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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

NTDTV blackouts serve as a warning

News that New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV, 新唐人電視台) broadcasts by carrier Chunghwa Telecom experienced a series of blackouts last month could be the most disturbing and direct effort yet on the part of Beijing to censor the flow of information in Taiwan.

The station reported a series of interruptions to its broadcasts in the run-up to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and a complete blackout on the day of the anniversary last Thursday.


Obama blinks, freedom suffers

A long time ago, it was customary for representatives of states to pay tribute to the Chinese emperor, who “ruled all under heaven.” The tributary system, as it was known, “acknowledged” China’s place at the center of everything. From a Chinese perspective, everything outside China was lower in the hierarchy.

For a number of reasons, including politics and geography, China lost steam around the time that Europe, led by Britain, embarked on the Industrial Revolution. Warlordism and colonialism ensured that for the next 200 years or so, China would stay behind while the West, and then Japan, modernized.


Blocking Kadeer violates liberalism

Every responsible government has to consider issues such as national security and national interests when making policy decisions.

What sort of decisions are harmful to national security and national interests? There is no clear-cut answer to this question, but what is certain is that the government does not have an absolute say on policies in cases where the government or the majority want to restrict personal freedoms in the name of national security and national interests.


Taiwan is not the ROC or the PRC

Last Thursday was the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Beijing has intensified its propaganda recently, inflating its position to that of a leading world power.

Beijing produced a film called the The Founding of a Republic (建國大業), but that republic is in fact built on 60 years of oppressing its own people. Yet some Taiwanese were proud to be invited to attend China’s national day festivities. This makes them accomplices of a one-party authoritarian state.


An awkward silence on Oct. 1

October, when both Taiwan and China celebrate their national days, is an awkward month. For the past 60 years, it was enough to ignore China’s national day celebrations. But with relations changing, the government is criticized no matter what it does. Every country in the world sent representatives to the celebrations in Beijing or sent congratulatory telegrams. The only country afraid of making any statement was Taiwan, which lately pays such careful attention to pleasing Beijing.


Hungry factions and corporations

Last Saturday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) secured a landslide victory in the Yunlin legislative by-election, while the proposal to set up casinos on Penghu Islands was voted down by local residents in a referendum. These results serve as a warning to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but are they a sign of local factions and businesses’ waning influence over elections and political economics?

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US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said that Washington wanted to make sure that Taiwan could not be coerced by China to do things “against the will of its people.”

Blinken said that he had very good talks with president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the US Department of State last summer and that “we have strongly encouraged the Chinese to engage with her and to engage with Taiwan.”