A litany of bad behaviour by China–Taiwan Report News Brief transcript

PLAN

Summary: China wants to poach young Taiwanese scientists. Government announces Chinese hacking uncovered. China accuses Taiwan of paying social media influencers. Taiwan Defense Ministry issues a warning to China. Chinese spy ship spotted off the east coast. Poll shows plurality willing to fight if China attacks. The US navy may have just sent a big message to China over Taiwan. But up first, a bunch of headlines:

Headlines

Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Jeremy Lin (林書豪), who is of Taiwanese descent, has recently obtained a Republic of China (Taiwan) passport, independent Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平) said Wednesday.
According to Chung, the former NBA star is looking forward to playing for Taiwan’s national team in the future.
Lin has yet to make a public statement.
He may have to complete a period of mandatory military service.

The chairman and former chairman of Tatung Co., a Taiwan-based home appliance brand, have been indicted for hiding information about the investment in China by the company’s bankrupt flat panel subsidiary, prosecutors said Friday.

National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) said Wednesday it will revoke the degree of Jane Lee (李眉蓁), the KMT candidate in last Saturday’s Kaohsiung mayoral by-election, as it has confirmed that her thesis was largely plagiarized.
Following the NSYSU announcement, Lee said she accepted the decision and hoped it would bring an end to the controversy.

New and current international students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in Taiwan will be allowed to enter the country with immediate effect, according to the Ministry of Education (MOE).

Taipei’s National Yang Ming University is going to merge with Hsinchu’s National Chiao Tung University in February 2021.
The new institution will be called National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University.

A new Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) regulation that will soon take effect will bar Taiwanese agents from helping Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service providers operate in Taiwan.
OTT refers to audio, video and other media content delivered via the Internet rather than a cable or satellite provider.
At present, Chinese OTT service providers such as iQiyi are not allowed to operate in Taiwan, but there is no regulation that explicitly bars Taiwanese agents from acting on their behalf and offering their services.

Taiwan’s export orders in July grew more than 12 percent from a year earlier, marking the fifth consecutive month of year-on-year increases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said.
The upward trend can be attributed to growing demand for Taiwan’s electronic components by the world’s semiconductor industry, the ministry said, noting however that demand for traditional goods continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the production value of Taiwan’s manufacturing sector fell to NT$2.94 trillion (US$99.63 billion) in the second quarter, an 11.39 percent decline from a year earlier and the sixth consecutive quarter of contraction, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Traditional manufacturing and chemical production have been hardest-hit by declining demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as falling prices for oil and other raw materials.

Due to the border controls imposed in mid-March, the number of outbound travelers from Taiwan plunged by 98.9 percent from a quarter earlier to only 47,000, while the number of travelers to Taiwan also tumbled by 99.6 percent to about 13,000.

Border controls resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic caused Taiwan’s travel income and expenses to plunge for the second quarter of this year to a new low since the data started to be collated in 1984, according to the central bank.

Microsoft is set to launch an IoT Center of Excellence in Taiwan with the economics ministry.
The Deputy Economics Minister said this new plan, combined with Taiwan’s leading edge in hardware, will help Taiwan become a key player in software as well.

Miloš Vystrčil, president of the Senate of the Czech Republic, will deliver a speech in Taiwan’s Legislature, which will honor him with the Medal of Honor for Parliamentary Diplomacy, when he visits later this month, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said Wednesday.

United Parcel Service (UPS) has joined the growing list of corporations that have bowed to China by changing the listing for Taiwan on its corporate website to “Taiwan, China.”

Here’s a fun fact I stumbled across.
10.3 percent, or roughly 47,000, of Brunei’s population of 460,000 has Chinese lineage.
Among them, 80 percent can be traced to Taiwan’s outlying island of Kinmen.

China wants to poach young Taiwanese scientists

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has said it was keeping a close watch on China’s latest recruitment initiative targeting young Taiwanese scientists.
Any interactions with China that breach the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) would be dealt with accordingly, it added.
The council’s remarks follow the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology’s announcement on Thursday that it was seeking to recruit Taiwanese scientists in certain prioritized areas with an offer of a monthly subsidy of 15,000 yuan (US$2,167).

Government announces Chinese hacking uncovered

The government has announced hacking groups linked to the Chinese government have attacked at least 10 government agencies and some 6,000 email accounts of government officials in an “infiltration” to steal important data.
The two hacking groups believed to be involved, Blacktech and Taidoor, are backed by the Chinese Communist Party.
Starting in 2018 they targeted loopholes in the systems provided by the Taiwan government’s information service providers.
They have not been able to identify what data has been stolen as the hackers had concealed their tracks.

