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WATCH: Taiwan Insider, Oct 22, 2020

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 22 October, 2020
By: Paula Chao

[Taiwan’s perspective is different from other Asian countries]

[Taiwan’s perspective is different from other Asian countries][/caption] Surveys show that 59% of Taiwanese respondents say they don’t trust Trump. But would he still be better for Taiwan than Biden? We went out and asked people on the street what they think.  Seton Hall Law Professor Maggie Lewis also chimes in on how Biden and Trump might deal with Taiwan.

China to respond to US actions on Taiwan

Prensa Latina
Date: October 22, 2020

Beijing, Oct 22 (Prensa Latina) China on Thursday noted that it will proceed with countermeasures against the decision made by the United States to sell weapons to Taiwan and to appoint six other media organizations as diplomatic missions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian described as interference in the country's internal affairs Washington's decision to supply state-of-the-art weapons worth 1.8 billion dollars to Taipei.

He noted that Washington is sending a wrong signal to the island, damaging China's interests and national security, and endangering bilateral ties, peace and stability in the Strait of Taiwan.

Beijing will give a consequent response depending on how the situation evolves, the spokesman added.    [FULL  STORY]

iden talks tough on China, pledges deeper ties with Taiwan

Biden says Taiwan is 'shining example of how an open society can effectively contain COVID-19'

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/10/22
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — With the U.S. presidential election less than two weeks away, Joe Biden is sending the message that he will be tough on China and seek to deepen ties with Taiwan.

In an op-ed published in the Chinese language World Journal, Biden wrote that as a Pacific power, the U.S. under his administration will join with friends and allies to "advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Asia-Pacific region." Biden then focused on Taiwan, by saying that U.S. policy in the region will include "deepening our ties with Taiwan," which he described as "a leading democracy, major economy, technology – and a shining example of how an open society can effectively contain COVID-19."

As for his approach to China, Biden stated that he will focus on "boosting American competitiveness, revitalizing our strengths at home, and renewing our alliances and leadership abroad." However, Biden said that the U.S. will still seek to collaborate with China "when it's in our interest," and he cited public health and climate change as examples.

An organization called "Taiwanese Americans for Biden," which is an affinity group for the Biden campaign, shared with Taiwan News a strong message about Biden's approach to China. The statement alleged that although "Trump talks tough on China," after nearly four years in the White House, "he has accomplished nothing."    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan urges Vatican to focus on religious freedom in China

Focus Taiwan
Date: 10/22/2020
By: Emerson Lim

St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican (image taken from Pixabay)

Taipei, Oct. 22 (CNA) Taiwan on Thursday reminded the Vatican of the importance of religious freedom after it extended a provisional agreement on bishop appointments with China for another two years.

The Vatican, Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in Europe, announced earlier in the day that it has agreed to extend an agreement with Beijing regarding the appointment of Catholic bishops in China due to the "positive results" seen over the past two years.

Under the agreement, first signed in September 2018, Beijing proposes bishops for appointment by the Pope, who can either appoint or veto the recommendations.

"According to the Code of Canon Law, all bishops of the Catholic Church around the world are appointed by the Pope," Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement in response to the development.    [FULL  STORY]

MND says 450,000-strong force is ready

DEPLOYMENT SPEED: Association of Strategic Foresight research fellow Chieh Chung said that the key is whether reserve forces can be rapidly deployed when a crisis hits

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 23, 2020
By: Jake Chung / Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of National Defense (MND) Yen De-fa, left, answers questions from lawmakers during a session of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

The nation could deploy 450,000 soldiers — including roughly 260,000 reservists and 185,000 standing forces — as a first-response force in the event of a military invasion, Minister of National Defense (MND) Yen De-fa (嚴德發) told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) asked whether the ministry had an estimate of how long it would take to recall reservists if a war broke out, adding that, if not, the ministry should definitely conduct simulation exercises.

The ministry has plans to conduct such simulations in 2022, Yen said, adding that recall and training programs would be staggered for the least disruption to social order.

Chiang said that the ministry must have the information, even at the cost of disrupting society.

Kinmen military exercises low-key due to cross-strait tensions

Radio Taiwan International
Date:\ 21 October, 2020
By: Natalie Tso

Live-fire exercises in Kinmen

The annual military exercises in the outlying Kinmen islands are not open for view to the public this year. That’s in light of cross-strait tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Taiwanese troops stationed in the outlying Kinmen islands are undergoing exercises as tensions with China grow stronger.

The exercises are held every year, but this year the military is not letting civilians get closer than 500 meters to view the drills. That’s due to recent cross-strait tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This has left military buffs disappointed.

