ISSUE 113                                                                                October 21, 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


Putin: China Could Seize Taiwan Without Force
President Vladimir Putin of Russia stated that China is a powerful economy, and its goal of reunification with Taiwan can be achieved through economic strength, without the use of military force.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

Putin Backs China’s Taiwan Policy: China Needs Not Use Military Force to Achieve Unification

China Times, October 14, 2021


President Vladimir Putin of Russia said to a United States reporter during the Russia Energy Week conference on October 13 that China is a huge and powerful economy, and through economic strength, China is fully capable of achieving its goal to unify Taiwan. China does not need to use force, so there is no threat of war at the present time. This is the second time in a row that Russia expressed its attitudes on Taiwan issue, and actively responded to China’s policy of peaceful unification with Taiwan.


According to foreign media, the tension of Taiwan Strait has escalated because of the intensive incursions of Chinese war planes into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Chinese President Xi Jinping recently stressed that China is committed to the fundamental policy of peaceful unification under “One Country, Two Systems” towards Taiwan.

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, President Tsai Ing-wen attempted to test cross-strait relations with a new iteration of the "Two-State Theory," but it could not succeed given the basic strategic arrangement shaped by the United States, China, and Russia.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Putin Remarks Leave President Tsai Lonely After Her National Day Performance

United Daily News Commentary, October 15 , 2021


In a rare public comment on how Beijing could unify Taiwan, President Vladimir Putin of Russia stated in a recent interview that China is now the world's top economy and is already ahead of the United States, and that it does not need to use force to achieve the goal of unification with Taiwan but can do so through economic strength. It seemed that he secured an endorsement from Chinese President Xi Jinping, Mr. Putin’s strategic ally.


At a conference to mark the 110th anniversary of the 1911 republican revolution, Mr. Xi stated his stance on peaceful reunification, saying that "realizing the unification of the motherland by peaceful means was in the best interest of the Chinese nation as a whole, including our compatriots in Taiwan."

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Featured Opinion
According to Su Chi, former secretary-general of the National Security Council, a new book Peril has recently stirred discussion in Washington. The message conveyed by the book is worthy for Taiwan's governing authorities to contemplate.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Rich and Deep Implications of the Phone Call Between the Top U.S.-China Military Officials

By Su Chi

United Daily News, October 17, 2021


A new book Peril recently set off a wave of heated discussion in Washington. It revealed that four days before the U.S. election last November, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng of Central Military Commission, Chinese Communist Party, and told him that "We are not going to," "If we’re going to attack, I'm going to call you ahead of time." Former President Trump immediately denounced it "a treasonous act." Later, General Milley and the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin were grilled in the Senate and the House for two full days.


We in Taiwan should not treat it as just another episode of sound and fury in American politics, neglecting the rich but hidden implications therein for Taiwan's national security.

