ISSUE 44                                                                                       June 18, 2020
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


After Han's Removal, Wave of Recalls Rages in Taiwan
The recall of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu has set off a number of retaliatory recall initiatives. Many elected representatives may be facing recall challenges.
(Photo from: Tsai Cheng-yuan's Facebook)
Featured News

To Do Han Justice, Wave of Recalls Spreading Like Wildfire Across Taiwan

China Times, June 9, 2020


After Kaohsiung Mayor Han was recalled on June 6, a wave of recalls is spreading like wild fire from southern to northern Taiwan, with Kaohsiung Councilwoman Huang Jie, who is affiliated with the New Power Party, as the main target. The registration for the recall of Huang restarted on June 8.


Meanwhile, Mayor Han's fans and the Blue Sky Action Alliance heatedly protested against Democratic Progressive Party members, Taoyuan Councilman Wang Hao-yu, and Taipei Councilman Liang Wen-jie, who made a fuss over the sudden death of Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Hsu Kun-yuan. The protesters requested that both Wang and Liang apologize and step down. The pro-Han groups even applied for rally in Taipei on June 13 and 14, to do Han justice.

read more


Featured Editorial
Han's supporters are carrying out a number of retaliatory recall initiatives across Taiwan.
(Photo from: China Times)

Tsunami of Recalls Around the Corner, How to Fix A Lopsided System?

United Daily News , June 13, 2020


In the wake of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s recall, some Kuomintang (KMT) supporters initiated retaliatory recall campaigns against various elected representatives who supportesd Han’s recall. Regardless of whether the move can succeed or not, the battle of recalling Han has set off a mega-wave of recalls, shaking Taiwan’s democracy and political operations.


Objectively speaking, those who initiated retaliatory recall campaigns are far less sophisticated than the “civic society” and “national team” affiliated with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Although both were politically motivated, the DPP was to first find a group of “unbiased-looking” opinion leaders to take a high call, and steadily warm up the recall campaign. Finally, they made concerted efforts with the DPP by mobilizing the peripheral social forces and the government power to get the recall passed.

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Featured Opinion
Han's supporters protested on Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, threatening to remove President Tsai Ing-wen.
(Photo from:  United Daily News)

President Tsai is to Unyoke from Her Two Kinds of Consciousness
By Wang Chien-chuang
United Daily News, June 13,2020


Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu was recalled on June 6, and then Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Hsu Kun-yuan committed suicide by jumping off his apartment building the same evening. The removal and the suicide both happened in Kaohsiung on the same day.


But President Tsai Ing-wen was indulging herself in the dismissal of the city mayor, being still totally unaware of the death of the speaker. She wrote a passage on Facebook that night, "Today, there are more than 900,000 Kaohsiung citizens voted down the city mayor... Let’s move Taiwan a step forward in democracy." Obviously, Tsai misplayed her dual role of the chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and president at the moment when she wrote on the Facebook. When Mayor Han was dismissed and the Speaker Hsu committed suicide, she should remark as the president rather than as the DPP chairwoman. After Mayor Han was removed from the office, she should play the role as a unifier rather than as a winner. President Tsai should serve as a pacifier instead of being indifferent to the speaker’s demise.

read more



This Week in Taiwan
Student representatives of National Taiwan University proposed at a university meeting the establishment of a task force devoted to promoting transitional justice on campus. In addition, they designated the landmark Fu Bell as one of the targets of transitional justice. The proposal failed to be adopted after a heated debate and vote.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

June 9: A Boeing C-40 Clipper of the United States took off from Japan’s Ryukyu and flew into Taiwan’s air space from Keelung through the island's west coast. Then, the executive aircraft exited through Tainan on its way to Thailand. This is the first time in four years that a U.S. military aircraft has crossed Taiwan. At the same time, Taiwan also detected several Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircrafts of the People’s Liberation Army. They briefly entered the southwestern part of Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone but were warned and driven away.


June 11: Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture intends to change the administrative division of the Diaoyutai Islands from Tonoshiro (登野城) to Senkaku, Tonoshiro (登野城尖閣). The Yilan County Council also passed a provisional resolution, recommending that the Yilan County Government rectify the administrative name of the Diaoyutai Islands to Diaoyutai, Toucheng (頭城釣魚台), in order to defend local jurisdiction of the islands. The county government responded that it would review and implement and proposal.


June 12: The Central Election Commission officially confirmed the recall of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu and announced August 15 as the date of the mayoral by-election. Mayoral candidates must complete registration by June 24, quite a tight timeline in terms of campaigning. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has decided to field incumbent Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai as its mayoral candidate. Chen will resign from his current post to participate in the by-election. Caught off guard, the Kuomintang (KMT) must find its candidate within 12 days. With the dismissal of Han, the Executive Yuan appointed Yang Ming-jou as acting mayor effective June 13. Yang was previously a counselor in the Kaohsiung City Government and a close confidante of former Mayor Chen Chu.


June 13: Student representatives of National Taiwan University (NTU) recently proposed establishing a group to promote transitional justice to deal with campus planning, removal of authoritarian symbols, and a reconstruction and review of the school’s history, stirring controversy. Some NTU alumni formed an alliance defending campus autonomy, criticizing in a press release that the NTU Student Association is attempting to translate partisan politics onto campus and denouncing the late university President Fu Ssu-nien and incumbent President Kuan Chung-ming. Other NTU alumni also launched an online petition to rescue the Fu Bell, which symbolizes the school’s spirit. The case was discussed at an official university meeting. After 50 minutes of heated debate and vote of 24 to 109, the case failed to pass.


June 13: The implementation of a fee cap on self-funded medical supplies triggered a backlash in the medical profession, prompting President Tsai Ing-wen to come forward and urge consultation between the premier and minister of health and welfare. The National Health Insurance Administration invited medical professionals to meet. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung announced that the new policy which had been scheduled for August would be postponed. The halt defused a crisis which has hit the Tsai administration.

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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