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Why Is Global Media Misinterpreting Taiwan’s Referendum Results?

There are lingering misunderstandings following Taiwan’s Nov. 24 plebiscites.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/01/18
By: I-fan Lin

Credit: Reuters / Tyrone Siu

Taiwan finished voting in its regional elections and on multiple referendums on Nov. 24, 2018. Several western mainstream media outlets have interpreted the results as a victory for China and the comeback of conservatism; however, this type of analysis overlooks the political dynamics within Taiwan. This post attempts to clarify the picture by providing readers with more political context on the elections and referendum results.

The were an obvious setback for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as it has only retained six out of the 22 mayoral and county magistrate seats. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took responsibility for the election losses and stepped down as party chief on the same day.

The multiple-referendum voting consisted of 10 questions ranging from LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage, the choice between “Taiwan” or “Chinese Taipei” at international sporting events, the development of nuclear power, etc. Below shows the referendum results:    [FULL  STORY]

9 Taiwanese artists enter Illustrator’s Exhibition competition at 2019 Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Multiple well-known illustrators will have their work showcased to international publishing experts

Taiwan News 
Date: 2019/01/18
By:: Ryan Drillsma,Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Illustration by artist JIANG YU (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Nine Taiwanese artists have been entered into the Illustrator’s Exhibition competition of the 2019 Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy, a new record for Taiwan.

CNA reports a representative explained a total of 2901 artists from 62 different countries entered the initial stage this year, and after deliberations by a panel of judges hailing from Argentina, Poland, Italy, the Netherland and France, 76 individuals were selected to enter the final competition, nine of whom are from Taiwan.

The Taipei Book Fair Foundation said a number of the competitors are well-known illustrators, including Teng Yu (鄧彧) and Animo (阿尼默), whose works are regularly published in The Liberty Times Supplement. Mao Yu (貓魚), another participant, was commission to design the film poster for the 2013 movie Twelve Nights (十二夜).

According to Bologna’s Visitor Bureau, the event has been held annually for over 50 years at the pavilions of the BolognaFiere. Professionals from all sectors of the publishing industry meet to obtain an overview of the latest publishing trends and attend a series of conferences and workshops.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan indicts Bitcoin traders for violations of banking act

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/18
By: Su Mu-chun and William Yen

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) Seven people who were arrested on June 13, last year, for allegedly operating a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment scheme were officially charged with violating multiple banking and business related laws on Friday, according to prosecutors.

Although the Bitcoin investment scheme would have been in violation of the law even if successful, the scheme in question was also a fraud that promised investors large-yield returns of up to 355 percent after a year of investment in the cryptocurrency, prosecutors pointed out.

However, most investors did not see any returns after February 2018 and returns stopped altogether after April 24 the same year, prosecutors said.

Among the seven charged, a 47-year-old man surnamed Lin (林), established an office in Taichung’s West District to attract investors from Taiwan and China, according to the indictment filed by Taichung District Prosecutors Office.    [FULL  STORY]

Carriers in Strait still an option: official

INTERNATIONAL  WATERS:Richardson said that the US Navy sees no limitation on what kind of warships transit the Taiwan Strait, despite China’s military modernization

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 19, 2019
By: Reuters, TOKYO

The US Navy has not ruled out sending an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait,

Adm. John Richardson, chief of Naval Operations of the U.S. Navy, speaks during a news conference with Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., following their meeting at Camp Aguinaldo in suburban Quezon city, Philippines on Oct. 29, 2018.  Photo: AP

despite military technology advances by China that pose a greater threat to US warships than ever before, the chief of US naval operations said yesterday.

Washington sent ships through the strategic waterway three times last year as it makes more frequent transits of the strait that separates Taiwan from China, but it has not dispatched a carrier in more than 10 years.

During that time, China has modernized its forces with missiles designed to strike enemy ships.

“We don’t really see any kind of limitation on whatever type of ship could pass through those waters,” Admiral John Richardson told reporters in Tokyo when asked if more advanced Chinese weapons posed too big a risk.    [FULL  STORY]

First snow of winter yet to arrive, setting 11-year record: CWB

The China Post
Date: Jan. 18, 201973
By: Wang Shu-fen and Evelyn Kao 
TAIPEI (CNA) – Temperatures on Jade Mountain dropped Thursday to the lowest so far this winter but there was no snow, which has set a record for the latest snow in Taiwan in 11 years, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said.

At 4:24 a.m., the mercury on Jade Mountain, Taiwan’s highest peak, fell to minus 1.2 degrees Celsius but there was not enough moisture to create the right conditions for snow, according to the CWB.

Not since 2008 has the winter’s first snowfall been delayed so late in Taiwan, the CWB said.

That year, the first snow of the season fell Jan. 17 on Jade Mountain, which stands 3,952 meters above sea level, the CWB said.    [FULL  STORY]

OPINION: A Taiwan Betel Nut Store Reveals a Deeper Culture of Insensitivity

The display of a Nazi swastika in a Wanhua betel nut store is no isolated incident, writes Brian Hioe.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/01/17
By: Brian Hioe, 破土 New Bloom

Credit: Instagram

The issue of anti-Semitic symbols openly displayed in Taiwan is again in the news after a betel nut store in Wanhua, Taipei was found to have two Nazi flags hanging in the store. That the Wanhua betel nut store was displaying a Nazi flag came to light after an American photographer posted a photo of the store on Instagram on Jan. 6, commenting that “Taiwan still didn’t get the memo about what has happened in past history. Absolute cluelessness”.

