ISSUE 83                                                                                     March 25, 2021
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● Featured Opinion: 
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week


Can "Constructive Ambiguity" Resolve Cross-Strait Stalemate?
Minister Chiu Tai-san of the Mainland Affairs Council stated that the "1992 Consensus" is controversial and hoped that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can find another greatest common denominator or achieve some sort of "constructive ambiguity."
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Chiu Tai-san: With 1992 Consensus Disputed, Can There Be A “Constructive Ambiguity?”

United Daily News, March 18, 2021


Minister Chiu Tai-san of the Mainland Affairs Council stated on March 18 that the term “1992 Consensus” has generated controversy in Taiwan, and if mainland China continues to insist upon it as a political premise, it would be an unfair and impractical demand. Chiu further indicated whether the two sides can find a greatest common denominator or a “constructive ambiguity” relies upon the wisdom and stances of both sides.


Chiu made the above statement at the March 18 regular press conference when he was questioned if he ever tried to draw up a new discourse or statement closer to the substantive content of 1992 Consensus to break the ice between the two sides.

Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, the 1992 Consensus has been written into the political report of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Whether "constructive ambiguity" may be achieved relies upon the wisdom of both sides. Pictured above is the 19th National Party Congress.
(Photo from: China Times)

"Constructive Ambiguity" Requires China’s Good Faith

By Wu Chien-chung

China Times, March 20, 2021


Regarding cross-strait exchanges, Minister Chiu Tai-san of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) stated that the two sides interpret the "1992 Consensus" differently. Whether the two sides can find the greatest common denominator and a "constructive ambiguity" depends on the wisdom and attitude of both sides. Minister of National Defense Chiu Guo-cheng also bluntly said that our own country will be saved by ourselves, "If the enemy wants a fight, we will fight as long as the enemy wants."


The people are certainly happy to see civilian officials advocating peace, and the defense chief showing great valor in defending their homeland and country. The tone of Chiu's remark this time was very soft, just like the last time he likened resuming cross-strait exchanges to " blossoms in spring." According to observers, Chiu's proposal of  "constructive ambiguity" at this moment is a meaningful first step to facilitate cross-strait dialogue.

read more



Featured Opinion
According to an international relations scholar, in the first high-level diplomatic talks since President Joe Biden took office, the United States ignored conventional norms and diplomatic etiquette and went all out to attack China. However, this does not mean that U.S.-China relations is beyond a point of no return. Its future development remains to be seen.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

The United States and China Clash

By Chen I-hsin

China Times, March 19, 2021


The much anticipated first-round high-level meeting of foreign affairs and national security senior officials between the United States and China since tine inauguration of President Joe Biden took place March 18 in Anchorage, Alaska. Even though diplomatic delegations from both sides had maintained that they did not have high hopes for the meeting, it still came as a surprise when both sides traded barbs in the opening statements before the closed-door session, regardless of meeting norms or diplomatic etiquette.


In the so-called 2-plus-2 meeting, the American delegation was headed by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, while the Chinese delegation was headed by Director Yang Jiechi of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office of the Chinese Communist Party and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi. The agreement for the opening remarks was two to four minutes for each of the four senior officials. However, Secretary Blinken took the opportunity to criticize China for threatening the rules-based order that maintains global stability and raised concerns over human rights violations against the Uighur population in the province of Xinjiang, in addition to trampling on Hong Kong’s autonomy and Taiwan’s democracy. In his remarks, Sullivan mentioned that the United States does not seek conflict, but welcomes stiff competition and will always stand up for principles.

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This Week in Taiwan
In a statement following their so-called "2-plus-2" ministerial meeting, the United States and Japan criticized China by name for taking actions inconsistent with the existing international order and posing multiple challenges to the U.S.-Japan alliance and the international community.
(Photo from: China Times)
March 16: The so-called 2-Plus-2 Talks between foreign and defense ministers of Japan and the United States were held in Tokyo. In a joint press conference after the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi of Japan stated that both sides confirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The United States and Japan issued a joint statement criticizing China by name for taking actions inconsistent with the existing international order and which have posed multiple challenges to the U.S.-Japan alliance and the international community. 
March 17: Taiwan and Palau simultaneously announced the opening of a Taiwan-Palau tourism bubble, a first in the Asia-Pacific region. The first group will depart April 1 by China Airlines, and there will be two flights per week, capped at 220 travelers per week. The quarantine measures will be greatly simplified: Taiwanese travelers are required to test at the airport before departure, and a negative test result will be required for departure. Entry into Palau is exempt from inspection. President Surangel Whipps Jr. of Palau is expected to visit Taiwan on March 28 and return to Palau on April 1. 
March 17: How long can the Armed Forces last in the event of cross-strait military conflict? Responding to interpellation at the Legislative Yuan, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng said not to ask how many days or how long the Armed Forces can last but to ask how long Communist China is able to fight. Chiu stated that however long China fights, the Armed Forces shall withstand until the end. 
March 18: Minister Chiu Tai-san of the Mainland Affairs Council stated that for the purpose of promoting cross-strait economic activities, mainland Chinese may from now on apply to enter Taiwan to perform business obligations or internal personnel transfer within multinational corporations.
March 19: A well-known Japanese sushi chain launched a promotion where on March 17 and 18, those with the same sound or Chinese characters as "salmon" (guiyu) in their names may eat for free, limited to six per table. The promotion has triggered a frenzy of name changes by mostly young males and college students. Statistics indicate that at least 332 people changed their names, including 10 who changed their names to "salmon." The news has been hotly discussed on the Internet. 
March 20: The Central Epidemic Command Center announced that the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will be given to front-line medical personnel beginning March 22. Premier Su Tseng-chang and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung will take the lead to be inoculated. Taiwan recently surpassed a thousand confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), reaching 1,005. 
March 20: A mountain forest fire in Alishan, Chiayi County, continued to spread for nearly 48 hours. A land and air joint operation has endeavored to put out the fire, but the fire is not yet completely extinguished. The fire occurs during the cherry blossom holiday season at the Alisan forest recreational area. Some travelers have canceled their hotel reservations. Only 1,700 have entered the area by noon.
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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