ISSUE 88                                                                                        April 29, 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


NSB: Approaching Centennial, China's Communist Party to Toughen on Taiwan
According to a report by the National Security Bureau, the Chinese Communist Party will become more assertive on sovereignty issues as its centennial approaches.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

NSB: Approaching Centennial, Chinese Communist Party to Take More Assertive Stance Towards Taiwan

China Times, April 28, 2021


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. Mainland China has accordingly launched commemorative activities for the centennial. The National Security Bureau (NSB) of Taiwan assessed that in regards to China’s internal propaganda and external demonstrations of national self-confidence, Communist China’s attitude towards sovereignty, human rights issues, and external conflicts may become stronger with time. This may add pressures to Taiwan and neighboring countries. At the same time, it is expected that East Asian countries may use "issue-based diplomacy" to strengthen cooperation opportunities with the United States and China respectively, to reduce confrontation, and safeguard strategic interests.


Cross-Strait Peace Upgraded to Regional Issue


During a video conference with the Foreign Relations Committee, an American think tank, mainland China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi warned that the United States' playing the Taiwan card is playing with fire. In response, the Presidential Office Spokesperson Dun-Han Chang responded yesterday that the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait has been elevated from cross-strait relations to a regional issue, calling on Beijing to fulfill the responsibility of a regional member. Taiwan’s position is firm and Taiwan will share the values ​​of freedom, democracy and human rights. Countries with the similar ideologies will work together to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait and the Indo-Pacific region.

Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, U.S.-China relations, which had been in hot water, is recently seeing goodwill on climate issues. Cross-strait relations, which has stalled for more than five years, could also resume talks or cooperation as circumstances evolve.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

If the U.S. and China Can Collaborate, Why Can’t Both Sides of the Taiwan Strait?

Want Times Editorial, April 24, 2021


Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed positive attitude towards the Leaders Summit on Climate proposed by President Joe Biden of the United States. When the public generally held negative views on U.S.-China relationship, the United States special envoy on climate change John Kerry visited Shanghai and reached a joint statement with the Chinese side, and later on President Xi agreed to attend the climate summit and showed good faith. These signs show that the diversity of U.S.-China relationship far exceeds the past public experience, and the relationship is different from any other modes of relationship between two major powers. As the “dependent variable” of the U.S.-China relationship, cross-strait relations, which has been in stalemate for more than five years, should learn something from the above developments.


For more than a decade, there have been continuous discussions and commentaries surrounding the types of U.S.-China relationship from strategic and opinion angles. The most representative ones are “G-2 co-management of the world” (G-2) and the “new U.S.-China Cold War.” Advocates of the former type are mainly in Mainland China, they hoped that the United States and China can cooperate and transfer the power center peacefully, orderly, and stably; a small number of Democrats in the United States held the same expectations, but they have disappeared. Advocates of the latter type have realized their goals during the Donald Trump administration. Many measures adopted by President Biden towards China are considered as “new Cold War” and are irreversible.

read more



Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, Taiwan should examine Citibank's withdrawal from Taiwan and reflect upon its own economy and industrial sector. With the exception of the technology industry, other industries are gradually shrinking, reflecting the crisis and risks of Taiwan's political economy gradually shrinking.
(Photo from: Citibank)

Citi Exit Exposes Taiwan’s Deep-Seated Political and Economic Risks

China Times Editorial, April 19, 2021


Citigroup dropped a bombshell with the announcement of its exit of consumer banking in 13 markets, including Taiwan. From one perspective, this is Citi’s individual change of operation strategy, but from a macro perspective, it represents decreasing connection with the international and foreign investment of Taiwan’s economy and industry, except for technology which outshines other sectors, and there is a crisis and risk of "inward contraction."


Citi announced it will close its consumer banking business including credit cards, savings, credit, and mortgage services in 13 countries: Taiwan, mainland China, Australia, Bahrain, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam. According to industry analysis, the consumer banking business has become a Red Ocean market under fierce competition, and has compressed profit margins. So, Citigroup prefers to move away from consumer banking to focus on institutional finance businesses. 

