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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Unity against China’s ‘united front’

From a Taiwanese perspective, the Chinese word tong zhan (統戰) could be interpreted as the war — or effort — to achieve unification. However, this interpretation would have more to do with the unique preoccupations of a threatened nation than with historical accuracy.

The accepted English translation is “united front,” which was born of the collective desire of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to defeat warlords in China in the 1920s. In its current iteration, it is a network of organizations affiliated with the CCP, engaging in political warfare to promote Beijing’s interests and global narrative, and suppress discussions of ideas it deems unfavorable. It is an organized, comprehensive effort to achieve the CCP’s desired ends.


Taiwanese take pride in Tim Wu

On March 5, the White House announced that Columbia University professor Tim Wu (吳修銘), a second-generation Taiwanese American, was to become US President Joe Biden’s special assistant for technology and competition policy, and would be working for the White House’s National Economic Council.

The appointment has attracted a lot of attention. Wu specializes in antitrust, intellectual property and telecommunications law.


Power plant referendum a dangerous proposition

Changes to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) mean that from Aug. 28 a national referendum can be held once every two years. Referendum proposals that have passed the second signature threshold include restarting construction of the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮); banning the importation of pork containing ractopamine; binding referendums to presidential and legislative elections; and providing enhanced protections to algal reefs off the coast of Taoyuan.

Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) has said that every additional referendum adds approximately NT$180 million (US$6.37 million) to the budget — a not insignificant sum.


China breached HK declaration: UK

British Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab speaks at a news conference in Khartoum on Jan. 21.
Photo: AP

British Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab on Saturday accused China of breaching a legal deal over the governance of Hong Kong, amid criticisms of Beijing’s attempts to tighten its control over the territory.


US, PRC, ROC: a new Great Game?

There are games and then there are games; some games are serious while others are just for fun. However, the real ones can be deadly, especially if they involve nations.

One such example served as the backdrop for English author Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim; there he used “the Great Game” to describe the struggle between Great Britain and Russia over influence in central Asia. As this game played out, central Asia became a graveyard for many.


Japan key in anti-China alliance

Japan’s growing geopolitical importance will be showcased in the coming days as the country hosts the US secretaries of state and defense on Monday next week, and helps convene a reported Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) meeting of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and US President Joe Biden.

Next week’s visit by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Tokyo will be the first major overseas trip of the key officials. Their destination — where they are to meet for so-called “two plus two” talks with Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi and Japanese Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi — reflects growing US concerns about the challenge posed by a rising China, and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

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A combination picture shows Hong Kong protesters yesterday wearing eyepatches in reference to a demonstrator who was injured on Sunday in clashes with police during a protest inside Hong Kong International Airport.
Photo: Reuters

One of the world’s busiest airports yesterday canceled all flights after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators crowded into the main terminal of Hong Kong International Airport, while the central government in Beijing issued an ominous characterization of the protest movement as something approaching “terrorism.”