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258 articles in total 
An open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from 57 international scholars

Dear Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

The undersigned, international scholars, religious leaders and former government officials wish to extend their solidarity with Canada on the unfair and unjust detention of three Canadian citizens by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and other pressures that are being put on Canada to comply with the PRC’s demands to turn the legal process in the deportation case of Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟) into a political exchange. We admire the way that your government has handled this issue non-politically, in keeping with international law and diplomatic norms.

The detention of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and the new death sentence handed down to Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, are in our view serious infringements on human rights and international law. The Beijing government is playing hostage diplomacy with Canada. We thus urge you to remain strong and uphold the rule of law in the face of the PRC’s intimidating tactics. We also call on our own governments to stand in solidarity with Canada at this time.

As international scholars who have for many decades observed the behavior of the PRC government toward the country of our academic specialization, Taiwan, we must say that China’s actions are regrettably a new norm. The government in Beijing is increasingly using threats and intimidation to get its way, and the international community has been too lax in looking the other way.

Taiwan and Canada are natural allies. The two countries share many of the same values, including democracy, respect for human rights, and a belief in the dignity of the individual. In spite of its momentous transition to democracy in the 1990s — or perhaps because it represented a democratic alternative — Taiwan has long been at the receiving end of pressures and bullying from the rulers in Beijing. Taiwan’s experience in dealing with these may be helpful for Canada at this point.

In fact, Taiwan has had to deal with a very similar situation: In March 2017, a Taiwanese citizen, Mr Lee Ming-che (李明哲), disappeared when he traveled to China. Mr Lee, a longtime and respected human rights worker and democracy advocate, has been in Chinese detention for almost two years now. He was held incommunicado for many months, eventually put on a show trial in September 2017 and sentenced to five years in prison for “subverting state power.”

China also uses economic pressure on Taiwan, including using Taiwanese businesspeople working in China to pressure the government. We note that the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland’s statement on Dec. 7 last year “expressed Canada’s strong disappointment that China is involving private industry and obliging them to take a position on political issues.” Canada and Taiwan are in the same boat, and should cooperate and coordinate much more than they have done before.

We thus recommend that you use this occasion as an opportunity to review and enhance Canada’s relations with a free and democratic Taiwan, strengthening exchanges based on shared values and principles of human rights and democracy.

Canada

1. Clive Ansley, international lawyer, Courtenay, British Columbia.

2. J. Michael Cole, senior fellow, University of Nottingham, former analyst at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Ottawa.

3. Ed File, emeritus professor of social science, York University, Toronto, Ontario.

4. Harry Hsiao, emeritus professor of history, University of Victoria, British Columbia.

5. Andre Laliberte, professor and co-holder of the research chair in Taiwan studies at the University of Ottawa.

6. Diana Lary, emeritus professor of modern Chinese history, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia.

7. Albert J.F. Lin, emeritus professor, Ryerson University, Toronto.

8. The Very Reverend Dr Bruce McLeod, former moderator, United Church of Canada.

9. Judith Nagata, professor of anthropology, York University.

10. Wayne Pajunen, writer and former legislative aide, House of Commons, Ottawa.

11. Terence Russell, senior scholar, Asian Studies Centre, University of Manitoba.

12. Scott Simon, professor and co-holder of the research chair in Taiwan studies at the University of Ottawa.

13. Michael Stainton, Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada, Toronto, Ontario.

14. Wilma Welsh, former missionary to Taiwan and moderator of the 132nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, Guelph, Ontario.

15. Wendy Wong, York Centre for Asian Research, York University.

Australia and New Zealand

16. Anne-Marie Brady, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury, Otautahi-Christchurch, Aotearoa-New Zealand.

17. Kevin Carrico, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

18. Feng Chongyi, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

19. J. Bruce Jacobs, emeritus professor of Asian Languages and Studies, Monash University.

20. David Schak, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.

Europe

21. Michael Danielsen, Taiwan Corner, Copenhagen, Denmark.

22. Michael Rand Hoare, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK.

23. Paul Jobin, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and University of Paris Diderot, France.

24. Bruno Kaufmann, European Democracy Foundation, Switzerland.

25. Sasa Istenic Kotar, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

26. Lutgard Lams, Faculty of Arts, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

27. Christian Schafferer, Department of International Trade, Overseas Chinese Institute; chair, Austrian Association of East Asian Studies; editor, Journal of Contemporary Eastern Asia, Vienna, Austria.

