ISSUE 112                                                                                October 14, 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


As PLA Continues Air Incursions, President Tsai Urges China to Exercise Restraint
On the eve of the National Day, which is observed on October 10, People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft intruded Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), with the number of jets dispatched hitting a new high. President Tsai Ing-wen solemnly warned the authorities in Beijing to exercise restraint and avoid accidental conflict.
(Photo from: Democratic Progressive Party)
Featured News

President Tsai Cautions Beijing to Exercise Restraint

China Times, October 7, 2021


Before the National Day on October 10, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air crafts intruded the southwest airspace of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), and the number of sorties repeatedly reached a new high. As the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, President Tsai Ing-wen expressed in the ruling DPP Party’s central standing committee meeting yesterday that "I want to warn the Beijing authorities, be restrained from going too far and accidentally sparking conflict across the Strait.” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng stated in the Legislative Yuan that the so-called "accidentally sparking conflict" is not necessarily a shooting, it may be "a military aircraft approaching." We will strictly require our fighter pilots remain calm. He emphasized that "Taiwan will not make any provocations, and we will absolutely abide by it and not fire the first shot."


According to statistics from the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the total number of aircraft intruding ADIZ last year reached more than 380 sorties, and there have been more than 600 sorties up to early October this year. From October 1 to 5, there were 150 sorties, almost all of which were fighter jets, which attracted international attention. After President Joe Biden of the United States stated for the first time at the White House on October 5 that he had discussed Taiwan issues with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and both agreed to abide by the Taiwan Agreements, then the PLA’s air crafts did not appear yesterday.

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Featured Opinion
President Joe Biden of the United States referred to the so-called "Taiwan agreement" unexpectedly but did not specify its content, triggering speculation by observers.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Is Biden’s Taiwan Agreement Empty Talk?

By Wang Kao-cheng

United Daily News, October 9, 2021


In answering the media question about Taiwan, President Joe Biden of the United States brought up the so-called “Taiwan agreement”. Mr. Biden said that he has spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping about Taiwan, and they agree to abide by the Taiwan agreement. "We made it clear that I don't think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement." Since its content is unknown to the outside world, “the Taiwan agreement” fueled wide speculation.


Facing with repeated questioning, the White House finally came up with a formal response. White House press secretary Jen Psaki clarified during a White House press briefing that Mr. Biden had spoken with Mr. Xi previously and told Mr. Xi that the United States will handle its relations with Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and abide by the TRA. It is finally clear what Biden meant with the Taiwan agreement is the Taiwan Relations Act.

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Featured Editorial
According to a commentator, Chinese President Xi Jinping cited arguments made by Sun Yat-sen from a century ago, stressing that the historic task of Chinese unification must be realized. Xi's intention may be to relieve pressures to annex Taiwan by military force.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Xi Attempts to Ease Tensions, Assuage Hawks on Taiwan

United Daily News, October 10, 2021


The Chinese Communist Party held a meeting to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the 1911 republican revolution. It was expected that Chinese President Xi Jinping would give an important talk. However, regarding the issue of Taiwan, Mr. Xi cited the reunification theory of Sun Yat-sen from a hundred years ago in his speech as a basis and emphasized that the historic task of China's reunification must be realized and can certainly be achieved. No new or specific paths have been proposed. Peaceful reunification, “One Country, Two Systems,” as well as the "One China” principle and the “1992 Consensus” are still floating high in the air. In contrast to the heightening talks of reunification by military force from people in the mainland, Xi's remarks are meant to assuage internal pressures within the mainland supporting reunification by military force.


Mr. Xi did not propose a practical path to explore the "Taiwan plan" for the "One Country, Two Systems" formula like he did in 2019. He only made principled and programmatic reminders. In this regard, Xi is revising his once overly optimistic “Taiwan Plan.”

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This Week in Taiwan
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, announced the growth rate of Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) in September to be 2.63 percent, a new high in 8.5 years. The hike is mainly due to rising prices for fuel, air tickets, fruits and vegetables, meat, and clothing.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
October 4: The Ministry of National Defense stated that from October 1 to 10:50 PM on October 4, People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft intruded Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) 149 times. The fleet of 56 military aircraft on October 4 was the highest number ever in a single day. There were about 10 aircraft intrusions in 2019, 380 in 2020, and 600 this year as of early October. The targeted military provocations have seriously affected Taiwan's air defense and security. 
October 6: National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan of the United States met with Director Yang Jiechi of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, Chinese Communist Party, on September 6 at Hyatt Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland for nearly six hours. Both sides agreed to hold a leaders summit by video conference before the end of the year and agreed to strengthen strategic communication, properly manage differences, and avoid conflict and confrontation. 
October 6: Following the domestic outbreak in May, the number of Metro riders across Taiwan fell like an avalanche. The Taipei Metro had incurred a deficit of more than NT$3 billion (about US$107 million) from January to August this year, which projects to losses of NT$8 billion (about US$285 million) for the whole year. The New Taipei circular line also lost NT$300 million (about US$10 million). Metro systems elsewhere in Taiwan have also suffered losses. In total, Metro systems may lose more than NT$10 billion (about US$356 million) this year. 
October 7: Inflation pressure is rising. The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, announced that the consumer price index (CPI) in September grew 2.63 percent, a record high in 8.5 years, mainly due to rising prices of oil, air tickets, fruits and vegetables, meat, and clothing. The price of pork rose by 7.75 percent, the largest increase in 79 months. 
October 8: The Ministry of Labor decided to raise the minimum wage. Starting next year, the minimum monthly salary will be adjusted from NT$24,000 (about US$856) to NT$25,250 (about US$900), an increase of NT$1,250 (about US$44) or about 5.21 percent, while the hourly wage will be adjusted from NT$160 (about US$5.71) to NT$168 (about US$5.99). The plan will be implemented after approval by the Executive Yuan. This is the sixth increase since President Tsai Ing-wen took office, also the greatest increase in her term. It is estimated that 1.94 million workers will benefit from the raised minimum wage.
October 8: Wei Yang, who led protesters in the Sunflower Student Movement seven years ago to storm the Executive Yuan, was previously charged with inciting others to commit crimes. The Taiwan High Court held that because the Executive Yuan withdrew the complaint, there would be no further prosecution. Another two, Lee Kuan-ling and Hsu Shun-chi, were unable to claim disobedience since they violently destroyed the defensive obstacles in front of the Executive Yuan. They were each sentenced to four months imprisonment for damaging civil servant possessions and fined. Both can appeal. 
October 9: China continues to increase military pressure on Taiwan. In an exclusive report, the Wall Street Journal quoted an unnamed U.S. official on October 7 that more than 20 U.S. special operations and support unit and marine contingent personnel have been secretly stationed in Taiwan for at least a year to assist in training Taiwan's land and sea forces to strengthen Taiwan's defense capabilities. 
October 9: Communist China held a celebration commemorating the 110th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. In his remarks, General-Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that Beijing will adhere to the basic principles of peaceful unification and "One Country Two Systems," as well as the "One China" principle and "1992 Consensus," to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. 
Spokesman Chang Chun-han of the Office of the President stressed that the Republic of China (Taiwan) is a sovereign and independent state and not part of the People’s Republic of China. The future of Taiwan is to be decided by its people. 
October 10: In her National Day address, President Tsai proposed four commitments, including that the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China are not subordinate to each other. President Tsai stressed that this is the bottom line given to the government by the people of Taiwan and is also the greatest common denominator. She called upon the mainland to never think that the Taiwanese people would succumb to pressure. Taiwan will continue to bolster its national defense so as to ensure that no one can force Taiwan to follow the path set by China.
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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