ISSUE 42                                                                                        June 4, 2020
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week


Publishers

Trump Announces Sanctions as China Tightens Grip on Hong Kong
President Donald Trump announced that the United States will end the special treatment of Hong Kong.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

China Approves National Security Law on Hong Kong, Trump Ending Hong Kong’s Special Status

Compiled Reporting from United Daily News, May 28 and 31, 2020

 

The tensions between the United States and China heightened again after the China's National People’s Congress approved the decision to enact the National Security Law for Hong Kong on May 28. President Donald Trump of the United States immediately announced punitive measures the next day in the White House, revoking preferential treatment of Hong Kong including custom tariffs, extradition agreement, export restrictions on dual-use technologies, and new sanctions against Chinese officials, such as suspending their student visas to the United States.

Although President Trump took major steps to sanction China and end the special status of Hong Kong, his press conference lasted only 10 minutes, and no questions were allowed. Since there was no mentioning of the Phase One U.S.-China trade deal during the press conference, the U.S. stock market stopped slipping as it was seen as less threatening to the American economy than investors had feared.

read more


From: 
https://udn.com/news/story/121127/4596955
https://udn.com/news/story/121127/4602674

Featured Editorial
Some find that the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan is losing autonomy in the U.S.-China rivalry and becoming America's pawn.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

Taiwan at the Tiger's Mouth: How Much Autonomy Left to Pursue Peace, Avoid War?

United Daily News Editorial, May 30, 2020

 

After Communist China passed national security legislation on Hong Kong, and the United States responded that it considers Hong Kong unable to maintain a high degree of autonomy as grounds for sanctions and cancelation of current special economic and trade treatment. This laid a dub in the fragile global economy suffered pandemic. Relative to the cautious responses of other countries, President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan rushed to call for the suspension of the Act Governing Hong Kong and Macao Relations, and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu even disclosed that "Taiwan could be China's next target. It may take some military action against Taiwan." The conflicts between the two superpowers resulted in a precarious situation for not only Hong Kong but also Taiwan. The Tsai administration only knows how to oil the gun for the United States, without any plan for retreat. It is simply unwise.

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/7338/4600749

Featured Opinion
Violent protests and riots have erupted across the United States over the death of an African-American man caused by a white police officer.
(Photo from:  United Daily News)

A Fire in the Backyard and the Classic American Double Standard

By Wu Rong-zhen
United Daily News
, May 30, 2020

 

On May 25, George Floyd, an African-American man from Minnesota, was killed by a white police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck until he suffocated. This incident set off a series of violent demonstrations in the city of Minneapolis, among which was the burning of the police station. President Donald Trump condemned the protests and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency, mobilizing the National Guard. This wave of tension has spread across America and has not yet to stop.

 

On May 28, the China’s National People’s Congress passed the national security legislation on Hong Kong. The law targets mainly four types of behaviors: subversion of state government, secession, terrorist activities, and interference by external forces. However, it has caused serious protests from and countermeasures by the United States.

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/7339/4602480

This Week in Taiwan

May 26: The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that face masks will be open for sale starting June 1, and if no additional coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are reported through June 7, current restrictions related to the pandemic will be further relaxed. Consumption vouchers of NT$3,000 (about US$100) are tentatively set to be exchanged for cash payment of NT$1,000 (about US$33) per person. Low and middle-income households and minority groups will be able to obtain the vouchers free of charge.

 

May 26: The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which came into force in 2010, is due to expire in September amid fears that mainland China will threaten to suspend the pact and restrict trade and economic ties with Taiwan. President Zhang Zijun of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), who is also a member of the National People’s Congress, stated that ECFA was not easy to achieve, and neither side would like such an important achievement to be lost, despite persistent obstruction by forces supporting Taiwan independence. Zhang stated that both sides of the strait will continue to expand economic exchanges in the new year. This is the first time that the president of the ARATS has made a public statement on the expiration of ECFA.

 

May 29: The Constitutional Court of the Judicial Yuan held in Interpretation No. 791 that the crime of adultery in Article 239 of the Criminal Code is unconstitutional. In addition, Article 239 of the Code of Criminal Procedure providing that withdrawal of a complaint against a spouse shall not be considered to be a withdrawal of a complaint against the other adulterer was also held unconstitutional because it violates the right of equality. Both provisions immediately lapsed. Taiwan, like countries in Europe, no longer punishes marital infidelity with criminal law. Legal experts point out that although adultery is no longer criminally liable, the victimized spouse may still claim damages through civil means.

 

May 29: In response to the passage of the national security legislation on Hong Kong by the National People’s Congress of mainland China on May 28, the Legislative Yuan issued a cross-partisan statement condemning the mainland for breaking its promise of self-rule to Hong Kong. The statement asked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to, under the pretext of safeguarding national security, provide necessary assistance to Hong Kong people who experience emergency threats to their safety and freedom due to political reasons. The Mainland Affairs Council expects to roll out within a week a plan for humanitarian relief operations supporting Hong Kong, to be implemented by the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Cooperation Council.

 

May 30: The recall election of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu will be held within a week. In a televised information session, the activist group in favor of recall mocked the mayor for shying away from his duties and held a “rehearsal” of about 1,000 people in preparation for the recall election. On the other hand, Mayor Han inspected the damage to agriculture caused by a recent storm. Han said that he will strive to govern the city well, will not mobilize supporters, and asked political heavyweights of the Kuomintang (KMT) not to come to Kaohsiung because he does not want to see partisan confrontation. He hopes that Kaohsiung remains a harmonious and happy city as he awaits Kaohsiung citizens make their decision on June 6.

 

May 30: Taiwan has not added any new coronavirus cases for 48 days. The CECC announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ministry of Health and Welfare, “conditionally approved” the importation of U.S. drug Remdesivir to ensure that seriously ill patients may be treated with medication. FDA Director-General Wu Shou-mei stated that, for the first batch, Taiwan will be seeking from American pharmaceutical companies supply for 1,000 people by July.

Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by Fair Winds Foundation and Association of Foreign Relations that provides coverage and perspectives into the latest developments in Taiwan.

The conclusions and recommendations of any Taiwan Weekly article are solely those of its author(s), and do not reflect the views of the institutions that publish the newsletter.

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