Taiwan Headlines, Feb. 19 2021

Germany’s BioNTech SE appears to have reversed course after previously pulling out of supplying Taiwan with five million vaccines.
In a statement, they said “BioNTech is committed to help bringing an end to the pandemic for people across the world and we intend to supply Taiwan with our vaccine as part of this global commitment.
Discussions are ongoing and BioNTech will provide an update.”

KMT chair Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), has secured a spot on Time magazine’s 100 Next list, an annually published index of “individuals who are shaping the future.”
This year’s list consists of five categories: advocates, artists, leaders, phenoms and innovators, and Chiang, under “the leaders” category, is the only Taiwanese to make the list.
The introduction accompanying Chiang’s inclusion notes that Chiang knows his party needs to move away from its aging base and attract a new generation of voters, given that the KMT has recently suffered two straight crushing election defeats.

The KMT has formally announced that Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC) chair Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) will be appointed to its Central Advisory Committee.
That removes one of two barriers to him running for KMT chair.
The other is he hasn’t been a KMT member for a year, though that could be waived.
However, the National Communications Commission (NCC) is reportedly considering issuing a fine of up to NT$2 million if Jaw takes up his position on the Central Advisory Committee and he remains as BCC chair.
Party officials are banned from running media outlets.
Asked whether he would step down if former Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) decided to run for chairperson, Jaw said he believed that Han did not entertain such thoughts.
Jaw replied “Why else would he ask me to run, if he himself intended to?”
Asked about concerns that the pro-unification views of party members Hung Hsiu-chu, Chou Hsi-wei and Han Kuo-yu could “scare off” centrist or younger voters, Jaw said that everyone is entitled to their stance.
“One could say, that these views could draw out voters of that inclination,” he said.
Asked if he would partner with Han, Jaw said that he had not talked with him about the issue, nor had he given it much thought.
That seems unlikely.

Local media is reporting that on the 6th Dan Han Kuo-yu, the KMT’s losing presidential candidate in the last election who was ousted as Kaohsiung mayor in a recall vote only five months later, had secret meetings with supporters in Taipei.
They reportedly encouraged him to run for party chair in July.

Chang Ya-chung (張亞中), who has previously tried to win the KMT’s presidential primary but came in last and was disqualified to run for KMT chair last year, is reportedly in the running for KMT chair this year.
As a member of the central advisory committee, he is eligible this time.

In response to the Coast Guard adding the large English “Taiwan” to the sides of their ships, deep blue former general and KMT party list lawmaker Wu Sz-huai stated on Facebook that they should replace that with large English “China” instead.

A proposal for the establishment of a Ministry of Digital Development will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan during the current plenary session by the Executive Yuan.

Taiwan’s Cabinet has approved over NT$10 billion in funding to assist the domestic pork industry, amid concerns from local pig farmers about the government’s decision to allow imports of U.S. pork containing the controversial feed additive ractopamine.
The plan will include provisions to develop a cold chain logistics system, increase cold storage capacity and help slaughterhouses come into compliance with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP), one of the major food management systems used internationally.

Image courtesy of Johnny Chiang’s FB page

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