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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Democracy’s evolution in Taiwan

Taiwan’s two “fathers of democracy,” Peng Ming-min (彭明敏) and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), passed away during the past two years. When Lee and Peng bade farewell to the nation, there was no sign of authoritarianism in Taiwan, as remembered at sites such as the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei or the Touliao Mausoleum in Taoyuan’s Dasi District (大溪), which commemorate former presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his son Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) respectively.

That is as it should be, because Lee and Peng’s great achievements have long been integrated into daily life.


Ukrainians and Taiwanese rally in show of solidarity

Protesters display placards in front of Liberty Square in Taipei during a “Toward Victory” rally organized by Ukainians and Taiwanese supporters.
Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE

Ukrainians and their supporters yesterday held “Toward Victory” rallies in Hsinchu, Taichung and Taipei to show solidarity with Ukraine, as Russia’s invasion of the country enters its third month.

At a rally in front of Liberty Square in Taipei, dozens of people unfurled a 7m wide and 3m long handmade Ukrainian flag while singing the country’s national anthem.


Let health minister finish the job

With confirmed daily COVID-19 cases climbing to more than 30,000, the public seems to be at a loss about what to do during the outbreak. Long lines have formed outside pharmacies selling rapid antigen test kits, while hospitals are crowded with people waiting to be examined.

Unfortunately, some media outlets are having a field day with the turmoil, and causing fear among the public by focusing on minor cases with severe symptoms.

Meanwhile, many countries that have responded worse than Taiwan to the COVID-19 pandemic are lifting or easing restrictions. This is because even though it is highly contagious, the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has a significantly lower fatality rate, and those who are infected usually have no or mild symptoms.


Peace in Taiwan Strait critical: Kishida

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida front, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walk past honor guards at Westminster Hall in London on Thursday.
Photo: AFP

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday warned that the invasion of Ukraine could be replicated in East Asia if leading powers do not respond as one, saying that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait must be maintained.


Beware of the ‘fifth column’

During its 7am news show on April 20, Chinese Television System (CTS) — part of Taiwan Broadcasting System (TBS) — ran news tickers that said: “New Taipei City hit by Chinese People’s Liberation Army missiles,” “War on the brink of erupting” and “Vessel explodes in Taipei Harbor; facilities and ships destroyed.” More false tickers followed on that day, reading: “Oil field discovered in the Bashi Channel,” and “Fist-sized hailstones fall on Taipei at midnight, downtown traffic a mess.”

Four days later, the CTS midday news program misidentified Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as “president.” Blunders continued on Tuesday, when President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was called “Tsai EE” in a caption.


US bill aims to fast-track arms sales

US Senator Marco Rubio speaks at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on March 29.
Photo: AFP

US Senator Marco Rubio on Tuesday introduced a bill aimed at fast-tracking the transfer of US weapon systems to Taiwan and improving joint military training to make sure Taiwan can defend itself in case of a Chinese invasion.

In a statement released by his office, Rubio said he proposed the bill because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would not be the last time an authoritarian regime invades its neighbor.

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A Central Election Commission employee stacks boxes with signatures in support of three referendum proposals initiated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Aug. 27.
Photo: CNA

The Central Election Commission is to file criminal complaints against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which it suspects of forging signatures on a referendum petition to reduce air pollution, a commission official said yesterday.