ISSUE 67                                                                              November 26, 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


Darkest Day in Taiwan's Press Freedom
The National Communications Commission (NCC) in Taiwan reviewed and rejected the application by CtiTV News to renew its license, in effect shutting down the cable news station.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Darkest Day for Taiwan’s Free Press: NCC Denies CtiTV News License Renewal

News Compiled and Reported by Taiwan Weekly


On November 18, the National Communications Commission (NCC) announced that it has denied the application by Chung Tien Television (CtiTV) News channel for license renewal. As a result, CtiTV News will be prohibited to broadcast news in Cable TV from December 12 on, as its license will be expired on December 11. The head of the NCC, Chairman Chen Yaw-shyang indicated that the seven commissioners unanimously made the decision.


Professor Su Hen of National Chengchi University College of Communication, also former chairman of the NCC, opined that this is an intentional act motivated by party interest, attesting to the rampant abuse of power by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Professor Su reiterated that closing a news channel is tantamount to clamping public opinion and trampling on democracy. Although there are different views on CtiTV News' political position and its way of broadcasting, "a death sentence is not warranted."

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which once struggled to free the media from ruling party, government, and military influence, is now fully involved in the media.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

NCC Revocation of CtiTV News License Confirms Previous Rumors, Sounds Death Bell for Free Speech

United Daily News, November 18, 2020


The National Communications Commission (NCC) in Taiwan ruled against the license renewal of the Chung Tien Television (CtiTV) News, and the outcome indeed confirmed the rumors of the leaked confidential documents from the Presidential Office and also sounded the death knell for Taiwan's freedom of speech. The overwhelming power of the state machinery is suppressing and stifling the people's freedom of speech, causing democracy to regress rapidly. The authoritarianism of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is even more frightening than what was under the former martial law rule.


Following Transitional Justice, NCC Set up CtiTV for Political Trial


President Tsai Ing-wen’s second term garnered a whopping 8.17 million votes, giving her the greatest power. However, Tsai’s large government did not work for the wellbeing of the people, instead it abused power and oppressed opponents. Even independent agencies have become affiliate organizations of the DPP. In last election year, the Transitional Justice Commission reduced itself to a political stooge, which wanted to frame the rival candidates. Likewise, the NCC set up a kangaroo court to try CtiTV, drawing a red line for press freedom.

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Featured Editorial
The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen has utilized state resources to maintain a cyber-army. If an opposition party were to challenge the government, then it would be engulfed by attacks on the Internet. Pictured above is the Executive Yuan's team of social media editors. The photo was posted by Premier Su Tseng-chang on Facebook in February 2019.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Executive Yuan Became Central Kitchen to Launch Internet Attacks Against Political Opponents

United Daily News, November 18, 2020


After Executive Yuan Spokesman Ting Yi-ming triggered the beef noodle storm by his remark, Premier Su Tseng-chang has apologized several times but still not been able to pacify the outrage of the people. At last, Premier Su could only let Ting resign to quell the storm. In observing the context of the event, we conclude this case is not simply one of Ting’s slip of tongue or misspeak, but an elaborate scheme of the Su cabinet to engage systematic attacks against the opposition parties. In other words, this is every inch a case of political scandal. The government tried to “cut the losses” to obscure the focus, people won’t let them get away with that.


Taipei Mayor Ke Wen-je criticized for days the policy of importing ractopamine pork, sparring with the central government repeatedly. Last week, after a year of absence, he showed up again in the cabinet meeting of Executive Yuan and presented four proposals about importation of ractopamine pork in the presence of Su. Unexpectedly, right after Mayor Ko stepped out the Executive Yuan, Ting immediately held a press conference without paraphrasing the cabinet meeting content as usual, instead he showed some charts and pinpointed directly the beef noodle festival hosted by Taipei using ractopamine beef. As a consequence, a series of storms were set off.

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This Week in Taiwan
As many as 50,000 people attended the "Autumn Struggle" demonstration, protesting poisonous pork, double standards, and the party state and demanding that the Tsai administration withdraw its executive order to lift import restrictions on American pork containing ractopamine.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)
November 16: Taiwan's railway construction has reached a new milestone. The ocean line of the Danhai light rail added three new stations from Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf to Taipei University of Marine Technology which began operations on November 15. 
Taichung also launched its first metro line starting November 16. On ts first day, the Taichung Metro attracted more than 70,000 passengers. The Taichung Metro is scheduled to officially begin operations on December 19. 
Both locations are providing free rides to the public for a month. 
November 18:  Colonel Chiang Cheng-chih piloted a F-16 fighter jet, which took off on the evening of November 17 from Hualien. Chiang was conducting scheduled night-time flight training but lost contact two minutes after the aircraft took off. Signal from the flight data recorder (FDR) of said aircraft was found 9 nautical miles from the coast. The military has commissioned personnel to recover the FDR. 
November 18: The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that, from December 1, all persons entering or transiting through Taiwan, regardless of nationality, type of traveler, or purpose of travel, will be required to present a negative report on the nucleic acid test for coronavirus (COVID-19) performed within three days before boarding. 
At the same time, people will be required to wear masks at eight types of locations including medical care facilities, pubic transportation, shopping centers, educational and learning institutions, exhibit and athletic venues, entertainment facilities, religious locations, and public buildings. Those who do not cooperate may be fined between NT$3,000 (about US$105) to NT$15,000 (about US$525).
November 20: According to a November 19 report by the New York Times, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler of the United States will lead a delegation to visit Taiwan to promote cooperation on ocean protection. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Minister Joseph Wu personally invited Wheeler to visit Taiwan over the phone in December last year. According to critics, the move is evidence that the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen gambled on President Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election and even now is rushing to create domestic propaganda. 

Update: But after domestic concerns were raised about the costs of the travel, Wheeler canceled this planned trip.
November 21: The U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue was held on November 20 and included discussions on such issues as 5G mobile technology and supply chains. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation. The dialogue mechanism is expected to be held annually in Washington and Taipei and will not be affected by transfers of political power.
November 22: The "Autumn Struggle" demonstration marched on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Office of the President. Some 50,000 people chanted to withdraw the executive order to import American pork containing ractopamine, demanded Premier Su Tseng-tsang to step down, and called for opposition against poisonous pork, double standards, and the party state. Protesters marched through the Legislative Yuan and Executive Yuan and finally arrived in front of the central headquarters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). They pasted a paper containing the Chinese character for "poison" on the fence outside the DPP headquarters. If the Tsai administration does not revoke the executive order to lift import restrictions on American pork, the protesters do not rule out a following wave of resistance.
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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