28. Gerrit van der Wees, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, and former editor of Taiwan Communique, The Hague, The Netherlands.

29. Michael Yahuda, visiting scholar, George Washington University; professor emeritus at London School of Economics, UK.

Taiwan

30. Fang-ming Chen, emeritus professor and chairman, Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, National Chengchi University, Taipei.

31. H. H. Michael Hsiao, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taipei.

32. Dean Karalekas, South China Sea Think Tank, Taipei.

33. Michael Y.M. Kau, former deputy minister of foreign affairs and former president of Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Taipei.

34. Michael Scanlon, Shih Chien University, Kaohsiung.

35. William Stanton, former director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei.

US

36. John Tkacik, International Assessment and Strategy Center, retired US foreign service officer, Alexandria, Virginia.

37. Thomas Bartlett, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

38. Joseph Bosco, Georgetown University (retired), formerly at the office of the secretary of defense, US Department of Defense, Washington.

39. Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, New Jersey.

40. Peter Chow, City University of New York, New York.

41. June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami, Florida.

42. Brock Freeman, American Citizens for Taiwan, Seattle, Washington.

43. Edward Friedman, professor emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.

44. Thomas G. Hughes, former chief of staff to the late US senator Claiborne Pell, Washington.

45. Richard C. Kagan, professor emeritus, Hamline University, St Paul, Minnesota.

46. Perry Link, professor emeritus of East Asian studies, Princeton University, New Jersey.

47. Daniel Lynch, associate professor of International Relations, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California.

48. Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

49. James Mann, author and fellow in residence at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington.

50. Timothy Rich, Western Kentucky University, Kentucky.

51. Bert Scruggs, Department of East Asian Studies, University of California, Irvine.

52. James D. Seymour, Columbia University, New York City.

53. Peter Tague, professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington.

54. Ross Terrill, Fairbank Center Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

55. Arthur Waldron, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

56. Jack Williams, professor emeritus, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.

57. Ambassador Stephen Young, US Department of State (retired), Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Post: 2019-02-11
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Taiwan Ranked 20th in 2019 Freedom House Report

According to the recently published Freedom House’s annual report, Taiwan scored high (93 points), same as last year.  This year, a total of 195 countries were evaluated.  The nations with the highest freedom ranking were Finland, Norway and Sweden (score 100). 19 countries were ahead of Taiwan, such as Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Canada and Japan (score 96), while the United States did not score well (86 points).   In Asia, Japan again was on top and China is near the bottom (score 11) of the list.  Each nation’s score is based on two ratings: one for political rights and the other for civil liberties.  The freedom status was designated for each country (Free, Partly Free, and Not Free).     The score higher than 70 points is Free, while 30-70 is considered Partly Free and below 30 is Not Free.  Per report, 86 countries stand Free.  The number of countries qualifying as Partly Free stands at 59, and a total of 50 countries are deemed not Free.  Of the 195 countries assessed, 45% were rated Free, 30% Partly Free and 25% Not Free.  The main finding of this report is “Democracy in Retreat”.   The report points out several concerns, such as the wave of democratization rolls back; an ebb tide in established democracies;  the cost of faltering leadership; freedom of expression; a new and more effective form of digital authoritarianism and the rights of migrants and refugees.   In summary, 68 countries declined in scores and 50 countries did improve.

 


 

Post: 2019-02-09
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Open letter to democratic Taiwan

Open letter to democratic Taiwan

This is the open letter signed by 44 scholars, former government and military officials, and friends of Taiwan to express their support of Taiwan’s democracy in response to the recent threat from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

We the undersigned scholars, former government and military officials, and other friends of Taiwan who have witnessed and admired Taiwan’s transition to democracy for many decades wish to express to the people of Taiwan our sense of urgency to maintain unity and continuity at this critical moment in Taiwan’s history.

