Eric Chu Elected KMT Chairman, Congratulated by Xi
Eric Chu will soon return to the position of Kuomintang (KMT) chairman. In his capacity as general-secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message reiterating the 1992 Consensus and opposition to Taiwan independence. Pictured above is a meeting between Chu and Xi in 2015.
United Daily News)
Eric Chu Returns as KMT Chairman
United Daily News, September 26, 2021
News Compiled byTaiwan Weekly
The Kuomintang (KMT) chairmanship election has concluded with former Chairman Eric Chu the winner. Chu received 80,5164 party member votes, or 45.78 percent of the total number of votes, making him the first elected chairman receiving less than a majority of the votes since the chairman became elected by popular vote in 2001.
Chu stated that starting from his night of victory, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be concerned! In his victory speech, Chu emphasized that he will unite with the other three candidates, including Chang Ya-chung, Johnny Chiang, and Cho Po-yuan. Chu plans to lead the party to be unprecedentedly united and full of combat power. Since blue is the symbolic color of the party, Chu declared the party to be “the winning blue.”
According to media commentary, Chu will be the chairman with the lowest vote percentage and the first to not receive a majority of the votes since the KMT chairman became popularly elected by party members in 2001. It is evident that party members still have doubts about his leadership. How to rebuild trust is Chu's inescapable responsibility.
United Daily News)
Eric Chu Won A Close Election, Must Not Disappoint Party Members
United Daily News Editorial, September 26, 2021
After a close chase by Chang Ya-chung, Eric Chu narrowly won yesterday’s Kuomintang (KMT) chairmanship election, supposedly by asking voters to abandon the incumbent Chairman Johnny Chiang to elect himself. Chu, who formerly served as chairman from 2015 to 2016, was again elected KMT chairman after leaving office six years. However, Chu got 196,000 votes in 2015 with almost 100 percent of the votes, but this time he got 80,000 some votes with about 46 percent of the votes. The gap was very big. The enormous change in six years not only reflects that the KMT has not unified itself after losing the 2020 presidential election but also indicates that many party members are still doubtful about Chu’s willpower to fight and his leadership. How to rebuild party members’ confidence and the KMT’s appeal is Chu’s inescapable duty.
In this election, Chu and Chiang faced fierce challenges from Chang, who has little connection with the KMT. This was quite unexpected. The challenges have highlighted several unsolved problems that the KMT faces. First, the KMT’s Cross-Strait policies are withdrawing, and cannot offer directions to respond to anti-China strategy by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Second, while Johnny Chiang keeps adequate balance with issues as KMT chairman, he did not spend too much time on the KMT’s internal reforms. Third, the structure of the KMT membership is not in tune with that of Taiwanese society, so while many deep-Blue members answered to the enthusiastic calls by Chang, young party members felt they were ignored. Chu must actively remedy and reform the above issues after assuming office.
According to a commentator, accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is critical for Taiwan to draw its development strategy but also presents critical trade issues such as lifting import restrictions on Japan's nuclear disaster area and opening to cross-strait trade.
(Photo from: Center for China and Globalization)
To Join CPTPP, Taiwan Has Three Major Openings to Tackle
China Times, September 25, 2021
Recently, mainland China applied suddenly via New Zealand for membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Taiwan, while taking pride of its better economic fundamentals over mainland China, was surprised and followed suit six days later. Japan, the rotating chair of the CPTPP, welcomed Taiwan's application. But the mainland expressed its opposition.
As a matter of fact, in terms of level of opening or geopolitics, the application is a difficult challenge for both Taiwan and mainland China. Strict limitations imposed by the mainland on Taiwan’s international space, coupled with Taiwan's rampant protectionism, presents an even more difficult challenge for Taiwan.
