Buttcheeks, revenge recalls and an odd US flyover–Taiwan Report News Brief transcript

Froggy_Chiu_butt

Agriculture roundup

Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor (MOL) recently amended legislation to allow farms that grow fruits, vegetables, grains, orchids, livestock, or seafood to hire migrant workers, with up to 1,600 jobs available for application.
Each farm can employee migrant workers for up to 35 percent of its workforce.
However, according to government figures, the shortage of regular and temporary workers on farms on the new eligible list amounts to 7,484 and 120,000 unfilled positions, respectively.

The government is set to spend NT$1.25 billion (US$42.23 million) and NT$1.2 billion on agriculture stimulus vouchers and culture vouchers from late June in an effort to help boost the two sectors which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vouchers are limited to Taiwan nationals, and can only be used at designated locations or programs.

Taiwan and Canada have signed letters for an organic equivalence arrangement, which allows organic products certified in Taiwan or Canada to be sold as organic in either market.

TSMC to invite suppliers to US

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has said that if it builds a production plant in the United States, it will invite downstream Taiwanese manufacturers to do likewise.
TSMC plans to invest US$12 billion in the Arizona project, which will get off the ground in 2021 and begin production in 2024, manufacturing 20,000 wafers per month and employing some 1,600 workers.
The company has already selected a location and is awaiting the approval of the U.S. Congress pertaining to regulations and incentives.
Interesting that they seem to be moving quite fast on this.

Curious change in KMT messaging

The Taiwan News ran a report with this segment on a post Han-recall statement, citing local media as sources:
“In the English version of the statement, the KMT’s newly appointed chairman, Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), emphasized his firm opposition to communism and said the KMT has a desire to secure Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.
However, instead of also affirming the party’s disapproval of communism in its Chinese statement, the KMT avoided mentioning cross-strait relations and accused the DPP of manipulating the results of the recall vote.”
Naturally, I followed the link and discovered there is no mention of Communism.
Presumably after reports came out in local media, it was changed.
During his run for KMT chair Johnny Chiang took a stance that sounded very much older school KMT–pro-US, anti-communist and vowing to reconsider the 92 consensus.
There are now examples of him walking back all three of those.
While it is unclear who made the decision to edit the statement and took the step of essentially overruling the party chair, it is part of a pattern.

Rallies, rallies everywhere

Rallies seem to be all the rage right now.
A coalition of patriotic groups rallied in Taipei on Tuesday to reaffirm Taiwan’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands and protest a reported plan by a Japanese local government to change the islands’ administrative designation.
Some 50 activists held banners and wore headbands that read “the Diaoyutai Islands belong to us (Republic of China, Taiwan)” and rallied outside the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, which serves as Japan’s representative office in the absence of formal diplomatic relations.
It’s always heartwarming to see the elderly take up hobbies.
The first protests broke out in the early 1970’s after the US ceded Okinawa to Japan, and included the Senkaku Islands, which are called the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan and the Diaoyu Islands in China.
One figure who was heavily involved in those protests was a young man whose Harvard thesis was on the islands: Ma Ying-jeou.
While the protests were pro-ROC, some have said that they provided some inspiration for anti-government protests later in the 1970s.
These days the only protestors left over this issue are either deep, deep blue or red.

Speaking of deep blue, the next rally up on this list is a party that soon-to-ex Mayor Han Kuo-yu in Kaohsiung is throwing for himself and his team.
It is to be held on Thursday afternoon on government property, but apparently privately funded.
It is intended to be a going away party for the Han administration on their last day in office.
Participants are requested to wear white shirts.
I’ve previously reported on an anti-recall and memorium rally on Saturday in front of the Presidential Palace.

Then on Friday, former Bamboo Union gang leader and leader of the Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP, 統促黨) Chang An-le (張安樂), also known as the “White Wolf,” has announced that he will be leading a rally in front of AIT, the de facto American embassy, in Taipei to “enforce justice on behalf of heaven” for George Floyd.
Chang on his Facebook page on Monday wrote that “in order to protest against the serious violation of human rights and provoking of ethnic antagonism by the U.S. government, the Chinese Unity Promotion Party will issue a solemn statement.
We sincerely invite people with lofty ideals to participate in the grand event and join us in enforcing justice on behalf of heaven.”

Finally, nineteen groups in Taiwan that back democracy in Hong Kong will hold an event on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the start of Hong Kong protests over an unpopular extradition bill and underscore their intention to continue fighting for the cause.
It will be held at Liberty Square in Taipei on June 13 at 6 p.m.

Buttcheeks in politics? In Taiwan, yes!

