Summary: Hsinchu City moves against new electronic IDs. Dealing with the China Airlines name dilemma. Strong words on Taiwan from Japan defence official. But up first, Wayne Chiang is on a roll to the Taipei mayor’s office.
Wayne Chiang on a roll to the Taipei mayor’s office
A poll released by the Taiwan Brain Trust showed that (KMT) Legislator Wayne Chiang (蔣萬安)–the great-grandson of Chiang Kai-shek and grandson of Chiang Ching-kuo–is the most favored potential contender for the 2022 Taipei mayoral election and would pretty much clobber anyone the DPP or the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) can throw at him.
In a hypothetical matchup against the two most popular candidates in the DPP and TPP, Chiang garnered a support rate of 43.2 percent, beating Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) of the DPP (36.6 percent) and Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) of the TPP (13.3 percent).
Taipei is a very blue–or pro-KMT–city, with the poll showing that the KMT commands the highest support rate of all parties in the city, 28.3 percent, followed by the DPP’s 20.4 percent, the TPP’s 8.7 percent and 3.4 percent for the New Power Party (NPP).
He also crushed potential KMT primary contenders, garnering 64.7 percent of support when pitted against KMT Institute of Revolutionary Practice director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) with 8.5 percent and former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) with 8.3 percent.
This bears close watching.
In the democratic era three of the four presidents were former Taipei mayors, so this could be a stepping stone to a presidential run in 2028 or 2032–though as things stand right now he’d be crushed by New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih in a KMT presidential primary.
Also, if he does run for Taipei mayor in 2022 and he grows popular in the rest of the country, he could help other KMT candidates win in 2022.
Among the potential DPP primary candidates, Chen led with 31.9 percent support, followed by Legislator Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) with 15.9 percent, New Frontier Foundation deputy executive Enoch Wu (吳怡農) with 15.2 percent and Legislator Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) with 5.2 percent, while 31.8 percent did not choose from among those four.
Kao Chia-yu has ruled out a 2022 run, though she could change her mind, but has opened a bank account for a potential 2026 run.
Hsinchu City moves against new electronic IDs
The Hsinchu City Government has announced that it would likely delay a trial of the new national electronic identification card (eID) after privacy groups and city councilors said that city residents should not made into government “lab rats.”
The city government statement said “Our No. 1 priority is our residents and the security of their data. If the central government cannot reassure us about the information security concerns, this government will be inclined to delay the pilot program.”
This is a blow to the central government, as Hsinchu–along with Penghu and New Taipei–were selected for the pilot launch in January, with the rest of the country planned to come online in June.
At a news conference yesterday, advocacy groups and opposition councilors urged Hsinchu residents to opt out of the eID trial, which the Ministry of the Interior had planned to begin next month.
The Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Amnesty International Taiwan, the KMT, the New Power Party (NPP) and the Taiwan Statebuilding Party were among those that participated.
After the racto-pork issues dies down–which I expect will happen after KMT-run local governments are overruled by the central government in their efforts to ban the imports into their cities–this could be the next issue the KMT takes up.
There are genuine concerns on the eID cards, and it could be an issue the KMT could reach out to younger voters with, as it appears the New Power Party may join them in opposition.
The extreme Han Kuo-yu fan LINE groups that are so fond of conspiracies could have a field day with this.
I can just imagine…the card readers cause cancer…all our data will be stolen by the Americans…and no doubt some creative soul will try to tie it to the Tiaoyutai Islands issue or gay marriage.
Dealing with the China Airlines dilemma
Back in the summer the legislature sent guidance to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications instructing them to proceed in a phased approach to dealing with the problem posed by the fact that Taiwan’s flag carrier is named China Airlines.
This was very embarrassing when many humanitarian flights from Taiwan were sending need PPE around the world–only for the images to have “China” emblazoned all over them.
Worse, periodically when news organizations–the BBC did this just recently–run pieces on airlines in China they get mixed up and use images of China Airlines.
The first phase the legislature proposed was for the Ministry of Transportation to come up with a plan to redesign the aircraft to emphasize Taiwan imagery and de-emphasize the name China Airlines, followed with the long term goal of dealing with the name once and for all.
China Airlines just released images of their new cargo planes just recently, with “China Airlines” written smaller and nearer the tail, the word “cargo” written large and an image of Taiwan forming the empty portion of the “c” in cargo.
It pleased no one.
Very few people outside of east Asia know what Taiwan looks like, the name China Airlines was still pretty visible and frankly, it looked like it was named “Cargo Airlines” if you aren’t paying much attention.
An editorial in the Taipei Times entitled “Make China Airlines recognizably Taiwanese” by Lawrence Chien (簡金海) laid out a series of elegant solutions that I feel stupid not to have thought of.
First, use CAL on the planes.
That is the airlines official designation, and other airlines already do this: KLM and ANA being two examples.
For the next bit, I’ll read from the editorial:
Second, the word Taiwan could be included in the name, such as by using the Tourism Bureau’s phrase “Taiwan Touch Your Heart,” or even “Taiwan Can Help.” Another option would be to incorporate the word in the airline’s name, such as “Taiwan CAL,”“CAL, Wings of Taiwan” or “Ilha Formosa CAL.”
I’ll add there is no reason not to simply put “Taiwan” under the large letters CAL, ANA sometimes does that–adding Japan.
Note that these solutions get around the more thorny problem of changing the airline’s name, which technically should be easy but it is possible the PRC could block the change in many countries and through international organizations.
It wouldn’t completely solve the problem, no doubt it would still be listed as “China Airlines” in some cases–but the planes themselves wouldn’t have “China” written on them anywhere.
Back to the editorial:
Third, the company could use an auspicious animal of Taiwan to replace the plum blossom on the aircraft tail fin.
Quantas uses a kangaroo motif, so why not?
It goes on to discuss various animal options, which you can check out if you’re interested–and Taiwan has many great options to choose from–but I don’t think we need to go into here except to say I’m partial of that meme of a Formosan black bear about to bash a panda over the head with a chair.
They could even open up the design to online competitions, as there is no shortage of creative talent in Taiwan.
I’d add one rule, however–no bubble milk tea designs.
Strong words on Taiwan from Japan defence official
Reuters, publishing a summary of an interview, reported the following:
A top Japanese defence official on Friday urged U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to “be strong” in supporting Taiwan in the face of an aggressive China, calling the island’s safety a “red line.”
“We are concerned China will expand its aggressive stance into areas other than Hong Kong.
I think one of the next targets, or what everyone is worried about, is Taiwan,” State Minister of Defense Yasuhide Nakayama told Reuters.
Further down in the article is this quote:
“So far, I haven’t yet seen a clear policy or an announcement on Taiwan from Joe Biden.
I would like to hear it quickly, then we can also prepare our response on Taiwan in accordance,” Nakayama said.
This is some of the strongest language I’ve ever heard coming out of Japan, at least in recent times–with the possible exception of some comments a few weeks ago that I think were from the same guy.
This is a clear statement that the Japanese are very concerned about the issue, and plan how they would deal with it.
In past they’ve usually preferred to keep quiet on the subject, though it was an open secret they were concerned and preparing.
Let’s hope that the incoming Biden administration is obliging.
Link courtesy of Wayne Chiang’s Facebook