ISSUE 54                                                                                   August 27, 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


Is War Looming in the Taiwan Strait?
Former President Ma Ying-jeou criticized President Tsai Ing-wen's foreign policy, saying that it is recklessly pushing Taiwan to the brink of war.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)
Featured News

Ma: President Tsai’s Foreign Policy is Pushing Taiwan to Brink of War

United Daily News, August 23, 2020


Former President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took power in 2016, relations across the Taiwan Strait have quickly frozen. President Tsai Ing-wen, unwilling to accept the “1992 Consensus,” adopted a policy of allying with the United States to confront China, and cross-strait circumstances have turned from a stalemate to a crisis. Ma stated that he is opposed to the Chinese mainland’s refusal to renounce the use of force and the conducting of military exercises against Taiwan, but he cannot accept President Tsai’s choice of an erroneous national policy that is recklessly pushing Taiwan to the brink of war.


The Ma Ying-jeou Foundation organized a conference on the insecurity of Taiwan yesterday. Former President Ma said in the opening remarks that it is the inescapable duty of a country’s leader to avoid war and to maintain peace, so why would president Tsai rather bear the risk of war but refuse to accept the “1992 Consensus” that would promote peace and avoid the war? Why is it necessary for Taiwan to suffer the disaster of a first strike? The use of military force is disastrous and when war breaks out, the lives of people will be lost, so how can a national leader be so careless?

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Featured News
The Ma Ying-jeou Foundation recently held an academic conference on "National Insecurity: How Taiwan Can Turn Crisis into Safety." Most of the scholars who participated were concerned about Taiwan's circumstances.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Scholars Discuss Taiwan’s Security Challenges

United Daily News, August 23, 2020


In the seminar “National Insecurity: How Taiwan Can Avert Crisis and Ensure Security” held by the Ma Ying-Jeou Foundation on August 22, participating scholars indicated that there are three sources of insecurity for Taiwan: Namely, the United States has the intention but not enough strength to defend Taiwan; mainland China is ready with accumulated power; while Taiwan is preoccupied with power struggles, at home and abroad. Some scholars thought that Taiwan is currently in the most disadvantageous position.


Professor Emeritus Chao Chun-shan of the Graduate Institute of China Studies, Tamkang University, opined that under current circumstances Taiwan is very insecure. In current triangular relations among the United States, China, and Taiwan, there exists the situation of “two balls, one strike.” U.S.-Taiwan relations is good, but U.S.-China relations has come to the worst point since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1979, while cross-Strait relation is very tense. This “two balls, one strike” will probably result in an “easy out” for Taiwan. Chao said that he is not here to criticize or discourage Taiwan. Chao just thinks that the United States will not go to war for Taiwan independence, unless it involves unalienable interests.

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Featured Opinion
Former Premier Jiang Yi-huah indicates that Taiwan now faces two major national security threats, namely the government taking the lead in dismantling the Republic of China (ROC) and Communist China threatening use of military force against Taiwan.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Current National Security Challenges Facing Taiwan

By Jiang Yi-huah

At different stages since 1949, Taiwan has faced a variety of national security issues. At present, Taiwan faces two major national security threats: The first is the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government taking the lead in dismantling the Republic of China (ROC), and the other is Communist China’s use of military force against Taiwan.


The first issue centers on developments within Taiwan since the re-election of President Tsai Ing-wen this year. We know that the party charter of the DPP seeks to establish an independent “Republic of Taiwan” by referendum and a new constitution. In the past, the DPP had not governed with a legislative majority, so “ de jure Taiwan independence” remained a slogan and did not have an opportunity to be implemented. But since the DPP claimed the presidency and the legislative majority in 2020, the DPP has taken official control of the presidency as well as all the other constitutional organs, in addition to the control of media and an enormous Internet army. The DPP now has a monopoly over power in Taiwan to do almost whatever it wants.

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Featured Editorial
In its editorial, the United Daily News asserts that Tsai administration officials have forgotten the slogan of "humility, humility, and even more humility" that President Tsai chanted when she was elected four years ago. Officials are displaying increasing arrogance and impatience towards opposing views.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Su and Chen's Overbearing Bureaucratic Air: Where is the Humility?

