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Hong Kongers seek political asylum

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES? Hong Kongers seeking to extend their stay in Taiwan have encountered hurdles, while inquiries about residency have been increasing

Taipei Times
Date: Jul 20, 2019
By: Chung Li-hua  /  Staff reporter, with CNA and Bloomberg

Taiwan would handle the issue of Hong Kong residents arriving in the nation to seek political asylum

President Tsai Ing-wen, center, accompanied by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng, left, and DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling speaks to reporters during her visit to Saint Lucia on Thursday.
Photo: CNA

“appropriately based on humanitarian considerations,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said.

Tsai, who is on a state visit to Taiwan’s Caribbean allies, made the remark when asked about a report by Radio Free Asia on Thursday that about 10 Hong Kong protesters have arrived in Taiwan to seek political asylum since the storming of the Hong Kong Legislative Council building on July 1 following a series of demonstrations against a bill that would allow people to be extradited to China.

The individuals have been given shelter by non-governmental organizations, the report said.

A Taiwanese lawyer who helps Hong Kong residents come to Taiwan told the broadcaster that they have encountered technical difficulties when seeking to extend their stay in the nation.

EPA to use drones to assess coastal pollution next year

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 19 July, 2019
By: Leslie Liao

Geenpeace says Taiwan’s beaches are inundated with trash (Photo: Greenpeace)

Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration will begin using aerial drones to assess beach litter as early as next year. Environmental sanitation head Tsai Lin-yi says that the administration has begun trial assessments.

The decision to use drones comes in response to a survey conducted by Greenpeace and the Society of Wilderness that was released earlier this month. A total of 13 beaches in Taiwan have been classified as heavily polluted. The Cabinet has already called on relevant agencies to begin clean-up procedures as soon as September.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan pledges help for Hong Kong protesters seeking sanctuary

More than 30 protesters arrive in Taiwan to seek shelter from prosecution

The Guardian
Date: 19 Jul 2019
By: Agence France-Presse

 Young people in Taipei, Taiwan, demonstrate in June in support of Hong Kong protesters. Photograph: Ritchie B Tongo/EPA

Taiwan’s government has said it will provide assistance to Hong Kongprotesters seeking sanctuary, after local media reported dozens of activists involved in an unprecedented storming of the city’s parliament had fled to the island.

The pledge risks infuriating Beijing but comes as Taiwan gears up for a presidential election where a dominating issue will be relations with the mainland – which regards the self-ruled island as its own territory and has vowed to seize it.

More than 30 Hongkongers who fear prosecution for their involvement in the ransacking of the finance hub’s legislature on 1 July have arrived in Taiwan to seek shelter, Taiwan’s Apple Daily said, citing unnamed sources.

The report said the activists were staying in various locations and that some were receiving assistance from local NGOs.    [FULL  STORY]

Majority of Taiwanese prepared to fight China to protect democracy

Poll also finds resistance against fake news

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/07/19
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

More Taiwanese are willing to fight to protect democracy against China, says an opinion poll. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – More than 65 percent of Taiwanese say they are willing to fight to defend the country’s democratic system against military force by China, according to an opinion poll released Friday (July 19).

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy commissioned the survey from the Election Study Center at National Chengchi University. The annual poll about democratic values has been conducted since 2011, but for the first time it also included questions about fake news, the Central News Agency reported.

Turning to the willingness of people to defend democracy against the use of force by China, 36.3 percent of respondents said they were “very prepared” to fight in order to defend Taiwan, with 31.9 percent saying they were “prepared.” Only 10.2 percent said they were not willing and another 10.3 percent completely unwilling to fight.

Compared to the previous annual survey, the number of people willing to fight had risen, while the number of those not prepared had dropped slightly.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan does not promote debt-trap diplomacy: Tsai

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/07/19
By: Wen Kuei-hsiang and Chung Yu-chen

Castries, St. Lucia, July 18 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) addressed the Parliament of St.

President Tsai Ing-wen addresses the Parliament of St. Lucia July 18 / CNA file photo

Lucia Thursday, touting the mutual benefits of bilateral cooperation and saying there is no concern Taiwanese loans could ever become debt traps.

While project loans will come from Taiwanese banks, Tsai said, the work will be contracted out to Saint Lucia's companies through Taiwan's Overseas Engineering and Construction Company, meaning Taiwan will hire local workers.

"This model of cooperation ensures that both our peoples can participate and reap the benefits. There will be no issue of 'debt traps,' unlike some other cooperation models," she said, adding that she believes in mutually beneficial projects rooted in strong communication and collaboration.

