ISSUE 106                                                                             September 2, 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


Taiwan Rolls Out Medigen Vaccine, 6 Deaths in 5 Days
Taiwan's Medigen vaccine was rolled out recently. President Tsai Ing-wen received the first shot. However, as many as six people died only five days after inoculation began. This has affected the people's vaccination preferences.
Featured News

Six Sudden Deaths in Five Days After the Vaccination of Domestic Vaccine Medigen

Comprehensive Report by Taiwan Weekly


Taiwan’s Medigen COVID-19 vaccine inoculation started on August 23, and President Tsai Ing-wen led to receive the first jab in Taiwan. But six people died after vaccination in the first five days of the inoculation. According to the statistics assembled by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), the vaccination rate of Medigen coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine of the week was declining day by day. It determined that Medigen adverse events, and the scheduled arrival of BNT vaccine at the end of the month affect the willingness of people to get Medigen vaccination.


President Tsai Ing-wen has been an advocate for Medigen. She arrived at the National Taiwan University College of Medicine gymnasium at 7:30 AM on August 23. They have broadcast the vaccination live. President Tsai even reminded the nurse to hold the vial of Medigen vaccine for the media to "take a picture." After the inoculation, President Tsai received the "vaccine yellow card" and made a "like" gesture for the media, took a picture and left shortly.

Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, Taiwan's Medigen vaccine is the first in the world to obtain emergency authorization through "immuno-bridging." However, six people died soon after the vaccine was administered. Even if the government does not halt inoculation, relevant experts should promptly investigate the incident and any causal relationship.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Deaths after Inoculation: Government and Medigen Must Provide Reasonable Explanation

United Daily News Editorial, August 27, 2021


The deaths of four young adults and many cases of adverse reactions occurred within three days after people were vaccinated with Taiwan’s indigenous Medigen vaccines for coronavirus (COVID-19). These incidents adversely affected the vaccination rate of people who had made appointments of vaccinations and opposition parties demanded the suspension of vaccinations of Medigen vaccines. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) refused to suspend the vaccinations but further announced the appointments of the second doses of Medigen vaccines. The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen has wholeheartedly helped the development of Medigen vaccines and definitely will not admit errors and apologize because of several cases of failures. The Medigen vaccine is the first one in the world that obtained emergency use authorization (EUA) through the means of “immune-bridging”. To clear doubts and avoid citizens’ unnecessary loss of life, even if not suspending the vaccinations, at least the cause and effect of the incidents should be investigated by relevant experts.


The vaccinations of AstraZeneca vaccines and Moderna vaccines had also resulted in sudden deaths in Taiwan before; there were more than 500 deaths after people received AstraZeneca vaccines. But the case of Medigen vaccines is different. First, both the AstraZeneca vaccines and the Moderna vaccines have gone through complete phases of experiments and were certified by the World Health Organization and many countries. The AstraZeneca vaccines are inexpensive and have been used on more than one billion people in over 172 countries. Second, the reason of high death rate of  AstraZeneca vaccinations in Taiwan was because people who received  AstraZeneca

doses were very old seniors and their health conditions were more fragile. On the other hand, people who received Medigen vaccines were young adults, so the cases are not the same.

read more



Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States visited Singapore and Vietnam, obviously to consolidate the confidence of Southeast Asian countries in the United States. However, the visit to Vietnam also evoked the world's memory of the hurried U.S. withdrawal from Saigon.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

U.S. Attempt to Win Over Southeast Asian Nations May Prove Futile

By Hsu Si-wen

United Daily News , August 28, 2021


Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States concluded her visit to Singapore and Vietnam on August 26. Taiwan and Japan’s ruling parties, the Democratic Progressive Party and the Liberal Democratic Party held a "two plus two" video conference on August 27. The two seemingly unrelated activities actually have one thing in common.


Vice President Harris declared that the purpose of this trip was to state the U.S. vision for the Indo-Pacific region. In reality, the real goal of the United States is to unite its Asian allies to go against the power of the Chinese Communist Party. The Taiwan-Japan video conference, on the surface, is strengthening the relationship between Taiwan and Japan, but it is actually an attempt to jointly counter China.

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Featured Opinion
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang espouses a policy of “close to the United States and maintaining peace with mainland China.”
(Photo from: United Daily News)

The KMT View: Taiwan Will Not Become the Next Afghanistan But Ought to Take Caution

By Ho Chih-yung and Alfred E. Tsai
September 2, 2021


The withdrawal of United States troops culminated in the abrupt collapse of Afghanistan’s government and the return of the Taliban, prompting a debate within Taiwan about the credibility of American commitments. On August 16, President Joe Biden defended his decision in a televised national speech, stressing that U.S. troops cannot and should not be fighting and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. From our perspective, the statement is especially applicable to Taiwan as well.


