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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

The quiet change of Japan’s policy

In the shadow of the seemingly waning global Pax Americana and a would-be regional Pax Sinica, now acutely complicated by the ongoing North Korean crisis, Japan has recently taken some low-profile yet significant initiatives in its Taiwan policy.

Without careful reading, these initiatives appear mutually unconnected, but they in fact reflect Tokyo’s major strategic recalculation under growing uncertainty in the regional security environment.

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Shedding skins show true colors of diehards

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), under which Taiwan was a one-party state for near half a century, is finally in decline — after being routed in the elections it has now been asked to return its ill-gotten party assets, and its cadres who lost power are busy competing for the their piece of the pie.

Old members are revealing the true color of their “bones.” While some are now saying they have “blue [KMT] skin with Taiwanese bones,” an old KMT member who has spent his whole life devoted to fighting the Chinese communists has recently revealed his red (communist) bones, saying that he is no longer anti-communist and vowing to “promote unification” from this point on.

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Premier urges Lee Ming-che’s swift release by China

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday called on the Chinese authorities to quickly release human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) and said he has ordered agencies to prioritize work to facilitate his return to Taiwan.

“Lee works at a non-profit organization as a human rights advocate. There is no way he could subvert the Chinese government,” Lai said. “I felt sorry for Lee being forced to confess at a trial in a manner nobody could accept.”

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Taiwan must be tougher with China

It should come as no surprise that human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) pleaded guilty to the Chinese authorities’ charge of “subversion of state power” during a court hearing in China’s Hunan Province yesterday.

Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), on Saturday had asked Taiwanese for understanding and forgiveness if her husband said anything unbearable in court against his will, adding: “This is just the Chinese government being adept at forcing confessions.”

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Chinese court releases video of Lee confessing


Lee Ching-yu, wife of human rights advocate Lee Ming-Che, shows her arms tattooed with the words “Lee Ming-che, I am proud of you” to reporters in a hotel room in Yueyang in China’s Hunan Province, yesterday.
Photo: AP

Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) yesterday confessed in a court in China to attempting to subvert the Chinese government, according to videos of his trial released by Chinese authorities, although his wife refused to recognize the court’s authority.

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Taiwan to participate in US Navy drill

Taiwanese military observers will participate in a US Navy marine patrol exercise in March next year with unprecedented levels of access, a military official said yesterday, calling it “actual participation.”

The US military has previously only permitted observers to see the details of its anti-submarine tactics and technology during the exercise, the official said on condition of anonymity.

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Newsflash

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday passed a resolution urging party representatives and officials to gather public support for the release of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for medical treatment.

“The DPP urged its councilors and representatives at various levels nationwide to solicit support [for Chen’s medical release] and called for more support from civic groups with the resolution,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said after the Central Executive Committee meeting.