ISSUE 74                                                                                  January 14, 2021
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 Government’s Lackluster Response to Storming of U.S. Capitol
Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol. Police fired tear gas to push the protesters away.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

While World Condemns Storming of U.S. Capitol, Taiwan's Government Stays Silent

News Compiled and Reported by Taiwan Weekly


The United States Capitol was stormed by supporters of President Donald Trump on January 6 in an attempt to block the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election, an event which shocked the world. Thanks to strong law enforcement by the police and the National Guard, the riot ended four hours later. One police officer and four civilians were killed, and more than 50 people were arrested. In the early hours of the next morning, the Congress officially certified that Joe Biden won the election.


The office of former President Ma Ying-jeou stated that this incident highlighted the fact that any democracy which embraces the rule of law cannot tolerate illegal violence; social order and government operations must be maintained; and the boundaries of the rule of law must not be crossed. When the United States Congress was violently invaded, the police and national guard rose to the occasion and quickly quelled the riot. Regrettably, when leaders of various countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, New Zealand, Australia, and India condemned the violence, why did President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier Su Tseng-chang remain silent instead?

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Featured Opinion
In March 2014, participants in the Sunflower Student Movement also used violent means to occupy the Legislative Yuan and trespass the Executive Yuan. The protesters received full support from the Democratic Progressive Party led by Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen.
(Photo from: China Times)

DPP Double Standards Trampled Democracy Twice

By Tseng Yi-ping
China Times
, January 10, 2021


Recently, supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the United States Capitol, resulting in five deaths, of which four were private citizens and one was a police officer. This riot not only severely shaken the proud democracy of the United States but also hit the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan, which has often boasted common democratic values with the United States. After the riot broke out, Tsai administration officials from top to bottom kept silent. Lin Fei-fan, who co-led the 2014 Sunflower Student Movement and is now deputy secretary-general of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), did not respond until yesterday. The true meaning of democracy should not be changed following one’s own political interests.


The Sunflower protests in 2014 once gained a lot of recognition and support. However, as leaders of the movement joined political institutions, becoming political celebrities and received its baptism, as of now they have exposed their political vulnerability, and some of them have even stepped off the altar.


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Featured Opinion
On the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, President Tsai Ing-wen, who likes to claim that she stands with the people, has remained silent. She has been criticized for her double standards on democracy.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

Double Standard Politicians Transferring Bad Karma unto Themselves

By Wang Chi-hsiung

United Daily News, January 9, 2021


Taiwan's Sunflower Movement, Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement, and America’s recent protests storing the Capitol: The power of karma is really quick to transfer with the turn of history!


In 2014, the protesters against Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services occupied the Legislative Yuan for 24 days. The State Department of the United States appealed to the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou to enter a peaceful negotiation with the protesters. Two years later, President Ma's Kuomintang (KMT) lost the election. After President Tsai Ing-wen took power, the leaders of the Sunflower movement all got promoted. However, the Tsai administration not only did not abrogate the so called "sugar-coated poison" Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), it also pleaded mainland China not to revoke ECFA.

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This Week in Taiwan
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is about to leave office, recently announced that the United States will lift self-imposed restrictions on official interactions with Taiwan. Some believe that the move is aimed to anger Beijing.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
January 5: Taiwan is approaching water shortage. The Council of Agriculture (COA) announced that it would suspend irrigation for nearly 28,000 hectares (about 69,190 acres) of land in the first phase. Accounting for earlier suspension of farm irrigation in Chiayi, Tainan, Taichung, Hsinchu, and Miaoli, the total suspended irrigation land area is more than 74,000 hectares (about 182,858 acres), more than 24 percent of the total irrigation area and the largest total area in two decades. The COA assessed that compensation for suspending irrigation due to the present drought, which persisted from the second phase last year to the first phase this year, will exceed NT$7 billion (about US$250 million). 
January 5: Foreign hot money and panic by exporters to sell foreign currencies joined forces to break the defensive mechanism drawn by the Central Bank. The New Taiwan Dollar exchange rate broke through the benchmark of NT$28 to US$1, even attaining NT$27.973 at one point, rewriting a new high record in 23 years and opening a new foreign exchange era for Taiwan. Compared to the nine months it took to surpass the NT$29 benchmark, it took less than four months to break the NT$28 mark. 
January 8: The Ministry of the Interior released the latest census statistics. The number of births between January and December 2020 was 165,249, a record low, while the number of deaths during the period was 173,156. With more deaths than births, Taiwan's population saw negative growth for the first time. The total population in Taiwan reached 23.56 million, a decline of more than 40,000 from the previous year. In addition, last year, only 121,702 couples married, the second lowest number in 48 years. 
Because of these subpar marriage and childbirth figures, Taiwan will become a super-aged society earlier by 2025.
January 8: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on January 7 that he will dispatch Kelly Craft, United States ambassador to the United Nations, to visit Taiwan. According to Pompeo, the visit to Taiwan is meant to demonstrate "what a free China could achieve." The use of the term "free China" met intense scrutiny and interpretation online. 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that Ambassador Craft would lead a delegation to Taiwan between January 13 and 15. This is the first visit to Taiwan by a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations since the Republic of China withdrew from the U.N. in 1971. Ambassador Craft will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu as well as deliver a speech at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs of MOFA covering Taiwan's international participation and United Nations affairs. 
Update: On January 12, the Department of State announced that the planned visit to Taiwan by Ambassador Craft would be canceled.
January 8: Taiwan stocks continue to surge, closing the Taiwan Capitalization Weighted Stock Index (TAIEX) at 15463.95, a record high, up 731.42 points in the first week of 2021. In addition, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), favored by institutional investors, saw its stock price rise for five consecutive days, up NT$50 (about US$1.78) or 9.43 percent in a single week, and its market capitalization rose some NT$1.29 trillion (about US$46 billion). With its American depositary receipt (ADR) stock price rising to US$121.43, the market capitalization of TSMC reached US$629.7 billion, the ninth largest globally behind China's Tencent, currently ranked eighth.  
January 10: Secretary Pompeo announced lifting U.S. restrictions on official interactions with Taiwan. The move was welcomed by both ruling and opposition parties in Taiwan. The Kuomintang stated that whether this policy announced by the outgoing administration of President Donald Trump will extend into the administration of incoming President Joe Biden will be a key indicator. The KMT hopes that the rising level of official vists will continue into the future and encourage more substantial reciprocity of beneficial policies. 
Some legislators have raised the question of whether the president, vice president, premier, vice premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of National Defense, may officially visit Washington.
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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