ISSUE 76                                                                                  January 28, 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


Scholars Discuss U.S.-China-Taiwan Policy Under Biden
Former Premier Jiang Yi-huah stated that Taiwan plays a key role in whether military conflict might occur between the United States and mainland China.
(Photo from: TVBS)
Featured News

Former Premier: U.S.-China Relations Destined for War or Peace? Taiwan Can Play Key Role

United Daily News, January 23, 2021


TVBS and Fair Winds Foundation co-organized a televised public forum yesterday discussing the new state of affairs in international relations after the inauguration of President Joe Biden in the United States. The forum invited distinguished panelists Jiang Yi-huah, Su Chi, and Su Hung-dah, who took turns analyzing the outlook of Harvard University’s Professor Graham Allison on future U.S.-China relations and implications for Taiwan.


In the wake of a rising China, more pressure is being put on Taiwan to manage its relations with the United States and the Chinese mainland. Former Premier Jiang Yi-huah stated that Taiwan can play a key role in keeping the United States and China from war. This is because Taiwan knows China better than the United States, and Taiwan understands the American system better than the mainland. Therefore, Taiwan can be a trigger or a cure to U.S.-China problem depending on how the government in Taiwan handles the situation.

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Featured News
Professor Graham Allison of Harvard University commented that President Joe Biden has extensive foreign policy experience and will neither support Taiwan independence nor "One Country, Two Systems."
(Photo from: TVBS)

Allison: Taiwan Could Be Flash Point in U.S.-China Relations

United Daily News, January 24, 2021


Graham Allison, a core strategist of President Joe Biden of the United States, said in an exclusive interview with TVBS that Taiwan is a flashpoint that worries him most. Accidents, incidents, and even provocations that occur in Taiwan will set off a spiral of reactions. That could end up dragging the United States and China into a catastrophic war. Therefore, in terms of future U.S.-China relations, war and peace will be among the major issues.


When asked what important issues could redefine U.S.-China relations in the next four years, Allison said that apart from the Taiwan flash point which worries him most, other issues include climate and trade. President Biden is aware that China is the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the United States ranks second. Unless the two countries work together to constrain it, neither will be able to live in this climate in 50 years.

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Featured Editorial
According to an editorial, President Biden will return the United States to the international community from which the previous administration of Donald Trump had withdrawn. The government led by President Tsai Ing-wen should wake up from serving as an anti-China pawn for the Trump administration.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

As World History Turns, Has Tsai Administration Waken from Anti-China Dream?

United Daily News Editorial, January 24, 2021


Representative to the United States Bi-khim Hsiao was invited to the inaugural ceremony of President Joe Biden. The National Security Council of the White House expressed that U.S. commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid. This comment has immediately been propagandized by the blowhard administration of President Tsai Ing-wen as a great diplomatic breakthrough, as to cover its lacking of confidence in its own all-out pro-American policy. While the Biden administration adjusts U.S. relations with mainland China and Taiwan, does the Tsai administration remain reluctant to remove its role as Donald Trump’s daring anti-China vanguard?


There were several Mr. Trump’s moves of “last-minute madness” before he stepped down. For instance, the Department of State’s proclaimed removal of self-imposed restrictions on officially contacts with Taiwan and suddenly announced then canceled Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft’s visit to Taiwan. The Trump administration then released a “Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific”; and so on. All these moves were unceasing series of drama which Taiwan has its role deeply involved. Before departing the White House, Mr. Trump set up Taiwan as a trap for his successor, essentially leaving behind a political legacy, which his successor may not embrace, rather difficult to overturn. With Mr. Biden in office, Taiwan may worry less about the Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific, a policy about which Taiwan has mixed feelings of hope and fear.

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This Week in Taiwan
During a Congressional hearing prior to his confirmation, Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the United States stressed that the Biden administration would ensure Taiwan's ability to defend itself. Were China to use force, it would be a serious mistake.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
January 18: Eight individuals who stormed the Executive Yuan in 2014, including Wei Yang, the son of Chairwoman Yang Cui of the Transitional Justice Commission, were sentenced to two to four months, respectively, for incitement in the previous appellate trial. The Supreme Court held that they were innocent, acknowledging a "civil disobedience" defense, revoking the previous decision and remanding the case back to the Taiwan High Court. Compared to the dismissal of the storming of the Capitol as "insurrection" in the United States, Taiwan's judicial decision is rather shocking. 
January 18: While Shih Mu-chin, former chairman of the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission, served as the chief presiding judge in the Supreme Court and Taiwan High Court, he was entertained by businessman Weng Mao-chung and was transferred by the Judicial Yuan to the Control Yuan for impeachment.  The Judicial Yuan and Ministry of Justice released their investigation report which indicated that Weng had 27 notebooks recording banquets and gifts received from officials. It was revealed that as many as 20 judges and 20 prosecutorial personnel had improper exchanges with Weng. This scandal involves high-level judicial, prosecutorial, investigation, and police officials and is viewed as a major earthquake in Taiwan's criminal justice system. 
January 19: The Legislative Yuan passed the special budget for the third period of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, of which the National Communications Commission will set aside NT$15.5 billion (about US$553 million) for the five major telecommunications operators to build network stations. Opposition party legislators rejected this proposal and asked for its deletion, but the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (caucus) forced a vote with its majority. Not a penny was cut from the NCC's subsidy of telecommunications operators.
January 20: With the epidemic in Taiwan escalating, the Executive Yuan announced on January 19 that the Taiwan Lantern Festival originally scheduled from February 26 to March 7 to be held in Hsinchu would be canceled. This is the first cancellation in 32 consecutive years since the festival's inception in 1990. 
New Taipei, Taoyuan, Kaohsiung, and Taichung canceled their lantern festivals, and Tainan canceled its beehive fireworks festival. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je announced that the Lunar New Year Market on Dihua Street originally scheduled on January 28 would be canceled, and the Taipei Lantern Festival scheduled to launch February 26 would be postponed. 
January 21: On behalf of the government and people of Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen expressed her congratulations to the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the United States. Representative Bi-khim Hsiao attended the inaugural ceremonies on behalf of the government. Hsiao stated her hopes to deepen the cooperation and partnership between Taiwan and the United States based upon already existing robust foundations. 
Antony Blinken, who is expected to be confirmed as Secretary of State, stressed during a Congressional hearing that under the Biden administration, the United States government will continue to maintain his commitments to Taiwan and ensure Taiwan's capabilities. According to Blinken, were China to use military force against Taiwan, it would be a serious mistake. 
January 24: The coronavirus epidemic at the Taoyuan General Hospital continues to expand. A total of 15 confirmed cases include four families of medical personnel, patients, and family members. One of the patients is a senior citizen in his 90s (case 881) and is the oldest coronavirus patient in Taiwan. The number of individuals quarantined due to this case has risen to some 5,000, and is the largest quarantine to date in Taiwan since the outbreak of the pandemic.
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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