ISSUE 108                                                                           September 16, 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


Publishers

After Biden-Xi Call, U.S. Considers Proposal to Rename Taiwan's Representative Office
The leaders of the United States and China spoke on the phone for a second time. The two countries expressed goodwill towards maintaining stable relations, and the mood was not as tense as that in the first call.
(Photo from: Fair Winds Foundation)
Featured News

Biden Has No Intention to Change “One China” Policy

China Times, September 11, 2021

 

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with President Joe Biden on the morning of September 10. This is the first phone conversation between them since New Year’s Eve in February this year, and lasted 90 minutes. According to China’s Xinhua News, Xi emphasized that U.S.-China relations are not a selective question of whether to do a good job, but a must-answer question of how to do a good job. Relevant departments of the two countries can continue to engage in dialogue and advance coordination and cooperation on climate change, epidemic prevention, economic recovery and major international and regional issues. Mr. Biden responded that the United States has no intention to change its “One China” policy. The White House press release indicated that the United States continues to work hard and handle competition between the two countries to ensure that competition does not veer into conflict.

 

According to Xinhua News, Xi and Biden agreed that in-depth communication between the two heads of China and the United States is very important for leading to the correct development of U.S.-China relations. They agreed to establish task forces to conduct extensive dialogues conducive to the betterment of U.S.-China relations. Xi indicated that for some time, due to the U.S. policy on China, U.S.-China relationship has run into serious difficulty. This serves neither the fundamental interests of the people of the two countries, nor the common interests of countries around the world. Whether they can handle their relationship well bears on the future of the world. It is a question of the century to which the two countries must provide a good answer. When China and the United States cooperates, the two countries and the world will benefit; when China and the United States are in confrontation, the two countries and the world will suffer. Getting the relationship right is not an option, but something they must do and do well.

Featured News
According to foreign media, the administration of President Joe Biden is considering a name change for Taiwan's representative office in the United States. Douglas Paal, former director of the American Institute in Taiwan, commented that the move will have a negative impact on U.S.-China relations.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

White House Still Contemplating Proposed Name Change for Taiwan’s Representative Office

China Times, September 12 ,2021

 

Following the second phone call between President Joe Biden of the United States and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Financial Times reported that the United States and Taiwan's top national security officials met face-to-face in Annapolis, Maryland. The Biden administration is reportedly also "seriously considering" allowing Taiwan's request to rename the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States" located in Washington to "Taiwan Representative Office.” It is understood that our representatives in the meeting were Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and Secretary General of the National Security Council Koo Li-Hsiung. This was through a “special channel” of dialogue that has been practiced for many years between the U.S. and Taiwan.

 

On September 10, Financial Times, citing a number of sources familiar with internal discussions within the U.S. government, reported that Taiwan’s request to change the name of its representative office in the United States was formally put forward in March of this year and was widely supported by the National Security Council of the White House and the Asian Affairs officials of the Department of State, garnering the support of Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs. According to the report, the final decision has not yet been made, and will ultimately require an executive order signed by President Biden.

read more

 

From: https://www.chinatimes.com/newspapers/20210912000301-260118
https://udn.com/news/story/122452/5739907

Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, Xi Jinping is committed to realizing modernization, and reunification with Taiwan is not his top priority. Taiwan should seize the opportunity to improve cross-strait relations, rather than espousing a blindly pro-American stance.
(Photo from: China Times)

Overtones in Biden-Xi Phone Call

By Chao Chun-shan

United Daily News, September 11, 2021

 

President Joe Biden of the United States made a phone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping on September 10, the second phone call since February.

 

The last call coincided with Chinese New Year. Hence, apart from reciprocating courtesy and greeting happy Lunar New Year, Biden directly talked into those issues of core importance to China like Hong Kong, Xin Kiang and Taiwan. While Xi stressed that cooperation is beneficial to U.S.-China relations, and confrontation would only bring disaster to the world.

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/7340/5738040

Featured Opinion
According to Su Chi, former secretary-general of the National Security Council, the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen chose to mass-produce mid-range missiles after the United States withdrew from Afghanistan. It looks like self-help but is actually too slow to save the critical state of affairs. It is the worst strategic choice for Taiwan.
(Photo from: China Times)

Afghanistan Withdrawal and Taiwan's Mass Production of Medium-Range Missiles

By Su Chi

United Daily News, September 12, 2021

 

The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, coupled with Taiwan's decision to mass produce medium-range missiles, is the worst strategic combination for Taiwan.

 

It means that President Tsai Ing-wen picked the critical juncture when the morale, budget, strategy, and combat power of the United States are at the lowest point, to stoke Beijing's sense of urgency towards Taiwan, thus heightening further the tension in the cross-strait relations.

read more

 

From: https://udn.com/news/story/7339/5739959

This Week in Taiwan
An inaugural ceremony was recently held for the domestically built ROCN Ta Chiang. This is the Navy's first small warship with air defense capabilities.
(Photo from: Military News Agency)
September 7:  Two-term Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien proposed the merger of Hinchu county and city into Taiwan's seventh special municipality. Legislator Ker Chien-ming, whip of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus, stated that as long as Article 4 of the Local Government Act is successfully amended by the end of this year, lowering the population threshold of special municipalities from 1.25 million to 1 million, the merger would be just in time before the local elections next year. Mayor Lin can run for mayor, and so can the Kuomintang's Hsinchu County Executive Yang Wen-ke. 
 
