ISSUE 61                                                                                 October 15, 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


In National Day Address, President Tsai Calls Upon Beijing for Dialogue
In her National Day address, President Tsai Ing-wen stated that cross-strait stability is the joint responsibility of both sides. While parity and dignity are maintained, Taiwan is willing to work together to facilitate meaningful dialogue.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

President Tsai: Open to Dialogue with Beijing Based on Respect and Understanding

United Daily News, October 11, 2020


In her National Day address yesterday, President Tsai Ing-wen stated that her administration is determined to maintain stability in cross-strait relations, but Taiwan cannot shoulder it alone. According to President Tsai, it is the joint responsibility of both sides of the Taiwan Strait. She also proposed that with parity and dignity, Taiwan is willing to facilitate meaningful dialogue. The opposition parties called on President Tsai to change herself and not to choose sides or resort to slogans of hipster styles.


As Beijing leader said that China will never seek hegemony, President Tsai hoped that it is the beginning of a genuine change. President Tsai pointed out that recently the leader of the other side stated in a video message to the United Nations that “China will never seek hegemony, expansion, or a sphere of influence”. As countries of the region and around the world are concerned about China’s expanding hegemony, Tsai hoped that this is the beginning of a genuine change.

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Featured News
United States National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien called upon Taiwan to increase defense spending and suggested investments in reconnaissance, surveillance, and fast-attack armaments.
(Photo from: China Times)

U.S. Warns Beijing Against Military Unification, Suggests Taiwan Expand Arms Purchases to Become a Porcupine

China Times, October 9, 2020


U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien warned China on Wednesday against any attempt to take Taiwan by force. He said that part of Beijing’s buildup of the navy was to gain the ability to push the United States back out of the Western Pacific, and allow them to engage in an amphibious landing in Taiwan. According to O’Brien, the problem with that is that amphibious landings are notoriously difficult. He added and pointed out the paucity of landing beaches on the island.


He maintained the long-standing American policy of strategic ambiguity toward both sides of the strait; He said that there was a lot of ambiguity about how the United States would respond. In addition, he called on Taiwan to turn itself into a porcupine militarily, since lions generally don't like to eat porcupines.

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, President Tsai's National Day address demonstrated her desire to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait but failed to propose an effective solution to currently harsh circumstances.
(Photo from: China Times)

National Day Address Failed to Provide Solution for Cross-Strait Peace

China Times Editorial, October 10, 2020


Faced with the increasingly chaotic situation in East Asia and the verge of military conflict in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen’s National Day speech continued the main theme of the past four years. President Tsai stated that the top priority for both sides of the strait should be mutual respect, understanding, and dialogue on peaceful co-existence. Her remarks go along with the international community’s hope to reduce the possibility of warfare. However, it is still a serious challenge to reduce the long-standing hostility between the two sides of the strait to create conditions for meaningful dialogue. So, how to prevent hostility from rising remain the top priority.


The theme of President Tsai’s speech at the National Day Convention was "Uniting Taiwan and Moving Forward with Confidence.” Like previous years, it consistently expressed goodwill towards the cross-strait relations. President Tsai pointed out that so long as Beijing has the intention to resolve opposition and improve cross-strait relations, under the principal of dignity and equal footing, Taiwan is willing to jointly promote meaningful dialogue. This is the proposition of the Taiwanese people and the consensus among the ruling and opposition parties in Taiwan.

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This Week in Taiwan
The Kuomintang (KMT) caucus of the Legislative Yuan recently put forth two resolutions demanding U.S. assistance to help Taiwan resist China and restoration of official diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the United States. The bills were not opposed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and successfully passed.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

October 5: Publicly-funded flu vaccinations began. Over 1.26 million doses were given over three days, which is 1.55 times the number last year, breaking a new record. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is expected to release 80 percent of the vaccines before October 22.

October 6: In order to highlight the bragging and inconsistencies under the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, the Kuomintang (KMT) caucus of the Legislative Yuan proposed two resolutions asking the United States to help Taiwan resist China and advocating the restoration of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the United States. The resolutions were not opposed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and successfully passed.

October 7: Mainland Chinese jets are frequently intruding Taiwan's air space. In response to interpellation at the Legislative Yuan, Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa stated that a total of 1,711 People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircrafts and 1,029 PLA ships have introduced Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), of which 217 aircrafts intruded Taiwan's southwest ADIZ. Additionally, a total of 49 PLA jets crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, a new record in 30 years.

In response to actions by the PLA, Taiwan's Air Force dispatched 2,972 aircrafts this year, including 76 aircrafts in response to PLA jets crossing the median line. To this end, a total of NT$25.5 billion (about US$888 million) has been expended so far this year.

October 8: Beginning from New Year's Day in 2021, the minimum wage will be adjusted from NT$23,800 (about US$831) to NT$24,000 (about US$838) per month, and national health insurance premiums will also be adjusted. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, beginning next year, 2.85 million employees whose salaries are lower than NT$23,800 will have to pay an additional NT$3 (about US$0.10) in health insurance premiums. Another two categories of 50,000 people will have to pay either an additional NT$27 (about US$0.94) or NT$70 (about US$2.45), which is expected to generate NT$500 million (about US$17.5 million) in health insurance revenue.

October 8: Minister Chen Chi-chung of the Council of Agriculture delivered his report at the Economics Committee of the Legislative Yuan. KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou pointed out that when Chen was a professor, Chen staunchly opposed importing American pork but is now defending importing American pork as a government minister, even though U.S. pork is inconsistent with Taiwan's interests. Legislator Lin criticized the total failure of Minister Chen and asked him to apologize and step down from office.

October 8: A M41A3 walker bulldog light tank affiliated with the Kinmen Defense Command of the R.O.C. Army accidentally overturned, causing one death and one injury. Because the tank has been in service for over six decades, the "grandpa-class tank" became a subject of controversy.

President Tsai Ing-wen directed that the government compensate generously and stated plans to procure new, state-of-the-art tanks. The Army stated that it plans to adjust in advance the types of combat equipment used in the surrounding islets.

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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