U.S.-China Talks in Tianjin: Taiwan Issue of "Utmost Importance"
At the U.S.-China talks in Tianjin, Beijing established a three-point bottom line, telling the United States clearly and precisely that the Taiwan issue is of utmost importance.
United Daily News)
Wang-Sherman Meeting Sets Three-Point Bottom Line, Taiwan Most Significant
United Daily News, July 28, 2021
China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman of the United States in Tianjin on the afternoon of July 26. Wang Yi told Sherman "clearly” and “explicitly" that among China’s three bottom lines regarding U.S.-China relations, Taiwan issue is the most important one.
Wang stated that if Taiwan independentists dares to challenge the bottom line, then China has the right to take any means necessary to prevent, and the United States is advised to act cautiously on the Taiwan issue.
According to a commentator, it is quite reasonable for mainland China at the Tianjin talks to advocate that the old and new international order should co-exist.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
If China Forgoes Hegemony, Will the World Cease to Struggle?
By Chang Teng-chi
China Times, July 30, 2021
The Tianjin "meeting" between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman of the United States went through a series of twists and turns; the reluctant encounter yielded very limited results.
First, Sherman was already en route to Japan and South Korea, with the United States threatening to cancel the stop with China in response to the proposed meeting counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Xie, who was not seen as an appropriate candidate. Then, both sides took a step back, with China nominating Wang for the meeting. The U.S. press release stated that Sherman would meet State Councilor Wang Yi "and other officials." The actual arrangement was for Wang Yi to "meet" in the reception room and give the United States a refresher course and a bottom line, while Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng would hold the “talks" in the conference room with a list of topics as arranged.
According to a commentator, Taiwan continues to see bitter disputes over calling its national Olympic team "Chinse Taipei" or "Taiwan." However, over-the-top expression of nationalist sentiments is contrary to the Olympic aspirations of peace and tolerance.
United Daily News)
Put Nationalist Sentiment to Rest and Honor the Olympic Spirit
Want Daily Editorial, August 1, 2021
The Olympic Games are leading international sporting events that offer Taiwan the opportunity to draw world attentions. Due to international realities, Taiwan’s athletes can only participate under the name of “Chinese Taipei.” During the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, an NHK anchor introduced Taiwan's team as "Taiwan" instead of the obligatory "Chinese Taipei," touching a sensitive nerve of Cross-Strait relations and of East Asian history. It also triggered a debate in Taiwan to select between the names of “Chinese Taipei team” or “Taiwan team.” The sentiment of unlimited nationalism has interfered with the most important sporting events and contradicted the Olympic spirit of making peace and promoting tolerance.
Athletes are the main subjects of the Olympic Games
As for the names of the participants, there are a ROC and a ROT team in the Tokyo Olympics, but none of them represent Taiwan. ROC is the abbreviation for the Russian Olympic Committee and is used by the Russian team because they have been banned from the Tokyo Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to earlier doping violations. The Russian athletes can only participate in the Tokyo Olympics as individuals and no Russian national flag or anthem are allowed even when they win a medal. ROT is the abbreviation for the Refugee Olympic Team which was created in the 2016 Rio Olympics. It is to support international refugees and give outstanding athletes who are displaced an opportunity to take part in the Olympic Games.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Ministry of Health and Welfare, held a meeting to include the domestically manufactured Medigen vaccine, which recently obtained emergency use authorization (EUA), in the publicly-funded vaccination plan.
United Daily News)
July 25: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Ministry of Health and Welfare held a meeting to approve the adoption of domestically produced Medigen vaccines, which have recently obtained emergency use authorization (EUA), into the publicly funded vaccination plan.
In addition, the ACIP agreed to allow patients inoculated with a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine to receive a second dose of Moderna or BioNTech vaccine. Subjects of the first to third vaccine categories who received their first dose are eligible to mix and match after an interval of eight weeks.
