ISSUE 68                                                                                December 3, 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 Lawmakers Threw Pig Entrails to Block Premier
Escorted by ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators, Premier Su Tseng-chang delivered his policy report at the Legislative Yuan amid interference by opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislators.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Opposition to “Ractopamine Pork” Turns Legislature into Chaos

China Times, November 28, 2020


As Taiwan’s import restrictions on United States pork containing ractopamine are expected to be lifted “as scheduled” on January 1, 2021, ruling and opposition party legislators fought all out in the chambers of the Legislative Yuan. Premier Su Tseng-chang, in a stinky mess of 48 kilograms flying pork intestine pieces, lard, and pouring of bloody water in front the podium, broke the opposition Kuomintang’s (KMT) 13th boycott, hastily delivered his policy address with a closing punchline “Taiwan is a blessed land”. His hasty Policy Address ended the opposition’s two-month long boycott in the Legislative Yuan, the longest one to date.


Although Premier Su delivered his policy address, he did not touch the relevant wording on the sensitive issue, such as “American pork” and “ractopamine”. It enraged the opposition, and the opposition asked the shameless Premier to step down. The opposition also strongly questioned the impartiality of the speaker on the ractopamine pork issue, a stalemate unsolved.

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Featured Editorial
Even though Tsai Ing-wen once protested against "poisonous beef," her decision as president to open Taiwan to imported pork containing ractopamine has sparked intense domestic backlash.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Amid Protest, Premier Su Finally Addresses Legislative Yuan

United Daily News, November 27, 2020


Under the protection of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators, Premier Su Tseng-chang of the Executive Yuan has finally completed his policy report at the Legislative Yuan—in a mess of raw pork viscera. The DPP made a strong stand and overcome the Kuomintang’s (KMT) boycott. Although this embarrassing episode has come to a close, the DPP is still unable to expunge its record regarding the import of American pork containing ractopamine, disregarding public food safety. 


Looking back to 2012, the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, under pressure from the United States, had opened up the market to American beef imports containing ractopamine. Then the DPP opposition not only boycotted the legislative proceedings but also launched a war of public opinion. The party only ceased fire when the Ma administration conceded to additional controls and requirements.

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Featured Opinion
According to a scholar's commentary, the triangular relationship among the United States, mainland China, and Taiwan will be a "Biden mix" with Obama and Trump features.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

The U.S.-China-Taiwan Triangular Relationship Under Biden

By Philip Yang

United Daily News, November 29, 2020


The first wave of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet announcement includes Antony Blinken for secretary of state and Jake Sullivan for national security advisor, both being longtime advisors to Biden. Biden stresses that he is going to repair the damage done by the Trump policy to the United States and emphasizes that “America is back” means that the United States will reassert its historic role as a leader across the world.


There were many factors contributing to Donald Trump becoming president of the United States. Events such as the Iraq War and the global financial crisis have turned the American public away from the elites of Washington and Wall Street, giving people without political experience such as Trump a chance to perform a presidential reality show.

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This Week in Taiwan
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen stated that Taiwan has become recognized as the world's largest customer for United States military equipment. 2020 is also the year that Taiwan has spent the most in U.S. arms sales, and the U.S. government has notified Congress of an upcoming arms sale next year.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
November 24: The opening ceremony for the "Haichang Plan" to produce submarines domestically was held at the Kaohsiung plant of Taiwan's ship-building CSBC Corporation. President Tsai Ing-wen presided over the ceremony and announced that domestic production of submarines has reached the building stage. A prototype submarine is expected to be handed over in 2025. 
November 24: In July this year, a scandal broke out in E.SUN Commercial Bank where an account manager stole client funds amounting to NT$140 million (about US$4.9 million). The Financial Supervisory Commission fined E.SUN NT$20 million (about US$701,000) for internal audit deficiencies, breaking the highest fine record in Taiwan's banking industry. Two wealth management and personal finance managers face suspended employment for three months.   
November 25: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center, confirmed that the government recently procured 10 million doses of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines and has paid the deposit. To date, the government has secured sources for about 15 million doses. Conservative estimates indicate that inoculation will occur in the middle of next year, with nine groups including medical personnel claiming priority.
November 25: Autumn rainfall from September to November this year is some 40 percent less than that during the same period last year. In other words, this is the driest autumn in Taiwan in 27 years, while minimal rainfall is expected in the winter. The Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC) announced that irrigation will be suspended in the Chiayi and Tainan region. Approximately 19,000 hectares (about 47,000 acres) of farmland will be affected and compensated at a rate of NT$93,000 (about $3,261) or NT$82,000 (about US$2,875) per hectare. 
November 26: Premier Su Tseng-chang announced that the policy of lifting import restrictions on pork containing ractopamine beginning January 1 next year will continue as planned. The government will take five safeguard measures, including inspection of the meat plants in the United States, addition of a new cargo identification number, batch-by-batch inspection, clear labeling, and strict inspection, but plant inspection will only cover those meat plants which have never imported to Taiwan. The Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan People's Party (TPP) stated that the government has yet to resolve public concerns and demanded that Premier Su apologize. 
November 28: Under the administration of President Donald Trump, the United States has 10 times sold arms to Taiwan. American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen stated that the United States conducts arms sales to Taiwan based upon the "Taiwan Relations Act" and "Six Assurances." In 2020, Taiwan is the largest customer of U.S. foreign arms sales, amounting to US$11.8 billion, the highest annual figure in Taiwan's history. Based on Taiwan's total population of 23.5 million, the average burden per person this year is about NT$14,500 (about US$508) for military equipment. Christensen also revealed that Congress has been notified of an additional sale of US$5.2 billion to Taiwan next year.
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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