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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Virus exposed Taiwan, China, US

The year 2020 will go down in history. Certainly, if for nothing else, it will be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the continuing impact it has had on the world. All nations have had to deal with it; none escaped.

As a virus, COVID-19 has known no bounds. It has no agenda or ideology; it champions no cause. There is no way to bully it, gaslight it or bargain with it. Impervious to any hype, posturing, propaganda or commands, it ignores such and simply attacks.

All nations, big or small, are on a level playing field when facing it. They either handle it or grapple with the consequences.


Widening US-Taiwan engagement

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has conveyed in no uncertain terms that the time for ambiguity and confusion about the status of US-Taiwan relations has come to an end. The pronouncement by Pompeo codifies a pattern that US President Donald Trump’s administration has already made a de facto reality: a new era of engagement with Taiwan.

While the Democratic Progressive Party and several minority parties in Taiwan welcome this move, there is still resistance to this development by some in Taiwanese politics.


KMT gets Beijing’s message across

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Saturday that the US was to drop self-imposed restrictions on meetings between senior Taiwanese and US officials had immediate real-world effects.

On Monday, US Ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra met Representative to the Netherlands Chen Hsing-hsing (陳欣新) at the US embassy in The Hague, with both noting on social media the historic nature of this seemingly modest event.

Modest perhaps, but their meeting would have been impossible before Pompeo’s announcement.


Virus Outbreak: Doctor treating COVID patients infected

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung takes part in a news conference at the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

The first case of a doctor contracting COVID-19 after treating an infected patient was one of two locally transmitted cases and two imported cases reported by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday.


Pompeo leaves Biden a parting gift

In a statement that came as a shock to many, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday announced the immediate annulment of all “self-imposed” guidelines on US executive relations with Taiwan, which he said Washington took “unilaterally, in an attempt to appease the Communist regime in Beijing.”

It could be the most sweeping advancement in Taiwan-US ties in decades. No longer would officials need to meet in “private meeting rooms or restaurants,” or avoid references to a Taiwanese country or government. High-level personnel could attend official events, including Double Ten National Day celebrations.


Considering Chen Shui-bian’s legacy: A personal assessment

Lately I have been mulling over the checkered career of Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), former Mayor of Taipei and President of Taiwan, who subsequently spent 6+ years in jail after being convicted of corruption. I was a witness to some of this, and have studied President Chen’s career over the years. While recognizing that I am treading on sensitive political ground, I will attempt here to parse out the key phases, in an attempt to make sense of this controversial political figure’s career.

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The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it would file lawsuits against a group of politicians over allegations that the party condoned a shooting last month.

Aimed at Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers, the lawsuits were the first court challenges to be filed following the incident, in which Sean Lien (連勝文), a KMT Central Committee member and son of former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), was shot on Nov. 26.