Page Three

Declassified US document shows commitment to defend Taiwan

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 13 January, 2021
By: Natalie Tso

US President Donald Trump at the Alamo in Texas on Tuesday (photo: AFP)

The US declassified a national security document on Tuesday showing its strategy for the Indo-Pacific. In it, the US shows its commitment to defend the first-island-chain nations, including Taiwan.

National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said the document, titled "United States Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific" was released to show the US commitment to "keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open long into the future". The document was declassified 30 years earlier than it normally would have been.

In regards to Taiwan, the document says that the US should "Devise and implement a defense strategy capable of, but not limited to: (1) denying China sustained air and sea dominance inside the "first island chain" in a conflict; (2) defending the first-island-chain nations, including Taiwan; and (3) dominating all domains outside the first island-chain.”    [FULL  STORY]

Trump upsets decades of U.S. policy on Taiwan, leaving thorny questions for Biden

The Washington Post
Date: Jan. 13, 2021
By: Gerry Shih and Lily Kuo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks with President Trump during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on July 18, 2018. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

TAIPEI, Taiwan — For decades, America's diplomatic dealings with Taiwan were governed by intricate and arcane rules designed to support a key Asian partner without provoking Beijing — and avoid war in the Taiwan Strait. Details of the U.S. strategy toward China, meanwhile, were shrouded in secrecy.

This week, those rules went out the window.

With days left in office, the Trump administration has cast aside long-standing policies toward China and Taiwan, both raising expectations and setting new constraints for how the Biden administration will deal with its largest geopolitical competitor.

On Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo abruptly lifted U.S. government rules prohibiting interactions between American and Taiwanese diplomats, a move that amounted to a symbolic but significant upgrade in the U.S. relationship with the democratic island, which China claims as its territory.    [FULL  STORY]

Doctor, nurse visited PX Mart, Starbucks, and Poya in northern Taiwan

Full list of locations in northern Taiwan where doctor, nurse visited revealed

Taiwan News
Date: 2021/01/13
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

PX Mart on Ciwen Road. (Google Maps image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Amid concerns about the movements of a doctor and nurse who had been diagnosed with the Wuhan coronavirus in northern Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Jan. 13) announced the complete list of locations the couple had visited while they may have been infectious.

On Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 12), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that a doctor (Case No. 838) had been infected with COVID-19 at a hospital in northern Taiwan. Once contact tracing was carried out, the center discovered that his girlfriend (Case No. 839), who is a nurse at the hospital, had also contracted the virus.

After there had been much speculation about the couple's movements in the days leading up to their diagnosis, Chen on Wednesday released the complete list of locales where they had either visited together or individually over four days. The establishments they visited from Jan. 7-10 included PX Mart, Starbucks, Zhenyu Hardware, Poya, and the Metro Walk Shopping Center, all in Taoyuan City.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan university inks agreement to expand U.S. student exchanges

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/13/2021
By: Chang Jung-hsiang and Chung Yu-chen

NCKU President Su Huey-jen (left) and Fulbright Taiwan Executive Director Randall Nadeau sign a memorandum of understanding to allow broader exchanges with American students. Photo courtesy of NCKU

Tainan, Jan. 13 (CNA) National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Tainan signed a memorandum of understanding with the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan) on Wednesday to allow broader exchanges with American students.

With the signing of the MOU, the university has become part of the Consortium for Study Abroad in Taiwan (CSAT), a pilot program launched by Fulbright Taiwan to encourage educational exchanges, according to the foundation.

Under the CSAT, students enrolled at any university in the U.S. are eligible to apply for NCKU regular semester exchange programs, intensive summer classes for Mandarin language learning and participation in hands-on projects, according to the university.

Following Wednesday's signing of the MOU, the two sides will work out the finer details of the program, said NCKU, which is based in Tainan, southern Taiwan.   [FULL  STO-RY]

Union urges compulsory native-language classes

EXTINCTION: The government has said that Aboriginal languages are at risk of disappearing, but it still has not required them in school curricula, a union member said

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 14, 2021
By: Chen Yun and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Photo: CNA

An Aboriginal teachers’ union yesterday called for compulsory native-language education for all grades, in response to new curriculum guidelines that only mandate such classes until the ninth grade.

The Ministry of Education in a curriculum meeting on Saturday decided to make classes in “national languages” compulsory once per week for seventh and eighth-graders, after which it would become elective, although schools must still offer at least one class per week.

According to Article 9 of the Development of National Languages Act (國家語言發展法), national-language classes are required “at all stages of compulsory education.”