One says he's watched these exercises ever since he was a child, and that they loom large in his childhood memories.

In addition to keeping civilians well away from the live fire exercises, the number of 8-inch howitzers and cannons used are also just half the usual number in order to keep this year's drills low-key. 


South China Sea missile drills to blame for Taiwanese plane being turned back at Hong Kong, source says

  • ‘Dangerous activities’ cited by city’s civil aviation department as reason for blocking UNI Air flight last week was actually a PLA air-to-air missile exercise, insider says
  • Taiwanese aircraft was unable to climb to a safe enough height to be allowed entry into Hong Kong airspace, he says

South China Morning Post
Date: 22 Oct, 2020
By: Minnie Chan

​A UNI Air flight en route to the Pratas Islands was forced to turn back after being refused permission to enter Hong Kong airspace last week. Photo: Shutterstock.

Missile drills in the South China Sea and aeronautical limitations were the reasons a Taiwanese aircraft was denied entry into Hong Kong airspace en route to the Pratas Islands last week, according to a military insider.“

The People’s Liberation Army [PLA] was conducting an air-to-air missile exercise in the South China Sea in the morning [on Thursday] when the Taiwanese aircraft was heading to the Dongsha Islands,” a Beijing-based military source close to the PLA said, using the Chinese name for the group of three atolls.1

The UNI Air flight carrying military and coastguard personnel was forced to turn back when Hong Kong’s civil aviation authorities told their counterparts in Taipei there were “dangerous activities” taking place below 26,000 feet.

“Most passenger airliners fly above 26,000 feet,” said the source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. “But the Taiwanese aircraft was a propeller-powered ATR 72 that can’t climb that high.”    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan official details China’s plan to solve Taiwan ‘problem’ by 2049: US military journal

Xi would attempt to coordinate with Russia, Iran, North Korea to bog down US in multiple theaters: Taiwanese official

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/10/21
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Indo-Pacific Defense Forum photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The latest issue of the Indo-Pacific Defense Forum magazine, a military magazine published quarterly by the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, carried an article detailing a presentation made by Taiwan’s National Security Bureau Deputy Director-General Chen Wen-fan’s (陳文凡) last October in Washington, D.C., which provides a comprehensive picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) plan to solve the Taiwan “problem” by 2049.

Taiwan forms an integral part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) agenda, according to Chen.

The country is in a unique position vis-à-vis China, “the most powerful party-state in history [and one] that is determined to terminate Taiwan as it is,” said Chen, who went on to point out that in terms of psychological warfare, Taiwan has “a unique vulnerability because Mandarin Chinese is the common language for both China and Taiwan,” leaving it open to a range of asymmetrical attacks of a kind largely unexperienced in modern military exchanges.

“Today, the CCP’s Taiwan policy is guided by Xi’s five-point remarks in January 2019," according to Chen, "which dictate the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) military coercion, external isolation of Taiwan, infiltration and subversion, United Front interaction, cyber activities and disinformation dissemination."    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan, U.K. sign MOU on education cooperation

Focus Taiwan
Date: 10/21/2020
By: Chen Yun-yu and Frances Huang

​British Representative to Taiwan Catherine Nettleton (left) and Taiwan’s Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (right)

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) Taiwan and the United Kingdom on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to advance cooperation in English learning and education.

The agreement was signed remotely and witnessed by Greg Hands, U.K. Minister of State for Trade Policy, who said he was pleased that the U.K. will be able to offer assistance in English learning to Taiwan as it pursues its goal of becoming a bilingual country by 2030.

"Two of my great passions are Taiwan and bilingualism," Hands wrote on his Twitter feed afterwards. "Combining the two is even better! So it was a great pleasure to be virtual guest speaker at the signing ceremony today in Taipei for the U.K. to be delivery partner for Taiwan becoming bilingual Chinese-English by 2030!"

Also speaking at the virtual ceremony, Taiwan's Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said the education links between Taipei and London have been growing rapidly in recent years, and they have signed 209 academic exchange agreements to date.    [FULL  STORY]

Court orders ‘first special agent’ be held

ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 22, 2020
By: Kayleigh Madjar / Staff writer, with CNA

Former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel Chang Chao-jan talks to reporters yesterday while being escorted by a Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau officer at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.
Photo: CNA

The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials.

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China.

Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence Services Act (國家情報工作法), which carries a prison term of one to seven years, the existing text states.

Prosecutors told the court that detaining Chang was necessary because of the seriousness of the crimes, and the possibility that the suspect could collude to destroy evidence or flee the country.