ISSUE 60                                                                                   October 8, 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


Trump's Virus Diagnosis Shocks the World
After participating in the recent presidential debate, President Donald Trump of the United States tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

October Surprise? President Trump Tests Positive for Coronavirus

News Compiled and Reported by  Taiwan Weekly


On the early morning of October 2, President Donald Trump of the United States and his wife Melania Trump were announced that they have been diagnosed positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). It shocked the world. President Trump was reported with low fever, cough, and nasal congestion. On the evening of October 2, President Trump and the first lady checked in to the presidential medical unit of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It was the 74-year-old president’s first visit as a patient.


But Mr. Trump spent only three days in the hospital, returning to the White House by helicopter on the evening of May 5. Sean Conley, the White House physician, said that while Mr. Trump may not be completely out of danger, based on assessment and clinical status, the team agreed that Mr. Trump could be discharged from the hospital and returned to the White House for round-the-clock care.


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Featured Editorial
After testing positive for coronavirus, President Donald Trump and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, were immediately quarantined and received treatment.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Trump Diagnosed with Coronavirus: Do Taiwanese Still Rely on “Temperament” to Combat the Pandemic?

United Daily News Editorial, October 3, 2020


The closely watched United States presidential election certainly delivered an unexpected October Surprise—not a crisis in the Taiwan Strait but an outbreak in the White House. In the first week of October, the world learned of President Donald Trump’s diagnosis with coronavirus (COVID-19), along with that of the First Lady and key members of his inner circle. This news has shaken up the election and respective campaign schedules, if possible, adding more chaos and attracting even more global attention. 


As of the announcement, the United States has recorded nearly 7.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, over 200,000 deaths, and a daily average of 40,000 new cases. Who precisely is to blame for the state of affairs has been a question of great contention, leading to charged accusations flying back and forth during the first televised presidential debate of 2020.

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Featured Opinion
A scholar questions whether President Tsai Ing-wen is adequately prepared for the "October surprise" and changing circumstances in the relationship among the United States, China, and Taiwan.
(Photo from: China Times)

President Tsai’s Countermeasure for October Surprise

By Shaw Chong-hai
China Times, October 5, 2020


A new phrase “October Surprise” was created last month when people were speculating whether there would be an armed conflict between mainland China and Taiwan. Before any conclusion was reached, the breaking news of President Donald Trump’s infection of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the question whether he is able to run the election effectively became the new focus. This new development has made the triangular relationship among the United States, China, and Taiwan increasingly uncertain and disrupted the Taiwan society psychologically. How should we read this changing situation and challenge?


First, we need to examine the distinctiveness of mainland China’s military threat to Taiwan in the last few months. For one, the mainland’s warplanes have denied the existence of a traditional “median line” in the Taiwan Strait when circling Taiwan. This denial has broken the tacit agreement since 1958 that military aircraft and vessels of each side would not cross the imaginary median line to avoid provoking the other side. For two, the frequency and scale of China’s recent military drills have surpassed all the previous drills and they apparently aim at Taiwan.

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This Week in Taiwan
Fifty (50) United States senators, including Senator Cory Gardner from Colorado, recently signed a joint letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, stressing that Taiwan is a long-term economic partner and security ally and calling for negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) between Taiwan and the United States as soon as possible.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

September 28: A Taiwanese fishing boat named "Hsin Ling Po No. 236" from Yilan was collided by a Japanese official vessel on the afternoon of September 27 at 12 nautical miles west of the Diaoyutai Islands, resulting in damage. The Coast Guard Administration, Ocean Affairs Council, sent a ROCS Kee Lung to escort the Taiwanese fishing boat back. Fishermen demanded that the government take a harder stance. Premier Su Tseng-tsang demanded an explanation by Japan, while Japanese media reported that the Taiwanese vessel illegally entered waters within 12 nautical miles.

September 28: The mayors of Taiwan's six major municipalities, including Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung, protested in a statement against the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) for listing the cities under "China." Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that thanks to the efforts of concerned parties, GCOM has corrected the membership names according to the original submitted documents.

September 29: At the Legislative Yuan, Kuomintang Chairman and Legislator Johnny Chiang pointed out that according to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, the cabinet-wide Executive Yuan Report on Food Safety, which is responsible for coordinating, overseeing, promoting, as well as preventive food safety, should be held at least once every three months. But since June of last year, Premier Su has failed to convene any meeting. Su stuttered at one point during the interpellation.

September 30: The cooperation between Taiwan and the United States entered a new milestone. In a press conference, the Executive Yuan stated that the two sides signed on September 17 a framework for infrastructure development in third countries. Taiwan and the United States will deepen official cooperation and introduce private sector resources in order to jointly develop regional infrastructure in the Americas and Southeast Asian countries.

October 1: This year marks the centennial of the establishment of Taipei City. The Taipei City Government held an exchange and sharing event featuring seven former Taipei mayors, including former presidents Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-jeou. The former mayors unanimously called for political reconciliation between the ruling and opposition parties as well as between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

October 1: Fifty (50) United States senators sent a joint letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, stressing that Taiwan is a long-term economic partner and security ally and calling for negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States to commence as soon as possible.

October 1: The U.S. Department of Labor published on September 30 a List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor, which is released every two years. For the first time, fish caught by Taiwanese ocean-going fleets were included on the list. In the future, seafood caught by such fleets will face serious trade restrictions. Unless proof can be provided demonstrating that forced labor was not involved, the seafood caught by these fleets may be barred from import to the United States.

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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