ISSUE 98                                                                                          July 8, 2021
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week


With China's Communist Party at 100, Xi Reasserts Peaceful Unification
At the centennial celebration of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping insisted on the "One China" principle and 1992 Consensus, so as to advance peaceful reunification. Xi added that China will adamantly destroy any scheme for Taiwan independence and stressed that foreign powers hoping to bully China shall be "battered and bloodied."
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

At Party Centennial, Xi Insists “One China” Principle, 1992 Consensus

United Daily News, July 2, 2021


The centennial celebration of the Chinese Communist Party was held in Beijing on July 1. In his remarks, President Xi Jinping, who also serves as the party’s general-secretary, insisted upon the “One China” principle, 1992 Consensus, advancement of peaceful unification, as well as defeat of any scheme of Taiwan independence. Xi also emphasized that foreign powers hoping to bully China shall be “battered and bloodied.”  


The grand celebration was held in Tiananmen Square with the attendance of more than 70,000 people including Xi Jinping and current party leadership. Former President and General-Secretary Hu Jintao and former Premier Wen Jiabao also appeared on the Tiananmen Tower. However, former President and General-Secretary Jiang Zemin and former Premier Zhu Rongji were absent. During the celebration, military aircrafts performed a flyover accompanied with gun salutes and playing of patriotic songs.

Featured Editorial
According to a commentator, the United States and its allies added to the communiqué after the Group of 7 (G7) summit an unprecedented reference to maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait. This stands in contrast to Xi's criticism that foreign powers hoping to bully China shall be "battered and bloodied." The discrepancy makes observers worry whether Taiwan might be reduced to a pawn under U.S.-China competition.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Under U.S.-China Competition, Taiwan May Be Reduced to Pawn

United Daily News, July 4, 2021


In the communiqué following the Group of 7 (G7) summit on June 13, an unprecedented chapter regarding stability across the Taiwan Strait was included. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration was certainly ecstatic about this, and the United States had obvious intentions to coalesce with its allies on the eve of the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party. As expected, in addition to mentioning the Taiwan issue in his speech on July 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping condemned foreign adversaries for their delusion behind bullying China. They would get themselves “battered and bloodied,” Xi added. The new Cold War situation between the United States and China is taking shape, and Taiwan is really going to be put in pawn in the international power politics.


Since the end of the Cold War, the so-called “Taiwan issue” has generally been managed only by the United States and China. This time around, under the strong maneuver of President Joe Biden in the United States, the Taiwan Strait has suddenly turned into a structural-level issue. Under these circumstances, the situation across the strait is expected to deteriorate over the medium to long term. Taiwan’s economic development is bound to be impacted.

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, while the resumption of Trade and Investment Framework Talks (TIFA) is gratifying, the United States would like to export pork containing the controversial additive ractopamine, while Taiwan wants vaccines. Both sides have their own agenda, making it difficult to achieve substantial results from the talks.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Ractopamine Pork and Vaccines: Tricky Corners of U.S.-Taiwan Negotiations

United Daily News, July 2, 2021


The U.S.-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks, held online by video conference, came to an end yesterday. The only thing praiseworthy is resumption of the talks after a five-year suspension. The rest was an utter lack of concrete progress. For the administration of President Joe Biden in the United States, to resume the conference suspended for four years by the previous administration was a token of good will and merely so. For the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, resumption of TIFA negotiations may not be an exciting stimulant, however in the quagmire of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it was helpful at least in diverting the public attention. Despite the so-called “fruitful results” claimed by the Executive Yuan, a more careful review indicates nothing beyond savor.


With Taiwan’s pandemic blazing into no-end flame, the United States agreed to engage in TIFA talks by video conference and deliver donated vaccines, in order to help the Tsai administration resolve its most pressing needs. In response, the Tsai administration also put on an all-out fireworks show. For example, President Tsai announced personally at the video conference that she would seek to have the United States simplify the vaccine export process, and the National Health Research Institutes claimed that it would try to secure the right to manufacture Moderna vaccines, even boasting a projected yearly production of a billion doses. But from the post-conference press release of the United States, no word was mentioned of vaccines foundry and export process simplification. Obviously, the Tsai administration’s show was purely for “domestic consumption”. In particular, the so-called Moderna vaccine foundry was ridiculed by local medical industry as nothing but “Arabian nights.”

