ISSUE 58                                                                             September 24, 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


U.S. Under Secretary of State Visits Taiwan, Drawing Provocation by Chinese Jets
U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach recently visited Taiwan.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Saber-Rattling China Harasses Taiwan to Protest Visit by Top U.S. Diplomat

News Compiled and Reported by   Taiwan Weekly


Under Secretary of State Keith Krach of the United States arrived in Taiwan on the evening of the September 17. As U.S.-Taiwan relations warms, mainland China announced military exercises near the Taiwan Strait. On September 18, 12 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) fighter jets crossed the center line of the Taiwan Strait, which was long respected by both sides. On September 19, another 19 fighters harassed Taiwan. PLA warships also trespassed on the east side of the strait in their exercise. Taiwan’s armed forces upgraded its combat readiness and also operated its anti-aircraft missiles to track and monitor any hostile activities. Its missile frigates were also ordered to sail out in response to the situation. When Taiwanese fighter jets were scrambled into the air to drive away the intruders, they made a very serious statement in their broadcast to PLA jets for the first time: "Turn back and leave immediately or bear all consequences."


The U.S. Department of State issued a statement on September 17 that Under Secretary of State Keith Krach, who is in charge of economic growth, energy, and the environment, would visit Taiwan to attend the memorial service of the late President Lee Teng-hui on September 19. On September 18, Krach went to the Executive Yuan to call on Premier Su Tseng-Chang and later was received by President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential dinner at the presidential residence in the evening. He left Taiwan on September 19 after attending Lee’s memorial service.

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Featured Opinion
Mainland China recently conducted military exercises near the Taiwan Strait. The image shows Taiwan's Mirage fighter jet taking off and conducting an interception drill.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

A Gunpowder Magazine of U.S.-China Rivalry

By Philip Yang
United Daily News, September 20, 2020


The lifting of the ban on U.S. pork and beef import two months ago was thought to have the resumption of U.S-Taiwan economic talk in return. However, Under Secretary of State Keith Krach of the United States who just visited Taiwan was not here to preside over an economic talk. Consequently, the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen can only say that Krach is the highest ranking official from the State Department to visit Taiwan and that he was here to conduct a "preliminary dialogue."


Against this backdrop, China announced that the combat exercise recently is a necessary move against the situation in the Taiwan Strait and a warning to the recent change in the U.S.-Taiwan relations.

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Featured Editorial
The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen is pushing for the legislation of a Technological Investigation Act, stirring backlash from civil society groups and the legal profession.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Proposed Technological Investigation Act Treats the People as Enemy

United Daily News Editorial, September 18, 2020


In the Conference on National Security Protection, President Tsai Ing-wen reminded national security agencies of Taiwan’s being a country that takes great account of democracy and human rights—officials, therefore, should keep in mind the rule of law foundation and the promise to protect human rights when they engage in national security jobs. On the surface, it sounds a reminder of caution to the security apparatus, but it actually is a superficial word. After taking office, President Tsai has strengthened investigations on information security and established a special information security branch of the Investigation Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, under the pretext of “national security and protection of democracy.” In the meantime, the government’s infringement on the people’s rights has greatly expanded by way of the five laws of national security and the anti-infiltration law. Recently, the Ministry of Justice drafted a bill on Technological Investigation Act, under which the government plays the role of “Big Brother,” as it can monitor the entire population as a matter of course, and has reached the point where it has no balancing mechanism at all.

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This Week in Taiwan
The Taipei District Court acquitted former President Ma Ying-jeou, former Premier Jiang Yi-huah, and others sued for attempted murder by protesters of the 2014 Sunflower Student Movement.
(Photo from: National Chung Cheng University)

September 14: The Legislative Yuan reached a cross-partisan agreement to set up a constitutional amendment committee which will be represented proportionally by political party. The committee will be composed of 22 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 14 Kuomintang (KMT), two Taiwan People's Party (TPP), and one New Power Party (NPP) legislators. Current constitutional amendment proposals include lowering the voting age to 18 years old and abolishing the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan, among other issues.

September 15: During the Sunflower Student Movement in 2014, protesters attempted to occupy the Executive Yuan but were hurt when they were forcefully evacuated by the police. The protesters have sued government officials for attempted murder. The Taipei District Court ruled former President Ma Ying-jeou, former Premier Jiang Yi-huah, former Director-General Wang Chuo-chiun of the National Police Agency, Ministry of the Interior, and former precinct chief Fang Yang-ning all innocent. Through his office, Ma affirmed the court decision and stated that it would help uphold the rule of law and promote justice.

September 15: BirdLife International voted in its General Assembly meeting to remove Taiwan's Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF) from the international organization's partnership program.

CWBF said that BirdLife International has demanded the Taiwanese organization to change its English name three times over the past 20 years. This time, CWBF was asked to change its Chinese name and sign a document pledging that it would not promote or advocate Taiwan independence. CWBF responded that it is a conservation organization and refuses to sign such political statements but was unfortunately removed from BirldLife International's partnership program. CWBF will discuss a concerted response with other countries.

September 17: Taiwan will open to imports of U.S. pork and beef containing ractopamine beginning January 1 of next year. The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced revised bulk food labeling regulations. Fresh pork, professed food, braised pork rice, and any food containing pork or edible parts must indicate the origin of pork raw materials. Lard, which controversially did not require origin labeling, must now be labeled.

September 19: The funeral ceremony commemorating former President Lee Teng-hui held at Aletheia University in New Taipei was attended by Under Secretary of State Keith Krach of the United States and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori of Japan. President Tsai Ing-wen presented an official praise and commendation to Lee's survived family.

September 20: The 12th Straits Forum was held in Xiamen, Fujian Province. The KMT decided on September 14 that it would not attend as a political party because the mainland's China Central Television (CCTV) has yet to formally apologize for its "beg for peace" gaffe. In response, the mainland also responded by down-grading its official attendance, marking the first time that the event was not attended by the chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) . In a pre-recorded video, CPPCC Chairman Wang Yang stated that cross-strait interactions are driven by the people. The mainland strongly opposes "Taiwan independence" and supports developing cross-strait cooperation on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, so as to achieve unification and national rejuvenation together. Wang stressed that relying on foreign powers to boost Taiwan's self-worth will only pose unbearable risk to Taiwan.

Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by 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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