ISSUE 126                                                                                January 20, 2022
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

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Challenges for Taiwan in 2022: Nuclear Food Imports, Cross-Strait Relations
From the standpoint of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to avoid impacting its performance in the year-end local elections, nuclear-contaminated food should be redubbed "Fukushima food," and the issue should be dealt quickly using an expedient approach.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Japanese "Nuclear Food" to be Renamed and Imported to Taiwan?

Summary Report by Taiwan Weekly


The lifting of the ban on importing nuclear food from Fukushima is approaching! On January 14, Legislator Ker Chien-ming, who also serves as the legislative whip of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), invited DPP legislators and government officials to discuss the lifting of the ban on food in the five Japanese prefectures around Fukushima. It is reported that some participants at the meeting suggested that nuclear-contaminated food should be called “Fukushima food” to avoid giving the public a bad impression.

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Featured Editorial
From the wrestling between the United States and Russia over the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Taiwan should understand its international standing as a pawn.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Does the Ukraine Crisis Preview Cross-Strait Conflict?

United Daily News Editorial, January 15, 2022


Russia’s neighboring countries Ukraine and Kazakhstan have experienced unrest in recent days. Russia is preparing to send a large army to invade Ukraine while Kazakh civil unrest is being quelled by the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The turmoil on both sides involves the great power struggle between the United States, Russia, and China. Even though the United States and Russia have launched strategic dialogues in Geneva, they have been inconclusive. Furthermore, Russia has claimed that unless Washington expressively opposes Ukraine and Georgia joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Russia will call off security talks with the United States. As Russia and the United States wrestle for power, the countries involved are used as pawns while the European Union (EU) remain as an outsider. Under these circumstances, Taiwan should be deeply alert to its own international situation.

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentor, Communist China will not change its basic principle of "peaceful unification" at the 20th National Party Congress. Beijing should try to engage in dialogue with the ruling party in Taiwan.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

Hopes for Renewed Cross-Strait Dialogue in 2022

By Hung Chi-Chang

China Times, January 16, 2022


In an exclusive media interview on January 8, Vice President Sun Yafu of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) noted the possibility of war across the strait. His remarks led many people to surmise the possibility of new arrangements or propositions to be introduced at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

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This Week in Taiwan
Taiwan has experienced negative population growth for two consecutive years. In 2021, the gap between the number of births and number of deaths widened to nearly 30,000.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
January 10: The Ministry of the Interior announced that the total population in 2021 was 23.37 million, 185,000 less people than 2020, and the second consecutive year of negative population growth. In 2021, Taiwan had 153,820 newborns, and the number of births were lower than the number of deaths each month. Additionally, 114,606 couples were married in the year, also a record low marriage rate. 
January 11: The Taoyuan Airport cluster infection is expanding outwards. Since three elementary schools in Taoyuan suspended classes for 14 days for students who were diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), Mayor Cheng Wen-tsann announced that all elementary schools in the city will begin winter break a week earlier, and Friday, January 14, would be the last day of classes in the fall semester. 
The Taipei City Hospital Zhongxing Branch also saw the first nosocomial infection of Omicron in Taiwan. 
January 11: An F-16 V fighter jet of the Air Force, numbered 6650, fell into the sea while performing ground bombing training, and Captain and Pilot Chen Yi died. The Air Force Command ordered all F-16 aircraft units to be inspected and suspended all of their combat training missions. This is the first major accident of the F-16V fighter jet since being upgraded November 18 last year. Even the United States is concerned. 
January 11: Professor Pang Chien-kuo of the Chinese Culture University, also a former legislator, fell from a building and died. The Chinese Culture University expressed shock and dismay. Pang sent messages to various LINE groups, stating his frustration with injustice in Taiwan and that living is no better than death.
January 12: The Transportation Committee of the Legislative Yuan passed amendments in the first reading to increase the penalty for drunk driving. Repeat offenders who have been driving under intoxication twice within 10 years will have their names, photos, and facts of the violation published. Increased fines will also be imposed on co-passengers, from between NT$600 (about US$21) and NT$3,000 (about US$108) to between NT$6,000 (about US$217) and NT$15,000 (about US$542). The new regulations may take effect as soon as the second half of the year. 
January 14: Yilan County Magistrate Lin Zi-miao became involved in a case of land development fraud. On January 13, she was interviewed by the Agency Against Corruption, Ministry of Justice, and the prosecution, and more than 30 premises including the county magistrate's mansion was searched. The acting director of the Economic Affairs Department and a section chief of the Agriculture Department were detained and barred from visits.
January 15: According to the latest statistics from mainland China's General Administration of Customs, Taiwan's exports to the mainland (excluding Hong Kong) totaled nearly US$250 billion, with a trade surplus of US$171.6 billion, a record high. But statistics previously published by Taiwan's Ministry of Finance reflected that Taiwan only enjoys a surplus of US$100 billion. A discrepancy exists between the data. 
January 15: Shares of United Biomedical, a major Taiwanese vaccine manufacturer, jumped six-fold after its listing in June last year, with senior executives suspected of profiting from insider trading. The Hsinchu District Prosecutor’s Office conducted a large-scale search of United Biomedical and related premises and interviewed 17 people related to the case. It is estimated that Executive Deputy General Manager Peng Wen-chun and a subordinate section chief made a total profit of NT$5 million (about US$180,950). After interview by the prosecution, they were released on a bond of NT$3 million (about US$108,570) and NT$1 million (about US$36,190), respectively.
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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