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VIDEO: Shei-Pa National Park sees 10cm snowfall

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 12 January, 2021
By: Shirley Lin

Snow falls on Shei-Pa National Park in central Taiwan

Seeing snow may not make the news in some countries, but that’s not the case in Taiwan. Taiwan doesn't always get snow in the winter except for some of the high mountains and it doesn’t even happen every year. Some people were really excited to see snow at the Shei-Pa National Park in central Taiwan where it rarely snows.

She works at Shei-Pa National Park and is telling the world about the recent snowfall. It fell on Monday night and left as much as 10 cm of snow by Tuesday morning. That kind of snowfall makes news in Taiwan.

People don’t see much snow in Taiwan, so some people ventured up to the mountain just to see the white snowflakes. They were really excited at the sight.     [FULL  STORY]

Beijing Won’t Bow to Bluster on Taiwan

Hudson Institute
Date: January 11, 2021
By: Walter Russell Mead

The Taiwanese flag is raised in Taipei, Nov. 15, 2020.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement last week that he’s lifting restrictions on meetings between U.S. and Taiwanese officials will enrage Beijing, but the impact on Taiwan’s security is harder to judge.

Taiwan has divided America from China since Chiang Kai-shek’s defeated Kuomintang fled to the roughly Maryland-sized island about 100 miles from the Chinese mainland back in 1949. Ever since Henry Kissinger’s groundbreaking diplomacy in the early 1970s, Washington has embraced a one-China policy. The U.S. rejects the use of force to resolve the Taiwan issue, but under the policy of “strategic ambiguity,” America declines to say what it would do if Beijing attempted forceful reunification.

President-elect Biden, unfortunately, inherits a situation in which the basis of the old compromise is coming apart. For its part, China has launched one of the greatest military buildups in the history of the world across the straits from Taiwan. Coupled with the artificial islands and military buildup in the South China Sea, it’s clear Beijing has been systematically seeking to create the conditions for a successful invasion of Taiwan.

China is closer to this goal than many Americans realize. Twenty years ago, Beijing had no prospect of conquering the island. The Chinese Communist Party could bluster about reunification all it wanted, but the Taiwanese, the Japanese and the mainlanders themselves understood that this was empty talk.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan’s military orders armor for its vehicles from bathroom brand HCG

Ceramics specialist only qualified Taiwanese supplier for CM-34 armor

Taiwan News
Date: 2021/01/12
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

CM-34 armored vehicles (Facebook, Taiwan Army photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense will spend NT$226.65 million (US$8.08 million) on armor from HCG (和成欣業), a manufacturer of bathroom fixtures, for its armored vehicles, reports said Tuesday (Jan. 12).

HCG, also known as Hocheng, is the only company inside Taiwan qualified to produce the required external armor for the eight-wheeled CM-34 “Clouded Leopard” Taiwan Infantry Fighting Vehicle, UDN reported.    [FULL  STORY]

CORONAVIRUS/Navy cancels port visits to allies over COVID-19 concerns

Focus Taiwan0
Date: 01/12/20121 11:15 PM
By: Matt Yu and Chung Yu-chen

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Taiwan Navy's midshipmen crusing training mission will not include port calls in the country's diplomatic allies this year as the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of easing, a military source said Tuesday.

This year's mission will also be shorter than normal, the source said, adding that the exact timeline and route have not yet been finalized.

In addition to providing midshipmen training, the annual mission is also used to conduct military diplomacy to enhance partnerships with the country's allies.

The mission usually includes visits to the heads and deputy heads of state of Taiwan's diplomatic allies.    [FULL  STORY]

.Virus Outbreak: Doctor treating COVID patients infected

CONTACTS TRACED: The doctor and his nurse girlfriend, who also tested positive, have only mild symptoms, but their cases have led to hundreds of people being tested

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 13, 2021
By: Lee I-chia / Staff reporter

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung takes part in a news conference at the Central Epidemic Command Center in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

The first case of a doctor contracting COVID-19 after treating an infected patient was one of two locally transmitted cases and two imported cases reported by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday.

The second local case, No. 839, is the doctor’s girlfriend, a nurse who works at the same hospital.

