ISSUE 78                                                                                  February 9, 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


In U.S.-China Wrestle, Taiwan Office Arrangement in Guyana Reversed Overnight
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced that it had set up a "Taiwan Office" in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. But in less than 24 hours, Guyana's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation stated that it would terminate the agreement establishing the "Taiwan Office" due to miscommunication and adherence to its "One China" policy.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

Short-Run Diplomacy? Agreement for Taiwan Office in Guyana Terminated After A Day

United Daily News, February 11, 2021


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on February 4 the establishment of a “Taiwan Office” in Guyana, emphasizing that it enjoys official political status. Legislators affiliated with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) even called it a diplomatic breakthrough. Within less than 24 hours, however, Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced that Guyana adhered to the "One China" policy and terminated its agreement with Taiwan. On behalf of Taiwan, MOFA expressed its regret, while the ruling DPP criticized China for pressuring Taiwan's diplomacy. The opposition Kuomintang appealed to the mainland not to suppress Taiwan's international space but criticized the administration for engaging in “short-run” diplomacy.


President Tsai Ing-wen said that challenges are always there in diplomacy, but the people of Taiwan will not bow to adversity. She vows to unite the country in order to win the support of the international community and showcase the achievements of Taiwan to the world.

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, Guyana and Taiwan are mere pawns in the diplomatic rivalry between the United States and China. Pictured above is a 2007 event in Beijing celebrating the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Guyana.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

As Pawn, Taiwan Badly Injured Between U.S.-China Diplomatic Rivalry

United Daily News, February 6, 2021


Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation abruptly terminated the establishment of a “Taiwan Office” in the South American country in less than 24 hours of Taiwan’s announcement under the pretext of miscommunication and adherence to the “one China” policy. On the surface, it was Taiwan’s attempted diplomatic breakthrough but was ruthlessly blocked by the Chinese mainland. Essentially, it was a game of diplomatic wrestling between the two major powers of America and China.


Guyana and Taiwan are only pawns being toyed by the two major powers on the chessboard, it signals China’s first challenge to President Joe Biden after he took office. However, the battle for influence between the two has left no obvious loss for both of them, but their pawns suffered the most.

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Featured Opinion
A commentator argues that the Biden administration's China and Taiwan policies remain unclear and to be observed.
(Photo from: China Times)

Biden’s Hard China Stance Matter of Fact or Expediency?

By Lo Ching-sheng

China Times, February 6, 2021


With the successive speeches and position expressions of the new Cabinet members of the United States, the China policy of the administration of President Joe Biden is gradually becoming clearer. It is worthy to note that these speeches of these important cabinet members display a strong anti-China position different from the platforms of Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign. Instead, it seems that President Biden is following the policy of his predecessor, and this is rather unusual.


It began with the testimony by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his nominee hearing in the Senate. Blinken stated that China no doubt poses the most significant challenge to American interests, identifying with his predecessor Mr. Pompeo’s definition of Chinese actions towards the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region as a “genocide.”

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This Week in Taiwan
Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) Chairman Jaw Shaw-kong recently applied to re-enter the Kuomintang (KMT). Jaw revealed that former Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu had urged him to run for KMT chairman, creating shock waves for the future development of Taiwan and the KMT.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
February 1: The new Judges Act and system for judge discipline took effect July last year, and courts have added two lay judges to participate in the trial process. A first case sentenced former Nantou District prosecutor Wang Chuan-chung a fine of three months pay for unlawfully serving during his tenure as his sister's criminal defense lawyer. This is the first instance in the judicial history of the Republic of China that the people (as lay judges) have participated in trying a judge, carrying special significance.   
February 3: Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) Chairman Jaw Shaw-kong confirmed on February 1 that he had applied to re-enter the Kuomintang (KMT), triggering political discussion. Following approval by the Taipei party department, the KMT's Organizational Development Committee agreed to restore Jaw's membership. Jaw revealed that former Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu had urged him, believing that only Jaw can revive the KMT and encouraging him to run for the party's chairman. It has been nearly 30 years since Jaw left the KMT in 1993 to establish the New Party. The KMT is scheduled to hold its chairman election in July. 
February 3: Since the Hong Kong national security law was implemented July last year, the Hong Kong government has conducted a massive campaign of arresting democracy advocates and incriminating young protesters, prompting many Hong Kong people to immigrate overseas. According to the National Immigration Agency, Ministry of the Interior, a record 10,813 Hong Kong people received Taiwan residence permits, 1.8 time the 5,858 figure from the previous year. 
February 4: On its official website, the World Health Organization announced the first wave list of countries for COVAX vaccine distribution. Taiwan, classified as a "non-United Nations member state," will receive along with five to eight other non-member states a total of 1.3 million doses of AstraZenea vaccines. Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang of the Central Epidemic Command Center confirmed that the vaccines are expected to be delivered between February and June, and inoculation can begin one week after the vaccines are delivered.
February 4: Taiwanese arms dealer Wang Chuan-pu (deceased) brokered nearly US$3 billion in arms sales of La Fayette-class frigates between Taiwan and France, illegally collecting nearly US$960 million in kickbacks. After many years of recovery efforts by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, Switzerland's Federal Department of Justice and Police agreed to return US$266 million to Taiwan but was unable to identify the remainder US$700 million as corruption proceeds. Swiss authorities stated that they will unfreeze the remainder and return it to the Wang family. The Ministry of Justice confirmed the matter and stressed that it will forward the case for processing upon receiving official documents. 
February 4: During her re-election campaign, President Tsai Ing-wen proposed a policy of providing government assistance in raising children from ages 0 to 6. The Executive Yuan announced that the child care subsidies would be raised from the current NT$2,500 (about US$89) to NT$3,500 (about US$125) per child per month and will be further increased to NT$5,000 (about US$178) from August next year. At the same time, eligibility will expand from August such that those who are taking child-rearing leave without pay and socio-economically disadvantaged families will be able to apply for child care subsidies. The policy is expected to benefit more than 870,000 people. 
February 6: In the recall vote of independent Kaohsiung Councilwoman Huang Jie on February 6, some 65,258 voted no, defeating the 55,394 who voted yes. Huang was able to avoid her recall crisis and keep her current post as a city councilor. 
In this recall vote, there were 228 poll stations and a turnout of 291,566, about 41 percent. The threshold for recall was 72,892 votes for yes, and yes votes needed to exceed no votes.
In observance of the Chinese New Year holidays, publication of Taiwan Weekly will pause for one week and resume the following week. Thank you for your understanding and continued support!
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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