ISSUE 55                                                                               September 3, 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


President Tsai Self-Contradictory, Lifts Import Restrictions on U.S. Pork Containing Ractopamine
In a press conference at the Office of the President, President Tsai Ing-wen announced that Taiwan would lift import restrictions on U.S. pork and beef containing ractopamine.
(Photo from:  United Daily News)
Featured News

Taiwan Lifts Import Restrictions on U.S. Pork and Beef, Exchanges Food Safety for Trade Talks

United Daily News, August 29, 2020


President Tsai: Lift of Import Restrictions Consistent with National Interests and Strategy


President Tsai Ing-wen announced that starting next year, U.S. pork and beef imports will be open and expanded. In accordance with scientific evidence and international standards, the limitations of ractopamine will be modified, and restrictions on U.S. cattle over 30-month of age will be dropped. President Tsai stressed that this decision is in line with Taiwan’s overall interests and future strategic development goals.


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of the United States posted on Twitter that Taiwan’s removal of import barriers to U.S. pork and beef will open the door for even deeper economic and trade cooperation.

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Featured Editorial
Eight years ago as chairwoman, Tsai led the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to boycott the import of U.S. pork containing ractopamine. Yet her position has flip-flopped without consulting the people or parliament. President Tsai has been criticized as inconsistent.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

President Tsai Proves DPP Misled Taiwan on U.S. Pork Import Policy

United Daily News Editorial, August 29, 2020


President Tsai Ing-wen made a surprise attack on August 28 before the weekend by announcing that Taiwan will allow import of American pork containing ractopamine, a controversial feed additive, and American beef from cattle aged over 30 months effective January 1, 2021. The order will not require approval from the Legislative Yuan, Tsai said. Standing next to her were the vice president and premier, who supposedly endorse her open trade policy. President Tsai, together with her high-level officials of her administration, reminded the people that they were the protagonists who blocked the import of American pork and beef into Taiwan under the name of "people’s food security" eight years ago. History would bear testimony to every word that the Tsai Administration said to the people, evidencing that she and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) misled the country and its people by hook or by crook only for the benefit of the DPP.


According to President Tsai, the opening-up policy is based on national economic interests. Moreover, it was in line with the overall strategic goals of the future. Taiwan must grasp the strategic opportunities to overcome obstacles and open a new way for the country.

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Featured Opinion
Without good reason, President Tsai unilaterally opened up Taiwan to the import of U.S. pork, lending testimony to the claim that the the DPP administration is "soft-footed" when handling relations with the United States.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Taiwan Lifts U.S. Pork Import Restrictions: Soft-Footed Pro-American Policy

By Lin Chu-chia
United Daily News
, August 30, 2020


President Tsai Ing-wen announced on Friday the easing of import restrictions on American pork containing 10 parts per billion (ppb) of ractopamine, as well as 30-month-old American beef. This decision came out of the blue. I believe it will cause great controversy in Taiwan. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which was in opposition in 2012, had tried its best in the Legislative Yuan to block the opening. Hence, further opening of American pork and viscera of cattle by Kuomintang (KMT) were stopped. Unexpectedly, the DPP administration unilaterally opened American pork imports without any conditions and enough reasons. The claim that the DPP administration will be soft-footed if it encounters the US interests is once again proven.


First, the main reason why cattle less than 30-month old were allowed in that year was that the calf had the least chance of having mad cow disease; cattle viscera were excluded because they contain much higher ractopamine. American cattle over 30-month old cause a higher risk to human health. Minister Chen Chi-chung of the Council of Agriculture was the pioneer who opposed the opening of American cattle then, but he made a total reversal of his position now. It is necessary for him to give our people more enough evidence to justify his change of policy position.

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Featured Opinion
The U.S. Department of Defense accused China of destabilizing the South China Sea by test-firing ballistic missiles and conducting military exercises.
(Photo from: China Times)

With Landslide in U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations, On Verge of War in the Taiwan Strait?