Case No. 838, a man in his 30s, is a doctor in a hospital in northern Taiwan that has been treating COVID-19 cases, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center.

He was in a negative-pressure isolation ward where one of the confirmed patients was staying several times on Monday and Tuesday last week, including when the patient received endotracheal intubation on Monday, Chen said.    [FULL  STORY]

US-Taiwan Political and Military Dialogue goes smoothly

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 07 January, 2021
By: Stas Butler

Minister Wu declined to comment on details of the discussion out of respect for the US and Taiwan’s mutual trust. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu says that Thursday morning’s US-Taiwan Political and Military Dialogue was a success. He said the two sides communicate regularly on a number of issues and will continue to strengthen political and economic ties.

The dialogue took place via video call due to safety concerns about COVID-19.

New U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative

Home Room
Date: January 7, 2021
By: Maureen McLaughlin, Senior Advisor and Director of International Affairs and
Ashley Clark, Presidential Management Fellow, International Affairs Office

This year, international education has looked different, more than ever before. Traditional exchange programs have been largely unavailable, and other avenues of world language and cultural education have gone online.

Still, the need for strong cross-cultural learning opportunities remains pressing. Learning a second language benefits students academically and on the job market, with many U.S. employers reporting that they seek candidates who know another language. Unfortunately, the vast majority of states report a shortage of world language teachers. Recruiting teachers for language immersion programs or advanced language instruction is difficult because these positions demand a high level of fluency and discipline-specific vocabulary.

Deputy Secretary Mitchell Zais recently joined State Department officials and representatives from American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) at a virtual meeting with Taiwan representatives to identify potential steps that the United States and Taiwan could take to meet the growing need for Mandarin teachers in the United States, and for English instructors on Taiwan. The meeting marked the launch of a new U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative.

Taiwan plans to be bilingual by 2030 and wants to recruit more native English-speaking teachers, which could give U.S. teachers opportunities to teach abroad and learn innovative pedagogical techniques. In turn, districts, states, and schools could increase the number of visiting Mandarin teachers and provide their teachers a unique professional development opportunity on Taiwan.    [FULL  STORY]

Pompeo sending UN ambassador to Taiwan

Kelly Craft to visit Taiwan after Hong Kong's roundup of democracy activists

Taiwan News
Date: 2021/01/077..
By: Kelvin Chen, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday (Jan. 6) announced that Kelly Craft, Washington's ambassador to the UN, will make a trip to Taiwan.

In a press statement on the mass arrest of democracy advocates in Hong Kong, Pompeo stated that the U.S. would not "stand idly by" as Hongkongers live under Chinese oppression. He also said Washington would consider sanctions and restrictions on anyone or any entity involved in this "assault on the Hong Kong people."

Pompeo remarked that the U.S. stands by the Hong Kong people and "all who yearn for freedom."    [FULL  STORY]

Two die in light aircraft crash in Pingtung

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/07/2021
By: Kuo Chih-hsuan and Y.F. Low

Photo courtesy of the Central Emergency Operation Center

Taipei, Jan. 7 (CNA) A light aircraft crashed in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan Thursday, with two reported fatalities, according to the county's Bureau of Fire and Emergency Services.

The wreckage and bodies were found in a mountainous area in the county's Sandimen Township at around 10:20 p.m., the bureau said.    [FULL  STORY]

Biden win ratified after Capitol riot

TAKING A STAND: Despite Donald Trump’s hectoring on social media, US Vice President Mike Pence said he could not claim ‘unilateral authority’ to reject the electoral votes

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 08, 2021

Supporters of US President Donald Trump on Wednesday climb the walls of the US Capitol building in Washington during a protest against the certification of the US presidential election results by the US Congress.
Photo: Reuters

US Congress early yesterday confirmed former US vice president Joe Biden as the winner of November last year’s presidential election after a violent mob loyal to US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in a stunning attempt to overturn the election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Trump in the White House.

US lawmakers were resolved to complete the Electoral College tally in a display to the nation, and the world, of their enduring commitment to uphold the will of the voters and the peaceful transfer of power.

They pushed through the night with tensions high and the nation’s capital on high alert.

Before dawn yesterday, lawmakers finished their work, confirming Biden won the election.