It is obvious that during the past two years, the People’s Republic of China has left no stone unturned in its attempts to squeeze Taiwan’s international space, threaten it with a buildup of military power and make it appear as if Taiwan’s only future lies in integration with an authoritarian China.

This pressure culminated on Wednesday last week with a speech by Chinese President and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平), telling the Taiwanese people that “the Taiwan question” was a Chinese internal affair, that unification under China’s “one country, two systems” principle was the only option for the future and Taiwan independence was a “dead end.”

In her response the same day, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) emphasized that the vast majority of the Taiwanese people strongly rejected “one country, two systems” and that her government had never accepted the so-called “1992 consensus.”

She then reiterated her “Taiwan consensus” based on the “four musts,” elaborated in her New Year’s address the day before. These include that China must accept the reality of the existence of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and respect the commitment of the 23 million people of Taiwan to freedom and democracy.

As international scholars, writers and former officials we believe this is the right response. It is also illustrative of the stable and responsible leadership Tsai has displayed in the face of the mounting threat from communist China.

We applaud the courageous stance of the Taiwanese people in resisting Chinese pressures and protecting their own democratic system.

However, we express our concerns that Beijing’s latest subversive techniques of deception and disinformation could sow division and confusion in Taiwan’s body politic and create the kind of civil unrest that Beijing lists as one of the pretexts for using force against Taiwan — which would nevertheless constitute aggression in violation of the UN Charter.

In our view, Tsai is a most effective and knowledgeable statesperson. With her quiet demeanor and careful balancing she has not only significantly advanced Taiwan’s place in the international community, and elevated Taiwan’s profile on the international radar screen, but also stood firm in defending Taiwan’s hard-won freedom and democracy.

Just as Taiwan has made itself a democratic model for the region, Tsai has earned the respect of other nations for her courageous and composed response to the aggressive bullying of Taiwan’s powerful neighbor. We urge our own governments to make clear to Beijing that Taiwan does not stand alone.

Taiwan is at a crossroads as never before. It is under an existential threat by the People’s Republic of China. While we respect the reality that Taiwan, like all democratic polities, has a range of domestic issues that must be resolved, that democratic process should proceed in a manner that does not detract from the overall national unity in the face of the larger threat to Taiwan’s existence as a free and democratic nation.

If Taiwanese across the political spectrum fail to understand this threat, and go on with business as usual, this provides Beijing’s repressive leaders with an opportunity to divide Taiwanese society and increasingly make it an inevitability that Taiwan is incorporated into China.

This happened with East Turkestan in 1949, Tibet in 1950 to 1951, and Hong Kong in 1997. The repression and lack of freedom and democracy there should serve as a wake-up call for Taiwan.

We thus appeal to the people of Taiwan to maintain a clear vision for their future as a free and democratic nation that is a full and equal member in the international family of nations. The process may be slow and cumbersome, but it is essential to maintain unity and to be supportive of a democratically elected president who has demonstrated balance, flexibility and toughness.

These are the qualities Taiwan needs to navigate the stormy seas ahead towards a brighter and more secure future.

國際學者給台灣人民的公開信  (Taiwanese version)

我們這封信的共同聯署人有學者、前政府文職和軍職官員,及其他台灣友人,歷經幾十年見證並讚賞台灣的民主轉型,希望藉這封公開信向台灣人民表明,在台灣歷史的關鍵時刻,我們認識到台灣應保持團結與持續的急迫性。

很顯然的,在過去兩年,中華人民共和國不擇手段試圖壓縮台灣的國際空間,以擴充其軍力作為威脅,要造成台灣的未來只有納入威權體制之中國的印象。

這些壓力累積到二一九年一月二日,中國國家主席兼中共中央總書記習近平的談話達新高點,習近平在談話中告訴台灣人民,「台灣問題」是中國的內政,依「一國兩制」的原則完成統一是未來唯一的選項,台灣獨立是「死路」。

