Editorial

OPINION: Culture as a New Diplomatic Strategy for Taiwan

Taiwan’s culture potentially provides it with a unique diplomatic power, if it can harness it.

The News Lens
Date: 2017/07/25
By: Jason Hsu

The idea of “soft power” was first introduced in the 1990s by Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr., a professor of international relations at Harvard University. Unlike “hard power,” such as military or economic capabilities, Nye said soft power represents resources of attraction, including culture, political values and policies.

Culture shouldn’t be considered as a single independent entity; just as Britain’s creative industries built upon its industrial development and the Bauhaus movement was a reflection of Germany’s industrial engineering. Culture is, in its essence, the practice and implementation of values.

Taiwan’s value lies in its cultural diversity and the freedom to discuss and spread different ideas in society.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: Media freedom vigilance still necessary

RSF lands in Taiwan, but Next Magazine could change hands

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/07/20
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Almost within one week, the media situation in Taiwan received positive news and

Prospective Next Magazine owner Kenny Wee (from KennyBatmanWee Facebook page).

worrying news, showing how fragile elementary freedoms can be.

French-based non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders, or in French, Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), opened its first Asian bureau in Taipei. The group, which promotes and defends freedom of information, said it chose the spot more than just because of Taiwan’s central location in East Asia, at similar distances from Japan, South Korea, China and Southeast Asia, but also because the island came out at the top of the group’s own annual Press Freedom Index list.

The new office will look at media issues in Taiwan itself, but also in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia and the two Koreas.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: There is no place for reluctance in Taiwan’s defense

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/07/13
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Tsai Ing-wen, the rebel.

That was the headline in prominent French newsmagazine L’Express this week, as the publication launched a series of profiles of powerful Asian women.

In a passage unlikely to be widely understood outside of Europe, the writer compared Taiwan to Asterix’s village as viewed from Rome.

Most Europeans have grown up reading the French cartoons relating the adventures of Asterix, a young man who lived in the only village able to resist the onslaught of Julius Caesar and his Roman legions thanks to a magic potion.

Unfortunately for Taiwan, there is no magic potion available outside a wise combination of its own actions and outside help.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: Goodwill has to come from China’s side

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/07/06
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) returned home from the Taipei-Shanghai Forum last week

Zhou Hongxu, the Chinese citizen indicted for spying in Taiwan (photo from his Facebook page).

with apparently positive news. Not only did he meet with his counterpart from China’s largest city, but he also succeeded in meeting an official from the central government, Taiwan Affairs Office (國台辦) chief Zhang Zhijun (張志軍).

The encounter between a communist government member and a Taiwanese mayor seen as part of the “green” pro-independence camp at first might give the impression that détente is afoot between the two sides.

After President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her Democratic Progressive Party administration took office in May last year, China deliberately set out to end contacts with her government, even though she stuck to her promise to maintain the status quo in cross-straits relations.

In Shanghai, Ko described Taiwan and China as a family looking for a community of common destiny, with quarrels similar to those between a married couple.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: Fighting money laundering is good diplomacy for Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/06/22
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

The government announced that from June 28, laws against money laundering will expand to include

Taiwan toughens up measures against money laundering. (By Central News Agency)

measures covering relatives of politicians or even acquaintances and extramarital lovers.

The new rule implied that inspection and supervision would be intensified for people related to politicians under investigation for corruption and money laundering. The measures would no longer be limited to the spouse and children of the politician, who might have supplied domestic and overseas bank accounts to hide his financial shenanigans.

Under the new regulations, the investigators can also target people who have relationships with or who live in with the suspect politicians, or people who have a financial relationship with them.

At a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said the changes were needed to provide for a better enforcement of measures against money laundering and to “rebuild the order of financial flows.” Reform would not only improve the fight against corruption on the domestic front, but would also help Taiwan to pull itself up to international standards.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: F-35 for Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/04/27
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taiwan will draw up a list of weapons and defense systems it would like to acquire and submit it to the United States in July, with the F-35 jet from Lockheed Martin Corp. featuring at the top of the list, news service Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The news service’s main concern did not so much focus on Taiwan’s defense needs, as on the likelihood that it would offend China, so soon after President Donald Trump seemed to have toned down his earlier attacks on Beijing.

