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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

2022 ELECTIONS: DPP routed across the board

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries.

The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent.

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CCP exploits the West’s tolerance

It is quite the irony when former British prime minister Boris Johnson — a buffoon who for far too long was taken seriously — is branded a buffoon for saying something deadly serious.

Following Johnson’s withering criticism of China at a business forum in Singapore on Wednesday last week, the event’s organizer, Michael Bloomberg, apologized to attendees, saying that Johnson was “trying to be amusing rather than informative and serious.”

However, Johnson’s characterization of China as a “coercive autocracy” that had showed “a candid disregard for the rule of international law” was spot-on.

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Close the door on spies

Lawmakers and a researcher on Tuesday called for military trials to be reinstated during peacetime to help deter espionage in the military after an army colonel was charged with spying for China.

Hsiang Te-en (向德恩) was charged with corruption, pledging allegiance to China and receiving payment from Chinese operatives to work as a spy.

Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a research fellow at the Institute of National Defense and Security Research, said that military espionage poses a serious threat to national security, and reinstating military trials during peacetime for active personnel would improve troop discipline and deter spying.

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Bill seeks tighter security at army bases

A draft act to overhaul military base security and ban the use of drones near their premises cleared the first reading at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) and Michelle Lin (林楚茵) said they proposed the legislation because security standards at military bases and during military drills are based on administrative orders.

Such orders are widely considered a weak legal basis and would be overruled if they are found to conflict with other laws, they said.

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Impact of polls beyond local

On Saturday, voters are to decide the positions of 11,023 public officials, from mayors and city councilors to borough wardens.

The campaign issues have largely reflected the local nature of the nine-in-one elections, albeit with a distorted focus and surprising emphasis on issues previously under the radar, such as plagiarism, as well as several conspicuous omissions, such as the environment and pollution — when COP27 should perhaps have placed the issues front and center — and cybersecurity, especially given the cyberattacks experienced in the wake of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.

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Colonel accused of allying with China

The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday charged army Colonel Hsiang Te-en (向德恩) with corruption, accusing him of pledging allegiance to China and receiving payment from Chinese operatives to work as a spy.

Prosecutors asked a court to sentence Hsiang to 12 years in prison.

Hsiang is head of the Kaohsiung-based Army Infantry Training Command’s Operations Research and Development Division.

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Newsflash

A Ministry of National Defense official yesterday said Taiwan planned to slash the number of its troops by 9,200 this year amid warming ties with China, adding that the cut would be offset by more advanced weaponry.

The reduction is part of a five-year plan aimed at trimming the size of Taiwan’s armed forces by 60,000, or more than 20 percent from the present level of 275,000 troops.

However, the ministry said Taiwan’s defensive capabilities would not be undermined as it seeks more high-tech and powerful weapons.