蔡英文總統在同一天回應習近平的談話,強調絕大多數台灣人民強烈反對「一國兩 制」;她主政的政府從未接受所謂「九二共識」。

她並說明,她主張的「台灣共識」是基於「四個必需」,包括中國必需接受中華民國(台灣)存在的事實,和必須尊重台灣二千三百萬人民對自由與民主的堅持。

作為國際學者、作家及前政府官員,我們深信這是正確的反應。如此反應也顯示出 蔡總統在面對共產中國日增的威脅下,所展現的穩健與盡責的領導能力。

我們對台灣人民抗拒中國威脅,衛護民主制度的勇毅立場感到欽佩。但是我們耽心 北京最近採取的欺騙與散佈謠言的顛覆技倆,可能播下台灣內部分裂與混亂的種子, 造成北京列為對台灣動武之藉口的內部動亂──雖然使用武力構成違反聯合國憲章 的侵略行為。

我們認為蔡總統是一位最具能力,知識豐富的政治人物。以她沈穩的性格和謹慎持平的立場,她不但使台灣國際地位顯著增進,提升台灣在國際間的能見度,而且堅定維護台灣得來不易的自由與民主。

正如台灣成為地區民主模範,蔡總統對強鄰侵略性霸淩所作的果決與鎮定回應,己贏得其他國家的尊敬。我們促請我們自己本國的政府也向北京表明,台灣並不是孤 立無援。

台灣正處於前所未見的十字路口。它的生存正受中華人民共和國的威脅。雖然我們 尊重台灣,和所有民主體制一樣,有許多內政問題必需解決的現實,但在台灣作為 自由與民主國家的生存面臨更大威脅時,民主的程序應該以不影響舉國團結的方式 進行。

如果不同政治立場的台灣人民不瞭解這項威脅,依舊爭紛如常,那將給手段高壓的 北京領導人有機會分化台灣社會,使台灣被納入中國日益變成不可避免。這已經發 生在一九四九年的東突(新疆),一九五年至一九五一年的西藏,一九九七年的 香港。這些地方受到壓迫,沒有民主與自由,應作為台灣的警訊。

我們呼籲台灣人民看清未來作為自由與民主國家,成為國際社會完整與平等成員的 前景。這個過程可能緩慢和繁複,但基本要務是自己要團結支持以民主方式選出的 總統。蔡總統已展現持平、彈性和堅定的風格,台灣正是需要這種領袖特質,以渡 過風浪,航向更光明與安全的未來。

John J. Tkacik, International Assessment and Strategy Center, retired US foreign service officer, Alexandria, Virginia

Clive Ansley, international lawyer, Courtenay, British Columbia

Thomas Bartlett, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California

Joseph A. Bosco, Georgetown University (retired), formerly at the office of the secretary of defense, US Department of Defense, Washington

Kevin Carrico, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Frank Chiang, Fordham University Law School, New York

Peter Chow, City University of New York, New York

Jerome A. Cohen, New York University Law School, New York

Michael Danielsen, Taiwan Corner, Copenhagen, Denmark

June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida

Feng Chongyi, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Carl Ford, former US assistant secretary of state, National Park University, Park, Arkansas

Brock Freeman, American Citizens for Taiwan, Seattle, Washington

Michael Rand Hoare, School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Thomas G. Hughes, former chief of staff to the late US senator Claiborne Pell, Washington

Michael A. Hunzeker, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

J. Bruce Jacobs, professor emeritus of Asian Languages and Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Paul Jobin, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and University of Paris Diderot, France

Richard C. Kagan, professor emeritus, Hamline University, St Paul, Minnesota

Michael Y.M. Kau, professor emeritus, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

Bruno Kaufmann, European Democracy Foundation, Switzerland

Sasa Istenic Kotar, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Paul Kovenock, US Department of State (retired), Washington

Andre Laliberte, University of Ottawa, Canada

Perry Link, professor emeritus of East Asian studies, Princeton University, New Jersey

Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Very Reverend Dr Bruce McLeod, former moderator, United Church of Canada

Wayne Pajunen, writer and former legislative aide, House of Commons, Ottawa

Timothy S. Rich, Western Kentucky University, Kentucky

Shawna Yang Ryan, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Hawaii

Michael Scanlon, Shih Chien University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

David C. Schak, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

James D. Seymour, Columbia University, New York City

Fang-long Shih, London School of Economics and Political Science, London

Michael Stainton, Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada, Toronto, Canada

William A. Stanton, former director of the American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei

Peter Tague, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington

Ross Terrill, Fairbank Center Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Arthur Waldron, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gerrit van der Wees, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Jack F. Williams, professor emeritus, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Yenna Wu, University of California, Riverside, California

Ambassador Stephen M. Young, US department of state (retired), Londonderry, New Hampshire

Gordon G. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, New Jersey.

