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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Tsai needs resolution over China

While China’s bullying and obstruction of Taiwan’s international space is nothing new, the nation this year is expected to face accelerated aggression from Beijing as its haughtiness has been emboldened by the China-friendly Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) gains in the Nov. 24 local elections.

With numerous KMT winners endorsing the so-called “1992 consensus,” Beijing will take it as a sign that pro-China sentiment is rising, despite cross-strait affairs clearly not being the focus during campaigning. Its increasing arrogance is apparent.


DPP must remember Sunflowers

On Dec. 18, former premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) returned to his alma mater and former employer, National Taiwan University (NTU), to give a talk at the Department of Political Science. However, students who tool part in the 2014 Sunflower movement protested his presence and the event was abandoned. Meanwhile, a former NTU professor who opposed Jiang’s talk was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant and narrowly avoided being killed. These incidents show that there is still a serious rift in society, despite it being four years since the Sunflower movement. Students and the wider public are clearly unable to put the events of 2014 behind them.


A new setting for independence

The failure of the referendum for Taiwan to apply to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games under the name “Taiwan” stunned its supporters into silence, while some media talk about the demise of radical independence forces.

It might be true that losers should refrain from talking too loudly, but the referendum result implies an unprecedented generational shift among independence advocates, and they are still trying to absorb the impact of the shock.


Puyuma driver rejects Executive Yuan reports

Lawyers Alex Yen, right, and Chen Hsiang-chuan, representing Puyuma Express conductor Yu Chen-chung, listen to a question from reporters during a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Lawyers representing Yu Chen-chung (尤振仲), conductor of Puyuma Express train No. 6432 that derailed on Oct. 21 in Yilan County, yesterday said that Yu rejected the government’s claim that his negligence caused the train to speed, which in turn caused the deadly incident.


Word games have real consequences

The referendum on banning food imports from five prefectures in Japan demonstrated again that oversimplifying terms is an effective tool to sway public opinion or mislead people. The so-called “1992 consensus” has received renewed attention over the past few weeks and the public should be careful not to fall for the same trick.

After the passage last month of a referendum calling for the retention of a ban on some Japanese food imports imposed after the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster, some wondered why the public made what they believed was an irrational decision.


It is time for Taiwan to be Taiwan

As the year draws to a close and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) prepares for her next two years in office, it remains important for Taiwanese to continue to take stock of the nation’s progress in democracy, and to observe and review the changing narratives that have accompanied it.

Taiwan’s democratic progress can be framed into three distinct stages. Each stage in turn has had key events that impacted and shaped its direction.

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The US State Department has notified Congress that it is going ahead with three arms sales programs to Taiwan — after holding them up for more than six months.

While the programs are not huge — they involve radar upgrades for Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) — the move could be significant in that it shows US President Barack Obama standing up to China and supporting Taiwan despite Beijing’s protests.