Taiwan Headlines, Mar. 3, 2021

Taiwan has received its first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines at Taoyuan International Airport from the COVAX allocation program.

Today, Wednesday March 3rd, is the first day without headlines featuring Jaw Shaw-kong in weeks appearing on my feed of local news reports.
While I don’t think it is happening quite yet, I will be watching to see if the press gets bored with him soon, well before his proposed 2024 run for president.

According to Premier Su Tseng-chang, the surging demand for pineapples at home has surpassed the total export that was supposed to be sold to China this year in just four days.
Only about 10% of Taiwan’s total production in recent years has gone to China, with well over 80% sold domestically.
China’s move to banning or throwing up barriers to imports of Taiwanese products has been part of a pattern of first gaining access to Taiwanese products or knowhow–in this case Taiwanese pineapple varieties–building up a local supply chain, then cutting out the Taiwanese.
It’s also part of a pattern of victimizing Taiwanese in a way that plays well overseas, and as one TV news show put it today–creating a great advertisement for Taiwanese pineapple.
Meanwhile, both AIT and the Canadian Trade Office have posted on Facebook their support for Taiwan pineapples.
The de-facto Canadian ambassador Jordan Reeves posted “We in the Canadian Office like pineapple pizza, especially pineapples from Taiwan!”
He added that the idea to put pineapple on a pizza–thus creating the Hawaiian Pizza–was invented by a Canadian in 1962.

Taiwan’s new indigenous advanced jet trainer (AJT) has recently completed internal flight tests and will soon enter the operational test phase with the help of Taiwan’s Air Force.

Reuters held an interesting interview with KMT Chair Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), which included the following entries.
On meeting with Chairman Xi Jinping, which some of his predecessors have done, he said “We can wait for a better time.
There’s no urgency for it.
It’s not just a meeting for a meeting’s sake, but it needs to be meaningful, respectful.”
He added “The timing needs to be right, but more importantly, there needs to be the precondition of equality and dignity, and it needs to be beneficial for Taiwan.”
He also told Reuters that the KMT maintains routine contact with the Chinese Communist Party (CPP), but there has been no high-level communication.
That statement begs more questions than it answers.
Reuters also added the following:
Chiang said that China’s offer of using “one country, two systems” to entice Taiwan with a high degree of autonomy, like how Beijing is supposed to run Hong Kong, has “no market” in Taiwan, where the people like their freedoms.
“We are already used to this kind of lifestyle.
If you want Taiwan’s people to change it — impossible,” he said

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has honored as a Friendship Hero by a Paraguayan television network.
The honor was one of the seven awards given by GEN T.V., coinciding with Paraguay’s National Heroes’ Day, to highlight people who have made significant contributions to the country.
President Tsai has also been named as one of the world’s 24 extraordinary women by the Bangkok Post.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has expressed “serious concerns” about Taiwan’s agricultural polices that “are not based on science” and cited removing barriers to U.S. pork and beef products as high on its agenda.
The report also highlighted “Taiwan’s rice procurement systems, the regulatory process for setting pesticide maximum residue limits, and market access barriers facing U.S. agricultural biotechnology products” as other priorities.
Oddly, there was no acknowledgment in the report that President Tsai tackled many of the concerns over barriers to the importation of beef and pork from the US, at notable political cost.

The Formosa Club, established in 2019 by pro-Taiwan groups in the European Parliament and the parliaments of 13 European countries, has launched a Twitter account.
The Formosa Club now includes over 100 parliamentarians from the European Parliament and the national Parliaments of Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The Twitter account is expected to share pro-Taiwan content.

Image courtesy of the AIT Facebook page

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