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This Week in Taiwan
The Central Election Commission announced that, due to the pandemic, the vote for four referendum cases originally scheduled August 28 will be postponed to December 18.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)
June 28: The World Baseball Softball Confederation released the latest world rankings before the Olympics. In the ranking of men's baseball tallying points from 2018, Taiwan's ranking rose to 2nd in the world, its best in history. However, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association had announced on June 2 that due to the impact of the pandemic and personnel safety, it would have to give up participation in the preliminary games in Mexico and will have to miss the Tokyo Olympics. 
There are six national baseball teams participating in the Tokyo Olympics, including the host Japan, South Korea, the United States, Mexico, Dominican Republic (ranked 7), and Israel (ranked 24). 
June 29: Since last year, Bloomberg has published a COVID Resilience Ranking with updated results the end of each month. After the Taiwan's outbreak of domestic cases in May, Taiwan's ranking dropped from 5th place to 15th in the world. In the latest ranking released on June 28, Taiwan further fell to 44th place among 53 major economies. Taiwan's performance in terms of vaccination rates, severity of lockdowns, air travel carrying capacity, and freedom of vaccinated passengers received orange-red ratings, which mean "poor." 
The United States ranked 1st, while mainland China 8th. 
June 30: In Changhua, a fire broke out at a building housing an epidemic prevention hotel in front of the train station. Three individuals who were under quarantine and one fire fighter were killed, and 22 others were injured. According to a post by a hotel guest, fire department staff indicated that the guests may not leave their rooms. The deadly fire ignited a national debate as to whether epidemic prevention or human lives should take precedence. 
June 30: Taiwan and the United States held the 11th Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) meeting. After the meeting, the United States Trade Representative issued a press release, indicating that both sides agreed to strengthen contacts on issues such as the entry of U.S. pork and beef into the Taiwan market. The two sides will also form several task forces, including one on labor, to communicate important trade issues.
June 30: Cluster infections broke out in a building located in Fengshan District, Kaohsiung. The Kaohsiung City Government forcefully closed down the building. All 60 households and 146 residents were sent to epidemic prevention hotels and required to quarantine for 14 days, triggering controversy. According to a lawyer, the actions taken by the municipal government has no legal basis. Internet users also criticized that "forced consumption" violates human rights. Mayor Chen Chi-mai responded that there were already two households and five people infected, and it was a painful decision. 
July 1: In order to strengthen quarantine measures when entering Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that starting July 2, all inbound travelers will have to test three times. They include testing once before checking into the quarantine location, an additional rapid test between the 10th and 12th day of quarantine, then a final time before the end of the quarantine period. 
July 2: The Central Election Commission (CECC) announced that, due to the pandemic, the four referendum cases (about nuclear power, preservation of algal reefs, American pork containing the ractopamine additive, and tie of referenda with elections) will be postponed until December 18. 
The CECC also stated that the recall vote of Legislator Chen Po-wei of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party was approved and will be held on August 28. 
The CECC decided to postpone referendum votes but hold a recall vote, also shrouded in the shadow of the pandemic, as scheduled, triggering public ridicule of inconsistent standards. 
July 3: Cluster infections broke out in the first, second, and Huannan markets of the Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation. A total of 220 people were infected across the three markets, of which 111 are from Huannan Market. The Taipei City Government ordered early on July 2 that Huannan market close for three days. Health authorities have identified 183 contacts in the Huannan Market for testing, and another full screening will be conducted on July 8. The CECC also sent 80,000 cautionary text messages, reminding those who have been to Huannan Market to be tested.
Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by Fair Winds Foundation, Association of Foreign Relations, and Taipei Forum which provides coverage and perspectives on the latest developments in Taiwan.

The conclusions and recommendations of any Taiwan Weekly article are solely those of its author(s) and do not reflect the views of the institutions that publish the newsletter.

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