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US official seeks ‘one China’ counter

RETHINKING POLICY: US Representative Steve Chabot’s proposal said that Beijing has ‘sought to assert its one China principle over any other position on Taiwan’s status’

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 23, 2019
By: Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

US Representative Steve Chabot, co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, on

US Representative Steve Chabot speaks in Washington on Feb. 8.Photo: Bloomberg

Thursday proposed a resolution asking the US government to counter Beijing’s “one China” principle.

In the resolution, Chabot said that the US’ “one China” policy is not equivalent to Beijing’s “one China” principle, as the former is based on the full implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act and the Three Joint Communiques it negotiated with Beijing, with a focus on peaceful resolution of Taiwan’s status.

“In the Three Joint Communiques, the United States only acknowledged, without endorsing, the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] claim that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China,” the resolution said.

“However, the PRC has actively sought to assert its one China principle over any other position on Taiwan’s status, including the US’ one China policy,” it said.
[FULL  STORY]

Special forces troops practice marching in coastal towns

Radio Taiwan International 
Date: 21 March, 2019
By: Paula Chao

Special forces troops practice marching in coastal towns

An annual marching drill held by the army’s Aviation and Special Forces Command is under way. In previous years, the exercise has been held in mountainous areas, but this year, the focus is on coastal areas. The goal of this change is to bolster soldiers’ combat capabilities in different environments.

A helicopter launches an attack. The response is quick. From another helicopter, soldiers rappel down to the ground to give support and cover to comrades hidden in a nearby building.

It’s a just a drill, but it’s an important one. The goal is to strengthen the army’s attack and defense capabilities in coastal towns.    [FULL  STORY]

Huge, pregnant great white shark caught off NE Taiwan coast

Gargantuan great white shark carrying 14 baby sharks caught off NE Taiwan coast

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/21 
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Image from PTT)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A huge great white shark measuring over 4 meters in length caught off the northeast coast of Taiwan Wednesday (March 20) was found to be carrying 14 baby sharks.

On Wednesday, a fisherman from Yilan caught a great white shark in Dong’ao Bay measuring 4.2 meters in length and weighing 1,170 kilograms, reported CNA. The fisherman sold the massive shark at an auction in the Nan-fang-ao Fishing Harbor in Su’ao Township, Yilan County for a price NT$58,500 (US$1,898) or NT$50 per kilogram.

Cheng Ming-hiou (鄭明修), a research fellow in the Biodiversity Research Center of Academia Sinica who has specialized in marine ecology for over 20 years, was cited by Liberty Times as saying that it was “the largest great white shark I have ever seen in my life.”

After an incision was made in the shark’s belly, a staggering 14 fully-formed baby sharks were found inside. Cheng said that before this find, the academic community was not very clear about the reproductive mode of the great white shark.    [FULL  STORY]

President Tsai arrives in Palau

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/21
By: Wen Kuei-hsiang and William Yen

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, front, left)

Koror, Palau, March 21 (CNA) Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived in Palau Thursday, marking the first leg of her current visit to diplomatic allies in the Pacific.

Tsai was welcomed by Palau Minister of State Faustina Rehuher-Marugg who boarded Tsai’s plane after it landed at about 8 p.m. local time.

Reflecting the close friendship between the two countries, Palau Vice President Raynold Oilouch also received Tsai when she disembarked from the plane.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, front, center) and Palau Vice President Raynold Oilouch (front, second right)

Tsai also shook hands with residents and members of the local Taiwanese business community as they welcomed her by waving Republic of China and Palau flags and shouting “Welcome president.”    [FULL  STORY]

Minister meets unions to discuss rules for strikes

PLEASING TWO SIDES: Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung said he hoped to ‘protect workers’ rights while minimizing the impact on society’

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 22, 2019
By: Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

In a bid to address potential labor disputes and minimize the effects of strikes, Minister of

EVA Air Union members hold a petition at a meeting of trade unions in Taipei yesterday.Photo: Chen Yi-chia, Taipei Times

Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) yesterday met with representatives from the Chunghwa Postal Workers’ Union, the Chunghwa Telecom Workers’ Union, the Taiwan Railway Labor Union, the Taiwan Highway Workers’ Union, the Taoyuan International Airport Corporation Trade Union, the Taiwan International Ports Corporation Enterprise Trade Union, the EVA Air Union, the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions and the Chinese Federation of Labor.

Before the meeting, Lin told reporters that a ministry task force had visited members of the unions in light of the effect that strikes have had on society.

The task force is seeking to understand issues that concern unions and adopt a preventive approach to resolve labor disputes, Lin said.

Representatives are encouraged to speak up and the ministry is to compile their statements for consideration, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

OPINION: Making Sense of ‘The Looming Crisis Over Taiwan’

A response to an article on Taiwan by Council of Foreign Relations head Richard Haass.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/03/21
By: Joseph A. Bosco, Taiwan Insight

Credit: Reuters / TPG

Richard Haass, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, recently published an article entitled “The looming crisis over Taiwan.” It is surprisingly unbalanced in analyzing the cause of the crisis he fears.

The article begins by describing the three U.S.-China communiques which “downgrade[d] ties with Taiwan and maintain[ed] only unofficial relations with the island.” It then refers to the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), in which the U.S. stated that it would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means of grave concern to the United States,” and it laid out the approach Washington would follow to prevent that scenario. Haass describes it as follows:

“The law stated that the U.S. would support Taiwan’s self-defense and maintain the capacity to come to Taiwan’s aid. Left vague, however, was whether it actually would. Taiwan could not assume that it would; the mainland could not assume that it would not. Such ambiguity was meant to dissuade either side from unilateral acts that could trigger a crisis.”

