Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

 
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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

The TRA at 45: The path forward

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the day the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) was signed into law. The relationship between Taiwan and the US has evolved from the geopolitical turmoil of the time, marked by major Taiwanese tech companies establishing factories in the US, high-ranking Taiwanese military officials visiting the US and unprecedented arms sales to Taiwan.

What was once a one-sided dependence has metamorphosed into a mutually beneficial partnership. However, given the “asymmetrical” nature of cross-strait relations, especially the power disparity and China’s coercive tactics against Taiwan, it is essential and pressing to envision and enhance bilateral relations beyond the TRA, while acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead.

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Building an ‘island of resilience’

On Wednesday morning last week, an earthquake off the east coast, measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, was felt across the country, but Hualien County was hit the worst.

As of Sunday, 13 people have died and more than 1,000 have been injured.

The quake was almost as powerful as 1999’s devastating 921 Earthquake, making it the strongest to strike Taiwan in the past 25 years.

Taiwan’s geographical location is such that it experiences frequent earthquakes that cause losses to property and lives. By withstanding one such test after another, the government and society have learned and strengthened their resilience against disasters. For example, Taiwan has continually enhanced the earthquake resilience of buildings and infrastructure.

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Freedom, democracy is in Taiwanese DNA

The values of freedom and democracy have been embedded in Taiwanese DNA, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said, adding that the nation would continue to stand with the alliance of democracies and be a force for good in the world.

Tsai made the remarks at a memorial commemorating the 35th anniversary of the death of democracy pioneer Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) in New Taipei City’s Jinbaoshan Cemetery yesterday.

Deng, who ran several dissident magazines, self-immolated on April 7, 1989 as authorities attempted to arrest him on charges of sedition.

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Harsher treason sentences proposed

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers have proposed an amendment to toughen penalties for military officials found guilty of treason.

Current punishments are too lenient and do not serve as a deterrent, legislators told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday, citing the case of former army colonel Hsiang Te-en (向德恩).

Hsiang was found guilty of accepting bribes and signing a letter of surrender swearing allegiance to the People’s Republic of China as his “motherland.” The Kaohsiung District Court in February last year sentenced him to seven-and-a-half years in prison and ordered him to pay NT$560,000, the equivalent of what he received in bribes.

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Newsflash

Despite stormy weather conditions in Taipei yesterday, 49 people —Tibetans and Taiwanese alike — staged a bicycle rally in the city to commemorate Tibetan monks who set themselves alight to protest China’s rule of Tibet.

“Tibet belongs to Tibetans!” “China, get out of Tibet!” were among the slogans shouted by the 49 cyclists, who attracted the attention of passers-by and drivers as they cycled through the streets.

On each bicycle was a Tibetan flag, while each biker carried signs calling for freedom for Tibet.