ISSUE 64                                                                                November 5, 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


Taiwan's Government Gambles on Trump in U.S. Election?
According to a trans-national poll, Taiwan, of eight Asia-Pacific countries, is the most supportive of U.S. President Donald Trump.
(Photo from: You Gov)
Featured News

Does Taiwan Favor Trump in the U.S. Election?

News Compiled and Reported by Taiwan Weekly


The Washington Post in a recent news article hinted that the government of Taiwan is in favor of the Republican candidate, President Donald Trump, in the U.S. presidential election. To clarify the government's position, President Tsai Ing-wen held a high-level national security meeting on October 31 declaring that the top priority of her administration in foreign policy is to deepen the friendly relations with both the Republican and Democratic parties to secure a bipartisan support of the United States for a democratic Taiwan.


Titled “Taiwan frets over how a Biden administration would deal with China,” the Washington Post article on November 30 reported that “when Tsai was inaugurated for a second term in May, editors compiling a video montage of congratulatory messages cut Democrats and added emphasis on Republican well-wishers such as Representative Ted Yoho from Florida, said two people familiar with the matter. The result was striking enough that Taiwanese officials later apologized to Democrats, one of the people said.

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, the Taiwanese government's one-sided support for Mr. Trump is a rather unwise choice.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

Taiwan Full of Trump Fans, Extremely Unwise to Gamble

World Journal, October 31, 2020


The U.S. election is fast approaching, and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is now in the lead. Although President Tsai Ing-wen and other government officials in Taiwan have not expressed support for anyone, their supporters already raised the roof on the Internet. Their logic was simple: there has never been an American president who is treating Taiwan better than incumbent President Donald Trump. And Biden will definitely be friendlier to China when he comes to power because Beijing has the evidence against him.


There has never been an American election that getting so much attention in Taiwan. Especially in the past two weeks when the scandal of Biden’s son Hunter circulated, Taiwan’s media outlets friendly to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) enthusiastically carried reports. Although mostly quoted from foreign news agencies, there was an exclusive Apple Daily report that Biden alleged involved in the scandal of his son's lobbying for China, which provided Taiwanese Trump fans further argument to affirm Biden was untrustworthy.

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Featured Opinion
Military experts say that Taiwan has become a lucrative ground for obsolete American military equipment. For example, the shore harpoon missiles recently procured by Taiwan are inventory arms no longer produced by the United States.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

The Most Lucrative Market for Obsolete Weapons

By Lin Chun-ta

United Daily News, October 31, 2020


Lately the Ministry of National Defense (MND) verified that it will spend NT$51 billion (about US$1.8 billion) to purchase 400 units of Harpoon anti-vessel/ land attack missiles. The MND-funded National Security Research Institute (NSRI) bragged that buying such kind of weapons can eliminate more than 70 percent of enemies. This kind of comment is so-called “Emperor’s speaker”, to cheat the Taiwanese people. It is not only unproper but also has exposed the problems and shortcomings of NSRI, the MND’s sole think tank.


In fact, ever since the United States studied the coastal defense Harpoon missiles system up to now, only Denmark and South Korea have deployed Harpoon missiles. Denmark has decommissioned it in 2003. The Harpoon missiles South Korea currently deployed are only anti-vessel model and with limited amount. Therefore, if Taiwan were to deploy the coastal defense/land attack Harpoon missile system, then it will become the only country in the world deploying such an obsolete weapon system. Even America will, in not foo far future, stop deploying Harpoon missiles. In other words, Harpoon anti-vessel/land attack missiles are the waste of American-made weapon system. Taiwan, now buying such a waste with high price, is just to make itself the most lucrative market for the American weapon replacement project.

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This Week in Taiwan
Microsoft announced four new investment plans in Taiwan's digital economy. This represents Microsoft's largest investment in Taiwan in 31 years.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
October 26: The hearing on the license renewal of CtiTV News was held. During the nearly five hours of debate, the National Communications Commission (NCC) raised eight major questions, and CtiTV responded with a nine-point rebuttal. Want Want China Chairman Tsai Eng-meng personally attended the hearing. The NCC is expected to make a final determination by December 11. 
October 26: Microsoft announced for new plans to invest in Taiwan's digital economy, including setting up landing data center, a cloud computing team, and an industrial ecosystem as well as injecting resources in international data security. This is Microsoft's largest investment in Taiwan in 31 years. The plans are expected to bring more than NT$300 billion (about US$10.5 billion) in economic value and create more than 30,000 job opportunities. 
October 27: The Taiwan Railways Administration announced that the electrified south-link line is expected to reopen on December 23. The Puyuma Express and Tze-Chiang lines will both resume operations, which is expected to increase weekend and holiday capacity by 13 percent and allow passengers to save up to 27 minutes traveling from Kaohsiung to Taitung. The south-link railway from Chaozhou in Pingtung to Ziben in Taitung is 123.4 kilometers (76.7 miles). In 2019, the section from Chaozhou to Fangliao in Pingtung completed electrification. The Fangliao to Zhiben section resuming operations starting December 23 represents the comprehensive electrification of Taiwan's cross-island railway.
October 28: The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) misplaced coronavirus (COVID-19) test samples. A Taiwanese businessman who returned to Taiwan from China's Jiangsu Province was named Case No. 530. Because the mainland has not exported any coronavirus cases for eight months, China watched the case with great attention. Later, Case No. 530 tested negative three consecutive times, and the CECC found that the actual confirmed case is a Taiwanese man who returned to Taiwan from France (Case No. 536). The CECC admitted negligence and removed the Taiwanese businessman from Jiangsu from the list of infected people. 
October 29: The 29-year-old Air Force Captain Chu Kuan-meng piloted a single-seat Northrop F-5E fighter jet to carry out basic combat and flight training, but the jet crashed in the sea surrounding Taitung, potentially due to the failure of the right engine two minutes after takeoff. Chu parachuted into the sea but was found dead from severe head injuries. Chu is survived by his parents, wife, and a one-year-old daughter. This incident marks the Taiwan military's sixth air crash in five years and the 15th military officer to die in the line of duty this year. 
October 30: The central government indicated that once Taiwan lifts import restrictions on pork containing ractopamine, local self-governance ordinances mandating inspection of zero ractopamine will become invalid, triggering backlash and reaction from various localities. The Taoyuan City Council fired the first shot by passing an amended food safety ordinance, imposing more stringent regulations that beef, chicken, and pork prepared for human consumption within the city many not contain beta-adrenergic agonist chemicals. Violators may be subject to a fine up to NT$100,000 (about US$3,500). 
November 1: A Malaysian female student who attended Chang Jung Christian University in Tainan was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and killed on the evening of October 28. The police arrested the 28-year-old suspect who admitted sexual assault and murder and that he unsuccessfully attempted to kidnap another female student at the end of September. The prosecution's request to detain the suspect based on suspected murder and abandonment of the related corpse was approved. 
It was later found that the police did not properly report to the higher-level authorities an earlier case last month involving the unsuccessful kidnap of the university student, allowing the suspect to succeed on a later attempt. The chief of the Guiren Precinct, Tainan City Police Department, was disciplined and transferred to a new position.
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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