ISSUE 114                                                                                October 28, 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


President Biden Commits to Defending Taiwan
In an exclusive interview with the media, President Joe Biden stated that the United States would commit to defend Taiwan if attacked by China. But government officials claimed that U.S. policy has not changed.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Biden Twice Promised to Defend Taiwan: Gaffe or Intended Departure from Strategic Ambiguity?

Comprehensive Report by Taiwan Weekly


On October 21, President Joe Biden responded on CNN twice to the question, "Will the United States defend Taiwan if China attacks Taiwan?” by saying: “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.” 


This is the first time since the United States severed diplomatic relations with the Republic of China in 1979 that the government has stated such a clear position, from the President no less. 

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, current U.S. policy towards Taiwan and cross-strait relations has entered a state of confusion with no guiding principles. Concern for Taiwan's future is further complicated by the new "Two State Theory" touted by the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen.
(Photo from: China Times)

Speech Stumbles, Biden's Confusing Cross-Strait Policy

By Sun Yang-ming

United Daily News, October 24, 2021


The remarks and posture from President Joe Biden down to important government officials in recent months highlighted that the United States has entered a state of chaos and no guiding principles in its current Taiwan or cross-strait policy. No one from U.S. allies to mainland China knows what direction the United States will bring to the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Perhaps it will only be possible to find some clues until after the online summit between Mr. Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this year.


President Biden himself spoke about the Taiwan issue four times this year, and it was a mess; two of them were modified by White House officials, and once, no one knew what he was talking about.

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Featured Editorial
Even with full backing by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Legislator Chen Po-wei of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party was nevertheless recalled by voters due to his poor performance. The result has implications for the referendum at the end of the year.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

DPP Failed to Save Chen Po-wei, Exposing its Weakness

United Daily News, October 24, 2021


Even the all-out help of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and a high voter turnout rate of nearly 52 percent could not stop constituent voters from recalling Legislator Chen Po-wei, Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP) Legislator in Taichung. With Chen's frivolousness in the Legislature, his recall serves him just right. In comparison, the DPP defended him regardless of right and wrong, resorted to dirty and absurd maneuvers, even abandoned principle. From this respect, this recall election is also the public's dissatisfaction and warning against the "manipulator", the ruling party.


At the beginning of the year, the recall of Taoyuan City Councilor Wang Hao-yu had a voter turnout of only 28 percent, and he was successfully removed. Last year, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu had a voter turnout of 42 percent, and was also successfully removed. This time around, the voter turnout of 52 percent was extraordinary, showing that it has actually elevated the fierce fighting between the two sides to a proxy war between the ruling and opposition parties. The difference was less than 5,000 votes, meaning the "recall Chen" campaign won by a narrow margin; But if it were not for the high level of public grievances, it would not have had such high voter turnout.

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This Week in Taiwan
Legislator Huang Kuo-shu of the DPP was reported by the media that he served as an informant in the intelligence unit when he was a student. Huang admitted his mistake and withdrew from the DPP. But there may be a number of DPP politicians who served as informants.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)
October 17: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-shu was reported by the media that he was an informant for the intelligence when he was a student. Huang was expelled from the New Tide faction of the DPP a few months ago. He posted an apology on Facebook on October 17 for his actions at the time and announced his withdrawal from the DPP and the DPP caucus of the Legislative Yuan. After his current term expires, he will not seek re-election, meaning that he is likely to withdraw from politics in three years. Huang's frank confession shocked both the ruling and opposition parties. It is rumored that several other members of the DPP were informants and are still active in the political arena.
October 18: The Foxconn Technology Group released three self-developed electric vehicle models, including an SUV, sedan, and electric bus, demonstrating the company's determination to become an emerging power in the automotive industry. More than half of all vehicle parts and components in these prototypes were sourced by Taiwanese suppliers. Foxconn's next goal is to establish a software research and development center and develop AutoCore OS, an intelligent software platform mounted onto vehicles.
October 20: Chu Yu-chen, a 26-year-old man who uses the name Xiaoyu on the Internet, was suspected of using "AI Deepfake" technology to transfer the headshots of Legislator Kao Chia-yu from Taipei, Councilwoman Huang Jie of Kaohsiung, and others into sex videos for sale since July last year, illegally profiting more than NT$10 million from a hundred victims. Chu was arrested by the police on October 17. Lawmakers are worried that the AI Deepfake technology may be used to declare war or impact national security by using the faces of the head of state or high-ranking officials. Director-General Chen Ming-tong of the National Security Bureau stated that he will endeavor to formulate a contingent standard procedure and invite platform and industry players such as PTT, Facebook, and Google to discuss proper responses. 
October 22: Former DPP Chairman Shih Ming-teh alleged that founding Chairman Chiang Peng-chien was an undercover member of the Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Justice, triggering a rebuttal from Ambassador Frank Hsieh, representative to Japan. The debate extended to whether the 15 defense attorneys in the Kaohsiung (Formosa) Incident in 1979 were arranged as agents by the authoritarian Kuomintang. Many of the defense lawyers during that time are now active in the current DPP administration. 
October 22: Rick Waters, deputy assistant secretary of state for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, stated at a think tank seminar in Washington that Taiwan cannot participate in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Health Assembly (WHA) due to the People's Republic of China "misusing" Resolution No. 2758 of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its sincere gratitude to the United States for supporting Taiwan's efforts to participate in the UN system. 
October 23: The recall vote for Legislator Chen Po-wei took place, with 77,899 votes for yes surpassing 73,433 for no and a high voter turnout of 51.72 percent. Chen who was elected January last year as an anti-China candidate became the first legislator to be recalled in Taiwan's history. His Taiwan State-building Party also lost its only seat in the Legislative Yuan. The dismissal of Chen, who was backed by the ruling DPP, highlights the public's distaste with the Tsai administration.
October 23: President Kuan Chung-min of National Taiwan University (NTU) announced unexpectedly at a university meeting that he would not seek re-election beyond his current term. The reason is that he would be 66 years old at the end of his term, and he believes that generational change is necessary to let a younger president lead the university towards its centennial. After 354 days of turmoil securing confirmation by the Ministry of Education, Kuan finally took office as NTU president in January 2019. He is expected to leave office in January 2023. NTU will form a selection committee before March 2022 to select a new president.
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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