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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Referendum better than drawn-out protests

The independence referendums recently held by the Kurds and the Catalans have renewed the referendum debate among Taiwanese.

In European and North American democracies, referendums are as natural as breathing and sleeping. After all, is there a more democratic way to find out what a plurality of the public thinks about an issue that cannot be resolved by other means?


Taiwan pays price of Ma’s actions

On the very same day that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed her gratitude to her three direct predecessors, Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), for their contributions to Taiwan — a noble sentiment — Ma turned around just a few hours later and slapped her in the face.

Nobody, he said, was talking about how many days Taiwan would be able to keep the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at bay should China decide to invade when he was in power two years ago. He also bragged about how his two terms in office marked the most peaceful period in cross-strait relations in the past 60 years, when at last there was no threat of an impending attack.


The ROC represents a ‘hybrid’ stage

Celebrating Taiwan’s Double Ten National Day is the best way to counter China’s assertion that “Taiwan is not a country and will never be a country.” Unlike Hong Kong, Taiwan is an independent, sovereign nation, which is why it does not need to invite representatives from Beijing to preside over a “regional” national day celebration.

However, Taiwan’s National Day celebrations are far from perfect, just like the national flag and the national anthem.


Hong Kong’s freedoms leaking away

The steady drip, drip, drip coming from Hong Kong these days is the sound of the territory’s cherished liberties and freedoms slowly leaking away from multiple taps.

There was a lot of optimism when the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong was signed in December 1984, promising that China’s socialist system and policies “shall not be practiced” in the territory and that its capitalist system and lifestyle “shall remain unchanged for 50 years.”


China threatened US Congress: report

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York on Sept. 20.
Photo: Bloomberg

Prior to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ passage of a bill that would relax restrictions on mutual visits of high-level officials from Taipei and Washington, China allegedly sent a letter to the US Congress warning against “crossing a red line,” according to the Washington Post.


Taiwan not negotiable for US

Former American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Richard Bush on Monday speaks during an interview in Washington.
Photo: CNA

A meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jingping (習近平) set to take place in Beijing next month should not have any major effect on Taiwan, former American Institute in Taiwan chairman Richard Bush said on Monday.

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Lam Wing-kei, center, participates in a protest march with pro-democracy lawmakers and supporters in Hong Kong yesterday.
Photo: Reuters

A Hong Kong bookseller who said he was blindfolded, interrogated and detained in China led a protest march yesterday defying Beijing as pressure grows for authorities to answer questions over the case.