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This Week in Taiwan
Due to the increasingly unfriendly attitude from mainland China, the Harvard Beijing Academy decided to cooperate with National Taiwan University and rename the program "Harvard Taipei Academy."
(Photo from: China Times)
October 11: In response to President Tsai Ing-wen's remarks that the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China are not subordinate to each other, the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the State Council criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities as conspiring independence and provoking the mainland. According to the TAO, this is the source of tension and turbulence which threatens the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
According to the New York Times, Taiwan has become the center of confrontation between the United States and China. As the confrontation becomes more and more intense, the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait is undergoing a fundamental change. The stalemate on Taiwan’s future for decades has entered a dangerous new stage, and it may even ignite war regardless of international participation. 
October 12: The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper of Harvard University, reported that due to the increasing unfriendly attitude of its partner Beijing Language and Culture University, the school's well-known summer Chinese learning program "Harvard Beijing Academy" will switch cooperation with National Taiwan University starting 2022 and be renamed the "Harvard Taipei Academy." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) stated on October 12 that it is delighted to see recent developments. According to MOFA, only in a free environment without censorship can the best learning outcomes be achieved. 
October 12: The extrapolation plan for the third liquefied natural gas receiving terminal in the Guantang Industrial Park located in Guanyin District, Taoyuan underwent an environmental impact assessment by a review team for 3.5 hours. A total of 10 committee members, including the chair, asked for the plan to be corrected. They questioned that the increase in siltation after extrapolation would affect the ecology of algal reefs, and the local wind and waves would be detrimental to the work of ships. In particular, the north seawall, which the Ministry of Economic Affairs insists on leaving behind, will directly suppress the algal reefs. An environmental impact assessment involving the controversial disruption of algal reefs did not pass for the first time. 
October 13: On October 12, Ambassador Shieh Jhy-wey, representative to Germany, posted a "flag confession" on Facebook, alleging that he mentioned the Republic of China and national flag for the first time at a National Day concert held by the representative office in Germany. According to Shieh, the national flag is bright red because of the bloodshed over decades in Taiwan and because people vomit blood while raising the flag. These remarks triggered strong dissatisfaction from the Kuomintang (KMT), which demanded a replacement for the unfit representative. The Office of the President responded that it respects the remarks of Representative Shieh. 
October 13: The recall vote on Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP) Legislator Chen Po-wei from Taichung will be held on October 23. When she responded to the case on October 13 at a central standing committee meeting of the DPP, President Tsai expressed her support for Chen for the first time, alleging that she did not want Chen to become a victim bullied by a whole party. KMT Chairman Eric Chu questioned whether President Tsai's public support also applies to drugs, gambling, and hit-and-run? He called upon President Tsai to join the KMT in recalling Chen and combat drugs, gambling, and hit-and-run.
October 13: When responding to interpellation by KMT Legislator Cheng Li-wun, Premier Su Tseng-chang called the female legislator "shameless" causing social uproar. Premier Su justified his remarks on October 13, claiming to counter traitors (Legislator Cheng is a former member of the ruling party). Chairman Eric Chu of the KMT, Chairman Jaw Shaw-kong of the Broadcasting Corporation of China, and Principal Chang Ya-chung of the Sun Yat-sen Academy successively condemned Premier Su for belittling a female legislator and being unable to control his emotions, setting the worst example for the public. They demanded that Premier Su apologize; President Tsai immediately replace the premier; and Premier Su should step down to take responsibility. 
October 14: A 12-storey building in Yancheng District, Kaohsiung, caught fire at 2:40 AM. Within 10 minutes, the 1st to 4th floors fell into flames and burned for nearly five hours. There were many disadvantaged and elderly people with limited mobility who live above the 7th floor who had no time to escape in their sleep. Although firefighters tried their best to rescue 87 people, the fire still caused 46 deaths and 41 injuries. It was the worst fire in terms of casualty in Taiwan in 26 years and the worst in Kaohsiung's history. A couple is suspected of causing the disaster by burning incense to repel mosquitoes. The woman was taken into custody on suspicion of negligent manslaughter, while the man paid NT$60,000 (US$2,142) and was released on bail. 
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai and three deputy mayors bowed to apologize and promised to review the long-standing problem of old apartment buildings within the city. 
October 15: Preliminary results have been obtained from the "AstraZeneca + Moderna" mix-and-match trials conducted by National Taiwan University Hospital. Dr. Chang Shang-chun, who convenes the team of experts at the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), stated that the trials received 200 subjects, and blood tests were administered 28 days after the second dose vaccine. The preliminary results indicate that the efficacies of "AstraZeneca + Moderna" and "AstraZeneca + BioNTech" are similar. Their antibody performance, regardless of the mix-and-match combination, are better than two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. 
October 16: TTY Biopharm had unsuccessfully sought to distribute Germany's BioNTech vaccines in Taiwan, suspected by some to be due to insider trading. On October 15, the Shilin District Prosecutors Office ordered the Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Justice, to search 26 locations and interview 26 people including General Manager Shih Chun-liang, who pleaded guilty. They traded about 300,000 stocks and made a profit of about NT$3 million (about US$107,141). On October 16, 17 people, including the general manager and Deputy General Manager Chu Chih-yuan, were released on bail.
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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