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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Lawmakers stall China travel bill

Opposition lawmakers yesterday stalled a review of proposed amendments that would place greater scrutiny on elected representatives traveling to China, drawing a rebuke from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers.

Procedure Committee members from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party voted against it, preventing the Internal Administration Committee from reviewing the bill, which was cosponsored by DPP Legislator Puma Shen (沈伯洋) and 17 others.

The proposed amendments to articles 9 and 91 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) would require elected representatives to obtain the approval of national security officials before visiting China.

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VP Lai makes ‘Time’ influential list

President-elect William Lai (賴清德), the vice president, has been listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world this year.

Lai, who is to take office as president next month, is a coal miner’s son who became a Harvard-trained public health expert, and prizes problem solving and trust, the magazine said.

When he is sworn in as president on May 20, Lai would face much bigger challenges than safeguarding the health of 24 million Taiwanese, as he has to ensure “his government’s very survival, amid China’s ramped-up campaign to reclaim the nascent democracy,” Time said in the article, which was published on Wednesday.

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KMT buys into manipulation of Ma

On Wednesday last week, former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) met in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), in the latter’s capacity as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Ma’s title of former president was not mentioned in Xi’s speech at the meeting or in news reports by official Chinese media, nor was there mention of his other title, former chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). The only title attached to Ma’s name was plain old “Mr.”

Xi used the meeting to preach a message of unification.

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What’s truly special about Taiwan

My wife and I spent the week in the interior of Taiwan where Shuyuan spent her childhood. In that town there is a street that functions as an open farmer’s market.

Walk along that street, as Shuyuan did yesterday, and it is next to impossible to come home empty-handed. Some mangoes that looked vaguely like others we had seen around here ended up on our table.

Shuyuan told how she had bought them from a little old farmer woman from the countryside who said the mangoes were from a very old tree she had on her property.

The big surprise came when I peeled and bit into one of them this morning. It might not have looked like anything special, but it was. The taste took me right back to my childhood on the Isle of Pines, Cuba.

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Newsflash

Foreign Policy magazine says that US President Barack Obama “is getting ready” to announce an arms sales package to Taiwan that will include Black Hawk helicopters and Patriot missile batteries.

“Taiwanese sources now say they expect the decision shortly after Obama returns from the climate-change conference,” the magazine said.