China accuses Taiwan of paying social media influencers

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said that China was lying when Beijing claimed that Taiwan had paid social media users to post negative comments on China-Kiribati relations.
China has received widespread criticism after images emerged online, showing Chinese Ambassador to Kiribati Tang Songgen (唐松根) walking across the backs of local children in a welcoming ceremony on its Marakai Island this month.
Tang accepted to participate in the ritual out of respect for local customs, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) told a news briefing on Thursday.
Surely they must have known–local customs or not–that pictures of an ambassador walking on children wouldn’t be a good look.
But maybe not.

Taiwan Defense Ministry issues a warning to China

Taiwan’s defence ministry, in a statement late Thursday to accompany a video showing Taiwanese forces drilling, said it was “expressing its stern attitude about recent Chinese Communist People’s Liberation Army military pressure acts”.
Taiwan will not provoke, but it will also not show weakness, it added.
“Absolutely do not treat lightly our resolve to defend Taiwan,” the ministry said.
“The most arrogant country can easily provoke a war, and the most ignorant government can be caught in the flames of war.”
China’s provocations and threats will only further unite Taiwan’s people and “recognise the essence of the Chinese Communist’s militarism”, it said.
“In the end it will have the opposite effect, inciting the wrath and antipathy of Taiwan’s people, seriously hurting peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
Wrath and antipathy certainly sounds serious!

Chinese spy ship spotted off the east coast

A Chinese spy ship has been observed off Taiwan’s east coast over several days as Taiwan’s state-owned defense manufacturing company conducts missile tests in the area.
The ship is believed to have been gathering intelligence about the parameters of the missiles being tested.
The ship stayed more than 24 nautical miles from the coast, beyond Taiwan’s territorial waters.

Poll shows plurality willing to fight if China attacks

The Chinese Association of Public Opinion Research has released a new poll with some interesting results.
I’m not familiar with this organization, so can’t say how good they are, but these are the results:
On the willingness of the public to fight if China attacks: Willing (48.4%), Unwilling (42.3%).
That’s a plurality, and almost half of the public.
Considering many people will consider themselves unfit, for example being too old or that some women have been convinced it’s a man’s job, this number is pretty strong.
Will the US send troops if there is a China-Taiwan conflict: Yes (58.7%), No (28.6%).
In truth, no one knows for sure on this, and it will very much depend on who the US president is.
President Trump has been very vocal in stating he doesn’t want the US in any new wars, but his administration has been very supportive of Taiwan, including on arms sales, and hostile to China–so we don’t know what Trump would do.
Joe Biden, is possibly the opposite.
He’s traditionally been warmer to China, cooler towards Taiwan–but on the other hand more in favour of getting in wars than Trump.
So again, we don’t know.
Should the defence budget be increased: Yes (52.9%), No (34.1%).
President Tsai has declared building Taiwan’s military is now her “number one” priority, so it is good that the majority backs her on this.
On has the likelihood of China attacking Taiwan increased after implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong: Yes (29.5%), No (56.6%).
That’s an interesting question.
Perhaps now that China has dealt with the Hong Kong issue, it is looking more towards Taiwan.
Or maybe not, and they look at the two as separate issues.
I don’t know.
On the likelihood China will attack Taiwan: Unlikely (79.6%), Likely (11.6%).
That question would have benefited from a time frame and specifying whether that included offshore islands, but in the short term I think they are correct that Taiwan itself is an unlikely target in the next couple of years.
In a few years, however, China will have the armaments they need.

The US navy may have just sent big message to China over Taiwan

Yahoo! News Australia came out with an interesting report, which reads:
The US Navy’s latest exercises in the South China Sea saw the USS Mustin destroyer sail through the body of water separating China and Taiwan as it promises to ensure the region is “free and open” in the face of China’s increased aggression and expansionist territorial claims.
According to reports in Taiwanese media, the US ship sailed west of the tacitly acknowledged median line which demarcates the two territorial bodies of water, approaching the Chinese coastline.
The significance of the move to reportedly cross the maritime border is debatable, but it’s a subtle message by the US in what amounts to a “wild card” issue for global security, says Professor John Blaxland from the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific.
“It’s not something the US has done in recent times, operating in that space since China has basically emerged as a peer competitor of the United States,” he told Yahoo News Australia.
“That’s a fairly big body of water, you can be inside the PRC (People’s Republic of China) exclusive economic zone without being inside PRC 12 nautical miles, so that’s not illegal under maritime law,” he explained.
“But what’s important here is the United States is sending a message to China that Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, and in relation to Taiwan, will be contested.
“It basically is saying we’re not backing down on a refusal to recognise Chinese claims.”
So, a little context here.
The concept of the median line was created in 1955 by US general Benjamin Davis Jr, commander of the US’ 13th Air Force, which was then based in Taipei.
That is why it is also often called the “Davis Line”.
It has served as a kind of unofficial “do not cross” line for the militaries involved, but recently China has crossed it, so this appears to be a warning response by the US to the Chinese side.
Recently there have also been reports of US military planes openly flying over Taiwan itself, which is also a strong message.

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