ISSUE 49                                                                                        July 23, 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


President Tsai Hard on Political Appointments, Soft on Sovereignty
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) forced the confirmation of Control Yuan presidential nominee Chen Chu, triggering fierce conflict within the Legislative Yuan.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

DPP Makes History: All 27 Control Yuan Nominees Confirmed in Controversy

China Times, July 18, 2020


The Legislative Yuan on July 17 proceeded the consent voting for the nominees of 27 new Control Yuan members. Chen Chu, former secretary-general to the President, after several violent confrontations between ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) , secured her post as president of the Control Yuan. All the other 26 nominees were also passed. It was the very first time since the Control Yuan members were constituted by president’s nomination with the consent of the Legislative Yuan. Although it was an all-pass nomination, it is also the most controversial one.


New members are to resume their duties from August 1. President Tsai Ing-wen is now substantially and entirely controlling all five branches of the nation: the Executive, Legislative, Examination, Judicial, and Control Yuan. She is fully and totally in power.

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Featured Editorial
Due to controversy, Control Yuan presidential nominee Chen Chu entered the Legislative Yuan chamber through a side door.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

DPP Nominations Corroborate “Peter Principle”

United Daily News Editorial, July 15, 2020


The nomination of Chen Chu as president for Control Yuan was reviewed in the Legislative Yuan yesterday. The ruling party not only set up four layers of barbwire barricade outside the Legislative Yuan, but also stationed police on its roof, as if facing an indomitable enemy. A simple case of personnel appointment so highly guarded was nothing but a tremendous irony and humiliation to Chen, who claims that her political imprisonment justifies her being appointed to head the Human Rights Commission. Facing her own appointment arousing such a huge wave of social controversy, her political career up to today, Chen, we wonder if she has a slight feeling of remorse?

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Featured Opinion
In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of the United States indicated strong support for the 2016 South China Sea arbitration ruling.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Why is Foreign Ministry Applauding South China Sea Sovereignty Violations?

By Sun Yang-ming
United Daily News, July 18, 2020


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on July 13 that the United States is aligning its position with the July 2016 decision on South China Sea issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Although the announcement was meant for Beijing, it nevertheless hurts Taiwan the most. But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), to everyone’s surprise, issued a statement welcoming the U.S. announcement.


The U.S. announcement reiterating the July 2016 judgement of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on South China Sea was a slap in the face for Taiwan. The South China Sea Arbitration’s impact on Taiwan mainly has two folds: First, the arbitral tribunal ruled that Taiping Island (Itu Aba) is a rock not an island, and second, the award ruled that the claimed “nine-dash line” and the historic rights or other sovereign rights or jurisdiction are contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and are unlawful (in Pompeo’s terms). When the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued the award in 2016, the Office of the President made the following statement: “The arbitration on Taiping Island has seriously impaired our rights in Taiping Island and other islands in the South China Sea and their surrounding waters. We solemnly declare that we will never accept it and the arbitration judgement has no legal effect on the Republic of China whatsoever.” MOFA held the same position at the time.


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This Week in Taiwan
An army Bell OH-58D helicopter which participated in the Han Kuang Exercise unfortunately crashed on a runway, killing both pilots.
(Photo from: China Times)

July 13: Recently, there have been multiple incidents of shootings as well as killings at dance studios reported in southern Taiwan. In a meeting commending police for their epidemic prevention efforts, Premier Su Tseng-tsang said that President Tsai Ing-wen and he are worried and sad that public safety is deteriorating, and he demanded that local police chiefs take responsibility. The National Police Agency, Ministry of the Interior, replaced the chiefs of the Kaohsiung and Tainan police departments, shaking the police community. Some speculate that the move has to do with factional struggle within the ruling Democratic Progressive Party or high-level personnel struggle among the police.

July 15: "Triple Stimulus Vouchers" are now available to use. On the first day, post offices sold more than 700,000 vouchers, far more than expected. Some post offices have seen long and chaotic queues. Some machines in convenience stores also went out of order, and some people waited for more than an hour.

July 16: On its return trip from a combat preparedness mission, an army helicopter which participated in the Han Kuang Exercise unfortunately fell on the runway of the Hsinchu Air Firce Base three minutes after take-off. Both pilots operating the helicopter were killed in the line of duty.  It was found that the rotating wing speed was too low, and the helicopter attempted to return to the base in order to avoid residences. The OH-58D helicopter in question is manufactured by Bell Helicopter of the United States. The Republic of China Army purchased a total of 39 helicopters. This is the third time that the helicopter has fallen in two years.

July 16: Children of a mainland Chinese parent and who hold Taiwanese (R.O.C.) resident certificates but are not citizens have not been able to enter Taiwan since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Central Epidemic Command Center announced that infants under two years old of a mainland Chinese parent and who hold R.O.C. resident certificates (an estimated total of 110) will now be permitted to enter Taiwan.

July 17: Established nearly 90 years ago, the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission has been re-organized into a Disciplinary Court under the Judicial Yuan and features a "one-level, two-instance" system (previously "one-level, one-instance"). The first trial consists of three professional judges and two law judges (ordinary citizens) who hear disciplinary cases against judges and prosecutors. This new system allows the people to oversee the judiciary and avoids the shielding of incompetent or corrupt judges by fellow judges. The Judicial Yuan has already selected 12 lay judges from a total of 26 applicants. Two lay judges are randomly drawn to hear each case.

July 17: In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of the United States criticized China's claims in the South China Sea as illegal and harming the sovereignty of other coastal nations. Pompeo indicated that the United States will not allow China to establish a "maritime empire" in the South China Sea. Pompeo also indicated support for the binding authority of the 2016 Philippines v. China arbitration ruling. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed welcome.

On Facebook, former President Ma Ying-jeou questioned whether the Tsai administration can accept the U.S. position that Taiping Island is a rock and not an island. Ma criticized the position of MOFA as that of "self-inflicted castration." Ma said that MOFA should clarify as soon as possible that Taiping Island is an island, not a rock, and reiterate that the R.O.C. does not accept the 2016 arbitration ruling on the South China Sea. Ma warned the administration against self-abandoning sovereignty claims.

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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