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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

A new front in the diplomatic war

The past month has been tumultuous for international relations. Panama switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing in the middle of the month saw the number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies reduced to 20. It was followed by the Nigerian government sending troops to seal off Taiwan’s trade office in Abuja, despite having already ordered the office’s relocation from the capital in January due to apparent pressure from China.

Ordinary Taiwanese have grown numb to the gradual, one-at-a-time drop in the number of diplomatic allies.


Ko playing into Beijing’s hands

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has caused a stir with comments he made in Shanghai.

In a speech at the Taipei-Shanghai Forum opening ceremony on Monday, Ko said: “The two sides of the [Taiwan] Strait are one family” and should establish “a community of common destiny.”

The dispute between Taiwan and China is like a “quarrel between a married couple,” he said.


Groups join call for full pardon for Chen Shui-bian

Taiwan Society chairman Chang Yeh-sen speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday for a petition signed by 65 groups calling for former president Chen Shui-bian to be pardoned.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Sixty-five groups yesterday joined a petition calling for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to be pardoned, providing a boost to a campaign that has been brewing ever since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regained power last year.


Beijing’s ignorance of convention

On the 20th anniversary of the UK’s handover of Hong Kong to China, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Sunday gave a glowing interpretation of Hong Kong’s apparently unprecedented democratic freedoms, tempered by his “red line” on attempts to realize sovereignty.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥), Beijing’s preferred choice for the job, celebrated her recent election, having won 777 votes from a population of almost 7.5 million.


Chinese warship an ‘increase in threat’

A Type 055 destroyer is launched at a ceremony at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai on Wednesday.
Photo: AP

The launch of China’s first Type 055 guided missile destroyer on Wednesday marks a significant increase in the threat to Taiwan posed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), observers in Taiwan said.


KMT-CCP strife squeezing Taiwan

As China increases the pressure on Taiwan, remarks by pan-green camp politicians regarding the need to develop friendlier relations with Beijing — such as being “pro-China,” “friendly with China,” “having peaceful relations with,” or “understanding” China — have sparked controversy not only among Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters, but also in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which used the remarks as an opportunity to mock its opponent.

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Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday said he was innocent and dismissed the corruption charges against him as groundless.

In a speech made one day after being indicted on charges of embezzling state funds, the 88-year-old said he did not want to go into details of the case as they “simply came out of the prosecutors’ own heads,” adding that as an old man, “I don’t fear death, let alone these oppression tactics.”

Lee, the nation’s first democratically elected president, is the second former president to be charged with corruption and money laundering after Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was found guilty by the Supreme Court last year.