ISSUE 115                                                                              November 4, 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 Tsai Confirms U.S. Military Presence in Taiwan, Defense Minister: Training Assistance
President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed the presence of U.S. military personnel in Taiwan, triggering international attention. However, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng immediately clarified that U.S. service members are only assisting with military training and not permanently stationed.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

In CNN Interview, President Tsai Confirms U.S. Military Personnel Present in Taiwan

China Times, October 30, 2021


The recently published “2021 Chinese Military Power Report” by Ministry of National Defense indicates that foreign military force stationed in Taiwan is one of the seven possible situations for mainland China to invade Taiwan by force. 
In an interview by CNN on October 28, President Tsai Ing-wen for the first time confirmed the presence of U.S. military personnel in Taiwan, triggering attention both at home and abroad. CNN cited again yesterday the record of Pentagon revealing the number of U.S. military personnel has grown three times to 32.

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, as the United States breaks the strategic ambiguity that has stood for some 40 years expressing a clearer position about coming to Taiwan's defense, Taiwan is also becoming more heavily reliant on the United States.
(Photo from: China Times)

As Biden’s Strategy Becomes Clearer, President Tsai Will Rely More Heavily on U.S.

United Daily News Commentary, October 28, 2021


“Taiwan’s only option is to make itself stronger, more united, and more determined to defend itself. It is not our option to do nothing but rely only on the protection of others.” This was made by President Tsai Ing-wen to the Central Standing Committee of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 18.


“Taiwan will defend itself as much as possible, but let me reiterate that it is important that we have support from allies and countries with similar ideas.” This was delivered in an exclusive interview by CNN on October 26. President Tsai made it clear that she is “really confident” that the United States would defend Taiwan in the event of a mainland Chinese attack on Taiwan.

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) "Four Noes" referendum campaign is a departure from the public opinion. The four referendum questions include restarting Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant, banning the importation of American pork containing ractopamine additive, coupling of referendums with general elections, and preservation of algal reefs over construction of a liquefied natural gas receiving station in coastal Taoyuan.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

“Four Noes” Referendum Campaign by DPP Only Incapacitates Taiwan’s People

By Chaung Chih-kang

The Storm Media, October 30, 2021


Taiwan is counting down to the four-question referendum vote on December 18. President Tsai Ing-wen, who also serves as chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has set the tone by advocating “Make Taiwan stronger by voting 'no.'” The four-question referendum questions pertain to protection of algal reefs, restriction of ractopamine-additive pork imports, activation of the Longmen Nuclear Power Plant, and holding of referendum votes alongside general elections. Ironically, voting “no” to these referendums is actually the complete opposite of strengthening Taiwan.


“Feeling powerless” is perhaps the closest portrayal of the inner thoughts of the voters, and also the reason why these referendums were established. According to the latest poll done by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation, the resumption of the Fourth Nuclear plant has reversed to a wide acceptance. In fact, all four referendums have more supporters who agree than those who disagree.

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This Week in Taiwan
Former President Ma Ying-jeou has been prosecuted for selling party property below market value when he served as chairman of the Kuomintang and breaching fiduciary trust. After three years of proceedings, the Taipei District Court ruled not guilty. Mr. Ma thanked the judiciary for confirming his innocence.
(Photo from: China Times)
October 24: According to Italy's Corriere della Sera, China is putting pressure on the Holy See to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan to establish diplomatic ties with the mainland. The Holy See insisted on establishing an embassy in Beijing first before discussing Taiwan-Vatican relations. The mainland did not yield on this issue, and the talks fell into deadlock.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu led a 65-member economic and trade delegation to visit Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Brussels, Belgium. Minister Wu attended by video conference an Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China meeting. According to observers, Italian media revealing that talks between mainland China and the Holy See about establishing diplomatic relations is to counter Wu's foreign visit.
October 26: This year marks the 50th anniversary of Resolution No. 2758 of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement and posted on Twitter supporting Taiwan's international participation. He emphasized that Taiwan is an important partner of the United States and a success story of democracy. Taiwan should participate meaningfully in the UN system. According to Blinken, this is not a political but a pragmatic issue. The United States encourages all countries to join the ranks of supporting Taiwan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) stated that Secretary Blinken's remarks once again demonstrates the strong American support for Taiwan, which is greatly significant. MOFA expresses its sincere gratitude.
October 27: While he served as chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), former President Ma Ying-jeou sold various companies belonging to the party below market value. Ma has been prosecuted for more than three years for charges of breach of trust and other crimes.
The court ruled that the prosecution did not produce enough evidence, and former President Ma received a verdict of not guilty. The court held that the KMT was required by the Cable Radio and Television Act to withdraw from the media, so a business decision was made to sell Central Motion Picture Corporation (CMPC), Central Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC), and China Television Company (CTV). Moreover, numerous audio files of meetings held by the prosecutors do not fully correspond to the facts, so it was difficult to use as criminal evidence as intended by the prosecution.
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office stated that there is a high probability that it would appeal. Mr. Ma issued a statement thanking the judiciary for verifying his innocence.
October 29: A serious building fire in Kaohsiung on October 14 claimed 46 lives. The Kaohsiung City Government announced on October 27 that the directors-general of the municipal Fire Bureau and Public Works Bureau have been permitted to resign. A 68-page investigative report was released on October 29, directing the responsibility for the fire to the lack of drive of the two bureaus. The KMT criticized Mayor Chen Chi-mai for evasion and negligence, shifting responsibility to two directors-general who had already stepped down.
October 29: In her first press conference in the morning, Director Sandra Oudkirk of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) stated that security of the Indo-Pacific region and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are consistent with American interests. China's continued destabilization of the Taiwan Strait has caused deep concern to the United States. The United States will continue to help Taiwan maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities. Director Oudkirk also stated that U.S.-Taiwan relations has four major elements, including maintaining security cooperation, expanding economic partnership, maintaining Taiwan's international space, and strengthening the friendship between the American and Taiwanese peoples.
October 29: The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that epidemic prevention measures will be greatly loosened starting November 2, and people may sing karaoke without wearing a mask and may eat while watching movies, taking the train and passenger transportation. Congregations will no longer be restricted by number, and places like dance studios, bars, karaoke, and night clubs will gradually reopen with conditions.
The CECC also announced that the first case of the sub-variant strain AY.4.2, commonly known as Delta+, had been observed in Taiwan. The case was a British male who was tested positive after entering at a centralized quarantine location. He previously received two doses of BioNTech vaccine. He is currently hospitalized and does not pose a threat to the community.
October 29: In preparation for the referendum held on December 18, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held its first campaign briefing in Taoyuan. President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier Su Tseng-chang took turns on stage. In addition to urging the people to vote "no" on the four referendum questions, they shifted the responsibility of political disarray to the KMT.
Chairman Eric Chu of the KMT stated that the referendum is completely unrelated to partisan contest. It is the people expressing their opinion on issues concerning the public's livelihood. The KMT has called for voting yes on all four referendum questions, pitching the referendum as a vote of no confidence on the ruling party.
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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