ISSUE 52                                                                                   August 13, 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

Political Patronage in Taiwan: DPP Supporters Dominate Government Bids
The Kuomintang (KMT) held a press conference accusing groups friendly to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of winning nearly 50 percent of government bids.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured Investigation

Dominating Government Bids, DPP Supporters Are Biggest Beneficiaries

United Daily News, August 5, 2020

 

Facing the surging wave of the bribery scandal by legislators, President Tsai Ing-wen came to the forefront and said that the law serves as the bottom line on ethics. “But even though one does not violate the law, it does not mean that social perception will not be negatively impacted and hurt the people’s trust in the government.” These words, in testifying the recent Tsai administration’s bid controversies is all the more ironical. Coincidentally groups of kinship won numerous bids, review committees continuously repeated, even the company involved in the Internet army bidding, all silently turned to Taiwan Railways Administration and within half a year won over fifteen million dollars of bids therein. All these are seemingly lawful but are they reasonable?

 

Review Committee Composed by Former Party Employees or DPP-Friendly Figures

 

Last year, the suspicious involvement of two marketing companies, Haruru and bobii Creative, in the “Internet army” scandal remains unresolved. We don’t understand why Haruru can always win the bids with profits higher than market while their closing bidding report is fragmented. When the Review Committee was revealed, what came to our eyesight were only those friendly to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), then we came to realize that it is the idiomatic mode of Tsai administration in the past two years.

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/6656/4756255

Featured Editorial
Secretary-General Lin Chin-chang of the government-sponsored General Association of Chinese Culture is alleged of close relations with two public relations firms which often secure government bids.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Long Live Marketing! Secrets Behind the Monopoly by DPP’s Middle-Aged Generation

United Daily News Editorial August 7, 2020

According to this newspaper’s investigation, although there is a prepared list of 4,000 some members of review committees by the Executive Yuan, six former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)'s party officials always appear on the review committees of various government tender cases. One of them, Mr. Lee Hou-chin, former Deputy Secretary-General of the General Association of Chinese Culture, has reviewed almost 300 cases in the past three years. That is a lot! The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) has exposed that whenever Mr. Lee is involved in the review, the pro-DPP television station, Sanlih Audio & Video, has won 90 percent of the government tender cases. The above two information has revealed that these "royal review members" employed by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen has played a pivotal role in government tender cases in favor of pro-DPP companies.

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/7338/4762357

Featured Editorial
The National Communications Commission approved a television channel change, helping SET Financial News, which was originally broadcast on channel 88, leap into the more popular channel 48. The change is expected to expand the influence of the DPP-friendly Sanlih E-Television network.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Party, Government, and Media Monopolized by the DPP

United Daily News, August 6, 2020

 

Recently, President Tsai Ing-wen asked its members to take actions to disprove the saying that “full governance leads to corruption” at the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) National Congress. However, the facts show that DPP legislators gave special favors to specific businessmen, and pro-DPP examiners inclined to grab specific bids, the pro-DPP public relations company devoured state-enterprises tenders, constructing a beautiful facade of Tsai administration’s governance. Is this the script that the whole people expect?

 

Although the government agencies have repeatedly claimed that bidding processes are just and fair, but the selection of examiners are doubtful in the process. Some former DPP staff workers had unusually high chances of being selected. A few examiners can even monopolize tens of billions dollars’ worth of bids while their own bids were reviewed by a clique of inner circles. Taiwan claims to have lots of talented people, then why the government tenders must go through those same examiners again and again?

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/121568/4759248

Featured Opinion
Paul Wang, a heavyweight of Taiwan's venture capital industry, claims that Taiwan should not stand against China or serve as America's pawn. Taiwan should not become a chess-piece amid U.S.-China confrontation.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Taiwan Must Not Become a Pawn in U.S.-China Confrontation

By Paul Wang
United Daily News
, August 4, 2020

 

U.S.-China relations, starting from the trade war in 2018, has been all the way spirally sliced down. Recently, the United States closed Chinese Consulate General in Houston. As a counterattack, Chinese government closed the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu. U.S.-China relations has degraded to unprecedented low freezing point ever since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 40 years ago. In a recent speech, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bluntly expressed that the United States’ trust to China has totally collapsed, and called all democratic countries to fight communism together. It opened an ara of “Cold War 2.0” or “New Cold War”. Some people interpreted this as a preparation of “hot war” between United States and China. At this moment when President Donald Trump’s approval rating in the election campaign was far behind that of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, many people worry that President Trump may use “anti-China” as his campaign main theme.

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/7339/4753377

This Week in Taiwan
New Power Party Chairman Hsu Yung-ming withdrew from the party for becoming involved in a corruption scandal. The members of the decision-making committee also tendered their general resignation days ago.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

August 3: Office of the President Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan was allowed to resign from his post because his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching, became involved in a corruption scandal. Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman David Lee will succeed as secretary-general to the president. President Tsai Ing-wen also warned her administration that those who wish to make a fortune should take other roads. Political power must not be used for personal gain, which would only destroy the people's trust in the administration.


August 5: New Power Party (NPP) Chairman and former Legislator Hsu Yung-ming announced his withdrawal from the party due to a recent corruption scandal, and two affiliated Taipei City councilors also announced their withdrawal. Acting Chairman and Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih stated that the decision-making committee passed a general resignation, and the party will hold a by-election in three weeks. The NPP is in its fifth year. In 2016, it secured five seats in the Legislative Yuan and became the third largest party. In recent years, 12 key figures have announced their withdrawal from the party.


August 5: The immigration policy governing mainland Chinese students recently reversed. The Ministry of Education had sent an official letter to colleges and universities indicating that current foreign and mainland Chinese students would be permitted to re-enter Taiwan. But in a media interview, Deputy Minister of Education Liu Meng-chi switched positions, indicating that "due to some considerations related to cross-strait relations," current mainland Chinese students will no longer be permitted to enter Taiwan; only graduating students will be permitted.

 

August 7: Reuters reported on August 6 that the United States is interested in selling to Taiwan for the first time four units of General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial jets, worth up to US$600 million. If this arms sale is successful, then it is bound to escalate tensions between Washington and Beijing even further. Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense had no comment.

 

August 8: The prosecution investigated the recent corruption scandal involving multiple legislators. The Taipei District Court held that DPP Legislator Su Chen-ching and Kuomintang (KMT) Legislators Liao Kuo-tung and Chen Chao-ming would be detained. DPP-friendly independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu was also successfully detained upon the prosecution's successful counter-appeal. The detention of four legislators strikes a new record in Taiwan's judicial history. Former Legislator Hsu Yung-ming was released on a bail of NT$800,000 (about US$27,000).

 

August 9: Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar of the United States and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori of Japan led delegations to Taiwan. Their delegations benefited from the so-called "diplomatic bubbles" and need not quarantine for 14 days, stirring public controversy. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung stated that he would take responsibility if anyone becomes infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) due to the diplomatic exceptions. Minister Chen stated that in the interest of epidemic prevention, the dignitaries from the U.S. and Japan need to present a negative test report, take a special plane, be guided by special personnel, travel as a group, and keep distance from the public.

 

The spokesperson of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated that Azar's trip is meant to communicate high regard of Taiwan's achievements in containing the coronavirus. His delegation will meet President Tsai Ing-wen on August 10. All members of his delegation will wear face masks throughout their visit to Taiwan.

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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