Summary: The New Power Party is facing its third scandal in a month, and has lost one of their most high profile members. The public disagrees with Ma’s statement on Taiwan being doomed to lose in a war. The most popular president in Taiwan’s history for development has been polled. A new TVBS satisfaction poll ranked twelve politicians and it’s mostly bad news for the KMT–but also one bit of very good news for the party. KMT Chair Chiang comes out for closer US ties. An F-16 repair shop is to open in Taichung. US Republicans to keep pro-Taiwan language in their platform. But up first headlines…
Former Taitung County Commissioner Justin Huang (黃健庭) was found not guilty of corruption but was sentenced to two months in prison for tax evasion.
The verdict cannot be appealed, but the prison term can be commuted to a fine.
Taiwan will prohibit the import of certain products containing mercury starting 2021, in line with an international agreement which aims to gradually reduce global mercury pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said it expects its advanced 3 nanometer process to enter into mass production in the second half of 2022.
Retail sales grew 2.5 percent year-on-year to NT$335.1 billion (US$11.36 billion), snapping a five-month losing streak, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Monday.
The government’s Triple Stimulus Voucher program played a part, but how much the Ministry wasn’t able to quantify.
The Investment Commission declared the operator of e-commerce site Taobao Taiwan a Chinese investment on Monday and ordered the company to rectify the issue within six months.
The operator, United Kingdom-registered Claddagh Venture Investment, was also fined NT$410,000 (US$13,780) for breaching Taiwanese law regarding Chinese investment, the commission said in a statement.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has removed South Korea from its list of medium-risk countries/regions, meaning that South Korean business people must now undergo the full 14-day quarantine when visiting Taiwan.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced that Chinese students, both new and those currently enrolled in tertiary-level schools in Taiwan, will be allowed to enter the country with immediate effect.
A total of 68 leaders from the European Parliament, U.S., Canada, and Australia on Tuesday issued a statement backing an upcoming visit to Taiwan by a Czech delegation and denouncing Chinese pressure to scuttle the trip.
The document asserted that the Czech Republic “has the right to develop economic and cultural relations with Taiwan” and that Vystrcil, who is the second-highest ranking official in the country, does not require China’s “approval” to visit Taiwan.
Somaliland is set to officially open its representative office in Taiwan in early September with a staff of five.
NPP is hit with third scandal in a month, and another key resignation
The New Power Party is facing its third scandal in a month, and has lost one of their most high profile members.
Kaohsiung City Councillor Huang Jie has announced her resignation from the party, and will henceforth be an independent.
Huang rose to prominence for her forceful grilling of then Mayor Han Kuo-yu in the city council, with Han often deflecting her questions.
One clip of her rolling her eyes in disgust or exacerbation–or both–went viral and earned her the nickname of “eye rolling goddess”.
It sounds better in Chinese.
She became something of a press darling after that.
Her main reason for resigning is the discovery of apparent voter fraud in the party.
Her sister had submitted her documents to become a member of the party, but had been waiting for two months with no certification of party membership arriving.
Logging on to the NPP website she was shocked to discover that she was listed as having voted in the policy committee election.
Huang also had other complaints in a 1500-word Facebook post, including communication issues and being told to change the content of her Facebook posts.
Coming on the heels of their chairman being implicated in a bribery scandal and leaked recordings of their influential ex-chair Huang Kuo-chang leading to accusations of being dictatorial in the party, leading to the resignation of another elected official, this is bad indeed.
Especially for a party that was founded only five years ago to be fresh, honest, idealistic and vowing not to conduct politics as usual.
The NPP is now in serious trouble.
The public disagrees with Ma’s statement
Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese disagreed with a statement by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that if Beijing were to wage war against Taiwan, “the first battle will be the last,” a survey released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed.
The poll also asked respondents whether the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command’s statement on Aug. 13 that it had conducted military exercises in the Taiwan Strait had worried them, with 40.8 percent saying that it did, and 57.8 percent saying otherwise.
The most popular president in Taiwan’s history
In the same opinion poll that asked about Ma’s statement, people were asked to evaluate former Taiwanese leaders for their contribution to Taiwan’s overall development.
Respondents were asked to give a score from 0 to 100 to all the leaders for their contribution to the country’s overall development.
Chiang Kai-shek came in last at 58.1, though still a pretty high score considering how many people were murdered by his regime.
Coming in second-to-last was Ma Ying-jeou at 64.8.