United Daily News Editorial, August 20, 2020


The authority and arrogance of Tsai administration officials are becoming increasingly more unbearable, yet they seem to be unaware of this situation. Yesterday, the Premier Su Tseng-chang criticized local councilors who questioned the authenticity of certain Triple Stimulus Vouchers of being trouble makers, and said that they should be prosecuted under the "Social Order Maintenance Act.” On that same day, the Public Health Bureau of Changhua County discovered that a teenager returning from the United States tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). This upset Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who said that this violated the principle of not testing those with no symptoms and requested the ethics department of the MOHW to investigate into this action.

Premier Su has always been authoritative and bureaucratic. He feels that the policies he promotes cannot be questioned by others and has always faced criticism with indifference and a sharp mouth. Under his example, more and more government officials have also become arrogant, believing that only making excuses insistently can show their power, and that accepting criticism would be a sign of weakness. Over time, even Minister Chen, who originally had an image of being calm and fair, has also been influenced by Su. Not only did he refuse to accept suggestions from public health scholars, urging him to expand testing, he also puts on a face to local officials that his authority as head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) is not to be challenged. Has President Tsai realized that the image and characteristics of her government are drastically spiraling downwards?

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This Week in Taiwan
According to the population projection report released by the National Development Council, Taiwan's population growth has turned negative this year, which is two years earlier than the last projection report in 2018. Taiwan will become a super old-aged society in 2025.
(Photo from: China Times)

August 18: The Changhua County Public Health Bureau actively tested asymptomatic people and accidentally found a teenager under home isolation who returned to Taiwan from the united states test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), but Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung ordered the bureau chief to be subject to an ethics investigation on why he violated inspection regulations. The Office of the President, Executive Yuan, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), as well as DPP legislators and Internet army, also aggressively attacked this whistleblower who took the initiative to uncover the virus.

In cooperation with National Taiwan University College of Public Health, the Public Health Bureau in Changhua has helped to carry out coronavirus antibody testing. The mid-term report was supposed to be released on August 25 but was canceled by an advance announcement on August 23.

Update: Results of serum antibodies were announced on the morning of August 27. Four (4) people tested positive out of 4,841, and the positive rate of high-risk individuals was 8.3 percent. The results indicate that Taiwan is safe from community transmission.

August 18: The National Development Council announced its population projection report. Taiwan’s population growth turned negative this year, two years earlier than the last projection in 2018. In addition, Taiwan will become a super high-aged society in 2025, meaning that one of every five will be a senior above 65 years of age. By 2034, most of the Taiwanese population will be middle and old-aged, over age 50.

August 18: To prevent such mainland Chinese over-the-top (OTT) media services iQIYI and Tencent from illegally operating in Taiwan through agents or distributors, the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), made a preliminary announcement that effective September 3, Taiwanese businesses will be prohibited from acting as an agent for said businesses.

August 19: The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB), recently investigated several cases of hacking government agencies and found that mainland Chinese hacker organizations, including Blacktech, Taidoor, Mustang Panda, and APT40, used four providers of information services for Taiwanese government agencies as ‘springboards” to launch attacks. They have hacked into at least 10 government agencies, including the Taipei City Government, the Water Resources Agency of the MOEA, and a national university, attempting to steal classified information. The information may have already been intercepted. The MJIB has set up a task force to actively investigate.

August 20: In Taoyuan, a male used a knife to cut her mother 37 times and even threw her detached head out from the 12th floor of a building. He was originally sentenced to life imprisonment in the first trial but was acquitted and released in an appellate trial based on the psychiatric evaluation that drug use led to his inability to identify illegal behavior. The result caused public uproar and public discussions about the social safety net.

August 20: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has repeatedly caused interference near Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Around 4 PM on August 20, PLA aircrafts entered east of the middle line of the Taiwan Strait, flying around Taiwan’s ADIZ for nearly 1.5 hour. According to local media reports on August 17, Taiwanese air force pilots on duty must strictly abide by combat preparedness guidelines. If a pilot did not receive an order from the Air Force Combat Command and fires without authorization, then he will be prosecuted immediately after landing from air duty.

Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by the Fair Winds Foundation, Association of Foreign Relations, and Taipei Forum which provides coverage and perspectives on 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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