Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

 
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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

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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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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Newsflash

The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed comments by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who said the Chinese Nationalist (KMT) administration appeared to be “aimless.”

Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said the direction of the administration was clear.

“Our policy is Taiwan is always the focus and the people’s interest comes first,” he said.