 

Post: 2019-01-15
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President Tsai blasted Xi’s “one country, two systems” remark
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Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen blasted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “one country, two systems” remark immediately after Xi delivered his half-hour long speech in Beijing on January 2, 2019.   Xi made the remark during an event marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan” which called for the unification of China”.  In 1979, after officially establishing a diplomatic tie with the United States of American, China’s leader Deng Xiaoping issued a statement “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan” to open a new dialogue to the people in Taiwan.   This time, Xi announced plans to explore using the “one country, two systems” model with Taiwan.   Xi further explained that he would ensure that Taiwanese’s social system, way of life, personal property, religious beliefs and legal rights are fully respected and protected.   Xi listed five points for the promotion of peaceful development of cross-strait ties and peaceful unification.   However, Xi would not renounce the use of force against Taiwan.  In addition Xi mentioned the so-called “1992 consensus” and included “national unification’ as part of his definition of the “consensus”.  Su Chi, former Mainland Affairs Council Chairman under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration, made up “1992 consensus” referring to an acknowledgement by both KMT and CCP (Chinese Communist Party).   Both sides acknowledged there is “One China”, with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.   From CCP’s interpretation, the People’s Republic of China (PROC) is the only China, while KMT claimed one China is Republic of China (ROC).    KMT used “1992 consensus” as a tactics to fool people in Taiwan, and in the mean time let China know that KMT prefers “One China” instead of “Two Chinas” or “One Taiwan, One China” in regard to political dispute between Taiwan and China.   President Tsai said that Taiwan and its people would never accept a “one country, two systems” arrangement and urged China to bravely embark on the path to democracy to fully understand the minds of Taiwanese.  On new-year day, President Tsai proposed “four musts” as the basis for moving cross-strait relations in a ppositive direction, vowing to establish mechanisms to safeguard Taiwan’s national security.   The four musts are: 1. China must recognize the existence of the Republic of China; 2. Respect the values of democracy and freedom Taiwan’s 23 million people hold dear; 3. Resolve cross-strait differences in a peaceful and equitable manner; 4. Engage in negotiations with the government of Taiwan or an institution with a mandate from the government.

Post: 2019-01-11
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Taiwan ranked 13 in the ranking of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2018

World Economic Forum (WEF), Geneva, Switzerland, released The Global Competitiveness Report 2018 on October 17, 2018.  This report surveyed 140 global economies.  The ranking are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey.  The United States, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Netherlands, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark are the top ten of the world’s most competitive economies.    In Asia, Taiwan ranked 13 (15 last year), behind Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong; while South Korea and China ranked 15 and 28 respectively.   Ranking is based on the score of GCI.  This year WEF introduced the new Global Competitiveness Index 4.0, a much-needed economic compass, building on 40years of experience in benchmarking the drivers of long-term competitiveness. According to WEF, the index integrates well-established aspects with new and emerging levers that drive productivity and growth.    GCI is the average score of four general categories (Enabling Environment, Human Capital, Markets and Innovation Ecosystem).   It consists of 12 pillars (Institutions, Infrastructure, ICT adoption, Macroeconomic stability, Health, Skills, Product market, Labor market, Financial system, Market size, Business dynamism and Innovation capability). Taiwan received high ranking in macro-economic stability (1), innovation capability (4) and financial system (7).    Two worst rankings are health (27) and institutions (25).  There are a total of 98 items to be considered for evaluation.  WEF also provided scores and ranking for all 98 items.  In addition to scores, WEF showed  five selected contextual indicators: Population: 23.6 millions, GDP (PPP)% world GDP: 0.93, GDP per capita US$ 24,576.7, 5-year average FDI inward flow % GDP: 0.8, 10-year average annual GDP growth %: 2.6.