The Instagram photographer in question, however, was subsequently attacked by nationalistic Taiwanese netizens who referred to him as “white trash” and called on him to “go back to America,” leading him to change the settings on his Instagram account to private. The photographer had reportedly been living in Taiwan for two and a half years and has publicly stated that the incident was a factor in leading him to decide to return to America.

However, when questioned about his decision to hang Nazi flags in his store by the Apple Daily on Jan. 8, the store owner defended his choice of decoration, claiming that the flags were merely “art” and claiming that Nazis had little to do with Taiwan and so it was valid for him to hang the flags. Reportedly, the sign had been hanging in the store for several years before it came to public attention.

A statement would later be issued by the Chabad Taipei Jewish Center, emphasizing that the use of the Nazi flag is “extraordinarily hurtful to the Jewish people” as a symbol of the Nazi regime, and an act “disrespectful to human rights”. In its statement, the Chabad Taipei Jewish Center would also state that, at the same time, it rejected the “any stereotyping of the people of Taiwan”, as in the comments by the American photographer. To this end, the statement emphasizes that as “Taiwan has worked hard to bring about transitional justice and unity across ethnic groups, and Taiwan is generally accepting of and open to different cultures and religions”, calling on Taiwan to live up to these words.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan Chunghwa Post attempts to appease angry employees demanded to work first day of Lunar New Year

Bosses now stress volunteers will be paid overtime

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/17
By: Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

A Chunghwa Post delivery van (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chunghwa Post have attempted to allay resentment among employees again after announcing they will have to work regular hours the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Employees at Chunghwa Post were angered after seeing a public notice posted by the delivery service informing customers that regular, time-slot and parcel delivery services will continue operations as usual on Feb. 2. Although speedy delivery services were still arranged to run regularly, others, including registered mail, were supposed to be temporarily halted.

The Storm Media reports postal staff expressed their collective dissatisfaction online, admonishing the company for attempting to detract from their holiday. According to the report, the postal labor union stressed many people had planned to go on vacation and had already bought travel tickets.

If Chunghwa Post is unwilling to negotiate, the union declared, a protest will be staged.
[FULL  STORY]

Taiwan condemns China’s ‘evil intent’ to downgrade nation

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/17
By: Joseph Yeh

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) Taiwan on Thursday condemned a proposal by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) that 66 foreign companies who have failed to label Taiwan as part of China’s territory on their websites should be punished, saying the move demonstrates Beijing’s “evil intent” to downgrade the nation’s sovereignty.

In its 2018 annul report on cyber rule of law in China issued on Jan. 7, the top research institute in China noted that 66 of the world’s top 500 companies in 2017 list Taiwan as “Taiwan” instead of “Taiwan, China.”

The report suggested that Beijing should punish the companies, which include Apple, Nike and Amazon, if they fail to change their designation on Taiwan.

In response, Taiwan’s foreign ministry on Thursday condemned the threat and its effort to “blatantly interfere with private-sector commercial activities and international business operations with political means” to suppress Taiwan’s status in the world community.
[FULL  STORY]

Pentagon report stokes worries of Chinese attack

PRIORITY: China’s goal of unification with Taiwan and expectation of foreign intervention has been the ‘primary driver’ for its military modernization, the report said

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 17, 2019
By: AP, WASHINGTON

The Pentagon on Tuesday released a report that lays out US concerns about China’s

A member of the Chinese military marches before a welcoming ceremony for US President Donald Trump in Beijing on Nov. 9, 2017.
Photo: AP

growing military might, underscoring worries about a possible attack on Taiwan.

The key concern is that as China upgrades its military equipment and technology, and reforms how it trains and develops troops, it becomes more confident in its ability to wage a regional conflict, a senior US defense intelligence official told reporters.

Beijing has made it clear that asserting sovereignty over Taiwan is its top priority, they said.

Although China could easily fire missiles at Taiwan, it does not yet have the military capability to successfully invade, the official added.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan objects post-Brexit WTO services trade proposals

The China Post
Date: Jan. 17, 201935
By: Elaine Hou and Joseph Yeh 

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan has stated its objections to the United Kingdom’s proposed rules for managing its trade in services after it leaves the European Union (EU) and is seeking negotiations on the issue at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Taiwan’s top trade negotiator said on Jan. 17.

Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), head of the Office of Trade Negotiations, told CNA that Taiwan submitted its objections earlier this week to the WTO Secretariat after it saw the U.K.’s proposals for dealing with its trading partners in goods and services post-Brexit.

According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, Britain formally submitted its proposed new trade in services schedule to the WTO last month and since then, Taiwan has circulated a document to other WTO members, raising objections to some parts of the U.K.’s proposed rules.

Asked to comment on the issue, Deng told CNA that in the U.K.’s proposal, it was stated that any member of the WTO that wished to make objections should do so at this stage. “We do have some concerns and suggestions regarding the U.K.’s proposals and we have expressed those concerns in the form of a paper sent to the WTO Secretariat,” he said.
[FULL  STORY]