A Taipei City councilor has broken 53 chopsticks between his buttocks and posted it on Facebook.
Yes, you heard that right, he used his buttcheeks to break 53 chopsticks.
City councilor Froggy Chiu Wei-chieh (邱威傑) of the political party “Can’t Stop This Party” had made a bet that in the recent election to recall the Kaohsiung City Mayor would get no more than 400,000 yes votes and promised that if there were several tens of thousands of votes over his prediction he would break several chopsticks with his ass.
Mayor Han was ousted with 939,090 votes in favor of the recall.
With every 10,000 votes over his prediction counting as one chopstick, Chiu honoured his promise by breaking 53 chopsticks in his butt crack.
Now that’s what I call integrity in government!

Revenge recalls on the way

Revenge recalls are on the way as angry Han fans and other deep blue groups target opponents.
The New Party has held a press conference announcing their recall effort against Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟), also known as 3Q, of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party.
The 3Q, read in Mandarin, is a homonym for the English “Thank You”.
While many target names have been bandied about, one who is almost certainly to be targeted is New Power Party Kaohsiung City councillor Huang Jie (黃捷).
She had been a vocal opponent of Han’s, once famously rolling her eyes during a Q&A session in the city council at one of Han’s answers.

Prosecutions handed down in Denise Ho paint attack

A total of 11 Taiwanese are facing prosecution for their involvement in attacking Hong Kong singer activist Denise Ho (何韻詩) in Taipei last September.
The singer-turned-activist was assaulted with red paint last September shortly before a rally in solidarity with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.
The 11 people are mostly members of the Dachen Nostalgia Culture Association (大陳島鄉情文化促進會) and Chinese Unification Promotion Party (中華統一促進黨), both of which are pro-Beijing groups promoting the “unification” of Taiwan and China.

Taiwan’s military drops in ranking, but new plane flies

Taiwan has been ranked as possessing the 26th most powerful military in the world by Global Firepower, a drop of four spots since last year’s list.
The U.S. again took the top spot, followed by Russia, China, India, and Japan rounding out the top five.

However there is one bit of good news, the first test flight of Taiwan’s new indigenous advanced jet trainer (AJT) was conducted in Taichung on Wednesday when a prototype of the trainer flew for around 20 minutes.
The AJT, named Yung Yin (勇鷹) or “Brave Eagle,” took off from Ching Chuan Kang Air Base around 9 a.m. accompanied by two IDF fighter jets and kept its landing gear down the entire flight before landing successfully.

Curious plane activities in Taiwan’s airspace

Taiwanese fighter jets reportedly “drove off” Chinese Su-30 Flankers after the latter briefly entered the island’s air defense identification zone earlier today.
That incident came after a U.S. Navy C-40A Clipper passenger transport aircraft flew an extremely unusual route over Taiwan’s western coast.
Plane spotters using online flight tracking software first noticed the C-40A appearing to leave Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa and then head southwest toward Taiwan.
The aircraft, which is based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington State, then passed near Taipei on Taiwan’s northern tip before heading south along the coast.
It is very unusual for the US military to openly fly over Taiwan itself.
Local authorities were aware of it and approved it.
The question is, is this some kind of message…or was there some other reason.
The government here denies it landed, though the China Times reported that it landed in Taichung.
The C-40A is a transport aircraft and is based on the Boeing 737, and reportedly this craft is used for passenger transport.
If it were a fighter or a bomber, that would clearly be a message, but this…I don’t know.
However, China definitely took it as a message.
The Chinese Communist mouthpiece Global Times said this:
“The island of Taiwan’s defense authority said fighter jets of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) approached the island on Tuesday, the day a US military aircraft flew over the island that’s bound to further raise cross-Straits tensions following a series of US arms sales to the island, and a US warship transit through the Taiwan Straits.
The US warplane’s rare flight over Taiwan showed the increasing collaboration between the US military and Taiwan secessionists, and the Chinese mainland’s fighter jet sorties and approaches sent them a powerful warning and demonstrated how much the PLA was determined and prepared for war, Chinese mainland experts said on Tuesday.”

Ties with a Chinese university to get greater scrutiny

The Mainland Affairs Council on Friday said that it would impose stricter checks on academics from China’s Xiamen University who plan to visit Taiwan after the school established two unification promotion research centers.
The university on Wednesday announced the establishment of the Research Center for Diplomacy Involving Taiwan as well as the Amalgamated Cross-strait Development and National Unification Policy Simulation Laboratory.
The centers would use artificial intelligence to simulate scenarios involving a China unified with Taiwan under Beijing’s “one country, two systems” framework, it said.
I must admit I’m very curious to see what inputs they used in the scenarios, what they were modelling exactly and what the results were.

Screengrab image courtesy of Froggy Chiu’s Facebook page

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