ISSUE 46                                                                                          July 2, 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


Taiwan's KMT Reconsiders 1992 Consensus, Reflecting Generational Divide
The reform committee of the Kuomintang (KMT) proposed a new cross-strait policy discourse which put less emphasis on the "1992 Consensus," stirring controversy within the party. Here, Chairman Johnny Chiang attempts to clarify his position.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

Amid Backlash, Chiang Affirms Contributions of 1992 Consensus


News Compiled and Reported by Taiwan Weekly

(Reported by the Central News Agency and United Daily News)


The reform committee of the Kuomintang (KMT) proposed a new cross-strait policy discourse, triggering accusations that the party leadership is downplaying the 1992 Consensus, which in turn have triggered dissatisfaction among senior party figures. Chairman Johnny Chiang has endeavored to put out this fire. In a media interview, he said that the KMT’s new cross-strait policy positively affirms the role and contributions of the 1992 Consensus, and that the 1992 Consensus should be defined not only as a discussion but something put into practice.  


The cross-strait team of the KMT’s reform committee announced its preliminary conclusion on June 19 and described the 1992 Consensus in a historical context. The KMT’s proposed cross-strait policy includes four pillars: (1) adherence to the sovereignty of the Republic of China (2) protection of freedom, democracy, and human rights, (3) maintenance of Taiwan’s security and priority, and (4) creation of a  win-win situation and shared prosperity.

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Featured Editorial
How the KMT might articulate the significance of the "Republic of China" is a key challenge behind revamping the party's cross-strait policies.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

KMT Must Reclaim Ability to Advocate for the R.O.C.

United Daily News, June 20, 2020


Under constant assault from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and opposition Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), the Kuomintang (KMT) announced on June 19 reforms on four fronts: organizational reform, youth participation, cross-strait discourse and financial stability. Among them, the party’s cross-strait discourse is getting all the attention. As expected, the “1992 Consensus” underwent an overhaul. In the past, the KMT has regarded the 1992 Consensus as a stabilizer in cross-strait relations, and now the new narrative has changed to call on mainland China across the strait: "Without (recognizing) the Republic of China, there is no 1992 Consensus." As mainland China only claims the 1992 Consensus  without mentioning “one China, with respective interpretations" in the past few years, such adjustment is of course necessary and helps the party’s appeal both internally and externally.

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Featured Opinion
Former Foreign Minister Frederick Chien once said that Taiwan's mainland policy should take precedence over foreign policy.
(Photo from: China Times)

President Tsai Rejects but Cannot Escape 1992 Consensus
By Chen Huei-wen

United Daily News, June 24, 2020


The new stance on the 1992 Consensus taken by the reform committee of the Kuomintang (KMT) has stirred mixed reactions from former party chairmen. It seems that not only the “one China” principle has different interpretations, but the 1992 Consensus also carries different interpretation.


In her inaugural address, President Tsai Ing-wen emphasized that her administration would handle cross-strait affairs according to the Constitution of the Republic of China and the Act Governing Cross-Strait Relations. Professor Chao Chun-shan pointed out that the R.O.C. Constitution espouses a “one China” principle, and the Act Governing Cross-Strait Relations reflects a framework of “one country, two areas.” 

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This Week in Taiwan
A local government in Japan passed a resolution to change the administrative name of the Diaoyutai Islands to "Tonoshiro Senkaku," reigniting sovereignty disputes over the islands. But thus far, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has been reluctant to protest.
(Photo from: China Times)

June 21: The solar eclipse was observed in central, southern, and eastern Taiwan as well as Kinmen. The astronomical spectacle was visible for 60 seconds from many locations, awing many spectators. The next solar eclipse in Taiwan will not appear for another 195 years.


June 22: The first locally-manufactured advanced jet trainer (AJT) Brave Eagle made its first successful flight for 12 minutes. President Tsai Ing-wen stated that this is the first Taiwan-manufactured jet since the AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo from 31 years ago.

June 22: The Ishigaki City Council of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, approved changing the administrative name of the Diaoyutai Islands (referred by Japan as Senkaku Islands) to Tonoshiro Senkaku effective October 1, viewed as a belligerent gesture. The Office of the President stated that the Diaoyutai Islands are territory of the Republic of China, and their sovereignty belongs to the R.O.C. Any unilateral action cannot change this fact.


Ambassador Frank Hsieh, Taiwan's representative in Japan, said that the United States handed over the administration of the Diaoyutai Islands and Ryukyu to Japan in 1971. Since the following year, Japan began to exercise de facto jurisdiction over the islands, but the R.O.C. government never protested. An official video on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contradicts Hsieh, however. It cites that the government did express disapproval and serious concern. At the time, the United States replied that while the U.S. handed over the islands to Japan, the transfer would not affect the R.O.C.'s sovereignty claim.


June 23: The Kuomintang (KMT) announced that it would draft 41-year-old Kaohsiung City Councilwoman Li Mei-jhen as the party's mayoral candidate to challenge the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Chen Chi-mai in the upcoming by-election. Some observers have called the election a showdown between a princess and prince. The Taiwan People's Party (TPP) also announced that it would draft People First Party (PFP) City Councilor Wu Yi-cheng as its mayor candidate. The Kaohsiung mayoral by-election on August 15 will be a three-way contest among the KMT, DPP, and TPP.


June 26: A Japanese student in her 20s studying in Taiwan returned to Japan on June 20 and was tested positive with coronavirus (COVID-19). Japan indicated Taiwan as the source of infection. Beginning June 24, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) closely tested individuals who were in close contact with the Japanese woman. The CECC announced that all 123 individuals tested negative and will test their serum antibodies the following Monday to clarify the source of the infection.


June 26: The European Union is planning to re-open its borders on July 1. The first wave of safe countries includes Canada, Japan, Australia, and South Korea but not Taiwan. Because of the pandemic's severity, the United States, Russia, and Brazil were not included in the list of countries.


Taiwan is reopening its Taoyuan International Airport to international transit flights but excluding mainland China. Transit flights are restricted to the same airline, and the maximum transit time is limited to eight hours.

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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