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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Hard questions KMT must answer

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sept. 6 finished its annual national congress. However, if Taiwan wants to have a viable opposition party in its democracy, the results were far from satisfying.

The KMT again seems to be caught in a time loop, like that one in the 1993 film Groundhog Day.

Yet, unlike the protagonist in that film, the KMT seems unable to learn from past experience and change for the better. Instead, it remains locked in its never-ending cycle of repeating the past.

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Non-conventional defenses needed

The US is reportedly preparing to sell Taiwan seven new major weapons systems, including sophisticated aerial drones, land-based anti-ship missiles, anti-tank missiles and smart mines, Reuters said on Wednesday.

The planned sales are part of the Pentagon’s “Fortress Taiwan” strategy to assist the nation in building up asymmetric warfare capabilities and turning it into a “porcupine” capable of deterring a Chinese attack.

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Coalition to push US trade deal


US-Taiwan Business Council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers speaks in Annapolis, Maryland, on October 28, 2018.
Photo: CNA

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham Taipei) and the Arlington, Virginia-based US-Taiwan Business Council yesterday announced they had formed a coalition to push for a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) between Taiwan and the US.

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Strong backbone can thwart China

A nation existing globally respects what other nations think, and appropriates other nations’ perceptions of itself. The element that a nation wants to see most in its international image is respect, something the People’s Republic of China seems to be craving.

Criteria of respect for nations are historically and culturally variant, but one primary, essential criterion has become universal since the end of the Cold War: a respect for human rights.

How the government of a nation treats its people and how they treat one another has become an essential measure of that nation’s respectability. A nation might be powerful and, hence, feared or depended on; it might be rich and favored as a trade partner.

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Inspired by the Velvet Revolution

Disregarding China’s reaction, a large delegation of 89 members led by Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil arrived in Taiwan on Aug. 30, in an unprecedented formal exchange between the two nations.

As the delegation had a tight schedule, Vystrcil’s two public speeches — at National Chengchi University on Aug. 31 and at the Legislative Yuan on Sept. 2 — received much of the spotlight.

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‘Asian NATO’ presents opportunity

During the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s third leadership summit on Aug. 31, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said that the US wants to partner with the other members of the Quadrilaterial Security Dialogue — Australia, India and Japan — to establish an organization similar to NATO, to “respond to ... any potential challenge from China.”

He said that the US’ purpose is to work with these nations and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to “create a critical mass around the shared values and interest of those parties,” and possibly attract more countries to establish an alliance comparable to NATO.

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Newsflash

Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) urged an end to a “zero sum” Cold War relationship with the US and proposed new cooperation, but resisted US arguments about why China should let its currency strengthen.

Indeed, in a sign that the future of the US currency continues to concern the most senior levels of the Chinese government, he said the US dollar-based international currency system is a “product of the past.”