As early as last year’s election campaign, the brash billionaire launched harsh comments about China for its trade practices, while promising he would officially label the country as a currency manipulator.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: Taiwan needs to watch Trump and Xi

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/04/06
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

United States President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will meet face to

FILE – This combination of file photos shows Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, on Jan. 17, 2017, in Davos, Switzerland, and U.S. President Donald Trump on March 28, 2017, in Washington. China said Thursday, March 30, 2017, Xi and Trump will meet at the latter’s Florida resort on April 6-7. It will be the first in-person meeting between the two. (AP Photo/Files)

face for the first time Thursday local time at the former’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for discussions expected to reverberate for years beyond.

As usual with such summits, Taiwan is mindful that it will become one of the topics of conversation, with potential ramifications for its international status.

This time, Taiwan has been worried more than usual, mostly due to the new U.S. president’s unorthodox style and personality, but also because of Xi’s aggressive disposition on international affairs and his rough treatment of Taiwan since the country elected Tsai Ing-wen as its president last year.

Yet, at first sight, it looks like the possibility of a U.S.-China trade war and North Korea’s behavior will push Taiwan far down the list of topics for the two-day get-together.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: Can there be a THAAD for Taiwan?

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/03/09
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

THAAD. The abbreviation of the little-known term “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense”

Photo by US Army.

forced the closure of supermarkets in China. For once, it is not anger at a perceived Taiwan Independence statement by a Taiwanese entertainer or at a politician’s refusal to mention the “1992 Consensus” which is ruffling Beijing’s feathers.

The unexpected culprit is South Korea, which decided to deploy the American-made system in a response to the numerous missile launches, nuclear tests and other provocations by its communist-ruled neighbor, North Korea.

Despite repeated assertions by both Seoul and Washington that all the system is designed to do, is to take down missiles emanating from the cantankerous north, it is China that has reacted with the most fury.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: United Together

Taiwan Today
Date: March 01, 2017
By: TAIWAN REVIEW

The New Year is traditionally a time of rejuvenation and renewal. For the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), this spirit of fresh thinking and new approaches will characterize policies aimed at revitalizing the nation in 2017. It will also spill over to efforts in leading all segments of society in standing united together to face the challenges of tomorrow.

In an address delivered Dec. 31, 2016, at the Office of the President in Taipei City, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) laid out the government’s four-pronged plan for the coming 12 months, with the first and foremost task boosting the economy through restructuring and attracting across-the-board infrastructure investment.

The New Model for Economic Development remains the cornerstone of this process. In addition, strong supporting roles will be played by the five-plus-two innovative industries initiative and programs spanning child care, long-term care, residential building refurbishment and social housing construction.

Meeting the needs of future generations through regionally balanced and managed infrastructure development is also key to this undertaking. A wide variety of projects are in the pipeline, including a green rail transport system; networks for broadband and super-broadband cloud communications; engineering projects to combat flooding and droughts brought about by climate change; and facilities for generating low-carbon and non-nuclear sources of energy.    [FULL  STORY]

Editorial: Put safety first if you want tourism to last

Taiwan News
Date: 2017/02/16
By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Over the past few years, Taiwan has been successful in drawing ever-growing numbers of tourists from across the world, again surpassing 10 million in 2016. Visitors have at their disposal a wide range of modern transportation options, from domestic flights to the high-speed rail system as well as various rail services and regular long-distance buses.

However, tour buses chartered by travel agencies have become “the sick man” of Taiwanese tourism.

Only last year, a troubled driver went as far as starting a fire on board his bus, which eventually led to a crash and to the death of 26 people, most of them tourists from China.    [FULL  STORY]