Haass judged the communiques and TRA together as “a winning formula” for all three parties but then expressed his concern with its longevity: “The question is whether time is running out.”    [FULL  STORY]

Tsai receives baseball league champions at Presidential Office

Radio Taiwan International 
Date: 20 March, 2019
By: Shirley Lin

President Tsai Ing-wen got a surprise hug from Lamigo Monkeys’ mascot. (Photo by the Presidential Office)

President Tsai Ing-wen received the baseball team the Lamigo Monkeys at the Presidential Office Wednesday.

The team is the champion of the 2018 Chinese Professional Baseball League season. It is the second win in a row for the team.

As Tsai was taking a group photo with the baseball players, the team’s mascot gave her a surprise bear hug from behind. Tsai later jokingly said she wondered where her bodyguard was at the time.

Tsai also said she hopes that in the future, all champion teams will be invited to the Presidential Office.    [FULL  STORY]

Looking Back at 40 Years of US-Taiwan Ties Under the Taiwan Relations Act

The Taiwan Relations Act has provided for stability in US-Taiwan relations while allowing for enough ambiguity to keep Beijing at bay.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/03/20
By: Jacques deLisle

Credit: Depositphotos

The United States Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) will mark its 40th anniversary in April 2019. Enacted amid the normalization of relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Washington’s acquiescence in Beijing’s requirement that the U.S. sever diplomatic relations and terminate a mutual defense treaty with the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan), the TRA has been a durable and effective foundation for American policy. Although the law and the policies it embodies and reinforces offend China, the TRA has fostered stability in U.S. policy toward Taiwan and cross-Strait relations and, in turn, regional security. It has done so in three principal ways.

First, the TRA has provided functional replacements for what Taipei lost when Washington ended formal ties and the security pact in 1979. Mundanely, the law established pragmatic substitutes for the legal and diplomatic rights and relations that the ROC had possessed and otherwise would have lost. The TRA directed that Taiwan would continue to be treated in U.S. law largely as if it were a state, and the ROC regime as if it were the government of a recognized state. It provided for Taiwan and the U.S. to maintain the near-equivalent of embassies, consulates, and regional bureaus within foreign ministries, and for Taiwan to enjoy sovereign immunity, continued participation in international agreements and institutions, and other state-like powers and responsibilities under U.S. law.

Credit: Taiwan Presidential OfficeTsai Ing-wen makes an unprecedented phone call to US President Donald Trump.
Symbolically, the TRA’s mandate of this “as if” status for Taiwan signaled ongoing U.S. support for Taiwan’s robust, state-like standing in the world, mitigating perils posed by the inexorable trend of countries shifting diplomatic ties and recognition from Taipei to Beijing. The TRA became an early and important element in Taiwan’s now long-running strategy of seeking security through acquiring as much of the stature and attributes of statehood as it can get, without crossing Beijing’s redline by asserting full-fledged de jure independence.

Strategically, the TRA included a specific commitment – albeit one vesting discretion in the President – to sell arms to Taiwan, and a broader assurance that the U.S. rejected China’s use of coercive means to achieve unification of Taiwan. Ironically, the TRA’s assertion of U.S. interest in the human rights of the people of Taiwan – an expression of Carter-era U.S. foreign policy that was a rebuke and warning to the authoritarian Kuomintang regime – soon resonated with a key basis for post-democratization Taiwan’s maintaining U.S. support and garnering international stature by playing the “values card,” especially in the post-Cold War era.    [FULL  STORY]

DPP Chair warns against party factionalism ahead of Taiwan 2020 election

William Lai or President Tsai? DPP prepares to choose its nominee for president

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/20 
By: Duncan Deaeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

DPP Chair Cho Jung-tai (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰), addressed media and party supporters on Wednesday following the announcement by former Premier William Lai that he would challenge presidential incumbent Tsai Ing-wen for the party’s presidential nomination.

Cho declared that the party’s candidate nomination process is reliable, and he urged the party away from factionalism ahead of the DPP nomination announcement which is expected in early to mid-April.

William Lai’s announcement on Monday, March 18, that he would challenge Tsai for the nomination, has generated some unease among the DPP and their supporters.

Despite a recent poll which suggests that Lai performs well when matched against either Tsai or Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je in popularity, Tsai’s support in the DPP remains strong, with 36 out of 68 sitting DPP national legislators signaling their continued support for Tsai Ing-wen to remain in her office.    [FULL  STORY]

Huge amount of plastic found inside dead pregnant whale

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/20
By: Lu Tai-chen and William Ye

Research personnel examine plastic and trash found in the stomach of a dead whale beached in Hualien, eastern Taiwan / Photo courtesy of the Ocean Conversation Administration

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) An autopsy on a whale that was found dead on a beach in Hualien last Friday revealed a large amount of plastic in its stomach and it was also found to be pregnant, two ocean conservation organizations said Wednesday.

The Cuvier’s beaked whale had in its stomach six plastic bags, four canvas bags, one sheet of hard plastic, two fishing lines, and numerous wads and fragments of plastic, according to the Ocean Conversation Administration (OCA) and Taiwan Cetacean Society, which conducted the autopsy.

A Cuvier’s beaked whale found on a beach in Hualien, eastern Taiwan / Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of the Ocean Conversation Administration

However, it was still uncertain whether the ingestion of plastic was the direct cause of the whale’s death, said Ko Yung-chuan (柯勇全) of the OCA.

He said the remains of a squid were found in the whale’s stomach, which indicated that the whale was still able to feed, therefore, until further tests could be done, the cause of death could not be determined.    [FULL  STORY]