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US Senate passes HK democracy bill


Medics help an injured protester leave the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus in Hung Hom yesterday.
Photo: AFP

The US Senate, in a unanimous vote, on Tuesday passed legislation aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong amid a crackdown on a pro-democracy protest movement, drawing Beijing’s ire.

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HK protesters defy surrender warnings


Family members of students barricaded inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University hold up signs during a protest near the university in Hung Hom yesterday.
Photo: AFP

About 100 protesters yesterday remained holed up at Hong Kong Polytechnic University surrounded by police on the third day of the most prolonged and tense confrontation in more than five months of conflict in the territory.

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Democrats must stand up to China

The election of Donald Trump as 45th president of the US has been a mixed blessing for longstanding critics of Washington’s engagement policy regarding Beijing.

As I have argued before in the Taipei Times, the president himself and the people whom he chooses to surround himself with send mixed signals. From hawkish posturing to heaping on nauseating levels of praise, the current US administration’s approach to China covers the spectrum.

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Leaked CCP files document mass detentions


A security camera hangs over a street in a renovated section of the Old City in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China, on Sept. 6 last year.
Photo: Reuters

A rare and huge leak of Chinese government documents has shed new light on a security crackdown on Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, where Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) ordered officials to act with “absolutely no mercy” against separatism and extremism, the New York Times reported.

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US port calls benefit Taiwan

The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday confirmed that a US warship had earlier in the week sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the ninth such transit this year.

The US Seventh Fleet said that the transits were part of “operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” while analysts suggested that the transits might be in response to China’s increased pressure on Taiwan.

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Reading between the lines

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission on Thursday published its Annual Report to Congress, which should make for interesting reading not only in Washington, but also in Taipei — in the Presidential Office, the ministries of foreign affairs and national defense, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and elsewhere — especially chapters 5 and 6, which cover Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The commission’s members are not wearing the West’s decades-old blinders — that engagement with China could lead to meaningful reform — but see that Beijing has become a clear threat to democracy not just in Asia, but around the world.

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Newsflash


Taiwan Nation Alliance convener Yao Chia-wen, center, tells a press conference in Taipei yesterday that his group plans to join other civic groups to stage a protest rally against President Ma Ying-jeou on Double Ten National Day tomorrow.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Taiwan Nation Alliance convener Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) yesterday said that members of the alliance’s pro-localization groups will take part in a major rally against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to be staged by activist group Citizen 1985 on Double Ten National Day tomorrow.

“The alliance has three demands: that Ma step down to take responsibility for causing political turmoil; that the Special Investigation Division [SID] of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office be abolished for colluding with the president in conducting illegal wiretapping; and that the cross-strait service trade pact be blocked,” Yao said.