ISSUE 70                                                                              December 17, 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


DPP Veteran: Tsai Administration Becoming Fascist
On December 10 when international Human Rights Day was observed, protests took place outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei. A party veteran chastised the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for becoming fascist and handcuffing Taiwan's freedom and democracy.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

In Taiwan, Government Celebrates Human Rights Day While People Protest

China Times, December 11, 2020


December 10 marked the international Human Rights Day. While President Tsai Ing-wen and Control Yuan President Chen Chu changed the slogan of Taiwan’s human rights “upgrade,” more than 10 veterans of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), including former Chairman Chang Chun-hung, were hundreds of feet away on the streets making severe criticisms of the government. Chang and others said that the government ostensibly upheld democracy and human rights but in essence adopted “Taiwan independence fascism,” sticking to a false dichotomy to divide people and eliminating any dissident voices. It turned democracy and human rights into a slogan to beguile people and reversed all the democratic process of the past 40 years. Thus, it is opening a “new era of the old times."


Food Safety, Work Safety, and Free Speech Violations


December 10 also marked the 41st anniversary of the Formosa Incident, part of Taiwan’s civil movement for freedom and democracy. Chen, who chairs the National Human Rights Commission, invited President Tsai to jointly unveil the logo of the newly established body. In her speech, President Tsai said that after the Human Rights Commission officially came into operation in August, it had set a new milestone for the protection of human rights.

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Featured Editorial
The National Human Rights Commission was established under the Control Yuan, with broad powers and mandate to investigate any case. According to media criticism, the Control Yuan is turning from a body meant to oversee the government into one which watches the people.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

Human Rights Day: Has Taiwan “Upgraded” Human Rights Protections or Violations?

United Daily News, December 10, 2020


December 10 is Human Rights Day. President Tsai Ing-wen attended an activity organized by the National Human Rights Commission, Control Yuan, with the body’s president Chen Chu. They both used sign language to reflect the “upgrade” of human rights in Taiwan. President Tsai even indicated on Facebook that she will convey to the international community the insistence and achievements by Taiwan in democracy, freedom, and human rights. These remarks were well-said. But in the four years under her administration, has the protection of human rights really been “upgraded?” Or has the government upgraded its violations of human rights?


There are 30 articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was promulgated on December 10, 1948, in Paris, France. In the UDHR, the principles for human rights protection are broadly and comprehensively defined. However, if we check the record of President Tsai and her administration over the last four years, we may say that the government has violated almost all of the articles enshrined in the UDHR.

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Featured Opinion
Joe Biden is about to take office as president of the United States, with room for adjusting national security policy. Su Chi, former secretary-general of the National Security Council, suggests that the DPP administration in Taiwan should take advantage of this opportunity to deal with U.S.-China relations.
(Photo from: China Times)

Stay Alert on the U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations Next Year

By Su Chi

United Daily News, December 12, 2020


The big data of the traditional Chinese calendar seems to have borne out the legend that the year of Gengzi, every sixty years, has always proven to be eventful. In recent Chinese history, Gengzi featured the First Opium War in 1840, the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, and a great famine in 1960. This year, great damages have been inflicted upon public health worldwide, national economies, as well as the global strategic structure, to which Taiwan not only was a contributing factor but also swallowed its bitter fruit.


One significant legacy that President Donald Trump will leave behind is the U.S. policy towards China. He raised the vigilance of the Americans on the rise of China. But he has mostly shown emotions without coherent strategies and effective methods. Externally he offended allies all around. And internally he managed to frustrate and alienate large sections of the military, intelligence and diplomatic circles to such an unprecedented degree that he dented the U.S. almost as much as the People’s Republic of China.

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This Week in Taiwan
President-Elect Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Katherine Tai, a child of Taiwanese parents, as United States Trade Representative. When introducing her, Biden highlighted Tai's past record of combating China's unfair trade practices.
(Photo from: China Times)
December 7: The Central Bank has announced the strictest housing credit controls in a decade. From now on, companies are limited to a loan limit of 60 percent and individuals 60 percent beginning with the third housing mortgage. Furthermore, mortgages for purchasing land and residual units of real estate developers will be capped at 50 percent. The policies hope to release available housing to the market from developers, reduce hoarding, increase supply, and guide the rationalization of housing prices. 
December 8: The vote results of Taiwan's 2020 representative word was announced. The Chinese word "yi" (meaning epidemic) was selected as the representative word for the year.
December 8: Taiwan saw its first mainland Chinese confirmed case of coronaivrus (COVID-19) in 10 months. A Taiwanese businessman from Zhejiang in his 50s (case 719) presented a negative test report prepared within three days of entering Taiwan but was confirmed positive on the 12th day of home quarantine. The possibility of infection while staying at the epidemic prevention hotel is not excluded. The virus is currently being cultivated to confirm the source of infection. 
December 9: The United States Department of Defense announced that the Department of State has approved the sale of the Field Information and Communication System (FICS) to Taiwan for $280 million and notified Congress. The sale is expected to take effect in a month. This is the 11th U.S. arms sale to Taiwan since President Donald Trump took office in 2017. The system will enable Taiwan's military to ensure smooth communication during wartime and can be used in disaster relief during times of peace.
December 12: CtiTV News, a television news station which has been established for 26 years, was ordered to shut down by the government. The news station immediately transferred its content to the Internet and actively called upon viewers to subscribe to the CtiTV YouTube channel. As of December 13, the channel reached more than 2 million subscribers. Chairman Tsai Eng-meng of Want Want China, the parent company, stated that court denial of CtiTV's request for provisional disposition shows that the judiciary as a final safeguard of justice has been broken. He feels very sad and disappointed. 
December 12: Secretary-General Koo Li-hsiung of the National Security Council and his wife, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, were involved in a traffic accident on Yangmingshan's Yangde Boulevard in Taipei on the evening of December 10. The accident exposed their private meeting with Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chief Representative Hiroyasu Izumi. Wang confirmed the meeting during a Legislative Yuan inquiry but said that the issue of easing Taiwan's ban on food products from Fukushima and neighboring prefectures affected by the 2011 nuclear disaster was not discussed at all during the meeting process. 
In an interview on December 12, President Tsai Ing-wen stated for the first time that Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh had met her recently to express Japan's concern about when Taiwan will import food from Fukushima. 
December 12: The Office of President-Elect Joe Biden announced that Katherine Tai, a seasoned expert on international trade, would be nominated as United States Trade Representative. She would be the first woman and Asian American to serve in this position. When announcing his intent to nominate Tai, a daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, Biden stated that her critical policy priority would be to combat China's unfair trade practices.
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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