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Legislature approves budget for 2020

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 20 January, 2020
By: Leslie Liao

The legislature held extraordinary sessions beginning on January 14 to approve the central government budget for 2020

Taiwan’s legislature on Monday approved the central government’s budget for 2020. Lawmakers came back for an extraordinary session starting on January 14 to finalize the budget. The current legislature will remain in place until January 31. Lawmakers who were elected in January will take their posts on February 1.

The approved budget for 2020 allocates approximately NT $2.07 trillion (around US$69 billion) in government spending. That’s slightly lower than the estimated tax revenues for 2020, which is about NT$2.1 trillion (USD$70 billion).     [FULL  STORY]

Could Taiwan Stop an Invasion By China?

Expert: “Over the next four years, it may be more important to acquire less glamorous but nimbler weapons to prevent Beijing from considering an invasion.”

The National Interest
Date: January 20, 2020
By: David Axe Follow @daxe on TwitterL

Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen’s January 2020 re-election could signal another four years of stiff defiance to Chinese aggression for the island country. But Taiwan should reconsider its defensive strategy, Iain Marlow wrote for Bloomberg.

“In her first term, President Tsai Ing-wen secured more than $10 billion in high-profile U.S. weapons to defend Taiwan against China,” Marlow wrote. “Over the next four years, it may be more important to acquire less glamorous but nimbler weapons to prevent Beijing from considering an invasion.”

During her first term, the staunchly pro-independence Tsai worked hard to secure from the United States deals for weaponry worth more than $10 billion, including 60 new F-16 fighters and 108 M-1A2 tanks. Taiwan also launched an ambitious program to develop, with American assistance, a new class of diesel-electric attack submarines.

But over the next four years, Tsei and her government could take a different approach. “Many of the things Taiwan needs at this point are not things that require the U.S. to sell them,” Scott Harold, an analyst at RAND, a California think tank.    [FULL  STORY]

Leaked map shows China plans to invade S. Taiwan after taking Kinmen, Penghu

Map leaked online shows PLA plans to take Kinmen, Penghu before invading southern Taiwan

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/01/20
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Weibo photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A photo surfaced Sunday (Jan. 19) on Weibo showing People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers sitting next to a map of Taiwan that appears to indicate a southerly route for China's invasion of Taiwan, first going through Kinmen and Penghu, before landing troops in southern Taiwan.

After President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) enjoyed a landslide victory in Taiwan's elections on Jan. 11, Communist China has been doubling down on its rhetoric about the tattered "one country, two systems" framework and adhering to the "1992 Consensus" — expressing its opposition to "Taiwan independence" despite the fact that Taiwan has never been a part of Communist China. In a joint statement issued with Myanmar on Saturday (Jan. 18), China reaffirmed the "one-China" principle and categorized "Taiwan as an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China's territory."

In a statement on Sunday (Jan. 19), Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) responded by saying: "The ministry condemns such false statements that diminish the sovereignty of the Republic of China." Ou added: "Taiwan is not part of China, and only the Taiwanese government elected by its people can represent Taiwan in the international arena."

Later that afternoon, two accounts on the tightly government-orchestrated social media site Weibo, Tianfu Community and Dingsheng Forum, released a photo of PLA soldiers seated with their backs turned to a massive topographical model of southern Taiwan. The model is covered in black marks, appearing to show key strategic locations the PLA plans to seize during an invasion.

New units at Taichung Power Plant pass environmental assessment

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/20/2020
By: Hou Hsueh-ching, Chang Hsiung-feng and Lee Hsin-Yin

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Monday approved an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for two planned natural gas-fired generators, allowing the new units to be constructed at the Taichung Power Plant in central Taiwan, to increase the plant's electricity generating capacity under certain conditions.

The generators, which are expected to replace polluting coal-fired generators, will have an installed capacity totaling 2.6 million kilowatt, according to the power plant's operator, state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower).

The generators and related facilities will be built within existing land owned by the company, to avoid environmental impact, Taipower said.

Last October the project, which went through three EPA reviews between October 2018 and June 2019, was subjected to a fourth review and on Monday it was sent to the EIA meeting attended by economics officials, experts and environmental activists.    [FULL  STORY]

Epidemic response command center set up

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 21, 2020
By: Lee I-chia and Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporters

Taiwan yesterday set up an epidemic response command center to contain the spread of a new

An undated photograph shows a public health notice prepared by the Nantou County Government on the novel coronavirus 2019.
Photo courtesy of the Nantou County Government

coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, China.

With the novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) infection spreading to other Asian nations and many people expected to return from China during the Lunar New Year holiday, the Executive Yuan yesterday afternoon approved a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) plan to establish a level 3 National Health Command Center, CDC Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said.

The command center, led by Chou, is to be in charge of holding cross-ministerial discussions to improve preventive measures against “severe pneumonia with novel pathogens” in the nation.

