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Burkina Faso resumes ties with China after Taiwan break

The Washington Post
Date: May 26, 2018
By: Associated Press

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, and Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Alpha Barry attend a signing ceremony establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries in Beijing Saturday, May 26, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP) (Associated Press)

BEIJING — The West African Nation of Burkina Faso formally resumed diplomatic ties with China on Saturday after breaking off relations with Taiwan, which now has just 18 diplomatic allies.

Burkina Faso’s decision was the latest blow to Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that Beijing claims as its own territory and has been seeking to isolate on the global stage.

Earlier this month, the Dominican Republic established diplomatic relations with China and severed ties with Taiwan.

A document establishing diplomatic ties was signed Saturday in Beijing between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Burkina Faso’s foreign minister, Alpha Barry.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan now has one diplomatic ally left in Africa

Date: May 26, 2018
By: Abdi Latif Dahir

For Taiwan, the list of its diplomatic allies in Africa has dwindled to all but one

Losing allies. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)


This week, Burkina Faso said it would cut its ties with the island nation, joining a growing list of countries cowering to increasing pressure from China to cut their ties with the island nation. Under its One-China policy, China refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with any nation that recognizes Taiwan, a self-governed island off its southeastern coast which Beijing considers an integral part of its territory.

This leaves eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) as the only African country with formal relations with Taiwan, along with 18 other allies around the world—mostly smaller and poorer nations in the Pacific and the Caribbean.    [FULL  STORY]

U.S. accuses Beijing of changing status quo of China-Taiwan relations

US State Dept. Official: ‘China is altering the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and undermining the framework that has enabled peace, stability, and development for decades’

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/05/26
By:  Central News Agency

WASHINGTON (CNA) — The U.S. State Department on Friday accused China of changing the cross-Taiwan Strait status quo as it expressed disappointment at Burkina Faso’s decision to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan, widely suspected to be due to enticements from Beijing.

“China is altering the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and undermining the framework that has enabled peace, stability, and development for decades,” a spokesperson for the department said in an emailed response to the media.

“We have a shared interest in international security stability and we are disappointed that Burkina Faso did not take these factors into consideration in its decision to cut ties with Taiwan.”    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan to donate US$1 million to WHO to fight Ebola

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/05/26
By: Yeh Su-ping and Frances Huang

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced on Saturday that Taiwan will donate US$1 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight the Ebola virus, even though the country was excluded from the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the highest decision making body of the WHO.

Tsai said despite the exclusion from the WHA due to opposition from China, Taiwan is determined to continue its contribution to the world’s health enhancement by donating the funds to combat Ebola, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and Congo.

Eloba, transmitted through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of infected people, has become one of the most virulent diseases in the world.

On behalf of Tsai, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) told the press that Taiwan is a health enhancement power in the world so the country is willing to pledge such financial aid to fight Eloba’s spread.    [FULL  STORY]

US senator in Taiwan to lend support

RESPONSIBILITY: Two US senators have introduced a bill aimed at developing a policy for the US to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations

Taipei Times
Date: May 27, 2018
By: Aaron Tu, Yao Chieh-hsiu and Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporters, with Staff Writer, and CNA, Washington

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday evening met with US Senator Cory

US Senator Cory Gardner.  Photo: Tony Yao, Taipei Times

Gardner, who at the last minute added Taipei to his official tour of Asia to lend support to Taiwan amid China’s intensifying suppression of the nation’s international space.

Less than a month after the Dominican Republic cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Burkina Faso on Thursday announced that it was also severing ties with Taipei, bringing the number of the nation’s diplomatic allies to 18.

China and Burkina Faso yesterday signed an agreement establishing diplomatic relations.

Gardner, who is chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity Policy, on the night before his departure from the US decided to include Taiwan in his tour of Asia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.    [FULL  STORY]

Wu retains confidence in Taiwan’s diplomacy

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 2018-05-25

The foreign minister, Joseph Wu, says he still has confidence in Taiwan’s diplomacy. Wu

Wu says he still has confidence in Taiwan’s diplomacy. (CNA photo)

was speaking on Friday at National Chengchi University in Taipei, a day after Burkina Faso broke off formal ties with Taiwan.

Wu said there is room for Taiwan despite the country’s difficulties on the diplomatic front especially at a time of strained cross-strait ties. He also said the government will strengthen ties with leading democracies and major international organizations around the world.

