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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Governing with common sense

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is fond of making impromptu remarks in front of reporters. Sometimes, his remarks show a lack of understanding and are nonsensical, but at times they reveal a common sense in a plain and frank manner that only an amateur politician can do, which explains why he is so popular.

His statement in an interview earlier this month that the referendum on an import ban on food products from five Japanese prefectures was “feeble-minded” was a typical Ko statement.


Students rise up against fake news

It has been five years since the Sunflower movement, and as its leaders have moved into politics or pursued other goals, it might seem that student movements have waned — at least compared with the flurry of activity that started with the Anti-Media Monopoly Movement in 2012 and culminated in the occupation of the Legislative Yuan in 2014.

During the nine-in-one elections in November last year, many young people seemed disappointed by both the pan-blue and pan-green camps, preferring to vote only on referendums that interested them.


Letting the public choose a candidate

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday announced that it would put off its presidential primary until May 22, saying that it had been unable to mediate between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former premier William Lai (賴清德).

The delay comes despite Lai saying that he has no interest in becoming Tsai’s running mate, but prefers the primary process to democratically decide the nominee for next year’s presidential election.


‘Unification not in the US’ favor’

Former American Institute in Taiwan director William Stanton smiles during a conference held by the Taiwan New Constitution Foundation in Taipei yesterday to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act.
Photo: CNA

Cross-strait unification is not in the US’ interests and the US government should make it clear that it would not support unification unless Taiwanese welcomed such a change after China becomes democratic, Former American Institute in Taiwan director William Stanton said yesterday.


Identifying infiltration by Chinese at all levels

In a March 29 Washington Post article, columnist Josh Rogin described how China’s pervasive infiltration steers all of Taiwan’s domestic issues. He quotes Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺) as saying: “Next year’s election might be the last meaningful election in Taiwan ... [and] the beginning of reunification.”

Rogin’s article should remind Taiwanese that a cold war has already begun, and that no one in Taiwan will remain unaffected. The nation’s democracy could be headed for its deathbed; there is only a limited time in which to react.


US must add more teeth to the TRA

Not many Americans know Taiwan’s location, they might confuse its moniker the Republic of China (ROC) with China and some might even respond by saying that they love “Thai food” when asked if they have heard about Taiwan.

Therefore, it is hardly surprising that only a few with exposure to the geopolitics of the region know about the existence of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which is turning 40 this year and has guided US policy toward Taiwan and cross-strait relations.

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Chinese riot police patrol a street following riots in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, yesterday.

Violent street battles killed at least 140 people and injured 828 others in the deadliest ethnic unrest to hit China’s western Xinjiang region in decades and officials said yesterday that the death toll was expected to rise.

Police sealed off streets in parts of the provincial capital, Urumqi, after discord between ethnic Muslim Uighurs and China’s Han majority erupted into riots. Witnesses reported a new protest yesterday in a second city, Kashgar.