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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Keeping the candles burning for June 4

I was studying in Japan when the 1989 student-led democracy movement broke out in China, culminating in the violent suppression on June 4 of students camped out in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

At the time, Chinese students in Japan wanted to hold a demonstration, but on June 9, then-Chinese premier Li Peng (李鵬) appeared on television, warning Chinese students in other countries not to take part in protests and saying that they would be responsible for any serious consequences if they did so.

He also said that anyone who informed on protesters would be well rewarded.


HK removes Tiananmen memory: Tsai

A child in Taipei yesterday places candles on a banner commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP

Hong Kong is systematically removing reminders of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, the 33rd anniversary of the incident.

Authorities in Hong Kong, where people had held annual candlelight vigils at Victoria Park on the massacre’s anniversary for many years, had not received an application for such an event this year, she said on Facebook.


Taiwanese key as China postures

US President Joe Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the end of last month each delivered important remarks and speeches that put more flesh on the bone of their administration’s China policy.

Biden’s remarks and Blinken’s speech have attracted a great deal of attention, with commentators and analysts sharing their interpretations of the key takeaways.

Regarding Taiwan, the US’ China policy is becoming increasingly clear. Faced with the threat of Beijing’s rapacious designs on Taiwan, there is no longer any doubt that the US military would assist Taiwan to defend itself.


Zero tolerance for abuses of power

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) sparked a controversy for allegedly pressuring a police officer not to give her a parking ticket.

On Tuesday last week, she and her husband parked their vehicle in a no parking zone in a lane along Guangfu S Road in the capital before going into a restaurant. The officer’s body cam footage, which was later released, showed Hsu’s husband emerging from the restaurant and spotting the officer checking their vehicle’s license plate. The police officer told him that he would be receiving a parking ticket.

Hsu joined the men, pulled down her mask and identified herself, informing the police officer that the car belonged to her.


US biggest importer of Taiwan’s agricultural products

Former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, tries bubble tea at Kung Fu Tea inside the Queens Crossing mall in New York City on April 17, 2016.
Photo: AFP

The US for the first time became Taiwan’s largest market for exports of agricultural products, with outbound shipments in the first quarter surging 33.3 percent to US$23.2 million from a year earlier, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday.


Ko Wen-je duped by COVID-19 fake news

As a Taiwanese living overseas, I was last week surprised to read reports that children in Taiwan had died after contracting COVID-19. This was strange: Taiwan’s COVID-19 pandemic prevention is widely acknowledged to be one of the most successful in the world, and its fatality rate from the virus is comparatively low. How was a rumor like this able to gain so much traction?

Over the past few days, the truth has come out. An individual deliberately spread false information about fatal cases among children.

This was picked up and amplified by a Taiwanese celebrity with the intention of harming the nation’s image and stirring up chaos within society.

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The passage of two US guided missile destroyers through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday was not an isolated incident, but a signal of the expansion of the US’ military presence in the region, Institute for National Policy Research executive director Kuo Yu-jen (郭育仁) said yesterday.

US forces in Japan and Guam are to expand their reach to the south and west respectively, he said, adding that the US military is likely to normalize naval drills around Taiwan as a check on China.