Post: 2018-12-01
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Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a bruising defeat in nine-in-one local elections

 

The results of midterm elections held on November 24 showed that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) easily won mayoral races in 15 counties and cities while DPP only won 6, down from 13. President Tsai Ing-wen immediately announced that she will step down as DPP chairperson.  Among six major cities, DPP only kept two, Tainan and Taoyuan.  KMT won three ( Taichung, Kaohsiung and New Taipei) and  independent Ko Wen-je, the current mayor, barely beat KMT candidate Ting Shou-chung in TaipeiIn the 2014 local elections, the DPP won 13 cities and counties.  The results of 2018 elections almost reversed the previous seats.   The mayor-elected Han Kuo-yu had little experience and knowledge in politics.  During the campaign, he made many big and ridicules promises.  However, he defeated his DPP rival Chen Chi-mai with large margin.  Han created a so-called  ”Han style, wave and stream” which spread around Kaohsiung and other parts of Taiwan in the last two months.  It was speculated that “Han wave” is the KMT’s secret weapon for their success in elections.   New Taipei City mayor-elect Hou You-yi refused to debate, said very little about his policies and had numerous controversy issues regarding his handling of personal properties.  Mayor Ko also refused to debate during the campaign and gave the public a bad impression that he did little in the office in the past four years.   Regardless of their shortcomings, both won the election.   Many political observers tried to figure out what cause the defeat of DPP.  It appears that Tsai Ing-wen pushed “reform” too hard was the number one factor resulted in defeat.  It was very obvious that voters displeased with Tsai administration’ performance.  They complained either doing too much or not enough.   At the end , the majority of voters decided to teach Tsai a lesson and make a change.  KMT Legislator Ko Chih-en said that the elections represented a failure of DPP, but not a victory for KMT.  The KMT must not misread the situation and must continue to reform itself to win back votes from the DPP.   After the elections, the U.S. State Department praised Taiwan on the smooth completion of the latest local nine-in-one government elections.  The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also praised Taiwan for its local government elections, calling them an example of democracy in action for the Indo-Pacific region.

Post: 2018-12-01
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ITS will hold a symposium “A review of current vital Taiwan-US relation issues & midterm elections in Taiwan and US”

Institute for Taiwanese Studies (ITS) will host a symposium titled “A review of current vital Taiwan-US relation issues & midterm elections in Taiwan and US” on November 3, 2018. The afternoon events will feature four speakers with in-depth analysis of different topics. Dr. Kharis Ali Templeman, research scholar from Stanford University, will present his view on Tsai Administration’s performance.  The topic is “Up. Down, or Out? : Evaluating the Tsai Administration’s accomplishments at midterm”.  “What is the US role in the Taiwan Strait?” will be the topic of Derek Grossman, senior defense analyst, Rand Corp..  The second part of the event will focus on midterm elections.  The analysis of upcoming Taiwan’s midterm elections will be presented by Dr. Simon Lin, former chairman, The Great Los Angeles Taiwan Center.  The fourth speaker will be Adolf Huang, president, ITS.  He will touch on November US midterm elections.   Wencheng Lin, chairman, ITS, will moderate the discussion.  The event is open to the public from 1:30pm to 5pm at LA Taiwan Center, 3001 Walnut Grove Ave. , Rosemead, CA.

 

 

Post: 2018-10-22
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Taiwan National day’s Theme “Taiwan, Together”

President Tsai Ing-wen delivered her address toward the crowd during the ceremony of Taiwan’s national day on October 10, 2018. Tsai emphasized the government will continue to safeguard Taiwan, maintain stability across the Taiwan Strait and ensure the country’s sustainability. The following is the highlight of her speech, titled ‘Democratic Taiwan lights up the world”.