Of the five presidents ranked, Chen Shui-bian came in dead centre at 65.6.
Coming in second at 84.3 was my personal favourite Lee Tung-hui.
The most popular of the past presidents, at 84.8, was Chiang Ching-kuo.
Yen Chia-kan (嚴家淦), a caretaker puppet of Chiang Ching-kuo wasn’t included.
That Chiang–a murderous ex-dictator–was most popular in this poll is probably due to the wording, which specifies “contribution to Taiwan’s overall development”.
Economic and infrastructure development under his regime was astonishing, though much of the economic growth was in spite of him rather than because of him.
Many also feel he helped make Taiwan democratic, but his steps in that direction were small and hesitant, and severely limited at the time.
Poll ranks twelve politicians and it’s mostly bad news for the KMT
A new TVBS satisfaction poll ranked twelve politicians and it’s mostly bad news for the KMT–but also one bit of very good news for the party.
The one bright spot for the KMT was New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih coming in with the highest satisfaction level at 73%.
Even more strikingly, Hou’s support among KMT members was 82% and 78% among DPP supporters.
That he is more popular with DPP supporters than the average is quite striking.
Political independents only gave him 66%, which brought the average down.
Health Minister and head of the Central Epidemic Command Center Chen Shi-chung came in second at 68%.
President Tsai of the DPP came in third at 52%, Taoyuan’s Cheng of the DPP third at 50% and Tainan’s Huang of the DPP fifth at 49%
Puzzlingly, in three articles on the poll, including from TVBS, none mentioned who ranked fourth.
Premier Su of the DPP was sixth at 48%, Taichung’s Lu of the KMT seventh at 45% and Vice President Lai eighth at 43%.
Interestingly, Lai was second in a poll a couple of months ago, but TVBS says he is up on their previous poll.
Kaohsiung Chen of the DPP came in ninth at 42%, which seems to suggest my post analysis of his recent win in the by-election being quite weak in spite of winning by a record margin was correct.
Taipei’s Ko of the TPP came in 10th with 31% and ex-President Ma with 30%.
Interesting they included Ma as an active politician.
At the bottom of the list was KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang at 29%.
KMT Chair Chiang comes out for closer US ties
Speaking of Johnny Chiang, he took a very different line than former President Ma took the other day at the R.O.C.- U.S. Online Forum 2020.
In his speech he called maintaining close Taiwan-US ties is Taiwan’s most important foreign relationship.
He said he hoped the US would help Taiwan get into international organizations.
He also said he hoped for continued arms sales and deeper Taiwan-US military ties, including on joint training, exchanges and more.
This is very different from Ma’s calls to balance between the US and China recently.
Chiang had campaigned for party chair in part on closer US ties, which is in line with mainstream public opinion.
F-16 repair shop to open
President Tsai Ing-wen will inaugurate the Asia Pacific’s first F-16 maintenance and repair center in Taichung this Friday.
The centre is part of a “strategic alliance” agreement signed in December between Taiwan’s state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) and Lockheed Martin, which makes the F-16s.
The new facility will handle all repairs to the 66 F-16V jets that Taiwan last year purchased from the US, as well as handling upgrades on the military’s 142 standard F-16 jets.
Being the first in the Asia Pacific, there is some speculation that some other countries could send their F-16s to Taiwan for repair, though China would no doubt raise considerable opposition to that.
US Republicans keep pro-Taiwan language in platform
The U.S. Republican Party on Sunday announced that it will reuse its 2016 party platform — in which it affirmed its commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and the “Six Assurances” — at its presidential convention this week.
The party said the pandemic had forced it to scale back the size of the event, preventing delegates from gathering in person to formulate a new platform.
The platform includes “Our relations will continue to be based upon the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act, and we affirm the Six Assurances given to Taiwan in 1982 by President Reagan,” it states, stressing that the sides share the common values of democracy, human rights, a free market economy and the rule of law.
Describing Taiwan as a “loyal friend of America,” the platform expresses support for a U.S.-Taiwan free trade agreement, the timely sale of defensive arms, including technology to build diesel submarines, and full participation in multilateral institutions including the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
On the issue of cross-Taiwan Strait relations, the platform opposes any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo, and says that all issues regarding the island’s future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue.
However, it warns that “if China were to violate those principles, the United States, in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself.”
While this sounds great, especially the free trade agreement and helping Taiwan defend itself, US presidents tend to ignore their platforms once in office.
Image courtesy of Huang Jie’s IG account