Taiwan Headlines Dec. 23–transcript

Welcome to Taiwan Headlines, which is essentially the previous headlines section of Taiwan Report News Brief, which will continue with longer stories, as well as analysis and context. Having the two shows separate is a bit more flexible. Headlines focuses on stories that will impact Taiwan’s future, mainly politics and foreign affairs, as well as economic news and soft power that also impact those two topics. The stories are from both English and Chinese language media sources. Sorry, no car crashes or celebrity gossip.

Taiwan has had its first domestic Covid-19 case since April 12, or 253 days ago.
The infected person was a contact of a New Zealand pilot, who was fined NT$300,000 for failing to provide comprehensive information during the contact tracing process by Taiwan authorities.

A crowd marched in Taipei Saturday to rally support for US President Donald Trump and show opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.
The parade organized by the Falun Gong Epoch Media Group.
Participants carried placards with slogans such as: “Taiwan-US cooperation, we support Trump to dispose communist China”, “stop the steal” and “Taiwan, Fight for Trump.”
Organizers claimed a turnout of 8000, but other reports have the number significantly lower.
Taiwanese in polling showed a preference for Trump over Biden, largely due to the single issue of improving ties with the US under the Trump administration.

In May the Constitutional Court issued Interpretation No. 791, which held two provisions regarding adultery, unconstitutional.
The Ministry of Justice and the Judicial Yuan separately set out to amend the relevant laws.
The Executive Yuan has now passed them.
Taiwan had been one of the few non-Islamic nations to consider adultery a criminal offense.

A motion to recall independent Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Jie (黃捷) has been approved, with the vote to be held on Feb. 6, but a similar recall effort against her DPP counterpart Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) failed to pass.
Chen is the son of former President Chen Shui-bian.
Both were caught up in what many have termed “revenge recalls” by supporters of the ousted Kaohsiung Mayor Dan Han Kuo-yu.

Export orders rose for the ninth consecutive month in November to hit a new high of US$57.78 billion, up 29.7 percent from a year earlier.

Gogoro, the Taiwanese electric scooter brand, has been selected to receive the 2020 Global Company of the Year Award by California-based research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
The recognition of Gogoro came because of the success of the Gogoro Network, which they described as “an intelligent energy platform that combines the power of connectivity, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to create a new generation of swappable refueling that is smart, scalable, and continually optimizing itself.”

Various reports have come out stating that Apple is buying up all of TSMC’s 3 nm chip capacity, and 80% of their 5 nm chips next year.

Taiwan was picked for The Economist’s shortlist of improved countries in 2020 and as a candidate for the news magazine’s country of the year, but lost out to Malawi as the top pick.
In the accompanying article, it talked about Taiwan’s pandemic response and strong economy, and added Taiwan “also showed courage, refusing to back down despite relentless threats from Beijing.”
However, it also said “Taiwan is a constant reminder that Chinese culture is perfectly compatible with liberal democracy,” because of course no accolades for Taiwan are complete without somehow referencing China in the international news media.
Other countries on the list included New Zealand, the United States, and Bolivia.

Effective immediately, travelers arriving in China from Taiwan will be denied entry if they provide a nucleic acid test report “Wuhan pneumonia” instead of COVID-19.
“Wuhan pneumonia” is widely used in Mandarin in Taiwan for the disease, but reportedly most hospitals no longer do.

Flights to London are to be cut back due to the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus in the UK that may be up to 70 percent more transmissible than existing strains.
Meanwhile, all arrivals from the United Kingdom as well as travelers who have visited the country in the two weeks prior to coming to Taiwan will be quarantined at designated government centers upon arrival.

The 32nd annual Taiwan-EU economic and trade consultation concluded Dec. 16 via videoconference, and focused on fields spanning energy policy, intellectual property rights protection, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and technical trade barriers.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs Deputy Vice Minister said that tie-ups in green energy and digital transformation are set to take off, adding that Taiwan is the EU’s optimal choice for such partnerships due to shared democratic values and the country’s innovative outlook and manufacturing prowess.
The EU is Taiwan’s fifth-largest trading partner.

TVBS is reporting that Russian and Chinese bombers jointly flew near the Senkaku–aka Tiaoyutai–Islands, which are controlled by Japan, but claimed by both Taiwan and China.
President-elect Joe Biden confirmed to the Japanese that their mutual defence treaty covers the islands.

Image courtesy of Huang Jie’s Facebook

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