Taiwan Headlines, Mar. 26, 2021

Some areas of Miaoli County, northern Changhua and all of Taichung are to be placed on “red alert,” meaning that water supplies to households and businesses would be on for five days and off for two days starting on April 6.
Recent rains in central and southern Taiwan have not refilled water reservoirs.
Those of us affected may be visiting friends in other cities in hopes of using their shower.

Taiwan’s Cabinet has put forth a plan to establish a ministry of digital development next year, to improve information security and encourage related industrial growth.
Currently, some of the portfolios envisioned for the proposed new ministry are spread across the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Ministry of Economic Affairs, National Development Council, National Communications Commission, and other agencies.
In related news, the Control Yuan, has demanded that the interior ministry review its eID project.
The Control Yuan said the interior ministry “sidestepped issues, missed main points in its handling of the launch, and introduced procedures to communicate that ended up being mere formalities.”
One of the complaints against the eID is that the digital ministry isn’t yet operational to oversee the safety of the project.

Taiwan’s government has allocated NT$608 billion (US$21.33 billion) for spending on public infrastructure this year, the first time it has crossed the NT$600 billion mark.
It will fund projects such as the Taoyuan Aerotropolis, the acquisition of new trains by Taiwan Railways, the installation of air conditioners in government schools, and improvement of the country’s water collection and supply systems.

Taiwan’s composite index of economic indicators flashed a red light in February, the first in 10 years.
The National Development Council (NDC) uses a five-color system to gauge the country’s economic performance, with blue indicating economic contraction, yellow-blue representing sluggishness, green signifying stable growth, yellow-red referring to a warming economy and red pointing to an economic boom.
The February figure is the highest since April 1989, during an economic era that KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu tried to gin up nostalgia for during his failed campaign.

China’s CCTV is creating “Cross-Strait Radio” which will be broadcast in Mandarin 20 hours a day to people living in Taiwan and the southeastern coast of China.
It will consist of four major programs, including news and commentary, life services, culture and art, plus music and tourism.
Taiwanese actresses Nana Ou-yang (歐陽娜娜) and Angela Chang (張韶涵) recently appeared in a Chinese propaganda video aimed at promoting the new pro-China show.
The clip also featured former KMT Chair Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who congratulated CCTV for establishing a “bridge for cross-strait friendship.”
She said the new program would hopefully reach Taiwanese audiences and show them the “true faces of China.”
Hung was for awhile in 2015 the official KMT presidential candidate but was denominated after it became clear her pro-China message was deeply unpopular.
She was replaced by then KMT Chair Eric Chu, who went on to lose the election and step down as KMT chair to take responsibility.
As something of a consolation prize, Hung was chosen KMT chair.

A Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) survey found that 88.2 percent of respondents opposed “one country, two systems” for Taiwan and 74.9 percent opposed the 1992 consensus based on the “one China principle”.
That underscores why KMT Chair Johnny Chiang attempted to get the 1992 consensus dropped from the KMT’s platform, but had to drop the attempt under pressure from party stalwarts.
82.8 percent support the government boosting self-defence measures to defend the nation and the country’s democracy.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is claiming that some COVID-19 vaccine suppliers have asked Paraguay to break ties with Taiwan as a precondition for purchasing Chinese vaccines.

The government has announced that Taiwan would stand with the EU, the US, the UK and Canada to defend human rights, democracy and freedom.
China has recently targeted EU and British nationals with sanctions over their opposition to China, or their support for Taiwan.
Among the European leaders sanctioned was German Member of European Parliament Reinhard Bütikofer, who wrote on Twitter: “The Chinese leadership has let me know that I will not be allowed to visit the mainland, Hong Kong or Macao. But then there is Taiwan. :-)”

Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr. has revealed that he had rejected an offer by China to switch diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing last year.
In a CNA interview, he said “I told them, you know, I believe that we should be free to choose who our friends are.”
He added “We value the relationship that we have with Taiwan and nobody should tell us that relationship should be severed.”

The Lithuanian government has proposed to parliament an amendment to its Law on Civil Service to pave the way for opening a trade office in Taiwan.

Image courtesy of Hung Hsiu-chu’s FB page

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