After banning the import of Taiwanese pineapples earlier this year, mainland China announced the suspension of custard apple and wax apple imports due to detection of scale insects. Taiwan's three major fruit exports to the mainland have all been blocked.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)
September 20: After banning the import of Taiwanese pineapples earlier this year, mainland China announced the suspension of Taiwanese custard apple and wax apple imports due to detection of scale insects. The Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, immediately decided to invest NT$1 billion in agricultural loss funds to fully protect the rights and interests of farmers. Taiwan has also negotiated with the mainland through official channels. If it does not receive a reply before September 30, Taiwan will then file a trade arbitration with the World Trade Organization (WHO).
Exports of Taiwanese custard apple and wax apples to the Chinese mainland amount to more than 13,000 and 4,700 metric tons, respectively, accounting for more than 90 percent of total exports.
September 20: The United States government announced that starting November, foreign travelers entering the U.S. must provide proof of complete vaccination and a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test report administered within three days of boarding. Premier Su Tseng-chang and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung stated at the Legislative Yuan that these new measures do not apply to Taiwan. But the spokesperson of the American Institute of Taiwan later clarified that the new policy will apply to all foreign adult travelers.
Whether some 700,000 people in Taiwan who received the domestically produced Medigine vaccine, which is not yet certified internationally, may enter the United States remains to be clarified.
September 22: Taiwan applied to New Zealand to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) under the name of “The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.” President Tsai Ing-wen stated that this is an important objective of Taiwan's foreign economic and trade strategy, and Taiwan's participation can further contribute to the pact. Consultative negotiations with various countries will ensue. The government of Japan expressed welcome.
September 22: Medigen announced that its vaccine had received a positive response from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) of the European Union, approving the company to conduct phase 3 clinical trials with immuno-bridging. Medigen's board of directors decided to plan a multi-country, multi-centric approach. It is estimated that the clinical trials will accept less than 4,000 subjects and will be completed by the first quarter of next year, in order to obtain EU medicine certificate as soon as possible.
September 24: In response to the "3+11" quarantine controversy suspected to have led to Taiwan's current domestic outbreak, Premier Su submitted delivered supplementary report at the Legislative Yuan. While he apologized to those who died, Premier Su also stated that there is no evidence that the "3+11" policy decision was the cause behind the epidemic outbreak. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung even asked, "What does 3+11 have to do with the 800 lives that were lost?" The Kuomintang (KMT) caucus of the Legislative Yuan found the supplementary report unacceptable, suspending negotiations between the ruling and opposition party caucuses. KMT legislators occupied the speaking platform, and Premier Su was unable to take the stage.
September 25: The general debate of the 76th United Nations General Assembly entered its fourth day on September 24. Diplomatic allies Paraguay, Belize, and Saint Kitts and Nevis all called upon the UN to implement the principle of universality and include Taiwan in the UN system. In addition, President Lionel Aingimea of Nauru thanked Taiwan in a general debate recorded video played on September 23 for its assistance in fighting the pandemic, calling Taiwan Nauru's sincere friend. President Surangel Whipps Jr. of Palau personally attended the general debate on September 22 and delivered remarks, urging member states to let Taiwan participate in the UN system.
September 26: The five-time stimulus vouchers and eight other coupons opened for electronic registration online on the official website (5000.gov.tw) on September 22 at 9 AM. The number of digital registrations exceeded 2.07 million on the first day. Paper five-time coupon registrations started on September 25. Many people went to the supermarket and official websites to register. As of noon on September 26, nearly 4 million people completed their registrations, exceeding the 3.59 million people who registered electronically.
September 26: The first students who will take exams under the new 2019 curriculum will have to apply to universities using their high school learning history files. But the team at National Chi Nan University (NCNU) that was entrusted experienced hard disk setup and operation errors, leading to missing files for some 25,210 files for 7,854 students in 81 schools across Taiwan. In a press conference, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung apologized to the instructors, students, and parents who were affected and will hold NCNU accountable as well as take remedial measures.
The large number of affected schools has triggered a crisis of trust, which may impact the system of history learning history files.