ISSUE 122                                                                            December 23, 2021
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● Featured News:
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week

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After Referendum Victory, What's Next for the Tsai Administration?
In Taiwan's first referendum not coupled with a general election, all four questions, including banning pork imports containing the additive ractopamine, reactivating a nuclear power plant, relocating a liquefied natural gas receiving station to preserve the algal reef habitat, and tying referendum votes with general election, failed to pass.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

DPP's Miserable Referendum Win

China Times, December 19, 2021


The results of the first referendum in Taiwan’s history that did not tie a general election were announced yesterday. The four questions, including restricting imported pork containing the additive ractopamine, reactivating the fourth nuclear power plant, relocating the liquified natural gas receiving station of the CPC Corporation in Taoyuan to preserve the local algal reef habitat, and holding future referendum votes concurrently with general elections initiated by the civic society and Kuomintang (KMT) legislators all failed to pass the threshold. The number of people who supported each of the four referendum initiatives were outnumbered by those who opposed them. The DPP administration won them all. President Tsai Ing-wen promised last night that the results of the referendum conveyed some disagreements on the governance of the government, and that they would be appropriately incorporated into policy evaluation and planning, and that algal reef conservation and food safety would never be discounted.

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Featured Editorial
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration used huge administrative resources to fend off the referendum. Next, the government must contemplate how to achieve key progress in U.S.-Taiwan economic and trade relations and address power shortage challenges.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Will U.S.-Taiwan Trade Relations Improve? Taiwan No Longer Short of Power?

United Daily News Editorial , December 19, 2021


The four national referendum questions failed to pass, and the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen is temporarily relieved. The thwart of these national referendums was mainly because the decoupling of referendum with general election which leads to low voting turnout; and the government mobilized administrative resource to instigate more votes from its strongholds. Now as the die is cast, all walks of life are watching if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration can achieve critically in U.S.-Taiwan trade and economic relations and its solemn guarantee of no more electric power shortage.

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, the Summit for Democracy reflects the current plight of the United States, but the summit is not the antidote to Taiwan's issues.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

Significance of Taiwan's Participation in the Summit for Democracy

By Dennis Lu

The Storm Media, December 15, 2021


The United States may still be the world's most powerful country, but it is not necessarily the cure for all Taiwan's problems!


While just as many people think that Taiwan’s participation to the global “Summit for Democracy” led by the administration of President Joe Biden means that Taiwan’s democracy is recognized by the West, yet few people can tell that what is behind the Summit for Democracy is a reflection of the predicament of United States’ democracy. Participating in the Summit for Democracy, what Taiwan should think about is how Taiwan should avoid the problems pointed out in the Summit; and from the perspective of Taiwan's interests, do we really have to share the pressure that the United States intents to transfer?

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This Week in Taiwan
The Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that in the future, Taiwan semiconductor and panel firms must apply in advance to sell assets in mainland Chinese businesses.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
December 12: While Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang presented a briefing at the Summit for Democracy organized by the United States, the video was cut off momentarily, leaving only the audio. According to media reports, Tang used a map which marked Taiwan and China in different colors, implicating the U.S. "One China" policy. 
The Department of State stated that the disappearance of Tang's video was unintentional. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the United States has explained that it was a technical issue. The U.S.-Taiwan relationship remains stable and friendly. 
December 12: A fire broke out in the morning at the Taiwan Power Company's Wanlong substation in Taipei. A high-voltage tower in Zhonghe District, New Taipei, was also affected and caught fire. The incident caused power outage for more than 305,000 households in Greater Taipei. Taipower was able to restore power within 15 minutes for 90 percent of the affected customers, but some customers were out of power for more than three hours. Experts question that due to the lack of power, Taipower has to frequently reduce the voltage and frequency of the power supply, which could easily damage consumer electronics. 
December 14: German manufacturer Merck announced that it will invest about NT$17 billion (about US$611 million), including establishing a large-scale semiconductor fabrication facility and applied research and development center, creating about 400 job opportunities. 
December 16: Although the government has introduced measures to curb real property speculation, the real estate market remains hot. The Central Bank launched a fourth wave of policies to cool the housing market. The four major regulations include capping the percentage of high-priced residential mortgages and residential mortgages for the third property and beyond for natural persons to 40 percent of the purchase price effective December 17.
December 16: The Navy invested more than NT$900 million as part of its domestic ship production plan to build four fast mine-laying boats, all of which were delivered. Admiral Liu Chi-pin, commander of the Navy, indicated that rapid mine-laying operations can achieve the purpose of preventing and delaying the enemy's landing operations. 
December 16: A F-16 fighter jet of the Air Force crashed into a mountain during the Han Kuang exercise three years ago, killing Major flight officer Wu Yen-ting. Wu's parents later received 12 pieces of his corpse and sued the Air Force Command for a state compensation of NT$22 million (US$791,637). The Taipei District Court awarded a compensation of more than NT$4.66 million (about US$167,683), the first instance in which a national compensation was awarded for a military jet crash. The Air Force Command expressed respect for the judgment but will appeal some issues that it lost. 
December 17: Following two confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at an epidemic prevention hotel in Taipei, another eight confirmed cases broke out at an epidemic prevention hotel in Taoyuan. According to the virus gene sequence, seven were diagnosed with the Delta variant, and the Central Epidemic Command Center classified the incident as cluster infection. 
December 17: In order to prevent the outflow of sensitive technology, the Ministry of Economic Affairs will restrict Taiwanese technology companies from selling mainland Chinese assets, and semiconductor and panel firms must undergo review and approval by a task force on key technologies. In the future, Taiwanese companies must also seek advance approval if they intend to sell shares of mainland Chinese businesses.
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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