Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

 
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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Japan-Taiwan preparation lacking

Beginning long before I moved to Taipei in January, I have had multiple discussions on the various effects of a Chinese invasion on Taiwan for the people of this great country as well as the region as a whole. I have also had conversations about how the foreign community would respond in such a contingency.

A long-time Japanese resident in Taipei explained to me in detail the situation facing his compatriots here in Taiwan. With his permission, I am sharing it with readers. His comments appear in quotes, and I have added my analysis.

This commentary might be of reference to the citizens of other countries living here in Taiwan as well. Please note, it is not a call to flee in panic, but an appeal to mitigate risk and carefully prepare. The more that can be planned and prepared ahead of time the less chaos would occur that could negatively impact Taiwanese authorities.

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Ma muddying the waters

The Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan has no official diplomatic allies in the EU. With the exception of the Vatican, it has no official allies in Europe at all. This does not prevent the ROC — Taiwan — from having close relations with EU member states and other European countries.

The exact nature of the relationship does bear revisiting, if only to clarify what is a very complicated and sensitive idea, the details of which leave considerable room for misunderstanding, misrepresentation and disagreement.

Only this week, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) received members of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China (note the reference to the PRC, not the ROC on Taiwan), led by Reinhard Butikofer, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received members of the Romanian-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group.

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Partners can help over-stretched US

The US and other countries should take concrete steps to confront the threats from Beijing to avoid war, US Representative Mario Diaz-Balart said in an interview with Voice of America on March 13.

The US should use “every diplomatic economic tool at our disposal to treat China as what it is... to avoid war,” Diaz-Balart said.

Giving an example of what the US could do, he said that it has to be more aggressive in its military sales to Taiwan.

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Sunflower legacy: no complacency

The Sunflower movement, which started on March 18, 2014, had a great influence on Taiwan. Although now part of the nation’s history, the movement’s spirit will endure forever.

Most important of all, the movement inspired young people to engage in politics. It taught them to think independently, articulate their ideas for themselves and contribute to social development — leading to the establishment of youth departments in local governments, an amendment of the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to allow the voting age to be lowered to 18.

I was a senior-high school student at the time the mostly undergraduate students occupied the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei and I was shocked at how the police violently suppressed those who entered the Executive Yuan compound.

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Newsflash

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday vowed to continue to push for a referendum on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) after the Referendum Review Committee — for the second time — killed its proposal to let the public have a say on the recently signed cross-strait pact.

The committee yesterday rejected the TSU’s proposal in a 10 to two vote, saying the party failed to present a convincing argument.