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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Local politics confuses newcomers

Despite being ranked as one of the most “free” countries in Asia, and boasting a democratic system many other nations can only dream of, there are many things in the world of Taiwanese politics that baffle outsiders at first glance.

Here are a few examples of things in Taiwanese politics that do not readily make sense to someone like me — a foreigner.

One, the national flag.


Police fire tear gas at crowded Hong Kong rally

Officers detain an injured man after police dispersed a crowd gathered for a “universal siege on communists” rally at Chater Garden in Hong Kong yesterday.
Photo: AFP

Clashes yesterday broke out between protesters and police in Hong Kong, cutting short a rally after thousands had gathered at a park on Hong Kong Island to call for electoral reforms and a boycott of the Chinese Communist Party.


Experts warn over scale of Wuhan outbreak

Medical personnel carry a patient into Jinyintan hospital, where people infected with the novel coronavirus 2019 are being treated, in Wuhan, China, yesterday.
Photo: AFP

The true scale of a viral pneumonia outbreak in China is likely far bigger than officially reported, scientists have said, as countries ramp up measures to prevent the disease from spreading.


Control Yuan member slams judiciary

Control Yuan member Chen Shih-meng is pictured at the Control Yuan in Taipei in an undated photograph.
Photo: Huang Hsin-po, Taipei Times

Control Yuan member Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) yesterday said that he would not change his decision to resign, while accusing the judiciary of opposing change and resisting an investigation into alleged misconduct and perceived political and personal bias in rulings.


Trump should set China straight

US President Donald Trump prides himself on going where none of his predecessors dared to go, taking actions that he believes serve the US’ national interests where other presidents’ passivity failed.

Trump did it most dramatically when he ordered the elimination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, a serious security threat to the US. In doing so, he consciously weighed the risk of war with Iran, correctly assessing it as minimal, and outweighed by his strong message against Iranian terrorism and aggression.


PRC’s stance unchanged by election

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had been eagerly anticipating Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections this year ever since President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) 2016 victory upset its plans, and it has worked hard since then to frustrate Tsai’s efforts to improve the nation’s economy and forge cross-strait dialogue.

Its “united front” efforts have let slip the dogs of war to infiltrate, distort and manipulate in an attempt to see the reins of government in Taiwan returned to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which Beijing regards as far more amenable to its cause.

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The first televised debate on a proposed economic framework cooperation agreement (ECFA) with China yesterday ended with the two sides still disagreeing on key issues including free trade, sovereignty and the net benefits of the agreement.

However, a poll of the audience showed more people switching to opposing the proposed pact.