ISSUE 99                                                                                        July 15, 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


Kurt Campbell: Biden Administration Does Not Support Taiwan Independence
Kurt Campbell, National Security Council coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, stated that the United States supports robust non-official relations with Taiwan but also stressed that Washington does not support Taiwan independence.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

U.S. Draws Red Line on Taiwan Independence, Stresses U.S.-China Co-Existence

United Daily News, July 8, 2021


Kurt Campbell, the U.S. National Security Council coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, indicated on July 6 that it is possible for the United States and China to co-exist peacefully, but to achieve this would be an enormous challenge. He stated that Washington supports the development of a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan, and that maintaining peace and stability in Taiwan is a "dangerous" balance. He also emphasized that Washington does not support Taiwan's independence.


This is the first time since the administration of President Joe Biden took office that a high-level official has indicated non-support of Taiwan independence. As for when President Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Campbell shared his expectation that it will not be long before they meet. The challenge for the United States is to formulate a strategy that will give China opportunities and will respond when China takes actions antithetical to the maintenance of peace and stability.

Featured Editorial
In an exclusive interview with former President Chen Shui-bian, Chiou I-jen, a heavyweight in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), stated that the United States will not support Taiwan independence. The statement happens to precede recent remarks by Campbell, seemingly aimed to extricate the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen from current cross-strait tensions.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Is Chiou President Tsai’s Ball Boy or Relief Pitcher?

United Daily News Editorial , July 9, 2021


Chiou I-jen, former secretary-general of the National Security Council, recently expressed that Taiwan independence is not something the Taiwanese people can decide upon themselves, since international reality has to be considered. He also analyzed that the United States does not support Taiwan independence. This statement was met with utter silence from pro-independence supporters as they appeared to be unable to respond. The next day, Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, stated that the United States supports a strong “unofficial relationship” with Taiwan but does not support Taiwan independence. Is it really a coincidence that both sides made similar statements within such a short period of time?


Mr. Chiou and Mr. Campbell made the statement that the United States does not support Taiwan independence” one after another in respective peculiar setting. Chiou made the statement in a radio interview run by former President Chen Shui-bian. Chiou even said that a declaration of independence would create confrontation domestically and push China to attack us, hence the United States never supports it. Campbell even stated that the incumbent administration does not support Taiwan independence when Daniel Russel, former assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, asked him “how much love is too much love for Taiwan?” Since Campbell is Mr. Russel predecessor in the Department of State, this Q&A is widely regarded as pre-arranged.

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Featured Editorial
According to a commentator, the United States has drawn a clear red line between Taiwan and Hong Kong, on the one hand acknowledging mainland China's governance of Hong Kong but on the other recognizing Taiwan's status quo as the Republic of China and refusing to endorse Taiwan independence.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

White House Rejects Taiwan Independence Yet Draws Red Line Between Hong Kong and Taiwan

United Daily News, July 8, 2021


In remarks given to American thinktank Asia Society by video conference on July 6, Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, stated that the United States does not support Taiwan independence. The statement has special implications for the United States and China at this sensitive time.


Daniel Russel, who formerly served as assistant secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific, asked on the spot how much is “too much love” for Taiwan, and how the United States can properly show respect and support for Taiwan, while complying with its long-standing “One China” policy and Taiwan Relations Act? Daniel Russel is Mr. Campbell's successor, and the two are close friends. This question seems to be a prepared quiz to be answered by Campbell.

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Featured Opinion
Analogizing five stages of anger to examine the ascendance of China, Su Chi, former secretary-general of the National Security Council, stressed that the United States has gradually moved towards the third stage of "bargaining," while Taiwan remains at the first stage of "denial."
(Photo from: China Times)

America’s and Taiwan’s "Pride and Prejudice"

By Su Chi

United Daily News, July 11, 2021


Recently, the last remaining American troops left Afghanistan. Kurt Campbell, President Joe Biden’s policy coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, stated for the first time that the United States does not support Taiwan independence. And Chiou I-jen, former secretary-general of the National Security Council, said in a radio interview by former President Chen Shui-bian that “Taiwan independence” is not for the Taiwan people to decide alone. These three seemingly unrelated events that occurred half a world apart actually have a common source—the Pride and Prejudice drama series staged simultaneously in the U.S. and Taiwan over 20 years ago. The U.S. has now woken up to its mistakes and is ready to switch to a new play. Taiwan, however, is still indulging itself in the old drama and inextricably bound to it.


At the turn of the century, President George W. Bush entered the White House with a minority popular vote. The "neo-conservatism" that he represented was daring, energetic and eager to show its prowess. His supporters believed that President Bill Clinton squandered the strategic opportunity of American predominance following the collapse of the Soviet Union. As the sole superpower, it was believed, the U.S. should no longer act with forbearance and restraint as before. Furthermore, because the history had proven the superiority of the democratic system, America should expand democracy to other countries unreservedly.