Legislator Fei Hung-tai, whip of the KMT caucus, criticized that the proposed amendment aims to destroy the system of local autonomy that have been established for years for the sake of one person. If the population threshold for special municipalities was really lowered to 1 million, how many special municipalities will Taiwan have? 
 
September 9: A cluster infection of coronavirus (COVID-19) broke out in a kindergarten in Banqiao District, New Taipei. On September 6, it was announced that a teacher, eight children, and one mother of a kindergarten were diagnosed positive, and the virus has spread to the community. As of September 9, 27 cases related to the kindergarten have been confirmed. The gene sequence was determined to be the Delta virus strain. The sequence of the Delta virus is different from the previous EVA Air pilot case and comes from a different source. Fortunately, children are only mildly ill. 
 
A community building in Banqiao where the sixed confirmed cases lived was emptied on September 8, and 400 residents moved to an epidemic prevention hotel or a centralized quarantine center for inspection. The New Taipei City Government has also adopted preventive suspension measures. A total of more than 7,000 people in 16 schools have been suspended for three days. 
 
There are also more than 600 people in three elementary schools and four kindergartens in Beijing who have suspended classes preventively. Classes may resume after negative PCR test results. 
 
New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih immediately suspended dining in restaurants and closed sports revenues. But Taipei is not following that policy for now. 
 
September 9: The Executive Yuan unveiled a comprehensive plan for the five-time stimulus coupons, which will be made available October 8 and can be used at physical stores and vendors across Taiwan. The Executive Yuan has compiled a budget of NT$120.69 billion (about US$4.3 billion). Paper coupon samples were also unveiled for the first time. A set of 10 coupons, including 3 coupons for NT$1,000, 2 coupons for NT$500, and five coupons for NT$200. In addition to physical exchange at the post office, the coupons may also be exchange by appointment at 11,000 supermarkets across Taiwan. Coupons may also be registered electronically and tied to credit cards or mobile payment systems. Reservation for digital coupons will begin September 22 and paper coupons September 25. Use of both paper and digital coupons will begin October 8. 
 
September 10: The Transitional Justice Commission (TJC) announced on September 8 that the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall will be transformed into a public park to reflect upon Taiwan's authoritarian history. The TJC plans to demolish the bronze statute of the former president and remodel the hall's exterior. The TJC is expected to propose a detailed plan within half a year. Legislator Chiang Wan-an, a fourth-generation descendant of the Chiang family, stated that the public focus now should be on the insufficient quantity of vaccines and chaotic vaccine administration. The decision only sows further social hostility and hatred and is not conducive to social reconciliation. He cannot agree. 
 
In an interview during a visit to Xiluo Township, Yunlin, on September 10, Premier Su Tseng-chang stated that the government would strengthen communication efforts and strive for societal acceptance.
 
September 10: In Su'ao Township, Yilan, President Tsai Ing-wen presided over the inaugural ceremony of the domestically built ROCN Ta Chiang, Taiwan's first small warship with air defense capabilities. 
 
The Naval Command indicated that the ROCN Ta Chiang has high mobility and rapid strike capability. The Sea Sword II missile installed on the ship is the latest air defense missile developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology. It is more in line with naval combat requirements in terms of air defense and anti-ship missile interception effectiveness. 
 
President Tsai also visited the Qingshui camp in Taichung on September 10 to inspect the second mobile squadron of the Navy Haifeng Brigade, which was newly formed last month and equipped with Xiong 2 and Xiong 3 missiles. According to reports, the shore-mounted harpoon missiles purchased by Taiwan from the United States will also be installed there in the future.
 
September 10: The winners of the 11th Presidential Culture Awards are announced:  

Arts and Culture: Award-winning film director Ang 

Humanitarian Dedication: Medical doctor Chen Rong-chi, an advocate of hospice palliative care policy in Taiwan 

Creativity and Innovation: Break-dancer Chen Bo-jin  

Public Advocacy: Dr. Chen Wen-Chen Memorial Foundation 

Community Building: Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association
 
September 11: Actress Janine Chang was accused by mainland Chinse Internet users as advocating "Taiwan independence" because the title of her master's thesis in 2010 contained the words "woguo" (literally, our country), sparking a heated discussion among netizens on both sides. Chang stated on September 6 that she takes no position of Taiwan independence and firmly recognizes her identity as Chinese. However, her part in a latest mainland drama has been canceled, and the fate of three movies to be released is also uncertain. 
 
In a Facebook post on September 8, President Tsai Ing-wen expressed support for Chang. Spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian of the China's Taiwan Affairs Office, State Council, rebutted that the mainland has always welcomed Taiwanese artists. Remarks by the DPP are deliberate slander and instigate hostility between compatriots on both sides of the Strait, causing cross-strait relations to deteriorate. 
 
Chang sent an attorney's letter demanding that eight Internet users on Douban, Weibo, and Baidu News to delete their comments and apologize within 24 hours. Otherwise, she would file a legal complaint.
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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