ISSUE 40                                                                                        May 21, 2020
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● Featured Editorial

A Hawk Wearing Glasses of Pragmatism

● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week


TSMC to Build $12 Billion Plant in Arizona As U.S.-China Rivalry Escalates
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced plans to set up a 5-nanometer wafer fab in Arizona.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

TSMC to Set Up $12 Billion 5-nm Wafer Plant in Arizona

China Times, May 16, 2020

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) said yesterday that it is planning to start construction of a 5-nanometer semiconductor fabrication foundry in Arizona next year, with monthly installed capacity of 20,000 wafers to begin in 2021. The total investment is estimated at US$12 billion. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a welcome statement yesterday, mentioning that TSMC’s announcement comes at a critical juncture, when China is competing to dominate cutting-edge technology and control critical industries. He indicated that TSMC’s decision will increase American economic independence. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) commented on Facebook that the decision sets a new milestone in the U.S.-Taiwan partnership. 

read more


Featured News
Dr. Tsai Ing-wen was inaugurated as the 15th-term president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on May 20. This is her second term as president.
(Photo from: Office of the President Republic of China (Taiwan) )

With Inaugural Address, Tsai Proposes Constitutional Amendment, Legislative Yuan Establishes Committee

United Daily News, May 20, 2020

Today, Tsai Ing-wen and William Lai were sworn in and inaugurated as the 15th-term president and vice president of the Republic of China. The day marks the beginning of President Tsai’s second term in office.


President Tsai delivered her inaugural address in which she reaffirmed that Taiwan would handle cross-strait relations according to the Constitution and Act Governing Cross-Strait Relations, in order to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. In the inaugural address, President Tsai also mentioned that the Constitutional Amendment Committee would be established in the Legislative Yuan, indicating her intention to initiate constitutional amendment within the new term.

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Featured Editorial
Founder Morris Chang once said that TSMC will one day become a competed place in geo-politics.
(Photo from: Morris Chang 's Facebook)

TSMC Arizona Plant Hinged on Apple and Trump

United Daily News, May 15, 2020

On May 15, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced its decision to build and operate a major 5-nanometer semiconductor factory in Arizona. This decision was both expected and unexpected for the industry. Not surprisingly, TSMC will be heading to the United States to invest in a new plant. But what is surprising is that the timing of the announcement came earlier than what the industry had predicted.

Some experts in the semiconductor industry said that TSMC’s decision depended on two factors: Apple, which is TSMC’s largest customer, and President Donald Trump.

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Featured Editorial
Major General Qiao Liang of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) wrote that while peaceful unification of Taiwan appears hopeless, unification by military force must not be rushed or taken lightly.
(Photo from:  United Daily News)

A Hawk Wearing Glasses of Pragmatism

United Daily News, May 16, 2020


A couple of weeks before President Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration on May 20, Qiao Liang, a retired major general of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who authored "the unrestricted warfare" theory, wrote an article entitled "The Taiwan Issue Concerns National Destiny and Should Not Be Rushed.” Following this article, there is a view that Communist China is using the threat of force again, while others argue that the hawks are becoming dovish. Actually, neither of these views are accurate. "A hawk wearing glasses of pragmatism" is probably a more appropriate description. 

read more



This Week in Taiwan

May 14: In anticipation of the presidential inauguration on May 20, Cabinet officials have resigned and will be reshuffled. New ministers will be appointed to the National Development Council, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Science and Technology, Overseas Community Affairs Commission, Financial Supervisory Commission, and Hakka Affairs Council after May 20. Premier Su Tseng-chang, who has been retained by the president, said that the government is ready for the revitalization phase ahead

May 14: The Academia Sinica confirmed that Vice President Chen Chien-jen will assume the role of “distinguished researcher” after he leaves office on May 20. The research institution plans to take advantage of Chen’s expertise in infectious diseases and public health. Because he is assuming another public office, Vice President Chen will have to give up his pension and privileges. According to regulation, the vice president will be unable to receive a pension of NT$180,000 (about US$6,000) per month and office subsidies of NT$4 million (about US$133,000) per year, but distinguished researchers of the Academia Sinica may earn a monthly salary up to NT$500,000 (about US$16,600).

May 15: The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) is scheduled to be held on May 18 and 19 by video conference. Taiwan has not yet been invited to attend but on May 15 held a video conference with 13 other countries to exchange epidemic prevention experiences. The representative of the Untied States not only commended Taiwan’s pandemic response but also reaffirmed support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO). German officials stated that they have submitted diplomatic notes to WHO Director-General Tedros Abhanom in support of Taiwan’s participation in the WHA as an observer.

May 15: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Yi-yu previously proposed to revise the Additional Articles of the Constitution and remove the “unification” clause, which created cross-strait tensions before the presidential inauguration. When the bill entered the first reading of the Legislative Yuan, Speaker You Si-kun unexpectedly announced that the sponsoring legislator wrote to withdraw the bill, and the Legislative Yuan agreed to withdraw the bill without objection. Legislator Tsai’s “constitutional bomb” in favor of formal independence was temporarily dismantled under internal pressure within the DPP. At the same time, Tsai also withdrew the bill to amend the Act Governing Cross-Strait relations, also to remove the “unification” clause.

May 15: Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu officially expressed his position on his pending recall election. He stressed that the Kaohsiung City Government has been honest, free of similar corruption scandals alleged against the previous administration, and dedicated to Kaohsiung’s development. Han called upon his supporters to just watch and not vote in the recall election or participate in political activities, so as to avoid further political polarization and conflict.

May 16: Reporters who cover the Office of the President has received multiple e-mail messages since May 15, which contains meeting minutes about how President Tsai Ing-wen planned attacks against his primary opponent Vice President-elect William Lai, how President Tsai and Premier Su Tseng-tsang secretly discussed personnel arrangements, and how the two nominees to the National Communications Commission are pro-DPP and can help deal with CTI Television, which is considered more friendly to the Kuomintang. The Office of the President claimed that the personal computer of a high-ranking official was hacked, and an overseas hacker rewrote the stolen material before forwarding to specific media reporters. Spokesman Ting Yun-kung said that the content received by the reporter is speculative, not factual, and the Office of the President has notified the police to investigate.

Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by Fair Winds Foundation and Association of Foreign Relations that provides coverage and perspectives into 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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