The ministry has said that Aboriginal languages are at risk of disappearing, yet has decided not to require them in the secondary-school curriculum, Save Compulsory Ethnic-Language Secondary Education Aboriginal Teachers’ Union representative Yu Nien-hua (余年華) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.  [FULL  STORY]

Gov’t to map out policy to transform civil service manpower

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 12 January, 2021
By: Paula Chao

Examination Yuan President Huang Jong-tsun was invited to speak at the opening ceremony of the forum. (Photo by Examination Yuan)

The government is working on a strategy to make better use of its civil service manpower.

The policy will include cross-disciplinary exchanges among civil servants and the lifting of restrictions on the recruitment of accredited professionals, among other things.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Civil Service held a forum called “Sustainable Development, Revitalize Manpower: the Transformation of Human Resources Management in Government.”

US ending curbs on Taiwan contacts poses challenge for Biden’s team

China has slammed the US for ending restrictions on official interaction with Taiwan. It remains unclear how Biden and his team will treat the recent move by the departing Trump administration.

Deutsche Welle
Date: 12.01.2021
By: William Yang    

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

After US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Saturday that Washington would lift restrictions on official interactions between the US and Taiwan, the Chinese government sharply criticized the move, stressing that nobody could prevent China's "reunification."  

Beijing views the self-governing democratic island of 23.6 million people as a renegade province and vows to reunify it with the mainland, even by force if necessary. 

On Monday, China's Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Pompeo's announcement. "The Chinese people's resolve to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity is unshakable and we will not permit any person or force to stop the process of China's reunification," said the ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

Taiwan, meanwhile, has welcomed the news from Washington, with Foreign Minister Joseph Wu saying during a press conference that "Taiwan-US relations have been elevated to a global partnership" with this move. The Taiwanese government has also praised the US move as a sign of "global leadership."    [FULL  STORY]

IKEA, Starbucks in Taoyuan, Taiwan shut down amid new Covid outbreak

IKEA, Starbucks, Metro Walk Shopping Center, Tai Mall shut down for disinfection after Covid infection confirmed

Taiwan News
Date: 2021/01/12
By:  Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(IKEA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — IKEA and major malls in Taoyuan shut down for disinfection on Tuesday (Jan. 12) based on the movements of a doctor and nurse who have been confirmed with COVID-19.

On Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 12), the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that a doctor (Case No. 838) had been infected with COVID-19 at a hospital in northern Taiwan. After contact tracing was carried out, the center discovered that his girlfriend, who is a nurse (Case No. 839) at the hospital, had also contracted the virus.

When asked about the doctor's movements during a press conference on Tuesday, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that based on a preliminary investigation, the physician, with the exception of times he had eaten out or drank coffee, almost always wore a mask when he ventured outside the hospital.

In response to the incident, the CECC has listed 464 hospital contacts for the two cases. They have already been tested for the coronavirus, and the results were all negative.

National Taichung Theater touts tech, wide appeal in upcoming festival

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/12/2021
By:  Kay Liu

Photo courtesy of the National Taichung Theater

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) The National Taichung Theater will "walk the fine line between technology and art," with 10 programs covering a wide range of topics, in the Taiwan International Festival of Arts presented in the central city, according to its General and Artistic Director Joyce Chiou (邱瑗).

The festival, Chiou said in a press conference on Tuesday, is aimed at becoming a platform by which artists can realize their imaginations, and she welcomed the public to the annual spring event, saying that "if you enter the theater, you'll certainly be thrilled!"

One of the programs highlighted during the press conference is "Palaces," a two-part play written by Wu Ming-lun (吳明倫) and to be performed by Our Theatre in Taichung April 30-May 2, according to the theater.    [FULL  STORY]

The KMT is not ‘anti-US,’ spokeswoman says

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 13, 2021
By: Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokeswoman Angel Hung, center, speaks at a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Taipei on Sept. 2 last year.
Photo: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokeswoman Angel Hung (洪于茜) yesterday hit back at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over accusations that it is “anti-US” and reiterated the KMT’s call for more concrete improvements in Taiwan-US ties.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday announced an end to decades of “self-imposed restrictions” introduced by the US Department of State to regulate interactions between US diplomats and other officials, and their counterparts in Taiwan.

Hung wrote on Facebook that shortly after Pompeo’s announcement, the KMT said that it views the progress in official bilateral relations positively and it would strive to help promote exchanges with the US, as along as they are in line with the Constitution and the expectations of Taiwanese.

However, experts in the US have raised doubts over whether the change in the policy would achieve much, as US president-elect Joe Biden is to take over the White House from US President Donald Trump on Wednesday next week, she said.    [FULL  STORY]