Page Three

How Taiwan Won 2020: By Trusting Its Citizens, and Distrusting the Chinese Communist Party

National Review
Date: December 30, 2020
By: Jack Butler

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrives at the launch of the first of a new generation of coast guard patrol ships in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, December 11, 2020. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

As 2020, a year defined by a coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China, and was able to spread worldwide because the Chinese Communist Party suppressed evidence about it, comes to a close, you might think Western media would be a bit more wary of the regime. You’d be wrong. Because the same totalitarian government that caused the outbreak in the first place managed to brute-force its population back to something of a warped status quo, Axios sees fit to explain to us “How China Won 2020.” And that it does so in the same breathless, bullet-point, who’s-up-who’s-down manner that many political media prefer using to cover domestic politics suggests a casual refusal to reckon with the depravity of its regime, as well as the threat it poses.

Axios’s year-end paean is sadly only one of the last entries of many in the genre this year. 2020 saw many sufficiently consumed by a strange combination of America- (or self-) loathing as to be willing to gaze enviously upon the CCP. Often, as here, these efforts take on the appearance of propaganda, which is surely how the CCP views them, at any rate. Such pieces seem, at times, to be little more than power worship, a disturbing tendency that preexisted 2020 but has surely been exacerbated by it.

That might help to explain why media coverage on coronavirus recovery worldwide tends to focus on China’s supposed successes while ignoring the far freer nation of Taiwan. The Axios report homes in on China’s apparent return to economic growth during the year. Well, Taiwan managed that too. Axios praises China for reportedly handling its coronavirus outbreak. Guess what: Taiwan did that, too. And it did so without resorting to the outright tyranny that the CCP prefers. In fact, it did so precisely because that regime’s past behavior, particularly its designs on Taiwan, had given Taiwan’s government reason to distrust it. Because of Chinese influence, the World Health Organization simultaneously shut out Taiwan and promulgated Chinese deceptions about the virus and its spread, deceptions that Taiwan ignored. If the rest of the world had acted similarly, the toll of the coronavirus pandemic would have lightened considerably.    [FULL  STORY]

A New Year’s Taiwan wish list for President Biden: William Stanton

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/12/29
By: William A. Stanton, Taiwan News, Contributing Writer

President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater on Dec. 28, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP photo)

With only a few weeks to go before Joseph Biden becomes president of the United States, Taiwan’s American friends need to press hard for the policies we want to see the new administration pursue toward Taiwan.

Most important, we must continue to strengthen Taiwan’s security

As Randall Schriver, chairman of the Project 2049 Institute, and Ian Easton, senior director at the same institute, have recently reiterated, we must counter the enormous military threat the People’s Republic of China (PRC) poses to Taiwan, Asia, the United States, and the world.

Like President Trump or not, his administration and the U.S. Congress have done more to strengthen Taiwan’s security over the past four years than any previous American administration.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan headline news

Focus Taiwan
Date: 12/31/2020

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) The lead stories in major Taiwan dailies on Thursday are as follows:

@United Daily News: Teenager returning from U.K. confirmed with new COVID-19 variant; Taiwan to close border for one month starting Jan. 1

@China Times: New COVID-19 variant invades Taiwan

@Liberty Times: Taiwan to restrict entry of foreigners starting Jan. 1

@Apple Daily: Taiwan reports first case of new COVID-19 variant

@Economic Daily News: Taiex sees seven bright spots in 2020

@Commercial Times: Foreign institutions buy net NT$26.8 billion- worth of Taiwan shares

@Taipei Times: Taiwan bans non-resident foreigners    [FULL  STORY]

Changhua girl overcomes challenges, gets into NTU

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 31, 2020
By: Liu Hsiao-hsin and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Student Chen Chien-ying, front center, her counselor Yu Chih-ting, left, school principal Lin Yi-hsien, right, and another student are pictured at National Lukang Senior High School in Changhua County on Monday.
Photo: Liu Hsiao-hsin, Taipei Times

High-school student Chen Chien-ying (陳芊穎) said she hopes to help others after so many helped her overcome the limitations of cerebral palsy, once she obtains a psychology degree from National Taiwan University (NTU).

On Thursday last week, Chen became the first student from Changhua County’s National Lukang Senior High School to be accepted into the prestigious university through its program to help disadvantaged students.

Born with cerebral palsy, Chen said that she has always found movement difficult.

When she was an infant, her parents thought that she was just developing slowly, but after she was diagnosed at one year old, her parents took her to different specialists in the hopes of taking advantage of an early intervention.    [FULL  STORY]

2021 Taipei book fair to be held at Taipei World Trade Center and online

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 29 December, 2020
By: Shirley Lin

2021 Taipei International Book Fair will resume at the Taipei World Trade Center next year as well as online. (CNA file photo)

The 2021 Taipei International Book Exhibition will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center and also online. The event organizers made the announcement on Tuesday. They decided on an online version as well, due to the fact that foreign authors and publishers cannot travel to Taiwan because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 46 writers from 13 countries will be meeting Taiwanese readers online or sending pre-recorded videos talking about their latest works. They include second time Booker Prize nominee from India, Amitav Ghosh, Nobel Prize in Literature winners from Japan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Keiichiro Hirano, and Shion Miura, and renowned Chinese-American novelist Ha Jin.

