Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

 
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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Taiwan must build stronger ties

Since last month’s presidential and legislative elections concluded with the victory of Vice President William Lai (賴清德), there has been a considerable increase in Chinese People’s Liberation Army military activity around the nation. Lai is not Beijing’s preferred victor. However, his election is looking to be a sober affair, with him aiming to maintain the “status quo” in cross-strait relations.

Despite a more measured approach, China has responded forcefully through repeated intrusions into the nation’s air defense identification zone.

As tensions mount across the region, there is a need for the nation to widen its strategic horizon beyond great power politics.

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1624: a year of significance

A new exhibition at the National Museum of Taiwan History in Tainan, “Transcending 1624 — Taiwan and the World,” which opened on Feb. 1, offers a rich and evocative interpretation of Taiwanese history. It begins with the question: “How should 1624 be viewed from 2024?”

It was the year Dutch traders landed on Taiwan’s shores, marking the “integration of Taiwan into the Asian-European trade network,” the exhibition said. The 17th century was when “Taiwan became connected to the rest of the world,” the museum added.

The motif of the exhibition is trade, commerce, cultural exchange, assimilation and adoption. In a word: openness.

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Credible deterrence against China

Amid the intensifying Sino-US strategic rivalry, Beijing has become more vocal about its coercive “wolf warrior” diplomacy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) condemned the US-led “containment, encirclement and suppression of China” at last year’s annual National People’s Congress in Beijing.

Xi went on to say that China must “have the courage to fight” in the face of complicated changes at home and abroad.

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China’s new ‘Cultural Revolution’

The China Media Group New Year’s Gala, which was broadcast throughout China and abroad on the eve of the Lunar New Year, featured an appearance by combat and armored troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Was this somewhat jarring segment intended more as a warning to the domestic audience or the international community?

Either way, the inclusion of such a militaristic item in the midst of festive celebrations is quite in keeping with China’s global image.

Last year marked a turning point in the course of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) growing power. Speaking of his government’s achievements over the past year, Xi claimed that employment and prices were generally stable, and that a glance around world showed that “the landscape here is beyond compare.”

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Newsflash

A US federal judge in Missouri on Friday ordered the deportation of Taiwanese official Jacqueline Liu (劉姍姍), who pleaded guilty last year to human trafficking charges for abusing her two Filipina maids, the US Attorneys Office said.

Liu, the 64-year-old director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City, Missouri, was arrested in November and charged with fraud in foreign labor contracting in connection with her treatment of the two maids.