Tsai's comment came in the wake of accusations in the West that China is using its Belt and Road Initiative (B.R.I.) to exert control over and trap countries that join the transnational infrastructure investment scheme into debt.    [FULL  STORY]

WATCH: Taiwan Insider, July 18, 2019

Radio Taiwan Internatinal
Date: 18 July, 2019
By: Paula Chao

It’s official! The controversial populist mayor of Kaohsiung, Han Kuo-yu, will face off against incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan’s 2020 presidential elections. The main opposition party — the Kuomintang (KMT) — made the announcement on Monday following nation-wide telephone polls.  

The news came during President Tsai’s four-country tour of the Caribbean, which is set to draw to a close on July 22. 

In this week’s Taiwan Insider, Natalie Tso and Andrew Ryan delve into the latest stories involving these two top candidates. We hear from two political analysts about Han’s popular appeal. In Taiwan Explained, Natalie also gives a 60-second intro to US transit stops by Taiwan’s presidents, and why they are significant.      [FULL  STORY]

​​OPINION: Taiwan Needs to Keep Up With the Libra Bandwagon

Facebook is on the cusp of launching its cryptocurrency Libra, and Taiwan should prepare for it.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/07/18
By: Hsin Hsiao

​​OPINION: Taiwan Needs to Keep Up With the Libra Bandwagon Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG Images

“Hey, I will messenger you 20 Libras for the dinner” may very soon be what people say after meals in the near future.

Libra, the latest cryptocurrency to be released by Facebook, is under intense scrutiny on its potential to become a worthy challenger of sovereign currencies like the US Dollar or British Pound.

In the latest US Congress hearing, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio slammed Facebook for its “breathtaking arrogance” in attempting to launch Libra after multiple privacy breaches last year.

​​Ever since the rise of Bitcoin, new crypto coins seem to come into the market every year, why the fuss about Libra?    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan still expects heavy rain after departure of Tropical Storm Danas

Southwest and Southeast Taiwan face torrential rain until SaturdayTaiwan News
Date: 2019/07/18
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Flooding on Taitung’s Orchid Island in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Danas Thursday (July 18) morning. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Even though Tropical Storm Danas left Taiwan relatively unscathed and sea alerts were lifted early Thursday (July 18) evening, especially southern parts of the island should still expect heavy rain before Saturday (July 20).

The Central Weather Bureau scrapped the last sea alerts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, predicting the storm was setting course for the island of Okinawa in South Japan.

A low pressure area west of the Philippines was unlikely to strengthen into a tropical storm, but it was still strong enough to bring torrential rain to southwestern and southeastern parts of Taiwan, according to the Central News Agency.    [FULL  STORY]

Increased number of Hong Kong people support Taiwan independence: poll

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/07/18
By: Chi Jo-yao

Taipei, July 18 (CNA) The number of Hong Kong people who support Taiwan independence has surged to a record high since 1993, according to the results of a survey released Tuesday by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI).

The institute, successor to the Public Opinion Programme under the University of Hong Kong since July, released its first opinion poll, which showed that 43.7 percent of the respondents in Hong Kong support Taiwan independence, up from 35 percent in January 2019.

The support rate is the highest since 1993, the PORI said.

Ivan Choy (蔡子強), a senior lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, attributed the rise in support for Taiwan independence to Hong Kong people's increasing dissatisfaction with Hong Kong politics.    [FULL  STORY]

Suspected whale, dolphin meat seized

Taipei Times
Date: Jul 19, 2019
By: Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

More than 400kg of meat allegedly harvested from whales and dolphins was intercepted by the Coast

A Coast Guard Administration official on Wednesday weighs seized meat, allegedly cut from cetaceans, in Yilan County’s Suao Township.
Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Administration

Guard Administration in Yilan County’s Suao Township (蘇澳) on Wednesday, even though hunting cetaceans has been banned for more than two decades, the Ocean Conservation Administration (OCA) said yesterday.

The Forestry Bureau, which previously managed protected species before transferring responsibility to the OCA, in 1995 listed all cetaceans as protected and banned hunting and trading in the animals, the OCA said.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Yilan County Government informed the OCA that Coast Guard Administration officials in Suao had stopped a driver surnamed Lin (林), who was delivering 449.5kg of meat seemingly cut from cetaceans, it said.

The Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau is to perform DNA identification on the sampled meat, the OCA said.    [FULL  STORY]