ISSUE 128                                                                              February 10, 2022
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

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Photo Exposes True State of U.S.-Taiwan Relations
Vice President William Lai and Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States met by coincidence at the inauguration ceremony of President Xiomara Castro of Honduras. They were pictured together.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Photo of U.S., Taiwan Vice Presidents Greeting Each Other Cropped

United Daily News, January 30, 2022


Vice President William Lai and Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States met by “accident” at the presidential inauguration in Honduras, but a later photo posted on Harris’s Facebook shows only one unidentifiable hand. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Chen Chien-jen stated that Taiwan must have wanted to amplify its propaganda, but the photo of "removing Lai" indicates American desire to refrain from adding fuel to the fire and angering mainland China.

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Featured Editorial
According to commentators, that the photo of Harris and Lai was cut by the United States demonstrates that the U.S. is retaining a "wait and see" attitude about the 2024 presidential election.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

30-Second Encounter, Respective Interpretations

China Times, February 4, 2022


Vice President William Lai completed his first foreign visit in office and greeted Vice President Kamala Harris of the United States in the same picture, which was rendered as a “30-second historic interaction" and a "big diplomatic breakthrough". A "breakthrough" implies major changes, developments, or achievements. If it is just a random chat, there is at most only little media effect. It is not a breakthrough, let alone "historic". The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration claims that the U.S.-Taiwan relations is the best ever, but it must face the truth that with the “rock solid” in disguise the United States does not have a clear and consistent policy towards Taiwan.

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Featured Editorial
A media commentary hopes that Beijing can show goodwill in its interactions at the Winter Olympics as a new starting point for restoring cross-strait goodwill.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Winter Olympics: Turning Point for Cross-Strait Relations?

Want Times, February 6, 2022


After many twists and turns, the Chinese Taipei delegation representing Taiwan appeared without a hitch at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Mainland China showed respect to the official name of the delegation, "Chinese Taipei," and the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen also strived to downplay the outbreak of a political storm before the Olympics to avoid affecting the atmosphere of cross-strait relations during the Winter Olympics. The goodwill and tacit understanding between the two parties at the Beijing Winter Olympics are expected to create a friendly atmosphere for the cross-strait interaction for the follow-up Hangzhou Asian Games and Chengdu World University Games.

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This Week in Taiwan
The United States House of Representatives passed an "America COMPETES Act" calling upon the executive branch to rename the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office" (TECRO) in the United States to the "Taiwan Representative Office" to reflect pragmatically the deepening bilateral relationship.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
January 25: In the case involving the abuse of Legislator Kao Chia-yu by his boyfriend Lin Ping-shu, the New Taipei District Prosecutor's Office concluded that Lin committed domestic violence, threatened to retaliate the victim with intimate photos, found people to frame Kao on the Facebook pages of various elected officials affiliated with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and instructed friends to forge bank deposit records. The prosecution charged Lin with intimidation, offense against privacy, and document forgery and asked the judge to impose a serious sentence. 
January 26: Reuters reported that Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis of Lithuania had considered asking Taiwan to change the Chinese name of its representative office in Lithuania, in order to reduce tensions with China. Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu responded on January 25 that he had not been notified by Lithuania. According to Wu, the proposed name change is false information. 
January 27: Vice President William Lai visited Honduras, stopping in transit at Los Angeles, where he held seven video conferences with bi-partisan members of the United States Congress. Lai was accompanied throughout by Chairman James Moriarty of the American Institute in Taiwan and Ambassador Hsiao Bi-khim, representative to the United States.  
January 28: The government is expanding discussions about lifting the ban on nuclear-contaminated food products from Japan's five prefectures including Fukushima and sent a delegation to negotiate with Japan. The two sides have preliminarily agreed to lift the ban on aquatic and agricultural products. However, imports of some high-risk items such as wild mushroom, wild birds, and wild meat remain banned.
January 29: Taiwan saw a shortage of eggs with the Chinese New Year holiday approaching. In northern Taiwan, people reflected that eggs are hard to purchase. To buy eggs, some people went to multiple supermarkets, and some in northern Taiwan waited in line for an hour. According to people in northern Taiwan, the prices of eggs now vary greatly, ranging from NT$50 (about US$1.80) to NT$80 (about US$2.87) per 600 grams. The government should contemplate response measures. 
February 3: The video of Taiwanese speed skater Huang Yu-ting wearing a Chinese uniform with the word "China" on it during practice, posted on social media, drew criticism. Huang removed the video on February 2 and explained that it was a team uniform given to her by a Chinese player that she met during training in Germany, and she wore it when she went to Beijing to practice. The Sports Administration, Ministry of Education, stated that it has reminded players to be more mindful and sensitive in this regard. 
February 4: The opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics was held in the evening. When Taiwan's delegation entered the venue, the on-site broadcast introduced the delegation as "Chinese Taipei," but mainland Chinese state media, China Central Television, introduced the team as "Taipei, China" (zhongguo taibei). Japan's NHK referred directly to the delegation as "Taiwan." 
February 4: The U.S. House of Representatives passed the nearly 3,000-page "America COMPETES Act," which will dedicate $350 billion to promoting the American semiconductor industry, solving domestic chip shortages, and strengthening American competitiveness against China. The legislation also called upon the executive branch to rename the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office" (TECRO) in the United States to the "Taiwan Representative Office" to reflect the pragmatic deepening of bilateral relations. 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its gratitude to the U.S. Congress for its long-term efforts in deepening U.S.-Taiwan relations through legislation and specific actions and showing strong support for Taiwan.
Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by Fair Winds Foundation and Association of Foreign Relations 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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