The Taipei Book Fair Foundation has also invited Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang to hold a reading session at the event.     [FULL  STORY]

China’s Z-10 Attack Helicopters: Getting Ready for a Taiwan War?

The National Interest
Date: December 29, 2020
By: Kris Osborn

Beijing is copying American tactics and plans to use its modern weapon systems to invade the island if the go order is ever given.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is preparing for air and amphibious attacks upon the island of Taiwan and strategically crucial areas of the South China Sea, using new air-assault raid tactics and high-speed attack helicopters.

The preparations, which included a number of Chinese Z-10 attack helicopters and Mi-171 transport helicopters, involved over-the-sea transport and landing exercises in the sea region south of East China’s Fujian Province, the Chinese government-backed Global Times reported in a new story, citing China Central Television. 

“Z-10 attack helicopters and Mi-171 transport helicopters skimmed over the sea in formations to break up defense positions, as they fast-maneuvered to an unknown island on the high seas,” the report said.     [FULL  STORY]

Cyber security expert accuses Taiwan government of treating hacking as a game

Hackers will not reveal their findings for a reward of NT$5 million: Li Jung-shian

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/12/29
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

The government should not be offering rewards to hackers, says cyber security expert  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government should not regard hacking as a game by promising rewards to those able to crack its networks, cybersecurity expert Li Jung-shian (李忠憲) said Tuesday (Dec. 29).

A really smart hacker will not reveal his own identity for NT$5 million (US$177,800), the Liberty Times quoted the National Cheng Kung University professor as saying.

Li was referring to the plan to issue digital IDs, which has been delayed due to public concerns over its security in the face of frequent cyberattacks on Taiwanese government sites, most likely by Chinese interests.

Promising money to hackers able to point out weaknesses in the system might endanger its safety as some of them might prefer to keep the information they find to themselves, Li said. Inviting hackers to attack Taiwan’s information systems was putting all of its networks at risk, with the government underestimating the China element.    [FULL  STORY]

Masks of deities go viral online

Focus Taiwan
Date: 12/29/2020
By: Su Mu-chun and Elizabeth Hsu

Image taken from

Taichung, Dec. 29 (CNA) Photos of five men dressed as deities worshipped at a temple in Taichung, complete with colorful facial makeup denoting which deities they were representing and face masks matching their makeup, have gone viral online.

The photos sparked enthusiastic comments about the face masks the deity actors were wearing to observe COVID-19 quarantine protocols.

The "five holy generals" from the Zhong Dou Yuan Shuai Dian will lead a religious procession organized by the temple that is scheduled to set off on Saturday on a tour of Tainan.

To observe tightened quarantine protocols following the report of the first domestic case of COVID-19 infection since April, the temple prepared face masks for the five leading deities of the procession.    [FULL  STORY]

Undersea cables installed to detect quakes, tsunami

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 30, 2020
By: Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

A project to install undersea cables along Taiwan’s east and south coasts, reducing resulting casualties through the faster detection of earthquakes and tsunami, has been completed, the Central Weather Bureau announced yesterday.

Because Taiwan is at the collision and crushing zone between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate, earthquakes that threaten people’s lives happen frequently, the bureau said.

As 70 percent of earthquakes that are magnitude 6.0 or stronger have a high potential for generating tsunami, planning began in 2007 to lay undersea cables along the east coast, where most of Taiwan’s quakes occur, it said.

Forty-five kilometers of cables were laid off Yilan County’s Toucheng Township (頭城) in November 2011, the bureau said.    [FULL  STORY]

Virus Outbreak: Pandemic rivals climate change: report

LOOSE POLICIES: Measures by major central banks, such as quantitative easing, have overwhelmed small and emerging economies with large capital inflows, the report said

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 28, 2020
By: Chen Cheng-hui / Staff reporter

A person stands behind the central bank logo in Taipei on Feb. 26, 2018.
Photo: Tyrone Siu, Reuters

If the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are not addressed, they could pose an even greater challenge than those of climate change, the central bank said in a report on Friday.

Calling the pandemic a natural disaster, the report said that while climate change affects economic and financial systems gradually, predictably and over a long term, the pandemic’s effects are immediate, sudden and highly uncertain.

Major economies have adopted large-scale relief and stimulus packages to cope with the fallout of the pandemic, while major central banks have adopted emergency measures such as loosening monetary policies, the report said.

The US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and other major central banks have accelerated their pace of purchasing bonds on a large scale, even faster than in the 2008 global financial crisis, which has led their asset scale to reach record highs, the report said.    [FULL  STORY]