticism, so that I can reflect on where my blind spots and problems are.

Post: 2019-06-21
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