July 26: The 32nd International Biology Olympiad Competition hosted by Portugal was changed to an online event due to the pandemic. Among 304 participating students from 76 countries, four contestants from Taiwan obtained gold medals, and Taiwan's international ranking tied with mainland China for No. 1. This is the eighth time since its participation in 1999 that Taiwan has won four gold medals.
July 27: The epidemic alert was lowered to level 2 from July 27 until August 9. This time, people from across Taiwan experienced 69 days of level 3 alert, including a record high of 3,679 businesses which reported unpaid leave. The unemployment rate also rose to 4.8 percent in June, which was the highest in 10 years. The unemployed increased by more than 81,000 in a single month to more than 570,000 people, the largest increase during the same period in previous years.
July 27: The parliament of the Czech Republic approved a donation of 30,000 coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines to Taiwan, making the Czech Republic the fifth country after Japan, the United Nations, Lithuania, and Slovakia to donate vaccins to Taiwan. In a Facebook post, President Tsai Ing-wen used the Czech word "Děkuji" to express her gratitude. She said that at the present when the Delta variant is raging across many countries, Taiwan is deeply grateful for the friendly support provided by European countries.
The Czech Republic is planning to donate 2.39 million doses by the end of 2021. In Asia, it includes 250,000 doses to Vietnam and 30,000 to Taiwan.
July 28: In a Facebook post, President Tsai stated that she completed registering her vaccination preferences and indicated that she selected to receive the domestic Medigen vaccine. She assured that only safe, effective, legal, and scientifically-compliant vaccines will be made available to the public.
The statement attracted polarized comments on the Internet. Some users commented that they have also completed registering for Medigen vaccines. But others questioned whether President Tsai is really certain that the Medigen vaccine meets international standards. It is puzzling how the government colludes with private enterprises like this.
July 28: The media reported that the LINE accounts of more than a hundred Office of the President, Executive Yuan, military, local government, and political party officials were hacked. LINE Taiwan headquarters discovered the issue last week and reported to the National Security Council at the presidential palace. The Criminal Investigation Bureau, Ministry of the Interior, confirmed that LINE had formally reported the case on July 27 and handed it over to the 9th Investigation Corp to analyze relevant information and investigate. LINE found out that the letter sealing peer-to-peer encryption function in the victims' privacy settings was disabled.
July 30: The fourth round of registrations for publicly funded vaccination opened July 27 for individuals ages 38 and above. Vaccinations began July 30, but many people arrived at vaccination sites only to discover a shortage. Due to the vaccine shortage across Taiwan, many localities, including New Taipei, Yunlin, Miaoli, and Chiayi City, have suspended the fourth round of vaccinations until August 4.
July 31: Taiwan+, an international multimedia streaming platform powered by the Central News Agency (CNA), will be launched August 30. Legislator Lin Yi-hua of the Kuomintang (KMT) pointed out that the platform was originally taken over by the Public Television Service, which already has a film studio and media talent, but the government strongly directed the contract to be undertaken by the CNA. For this reason, all the office space and equipment have to be repurchased. For example, the "five-star" office space costs about NT$13.9 million (about $497,000) per year, and the furnishing and hardware setup cost about NT$36.58 million (about US$1.3 million), totaling more than NT$50 million (about US$1.8 million). She questioned whether the media platform will turn from public media into obedient official media and might eventually become a major external propaganda channel of the ruling party.
August 1: Since Kuo Hsing-chun won an Olympic gold medal in women's weightlifting for the Chinese Taipei delegation on July 27, badminton players Wang Chi-lin and Lee Yang beat the mainland Chinese team, winning the men's doubles championship. People all over Taiwan have watched live broadcast of the Olympic contests with great excitement.
Women's badminton star Tai Tzu-ying lost to her mainland opponent Chen Yu-fei on the evening of August 1, claiming a silver medal.
Lee Chih-kai won a silver medal in men's gymnastics on the afternoon of August 1.
The Chinse Taipei Olympic team has so far won two gold, four silver, and four bronze medals, surpassing the performance of two gold, two silver, and one bronze at Athens 2004, setting Taiwan's best record in the Olympics.