Trudeau won’t call Taiwan a country–Taiwan Report News Brief transcript

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Coronavirus updates

Taiwan reported no new COVID-19 cases for seven days on Thursday, and was also the 32nd straight day that no domestically transmitted infections were recorded in Taiwan.

So that’s what Apple is up to

We now know what Apple’s huge investment in the Hsinchu Science Park is for.
They are planning on investing over US$330 million in a factory in northern Taiwan to manufacture both LED and micro-LED displays for its iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other new devices.

Another KMT member’s comments cause KMT headaches

Another day, another headache for KMT chairman Johnny Chiang.
Prominent Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member Harry Lee (李來希) criticized New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭), saying “Wang has forgotten where she came from, using her own daughter’s head as a stepping stone,” Lee said, accusing Wang of exploiting her daughter’s death for her own political gain.
Wang’s four-year-old daughter, nicknamed “little lightbulb,” was beheaded in 2016 by a man diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Local media is reporting that the KMT have stripped Lee of his party rights, and Johnny Chiang said the party will hold a disciplinary meeting to discuss if his party membership should be revoked.

On a related note, I haven’t seen any news since Chiang became party chair on the issue of restoring Independent lawmaker Fu Kun-chi’s party membership.
He lost it over his various scandals, but some wanted it restored to increase the size of the KMT legislative caucus.
Speculation the factional politician and so-called “King of Hualien” would be returned to the party was rampant during the KMT chair race.
During the campaign Chiang said he’d follow standard procedures if he won
If you’ve heard anything, let me know.

Speaking of powerful patronage faction politicians, Taichung Black faction heavyweight, former convict and several term lawmaker Yen Ching-piao has reportedly had a liver transplant.
That shouldn’t be surprising: One of his several jail sentences was for spending millions in government money on booze and women at hostess bars.

Tsai to return as party chair

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) yesterday said he is to leave the post with many “beautiful memories.”
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to return the post of chair, for the umpteenth time.
She first took over as party chair in the aftermath of the Chen presidency, when corruption scandals had demoralized the party.
She restored the party to electability, crushing the KMT in 2016.
She resigned in 2018 to take responsibility for the party’s disastrous results in that year’s local elections.

Cabinet shuffle ahead

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced a mass Cabinet resignation on Thursday, paving the way for a partial government reshuffle after the May 20 inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) second tenure.
It is customary to do so at an inauguration.
The president has already confirmed Su will be re-appointed.
Two lesser known cabinet ministers have indicated they will not be returning.
It will be interesting to see what changes, especially with the leading lights in her administration, especially Transport Minister Lin Chia-lung and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.
Unless either plans to run for Kaohsiung mayor–and there are indications so far either plans to–they are likely to remain in some capacity.

Raising electricity prices popular

Asked in an NTU led survey if they would support increasing electricity prices from an average of NT$2.6 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for energy reform, 62 percent said yes and 18.8 percent said no, while 19.2 percent said they had no opinion.
78.5 percent of respondents to its survey agreed with the government’s energy policy, while 12.1 percent disagreed.
Asked why they would support an electricity price hike, 57.8 percent said to improve air quality.
Taiwan has, by international standards, very low electricity and water rates.

France shrugs off China’s bluster

On May 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) demanded that France cancel an arms deal with Taiwan saying that it had “expressed deep concern to France”.
Zhao stated that China opposes “all weapons sales or military and security exchanges with the Taiwan region.”
The deal is for decoy launcher upgrade kits worth NT$800 million (US$26.8 million) to modernize missile countermeasure systems on all six of the Taiwan Navy’s Kang Ding-class (Lafayette-class) frigates, which were purchased from France in 1991.

The WHO/WHA battle continues to grow

The WHO/WHA battle over Taiwan’s inclusion continues to grow.
In an expected move, 14 of Taiwan’s formal diplomatic partners have put forth a proposal for the issue of Taiwan’s exclusion to be put on the agenda at the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) coming up in less than a week.
Small but mighty Lithuania has joined the coalition of countries that support Taiwan inclusion.
New Zealand has reiterated their support for Taiwan’s inclusion as an observer.
Meanwhile in Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau refused under questioning in Parliament to acknowledge Taiwan is a country.
He instead cowered behind the “One China” policy.
Finally, outgoing Taiwan Vice President Chen Chien-jen said the World Health Organization (WHO) has “forgotten” its professionalism and neutrality in locking Taiwan out of the body for political reasons.

Image courtesy of Justin Trudeau’s Facebook page

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