Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Taiwan’s constitution challenge

Taiwan needs a new constitution. It has needed one since the end of World War II, when its citizens should have had the right to self-determination like any other colonials. That is when its current “limbo status” was created and from which it continues.

Yes, Taiwan needs a new constitution, a Taiwan constitution.

Some things can stare one in the face, and yet their reality remains hidden. It remains hidden because the pressing needs of the time and other distractions too often demand resolution. That has been Taiwan’s ongoing problem, but now that the nation has stabilized in its democracy, a new constitution can no longer be put off.


Stabilizing power by dispersing risk

A nationwide blackout on Thursday last week — the first major power incident since a blackout on Aug. 15, 2017 — sparked public dissatisfaction as people were trapped in elevators, offices went dark and factories were forced to suspend operations after a malfunction at an ultra-high-voltage substation in Kaohsiung triggered four generators at the Singda Power Plant (興達電廠) to go offline shortly before 3pm.

On that day, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) apologized to the nation for the rolling power outages that ensued, and the following day, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), which said that human error was to blame, proposed a plan to compensate affected households and businesses.


Taiwan and the ghosts of history

Would the US be prepared to risk a catastrophic war with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to protect the Republic of China, better known as Taiwan? US President Joe Biden laid out his vision clearly last month. He sees the rivalry between the PRC and the US as a global conflict between democracy and autocracy, and Taiwan is unquestionably one of Asia’s most successful democracies.

In 1954, then-US president Dwight D. Eisenhower threatened to use nuclear weapons after China shelled a rocky islet near Taiwan’s coast, when the country was still a military dictatorship. Things were different then. The US was treaty-bound to defend Taiwan. This changed after 1972, when US president Richard Nixon agreed that Taiwan was part of “one China,” and US president Jimmy Carter nullified the defense treaty in 1979.


Taiwan can help; so should India

The 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) is to take place from May 24 to June 1. This meeting is crucial, as several countries are witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Some Asian countries that successfully kept the virus at bay are once again facing the threat of an outbreak. The deadly second wave ravaging India is a reminder that this pandemic is far from over and complacency should have no place in any countries’ COVID-19 response. Countries are faltering while dealing with the pandemic, and in such a grim situation, what is most important is to work toward finding a collective solution.

Unfortunately, despite its impeccable COVID-19 response, Taiwan has been unfairly excluded from the WHA and other high-level discussions. In the past year, Taiwan has demonstrated that it is essential to engage with it, and health cooperation should be an important component in the Indo-Pacific region with Taiwan at its core.


Addressing the PLA’s new tactics

During a commissioning ceremony on Friday last week at the Yulin Naval Base in China’s Hainan Province, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy unveiled three new vessels, coinciding with the 72nd anniversary of the navy’s founding.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), who also heads the powerful Chinese Central Military Commission, attended the ceremony, presenting the navy’s ensign and formally naming the ships.

The vessels were a new Type 075 Yushen-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship, a Type 055 Renhai-class guided-missile destroyer and a Type 094 Jin-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.


Ma keeps on parroting Beijing’s propaganda

During a speech on Saturday last week at a discussion forum titled “Resume cross-strait air travel: post-pandemic opportunity,” former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had criticized him for being pro-China and “selling out” Taiwan.

Paradoxically, instead of reducing reliance on China, the government had increased Taiwan’s dependence on it, Ma said, adding that Taiwanese exports to China last year reached a historic high. This shows that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is more pro-China and has “sold out” Taiwan to a greater degree than he had, Ma said.

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President Tsai Ing-wen, center, observes a joint military exercise from the destroyer Keelung in waters off Yilan County’s Suao yesterday.
Photo: CNA, Courtesy of the Military News Agency

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday praised a military drill she observed in waters off eastern Taiwan and denied she was trying to upstage Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) as China prepares to hold military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.