“Our diplomacy has never been defeated. That’s because we have many young and senior diplomats. The joint efforts made by all government agencies and the public mean that Taiwan’s diplomatic space is actually a lot larger and better than many other countries,” said Wu.    [FULL  STORY]

TAIWAN: After 2 Years of Tsai, Voters Shun Partisan Politics

Data suggests Taiwan voters increasingly identify as non-partisan.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/05/25
By: Austin Horng-En Wang and Yeh-Lih Wang

Photo Credit: CC by Studio Incendo/Flickr

In the past two years, one of the most important phenomenon in Taiwan politics is the emergence of non-partisans. For the first time since democratization, more than half of Taiwanese voters do not support any party in Taiwan.

This dramatic change may attribute to the electoral reform in 2005 as well as President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)’s performance. The shift will undoubtedly impact on the major parties’ intraparty politics and strategic choices. However, what these non-partisans want and where they are from remains unclear.

To begin with, the figure below shows the percentage of partisans and non-partisans in the past 10 waves of the Taiwan National Security Survey (TNSS) from 2002 to 2017. TNSS is a representative telephone survey sponsored by Duke University and conducted by National Chengchi University. After Tsai won the presidency in early 2016, the proportion of non-partisans in Taiwan reached an historic high of 48 percent. In late 2017, the record was broken again, breaking 51 percent, representing a doubling of the proportion of non-partisans in Taiwan since 2011. Today, more than half of Taiwanese people do not attach to any party in Taiwan, according to the survey.

Who are these non-partisans? Analysis of TNSS 2017 fails to reveal any unique characteristics among them. Applying the chi-squared test shows that non-partisans share the same socio-demographic background as partisans across age, gender, race, level of education, language usage, and residency. Besides, Taipei City does not have a higher proportion of non-partisans than other municipal areas or counties. The decline of partisanship has become a general trend among all Taiwanese people.

Mob of 300 ransacks home of uncle suspected of killing 5-year-old niece in Changhua

Angry mob of 300 vigilantes attacks the home of uncle suspected of killing and molesting 5-year-old girl in Changhua

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/05/25
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An angry lynch mob of 300 vigilantes last night (May 24)

Man smashing window with stool. (Screenshot of YouTube video)

ransacked the Changhua home of a man suspected of killing and molesting his 5-year-old niece when they believed that he had been released from police custody, reported Apple Daily.

Last night, a rumor spread on Facebook that the suspect, surnamed Yang (楊), was already going to be released on bail, and though this was false information, it was repeatedly shared on the social media platform. By 9 p.m. last night, an angry mob of 300 (with some reports saying 500) vigilantes had surrounded Yang’s house in Changhua County’s Tianwei Township, with some reportedly coming as far away as Tainan and Chiayi to seek revenge for the girl.

The hysteric crowd broke their way into Yang’s home where they smashed furniture with baseball bats, shattered windows, set off fireworks and tossed about hell money to curse the family. Fearing for her life, Yang’s mother fled to the nearby police station, and a large part of the mob followed her to call for her son’s release so they could exact their vengeance.     [FULL  STORY]

Pro-Taiwan provisions pass U.S. House as part of defense bill

Focus Taowan
Date: 2018/05/25
By: Chiang Chin-yeh and Y.F. Low

Washington, May 24 (CNA) The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed its

Image taken from the U.S. House of Representatives website

annual defense policy bill for fiscal 2019 including provisions to help strengthen Taiwan’s military capability.

The US$717 billion National Defense Authorization Act cleared the House 351-66.

Section 1253, headed “Strengthening Taiwan’s Force Readiness,” would direct the U.S. secretary of defense to conduct a comprehensive assessment, in consultation with appropriate counterparts of Taiwan, on ways to enhance and reform Taiwan’s military forces, particularly Taiwan’s reserve forces, according to the text of the bill published by the House.

The assessment would also require the development of recommendations to strengthen bilateral cooperation and improve Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, it stated.

‘Consensus’ not the solution: minister

FALSE CLAIM? Chen Ming-tong said former president Ma Ying-jeou did not mention ‘different interpretations’ during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015

Taipei Times
Date: May 26, 2018
By: Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Acceptance of the so-called “1992 consensus” is not the answer to Taiwan’s diplomatic

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong talks to reporters at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.  Photo: CNA

setbacks, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said yesterday, adding that the government plans to introduce new policies in addition to tightening its screening of applications by Chinese officials to visit Taiwan.

Chen made the remarks at an afternoon news conference in Taipei, hours after a number of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-friendly experts attributed Burkina Faso’s decision to cut ties with Taiwan to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) refusal to acknowledge the “1992 consensus” — a line usually adopted by the pan-blue camp when it comes to the Tsai administration’s diplomatic predicament.

Burkina Faso on Thursday became the fourth diplomatic ally the nation has lost since Tsai’s inauguration in May 2016, after Sao Tome and Principe in December 2016, Panama in June last year and the Dominican Republic on April 30.    [FULL  STORY]