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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

US backs expanded military exchanges, port calls

The US House of Representatives on Friday passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which includes US backing for expanded military exchanges with Taiwan and amendments to US Navy port of call stops in Taiwan.

The Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which serves as the foundation for commercial, cultural and other relations between Taiwan and the US, and the “six assurances” are included in the bill, which cleared with a 344 to 81 vote.


A chair forever to be left empty

An empty chair was once placed on a stage to represent Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波). Sadly, that chair will now forever stand empty. On Dec. 10, 2010, then-Nobel Peace Prize chairman Thorbjoern Jagland placed the Nobel citation and medal on a blue upholstered chair in Oslo to symbolize giving the award to Liu. That Liu was in a Chinese prison and that neither his wife nor any relative was allowed to attend the ceremony to accept the award showed “that the award was necessary and appropriate,” Jagland said.


Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, 61, dies in custody

Liu Xiaobo speaks during an interview in a park in Beijing, China, on July 24, 2008.
Photo: AP

China’s Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) died yesterday while still in custody following a battle with cancer, authorities said, after officials ignored international pleas to let him spend his final days free and abroad.


The KMT is blocking more than just policy

After its severe defeat in the presidential and legislative elections in January last year, the once proud Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) now seems to have damaged its reputation even further by resorting to obstructionist tactics in the Legislative Yuan, as well as in the streets.

Two articles in the Taipei Times about the role the KMT intends to play in Taiwan’s democracy concerned me.


The sacred and profane in Taiwan

The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) commemoration of the July 7, 1937, Marco Polo Bridge Incident once again highlights the party’s schizophrenic personality, as well as the doublespeak that such identification constantly creates for party members.

At heart, the KMT remains a party that cannot decide where to find its home and soul. It struggles to balance past and present self-images amid other conflicting perceptions of 21st-century reality. Each different perception has what it considers most sacred in the world. And so to sustain identity, the KMT must resort to its mixed discourse.


Activists seeking Taiwan treasure in US, UN files

Excerpts of a document uploaded by a member of the Taiwan National Treasure project to its Facebook page are shown in an undated photograph.
Photo courtesy of Taiwan National Treasure

A group of US-based activists has started searching the official archives of the US government and the UN for Taiwanese historical materials to publish them for free on the Internet.

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A Beijing official’s claim that Chinese tourists were avoiding Kaohsiung because certain people in the city were aligning themselves with Tibetan and Uighur separatist forces demonstrated ignorance and “hurt the feelings of Taiwan’s people,” Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) said yesterday.

Lai was referring to comments that China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Spokeswoman Fan Liqing (范麗青) made on Wednesday in response to media inquiries about the falling number of Chinese tourists visiting Kaohsiung.