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This Week in Taiwan
Japan plans to discharge diluted waste water containing tritium from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Ambassador Frank Hsieh, representative to Japan, stated that Taiwanese nuclear plants also discharge tritium-containing waste water, stirring controversy.
(Photo from: China Times)

April 20: A Taroko Express train of the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) crashed with a construction vehicle that slipped onto the track on April 2, killing 49 people. Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung resigned, and the Executive Yuan announced on April 19 that Deputy Minister Wang Kuo-tsai will take over as minister, and Railway Bureau chief Hu Hsiang-lin will become deputy minister, effective April 20. 


The chief executive of the Taiwan Railways Administration has been left vacant for more than three months. Premier Su Tseng-chang agreed to raise the current deputy executive Tu Wei, recommended by Wang, to the position of chief executive. Premier Su expects that the new minister and director will launch a new wave of reforms to the TRA. 


April 20: Nanya Technology Corporation, a dynamic random access memory (DRAM) manufactuer, announced that it will spend NT$300 billion (about US$10.7 billion) over three phases to build Taiwan's first 10-nanometer properitary technology DRAM plant in New Taipei.  The construction is planned to start at the end of this year and mass production in 2024. According to President Wang Wen-yuan of the parent Formosa Plastics Group, the investment of NT$368 billion (about US$13.2 billion) in New Taipei will mark the group's largest scale investment to date in the technology sector. 


April 22: The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) held an interim board of directors meeting to approve spending US$2.8 billion expand the production capacity of its Nanjing plant in mainland China and cutting into the 28-nanometer manufcturing process that has not been expanded in seven years. The project will increase the producition capacity by 40,000 pieces. TSMC hopes to begin mass production in the second half of this year and reach full production of 40,000 pieces by the middle of 2023. 


April 23: The Armed Forces is conducting its Hankuang military simulation No. 37 from April 23 to April 30 for eight days, seven nights, setting the longest record in history. 


China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) will likely use the year of 2021 as a basis to infringe on Taiwan. The exercise incorporates various advanced armament parameters of the PLA into computer-simulated scenarios. It is reported that the aircraft carrier Shandong, J-20 stealth fighter, and all kinds of missiles are included in the simulated ranks of forces invading Taiwan. In order to avoid group virus transmission, only about 300 peope reported to the HJoint Operations Command Center for drills.


April 23: The Ministry of Finance announced that it had signed an agreement by video conference with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to establish a national office in the Republic of China (Taiwan). This is the first time that an international economic organization is setting up a branch in Taiwan under the country's official name. The branch will be CABEI's first national office in Asia. 


April 24: Japan is planning to discharge diluted Fukushima nuclear power plant waste water containing tritium into the sea in two years. Ambassador Frank Hsieh, representative to Japan, stated that Taiwanese nuclear power plants also discharge tritium-containing waste water, invoking controversy. On Facebook, Hsieh posted a data table presenting discharge of radioactive waste water from the Second Nuclear Power Plant, proving that Taiwanese nuclear plants do dispose radioactive tritium-containing waste water, among other radioactive substances. 


In response, the Atomic Energy Council, Executive Yuan, stated that nuclear power plants around the world discharge radioactive waste water, but Japan is planning this time to discharge groundwater flowing through the melted furnace core, while the waste water discharged by Taiwan is tritium-containing waste water after undergoing a treatment process. The sources are obviously different, and Taiwan discharges tritium-containing waste water far under internationally permissible standards. 


April 25: Taiwan saw its first domestic case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in two and a half months. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced on April 23 that an Indonesian cargo pilot of China Airlines flying from Taiwan to Australia was confirmed positive in Australia, tracing his contacts in Taiwan. His 10-year-old son and another China Airlines cargo pilot also tested positive. The three had traveled together to the Taipei Mosque on April 16, the same day when some 400 people were inside the building. The child is classified as a local case. The CECC conducted expanded testing on 1,272 China Airlines crew members. Until April 25, more than seven China Airlines pilots have tested positive, but the source of infection remains unknown.

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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