By Chao Chien Ming
United Daily News
, August 30, 2020


After former President Ma Ying-jeou cited data from the Belgian think tank and criticized the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen bring Taiwan to the brink of war, he was besieged with barrage of criticism by party apparatus. At the time the ruling and opposition parties were debating if Taiwan Strait was secure, the tension of conflict between the United States and China was all time high. Newspapers reported that the United States was test firing Minuteman missiles early August, the Chinese Liberation Army immediately responded with test firing ballistic missile and the so called “carrier killer” missiles in the South China Sea. After all, President Tsai recognized the severe scenario and asked China to exercise self-restrain. But at the same time, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, cooperating with the U.S. sanction of Tik Tok, sanctioned Iqiyi and Taobao, mainland Chinese enterprises in Taiwan. Taiwan also opened itself to the long-disputed import of the American beef and pork and announced procurement of U.S. harpoon missiles. The U.S.-China-Taiwan triangle is tilting, and Taiwan Strait is beset with crisis.


The Tsai administration ignored the cause of alarm and instead punished whistle blowers. However, international specialists and media thought warnings against the breakout of war in Taiwan Strait were too numerous to enumerate.

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This Week in Taiwan
Reconnaissance aircraft of the United States recently entered the airspace of China's military exercises. To respond, China launched four "East Wind missiles." The situation in the South China Sea is becoming increasingly tense.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

August 24: In October last year, Taobao opened a subsidiary in Taiwan in the name of Claddagh Venture Investment Limited but has been questioned to be "fake foreign investment, real mainland Chinese capital." After a nearly 10-month investigation, the Investment Commission, Ministry of Economic Affairs, found that mainland Chinese investor Alibaba has controlling power over Claddagh Venture Investment and that Taobao Taiwan is actually controlled by mainland investment, which violates the Act Governing Cross-Strait Relations. The subsidiary was fined NT$410,000 (about US$14,000) and ordered to withdraw or make a correction within six months. This is the first real control case to find mainland Chinese capital involvement. 


August 24: Mainland Chinese students can finally enter Taiwan! The Ministry of Education announced that effective August 24, new students from foreign countries and degree students from the mainland will be able to enroll in Taiwan. An estimated 10,000 satisfies the requirements, including 5,000 mainland students. Foreign students will have to complete a 14-day home isolation. A university executive stated that this is a spring come late. 


August 27: Reconnaissance aircrafts of the United States on August 25 entered the airspace of China's military drills. On August 26, China launched four Dongfeng missiles in a rehearsal, escalating tensions in the South China Sea. On August 27, President Tsai Ing-wen said in video remarks to an Australian think tank that given increased military activity in the region, there continue to be significant concerns over the potential of accidents. She calls upon all sides to exercise caution and restraint in order to avoid cross-strait confrontation. She expects Beijing to exercise self-restraint to fulfill its obligations as a major power. It is important to maintain open channels of communication so as to avoid misunderstandings and calculations, President Tsai said.


August 27: Since the implementation of Hong Kong's national security law, many Hong Kong protesters have chosen to sail away illegally to Taiwan to avoid political risks. The coast guard in Guangdong Province seized a suspected illegal cross-border speedboat, detaining more than 10 people. According to foreign media, the vessel failed to sail to Taiwan, and the arrested people were those who have participated in protests, including Edward Lei, who was previously arrested by Hong Kong police.

According to China Times, another boat carrying five Hong Kong protesters in middle or late July drifted to the Pratas Islands due to lack of fuel. They were tracked down by Taiwan's coast guard and are currently housed in Kaohsiung.


August 28: The Constitutional Court of the Judicial Yuan issued Interpretation No. 793, finding that the Act Governing Ill-gotten Party Assets to be constitutional. 

The Kuomintang (KMT) and National Women's League criticized the interpretation as a declaration that any future government administration can arbitrarily get rid of its dissenters under the banner of justice. 

Four justices dissented and opined that the Act Governing Ill-gotten Party Assets primarily deals with the KMT. Justices of the Constitutional Court ought to be neutral and calm and not dance along the campaign for "transitional justice." The treatment of party assets must not be unscrupulous, or it would hurt the innocent. 


August 28: Internet celebrity Holger Chen, popularly known as Kuan Chang, was shot three times and sent to the hospital for emergency aid around 2 AM. The police said that the suspect has turned himself in and appears to have fired because of a dissatisfaction over a previous harassment dispute. Kuan Chang was shot in the arm and leg, and part of a warhead is stuck in his leg and ankle. The hospital said that Chen was able to joke when changing his coverings. His body is recovering well.

Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by the 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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