ISSUE 125                                                                                January 13, 2022
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● Featured Opinion: 
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week

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Surge in Confirmed Cases, Majority from U.S.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of imported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), hitting a new high in two years since the onset of the pandemic. More than 50 percent of imported cases come from the United States.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

All Entrants Subject to Stricter Level 3 Quarantine

Summary Report by Taiwan Weekly


There has been a sharp increase in the number of cases imported to Taiwan from abroad, with 58 cases on January 7, setting a new high since the onset of the pandemic two years ago. On January 8, another 42 cases were added, breaking 100 cases in just two days. Among them, 58 cases were imported from the United States. Among the cases from abroad over the past 10 days, more than 50 percent came from the United States, but the United States still was not listed as a "key high-risk country." Observers have questioned this rather soft position on the United States.

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration's delay in designating the United States as a high-risk country is a dereliction of duty compared with how it vigorously blocked the entry of "Xiao Ming" from mainland China last year.
(Photo from: China Times)

Why Can't Omicron Be Stopped?

By Chiou Shu-Ti

China Times, January 8, 2022


Omicron should have spread to the community. Who let in the Trojan horse carrying the virus once again disturbs the peace and jolly of the Chinese New Year festival?


Omicron has swept the world like a tsunami. Although its toxicity is lower than that of Delta variant, it still has a severe illness rate close to that of the native strain. Not only has the hospitalization rate of children soared in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States, but the number of hospitalizations in intensive care units in the United States has soared, and the mortality rate in the United Kingdom and South Africa has again soared. This is not a Christmas present by any means.

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, Taiwan should ask the United States to rename its representative office as "Taiwan Representative Office in the United States" to lead countries, avoiding situations similar to the inconsistent stance of Lithuania's president.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

How Should a Small Country Pursue Diplomacy?

By Chang Kuang-chiu

United Daily News, January 8, 2022


Even though President Gitanas Nauseda of Lithuania thought it a mistake to set up a representative office for Taiwan in Lithuania with “Taiwanese” in the title, Secretary of State John Blinken of the United States immediately called on foreign ministers of 12 countries in the Middle East and Western Europe to express his support for the decision. Two days later, President Nauseda changed his tone and said he supported the establishment of the representative office. The problem was of course that the office was established as a representative office under the name “Taiwan,” rather than “Taipei,” which is the norm in other countries.

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This Week in Taiwan
Taiwan's recent legislator by-election and recall vote were all won by the incumbent DPP administration.
(Photo from: China Times)
January 3: Japan's Sankei Shimbun reported that Taiwan proposed to Japan in February 2019 that the two governments establish a mechanism to instantly exchange information about Chinese military aircraft. But considering the lack of diplomatic relations and concerns about the "One China" principle, Japan avoided answering. This was the first time that Taiwan officially proposed defense cooperation with Japan. 
January 3: Wu Chin-mu, former ambassador to Nicaragua, and his wife became naturalized citizens of Nicaragua the next day the country severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and Wu continued to stay in Nicaragua and not return to Taiwan, stirring controversy. Former Legislator Lin Cho-shui of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) stated that such actions are treasonous and asked the National Security Council to investigate and the Ministry of Civil Service to recover Wu's pension. Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu explained that Wu applied to retire at the end of September last year. He left office in the middle of November and completed the paperwork. Due to the health condition of his wife, Wu is temporarily unable to return to Taiwan. 
January 4: The Constitutional Court Procedure Act took effect. President Hsu Tzong-li of the Judicial Yuan stated that in the past, justices did not have the power to hear whether a decision was constitutional. Therefore, even if the court of final appeal rendered a judgment inconsistent with the constitutional protection of human rights, the case may only be remanded. The new system provides the justices with power to review the constitutionality of adjudication. In other words, the scope of judicial review will extend beyond current laws to individual cases. 
January 4: Same-sex couple "Miaomiao" and "Weiwei" filed a petition for adoption with the court and were granted permission by the Kaohsiung District Court, becoming the first unrelated adoptive family of same-sex parents in Taiwan. The same-sex marriage activist group Equal Love indicated in a post that the ruling has effect only on the parties to the lawsuit and has no general legal effect. The group called upon the government to amend existing regulations to solve the dilemma of same-sex adoptive families. 
January 6: Ambassador Eric Huang, representative to Lithuania, stated on January 5 that the National Development Council will set up a US$200 million central and eastern Europe investment fund to invest in Lithuania's semiconductor, biotechnology, and laser industries, with more concrete details to be confirmed. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, businesses willing to invest in Lithuania will be given priority consideration.
January 6: The National Immigration Agency (NIA), Ministry of the Interior, began repatriating 21 smugglers from mainland China in four flights starting January 5, with completion expected before the Chinese New Year. In addition, Hu Haibo, a self-proclaimed Chinese dissident, was deported to mainland China by the NIA on January 6. 
January 7: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center, announced that all people over the age of 18 should receive a third dose of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine and shortened the interval to 12 weeks. But those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first two doses should not receive it for the third dose. 
January 8: The number of confirmed cases at Taoyuan Airport increased day by day, with 14 locally transmitted cases on January 8. These include two airport security staff and an epidemic prevention taxi driver. The driver is also the first local case where the patient was infected despite having been inoculated with three doses of vaccine. 
January 9: A recall vote of independent Legislator Freddy Lim in Taipei's fifth constituency (Zhongzheng and Wanhua districts) was conducted. Although the number of votes in favor of recall exceeded the number of dissenting votes, yes votes were about 4,000 short and did not meet the threshold of 58,756 votes. The recall case failed. 
In the legislator by-election for Taichung's second constituency, former DPP Legislator Lin Ching-yi defeated former Kuomintang Legislator Yen Kuan-heng by 7,840 votes. Both elections were viewed as victories by the incumbent DPP administration.
Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by Fair Winds Foundation and Association of Foreign Relations 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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