In the past year, all countries have been tested by the changing international landscape, and Taiwan is no exception. The government is constantly looking for opportunities within these challenges, and our country’s optimal strategic position and path to the future in a changing world.   The US-China trade dispute has led to a restructuring of the global industrial division of labor, with repercussion for the existing economic and trade war.  For some time now, China’s unilateral diplomatic offensive and military coercion have not only harmed cross-strait relations.  They have also seriously challenged the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.  The more dramatically things change, the more Taiwan has to maintain stability, remain composed to reduce pressure, and calmly find our survival niche.   The people of Taiwan will never accept any attempt by external forces to unilaterally change the cross-strait status quo.  And the international community will never approve of and support the violation of universal values.  Son once again, I am calling on the authorities in Beijing, as a responsible major power, to play a positive role in the region and the world, instead of being a source of conflict.  In a world of dramatic change, we will continue to make Taiwan stronger, and irreplaceable in the global community.  

Current challenges to our national security go beyond traditional defense and military security.   Diplomatic pressure, social infiltration, and economic security are all potential threats.  Our current priority is to formulate an overall strategy, and bolster our national security.   The first element in fortifying our national security is to strengthen value-based diplomatic links.    The second is to upgrade our national defense capabilities.  The third is to prevent foreign powers from infiltrating and subverting our society.  The fourth is to realign and rearrange our global economic and trade strategy.  We have always believed that our distinctive resilience allows Taiwanese to respond to never-ending internal and external challenges by coming together to make this country better.

Post: 2018-10-15
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US senators introduced “Taipei Act”

Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ed Markey (D-MA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Bob Menendez (R-NJ) introduced the “Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (Taipei) Act” on September 3, 2018.  According to the press release from Gardner’s office, this legislation (Taipei Act) is intended to strengthen Taiwan’s standing around the world and comes in response to several nations breaking official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, due to Chinese pressure and bullying tactics.  The Taipei Act requires a U.S. strategy to engage with governments around the world to support Taiwan’s diplomatic recognition or strengthening unofficial ties with Taiwan.   Since president Tsai took office in May 2016, several countries have switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing.  These countries are Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, Dominican, Burkina Faso and El Salvador.   China’s actions clearly violated the so called “Status Quote”, an unofficial agreement of cease-fire on independent movement, unificationthreat, no military attack and no changes of diplomatic partners.    The Taipei Act authorizes US Department of State to downgrade US relations with any government that takes adverse action regarding Taiwan, including suspending or altering foreign assistance, such as military financing.   Senator Gardner said “The United States will use every tool to support Taiwan’s standing on the international stage.   This bipartisan legislation demands a whole-of-government approach to stand up to China’s bullying tactics against Taiwan, and will send a strong message to those nations considering siding with China over Taiwan that there will be consequences for such actions”.    Senator Markey said “Beijing is promising paydays to governments to entice them to cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan.  Without a coherent U.S. strategy to push back, Taiwan’s official partners might drop from 17 to zero.  We must stand up for our friends in Taiwan”.    Senator Rubio said “China’s insidious agenda to isolate Taiwan cannot go unanswered, and I call on my colleagues to quickly pass this bill”.   Senator Menendez said “As Taiwan’s closest international partner, the United States must not waiver on our enduring commitment to the wellbeing of the people of Taiwan, to their security through diplomacy, and to their ability to defend and protect their future”.  In response to the legislation, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Presidential Office expressed gratitude for the senators’ long-term support.

Post: 2018-09-12
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A time of Uncertainty in US-Taiwan-China Relations

The USC US-China Institute hosted a panel discussion “A time of uncertainty in US-Taiwan-China relations” on August 24.  Panel I had three speakers: Tom Hollihan on “Chaos and Disorder: Foreign Policy in the Trump Era”; Charles I-hsin Chen “The Last Link in the Cross-Strait Chain” and Stanley Rosen on “China’s Soft Power Efforts toward Taiwan”.   Derek Grossman and Kwei-bo Huang joined the second panel.   Grossman’s topic is “How serious are Beijing’s threat?’, while Chen talked about “Love from the US: How should Taiwan understand the support of the US?”   Clayton Dube moderated the sessions.

 

Post: 2018-09-05
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