The international community is rightly concerned about the chaos after the fall of Afghanistan, especially fears that the United States may not support its allies and partners unconditionally or infinitely. Analyses like this represent the deep-seated worries of the Taiwanese people about the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen and its lopsided “pro-American, anti-China” stance.


read more

This Week in Taiwan
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) recently participated in a security dialogue with Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party by video conference. According to participants, Japanese representatives stated that Taiwan and Japan share a common destiny and must face the threats and challenges presented by China together.
(Photo from: China Times)
August 23: The Central Disaster Response Center on the African swine fever stated that the authorities seized for the first time smuggled meat infected with the virus, totaling more than 71 kilograms. The products were imported by air from Vietnam. Premier Su Tseng-chang went to Taoyuan International Airport to supervise the X-ray inspection of air express parcels. He furiously criticized the Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance, for ineffective inspection control. 
The Customs Administration briefed that due to lack of manpower, the meat products could not be inspected individually. 
August 23: The day marked the 63rd anniversary of the Kinmen artillery battle in 1958, also known as the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in English. Due to epidemic prevention considerations, President Tsai Ing-wen did not travel to Kinmen to attend the commemorative event. Instead, she visited the Material Production Center, Armaments Bureau, Ministry of National Defense, as well as the Air Force Air Defense and Artillery Command, in Taipei. She stated that in this battle, the people of Taiwan, regardless of ethnic group, military or civilian, fought a bloody battle to defend the front line, as well as Taiwan. According to President Tsai, no one party or faction alone can resist external aggression. Only by working together can we protect the country. 
On Facebook, former President Ma Ying-jeou stated that only through reconciliation can both sides of the Taiwan Strait turn the battlefield of the past into a peaceful boulevard. He hopes that both sides can continue to resume disrupted negotiations and exchanges on the basis of the 1992 Consensus. 
August 23: The Taiwan Railway's Taroko line accident on April 2 resulted in 49 deaths and more than 213 injured. The Transportation Safety Board released a 200-page factual report, revealing that 30 of the dead passengers were standing passengers, accounting for about 64 percent of all dead passengers. The Taiwan Railways Administration said that it will carefully consider whether to cancel standing tickets. 
August 25: The Yushan mountain fire in May was extinguished only after 12 days, and the area burned reached 79.7 hectares (about 197 acres), and a large number of rare trees were destroyed in flames. The prosecution investigated five individuals including Chiao Chien-chung, former senior executive officer of the National Communications Commission, saw a tree and started a campfire, causing the fire. Public charges were placed on August 25, with a maximum sentence of seven years. The Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan also sought compensation of NT$228 million (about US$8.2 million), a historic nigh. 
According to the NCC, Chiao was transferred from his original post after the incident. Chiao is now suspended from official duty in accordance with Article 5 of the Public Functionaries Discipline Act.
August 26: The five-time stimulus vouchers plan was released, and both paper and digital vouchers will be issued. All citizens and foreigners holding permanent residence permits may receive a set of 10 coupons with a total value of NT$5,000 (about US$179) for free. They will be available through channels including the official website, convenience store machines, and the Chunghwa Post website. The public may start to obtain the vouchers in October, and they will not expire until the end of April next year. 
Since the lowest denomination of the five-time vouchers is NT$200 (about US$7), many small vendors were disappointed. New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih announced that the "New Taipei Double Coupon" will be launched simultaneously, which people may exchange with the five-time stimulus vouchers. The smallest denomination is NT$50 (about US$2), which may solve the problem of returning change. The move is seen as competing with the central government. 
August 26: Premier Su Tseng-chang finalized the central government budget for 2022. Although the budget for next year did not include a salary adjustment plan for military, civil service, and public education personnel, and the relevant review committee also decided not to adjust salaries, Premier Su nevertheless proposed a salary hike, in order to commend government personnel for their hard work and demonstrate the government's taking the lead in raising wages. He asked the Directorate-General of Personnel Administration, Executive Yuan, to evaluate. The salaries of military, civil service, and public education personnel, which have been frozen for three years, are expected to rise. 
August 27: The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) participated in a video conference with Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (DPP) to exchange opinions on foreign and defense policy. This was the first ever 2+2 security dialogue between the ruling parties of Taiwan and Japan. According to participants, the Japanese representatives mentioned the threats and challenges posed by mainland China and stated that Taiwan and Japan are a community with a shared destiny and must face it together. In addition to its clarity, Japanese representatives also stated that in the face of China's continuous oppression of Taiwan in the international community, Japan will actively support Taiwan's participation in international organizations and help Taiwan maintain relations with its diplomatic allies. 
August 28: Taiwan table tennis player Tian Hsiao-wen lost to a Brazilian player in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, earning a bronze medal. This is Taiwan's first medal in the Paralympic Games this time. 
The Tokyo Paralympics is being held from August 24 to September 5. There are 10 players in the Chinese Taipei delegation, participating in table tennis, track and field, fitness, judo, badminton, and swimming.
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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