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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Su slams PRC’s incursions with 38 jets


A Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force J-16 fighter jet is pictured in an undated photograph.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday criticized China after 38 of its military aircraft crossed into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday, the most in a single day since Taiwan began issuing a tally on such incursions in September last year.

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Trade bloc better without China

A major goal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), intended to cover about 40 percent of world trade, was to ensure that rule-of-law nations, not China, would write the rules for the world economy in the 21st century.

The administration of former US president Barack Obama concluded that the TPP would spur economic growth and create new jobs, while building US strategic interests in Asia. Former US president Donald Trump saw it as adding to American decline in manufacturing and withdrew immediately on taking office in 2017.

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Chu starts by forming united front with China

In a close contest, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Saturday last week was elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman for a second time. Many people wonder what the result of this internecine KMT power struggle means for Taiwanese politics — if Chu fails to get a firm grasp of the situation, he might inadvertently help the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secure a third term in office.

The day after the election, Chu received a congratulatory telegram from Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). Chu replied, thanking Xi as the two return to acknowledging the so-called “1992 consensus” and opposition to Taiwanese independence. This shows that when Chu called his rival for the chairperson seat, Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中), a “red unification” candidate who would turn the KMT into a “little red” cheerleader for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), it was nothing more than internal conflict during a particularly acrimonious party leadership campaign — perhaps Chu was also trying to get Beijing’s attention.

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Xi could create the perfect storm

In an article published in Foreign Policy magazine titled “China is a declining power — and that’s the problem,” two highly reputable academics use “power transition theory” (PTT) as a base for their arguments.

PTT was founded by my adviser at Claremont Graduate University, Jacek Kugler, and his mentor, A.F.K. Organski.

PTT believes that the unipolar world dominated by a single hegemony (from 1990 to last year) is the most stable setup in international relations compared with the bipolar (US-Soviet Union) or multipolar (Europe before World War II) world.

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Counting Taiwanese in the US

Many Taiwanese were outraged in late April when the Pew Research Center demographic report on Asians in the US categorized them as part of the larger Chinese population. However, in a rare victory against China’s increasingly aggressive campaign to erase Taiwanese identity from the international sphere, the Washington-based think tank rectified the report earlier this month to show separate numbers for people who identify as originating in the two countries.

There is still a row in the chart that shows combined Chinese and Taiwanese totals, and the text still lumps the two peoples as “Chinese-origin Asians.” Nonetheless, the change is a positive development, as Pew responded to the backlash and further released a report by senior demographer Jeffrey Passel explaining the complexities behind counting Taiwanese in the US.

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Reviving National Democracy Hall

Taiwan will always face new challenges within and without as its democracy develops. Yet while new issues appear and must be resolved, one of the most pressing problems from its past remains, namely: What to do with the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, or as it is sarcastically called “The Tomb of the Dead Dictator.”

A start on this problem had been made during the presidency of Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). In 2007, the hall was renamed National Taiwan Democracy Hall and the surrounding area named Liberty Square.

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Newsflash


From left, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator-at-large candidate Wellington Koo, DPP Legislator Lee Ying-yuan and DPP Kaohsiung City Councilor Lien Li-jen hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday accusing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of vote-buying.
Photo: CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of involvement in nationwide vote-buying activities for the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections, warning that it might file lawsuits after the elections.