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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Taipei councilors, Amnesty decry TRTC’s ‘censorship’

Amnesty International Taiwan secretary-general Chiu E-ling, left, and other human rights advocates speak to reporters in Taipei yesterday, accusing Taipei Rapid Transit Corp of political censorship.
Photo: CNA

Human rights advocates and several Taipei city councilors yesterday accused Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC, 臺北捷運) of political censorship, after it reportedly rejected an advertisement that mentioned “China” and “Lee Ming-che” (李明哲).

Amnesty International Taiwan had planned to post a comic advertisement on Taipei’s MRT lines on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, to increase public awareness about Lee, a human rights advocate who has been detained in China since 2017, association secretary-general Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎) said.


Proof of Beijing’s true character

Hard on the heels of the referendums in Taiwan, Hong Kong held its first legislative election since the electoral system was overhauled under the direction of Beijing.

According to the new system, 40 of the 90 seats in the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) were elected by the 1,500-member Election Committee, which has only one non-establishment member.

Previously, 35 of the 70 LegCo seats — 50 percent — were directly elected, but this time, 20 of the newly increased 90 seats — less than one-quarter — were directly elected, and were instead elected by the committee.


Tsai promotes 23, calls for boost to combat readiness

President Tsai Ing-wen, left, congratulates newly promoted senior military personnel at a ceremony in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday called on the armed forces’ newly promoted military generals to work with the government to beef up combat readiness and show the world Taiwan’s resolute will to defend itself against threats from China.


KMT puts Beijing’s interests first

Taiwan has had a packed agenda for the past few months. From recall elections and the four referendums to the upcoming legislative by-election for Taichung’s second electoral district, Taiwanese have been pouring time and energy into politics, which has been laborious.

The voter turnout rate for the Dec. 18 referendum was 41.09 percent, far lower than the about 75 percent for last year’s presidential election. Since the referendum questions were about policymaking, not candidates, it was hardly surprising that it did not garner as much attention and interest.


Time to drop Fukushima food ban

The lifting of a ban on the importation of pork containing traces of ractopamine will help Taiwan set up international trade partnerships.

Now that the referendum chaos is left behind, the ban will not be reinstated. Taiwanese voters turned their backs on mindless populism in favor of rationality, demonstrated exceptional maturity, and acted as an impressive check and balance on the political process.

Three years ago, Taiwanese who were opposed to the importation of food products from northeastern Japan started labeling them “nuclear foods” and pushed for the world’s first and only “anti-nuclear food referendum.”


Why Taiwan and Lithuania matter

Bigger is not necessarily better, especially as regards nations. In the business world, using the Boston Consulting Group matrix, a company or corporation might aid its growth and power by purchasing other select companies to add to its portfolio. Later, it might divest and choose to sell its “dogs” and even “cash cows” when they approach becoming clear liabilities. All this is done to please shareholders.

The practice does not fit the world of nations, especially as regards the “big three”: the US, China and Russia. The world of people is not the same as the zero-sum game of business.

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Major Republican victories in the US midterm elections could leave Taiwan in a strong political position on Capitol Hill, a Taiwan lobby organization said.

With Republicans capturing 60 seats to take control of the House of Representatives and the Democrats managing to hang on to the Senate by a narrow majority, power is now divided in Washington. As a result, Taiwan’s supporters in Congress are expected to have increased freedom to speak out on controversial issues, such as arms sales, free trade and a place for Taiwan within international organizations.