Taiwan currently has 44 million surgical masks and 1.9 million N95 masks, more than enough to meet demand, Chou said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan election: Hong Kong won it, Beijing lost it

  • Beijing’s pressure on Taipei gave the Democratic Progressive Party a boost in the polls, on its way to a landslide victory over the Kuomintang
  • The vote also reflects the people’s views on the relationships between Washington, Beijing and Taipei under the presidencies of Trump, Xi and Tsai

South China Morning Post
Date: 19 Jan, 2020
By: Cary Huang

When it comes to crucial elections for the highest office, there is no place in the world where outside factors take precedence over local issues – other than in Taiwan

.Mainland China’s increasingly hawkish attitude towards the island, Hong Kong’s anti-Beijing protests, and Washington’s support of the democratic aspirations in those two Chinese communities have all contributed to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen

 and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) landslide victory in the just-concluded presidential and legislative elections.In the self-ruled island’s presidential race on January 11, Tsai won a record 8.2 million votes, or 57 per cent of the total, against 5.5 million votes (38 per cent) for her main opponent, Han Kuo-yu from the Kuomintang    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan Is Not Worth A War With China (For 1 Key U.S. Ally, That Is)

Especially for Australia.

The National Interest
Date: January 19, 2020
By: Hugh White

Key Point: Taiwan puts Ameirca in between a rock and a hard place.

Paul Dibb, in his recent Strategist post, writes that America’s strategic position in Asia would be fatally undermined if it didn’t go to war with China if China attacked Taiwan, and that Australia’s alliance with America would be fatally undermined if we didn’t then go to war with China too. The conclusion he draws is that, in the event of an unprovoked Chinese attack on Taiwan, America should go to war with China, and so should Australia.

I think Dibb’s premises are correct, but his conclusion is wrong. Failing to come to Taiwan’s aid would seriously weaken and perhaps destroy America’s position in Asia, and our alliance with America would be seriously weakened if not destroyed if we failed to support the US. But it doesn’t follow that either America or Australia should therefore go to war with China to defend Taiwan.

That depends on who would win the war. Such a war, like any war, would be a calculus of uncertainties, but at the very least one could say that a swift, cheap and decisive US victory over China would be very unlikely. America’s military power is very great, but China’s military power, and especially its capacity to deny its air and sea approaches to US forces, has grown sharply, and is now formidable.

China also has big advantages of location and resolve: Taiwan is closer to China than to America, and it matters more to the Chinese. And any hopes that US nuclear forces would swing the balance back America’s way run up against China’s capacity to retaliate in kind, and the risk of a nuclear exchange targeting US cities would at least have to be considered by US leaders in deciding to go to war.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan Power Company serves up a feast for solitary elderly

State-run electric power company shares Lunar New Year spirit with senior citizens on Penghu

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/01/18
By: Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Taipower arranges charity luncheon for solitary elderly in Penghu.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The state-run Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) invited around 200 solitary senior citizens from the Penghu Islands to a free lunch on Saturday (Jan. 18) to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

The charity event was held at the Discovery Hotel on Taiwan's offshore island, while traditional new year delicacies such as drunken chicken and barbecue pork were served. The guests dressed smartly to commemorate the passage of another wonderful year.

Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉), magistrate of Penghu County, and Taipower Vice President Chen Chien-yi (陳建益) were also present at the charity feast. During his opening address, Lai expressed his gratitude to Taipower and said the island's lonely elders should be cared for by Taiwanese companies and the country's younger generation, reported CNA.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan not part of China as claimed by Myanmar, Beijing: MOFA

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/19/2020
By: Emerson Lim

MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安), CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) Taiwan's foreign ministry on Sunday pushed back against a joint statement between Beijing and Myanmar that said Taiwan was undisputedly part of China's territory.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) solemnly protests the joint statement issued by China and Myanmar on January 18, in which Myanmar reaffirmed the so called 'one-China principle' and categorized Taiwan as an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China's territory," MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement.

"The ministry condemns such false statements that diminish the sovereignty of the Republic of China, Taiwan," Ou said.

Taiwan is not part of China, and only the Taiwanese government elected by its people can represent Taiwan in the international arena, she said, responding to the statement issued Saturday by China and Myanmar during a two-day visit to the latter country by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

Taipei march urges protection for HK protesters

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 20, 2020
By: Wu Su-wei and Dennis Xie  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

About 100 people marched in Taipei yesterday, demanding that the government amend the law to

Marchers hold up signs calling for the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau to be amended to allow for the provision of political asylum for Hong Kong protesters in Taipei yesterday, during a protest organized by International Socialist Forward.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

ensure the rights and well-being of pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters if they come to Taiwan.

The march, organized by International Socialist Forward (ISF), which began in front of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) headquarters, headed past Taipei Railway Station and the Ximending (西門町) area before ending in front of the Legislative Yuan.

Participants called on the DPP to grant Hong Kong protesters political asylum by amending the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例).

More than 7,000 protesters have been arrested in Hong Kong, including about 1,000 who face criminal charges, since the anti-extradition, pro-democracy protests began last year, and about 500 have been accused of committing the offense of riot, which carries a prison sentence of more than 10 years, ISF spokesperson Vincent Hsu (許偉育) said.    [FULL  STORY]