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This Week in Taiwan
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has severely impacted Taiwan's economy. The unemployment rate in May reached 4.11 percent, the highest figure since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016.
July 4: Chairman Chiou I-jen of the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association, who formerly served as secretary-general of the National Security Council, said in an exclusive interview with former President Chen Shui-bian that whether Taiwan may declare independence is not something that can be decided by the people of Taiwan. International circumstances and possible retaliation by China must also be considered. Chiou indicated that now is not an appropriate time (to declare independence). Not only would China attack, the United States would not approve at all. 
Director Tso Chen-dong of the Kuomintang's (KMT) Department of Mainland Affairs responded that China recently ended celebrating its party centennial, and tensions may return to the Taiwan Strait. These remarks by Chiou are likely friendly gestures to the mainland. 
July 6: The domestic coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is seriously hurting Taiwan's economy, with the labor market severely impacted. The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, announced that the unemployment rate in May reached a high of 4.11 percent, the highest not only since President Tsai Ing-wen took office but also in 7.5 years. The number of employed people has fallen like an avalanche, and employees with a low number of working hours soared. This is Taiwan's worst job market performance since the inception of these metrics. 
July 7: The Central Election Commission announced that the referendum vote originally scheduled August 28 will be postponed to December 18 this year. The KMT caucus of the Legislative Yuan recently proposed to hold an interim assembly for 10 days from July 7 to July 16 in order to amend the Referendum Act and incorporate absentee voting. The Legislative Yuan held a meeting and took a vote on these topics. Under a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) majority advantage, the KMT's proposal for a temporary meeting was denied with 39 votes in favor, 59 votes against, and three abstentions. 
The KMT caucus criticized the DPP for deliberately blocking absentee voting for political purposes and using the pandemic as an excuse to prevent referenda cases from passing. 
July 8: Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in his home in the early morning of July 7. Eleven (11) suspects involved in the assassination broke into the embassy of the Republic of China in Haiti in the early hours of July 8 but were later arrested by Haitian police. Two of the suspects were United States citizens, while the suspects are believed to be mercenaries. Some doors and windows of the R.O.C. embassy were damaged, but there was no other property loss. 
Coincidentally, President Tsai recently accepted the credential letter from the new Haitian Ambassador Roudy Stanley Penn and asked the ambassador to convey her gratitude and greetings to President Moïse for his speech at the United Nations General Assembly last year supporting Taiwan's international participation.
On the evening of July 7, President Tsai expressed her deep condolences and sorrow for the assassination of the Haitian president. The R.O.C. and Haiti have established diplomatic relations for 65 years, and President Moïse previously visited Taiwan in May 2018. When President Tsai visited Haiti in July 2019, President Moïse welcomed her with a military salute.
July 8: The White House Coronavirus Task Force posted on Twitter to promote the progress of vaccine donations by the United States, referring to Taiwan with a R.O.C. national flag. However, the tweet was deleted soon after it was posted. In a routine news conference at the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to the media and stated that once the mistake of placing the flag was realized, a team in charge of graphics and social media removed the tweet. This was an unintentional mistake and should not be viewed as a change in U.S. policy. 
President Tsai Ing-wen had retweeted this post on Twitter, expressing her gratitude to the United States for its generous donation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on July 7 that it had asked the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office to remind the United States not to cause unnecessary speculation or misunderstanding due to removal of related posts on Twitter. 
July 10: Vaccination rates are accelerating in Taiwan. According to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), a total of 220,000 vaccinations were administered on July 9, setting a new single-day record. A total of about 3.3 million people in Taiwan have been vaccinated, a coverage rate of about 13.9 percent. 
But the mortality rate remains high. According to information released by the CECC on July 10, Taiwan has recorded a cumulative total of 15,218 confirmed cases, including 736 deaths, with an estimated overall mortality rate due to the coronavirus of 4.8 percent. 
July 10: The CECC announced on July 8 that Taiwan's level 3 epidemic alert would be extended for the fourth time until July 26, but some restrictions will be slightly lifted effective July 13. Establishments including movie theaters, scenic destinations, fitness centers, and temples will be conditionally open, and local governments are authorized to flexibly adjust specific protocols. Although the central government stipulated those restrictions on dining establishments may be moderately lifted, as of July 10, all local governments continued to prohibit dining in. 
July 11: Taiwanese women's tennis star Hsieh Shu-wei and her Belgian partner Elise Martens reversed course and secured victory. After 2.5 hours of fierce battle, the duo beat the Russian pair of Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina to win the Wimbledon Gold Cup. 
This is the 24th double Wimbledon Gold Cup and fourth Grand Slam Gold Cup in Hsieh's athletic career, of which three championships were won at Wimbledon, each with different partners.
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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