ISSUE 140                                                                                        May 5, 2022
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● Featured Opinion: 
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week

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Graham Asks Taiwan to Purchase 24 Boeing 787 Aircraft
During his visit to Taiwan, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of the United States asked President Tsai Ing-wen to purchase Boeing 787 aircraft, but this request disappeared in the translation and official release by the Office of the President.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

U.S. Sales Request Concealed in Official Chinese Press Release

Summary Report by  Taiwan Weekly


When he led a United States Congressional delegation to visit Taiwan on April 15, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked President Tsai Ing-wen to purchase Boeing 787 airliners. After returning to the United States, he raised the matter again on Aril 22, and plainly said, "I hope that Taiwan will announce the purchase of the 24 aircraft as soon as possible." According to the United Daily News report on April 28, Senator Graham asked Taiwan to buy Boeing aircraft. However, both the Office of the President and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) denied such allegations of Graham’s coercion. Director-General Chen Ming-tong of the National Security Bureau (NSB) suspected the report as "cognitive warfare" when answering questions in the Legislative Yuan that day.

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, a hefty request by a U.S. senator to purchase passenger aircraft implies that Taiwan is expected to pay high protection fees in exchange for American support.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

$8 Billion Protection Fee?

By Cheng Chih-chao

China Times,  April 29, 2022


A United States Congressional delegation visited Taiwan in the middle of April. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that the visit demonstrated the “rock-solid” support and commitment of the United States to Taiwan. However, the media later broke the news that the members of the U.S. Congress openly asked President Tsai Ing-wen to purchase the Boeing 787 passenger plane which costs up to $8 billion. As it appears, the price of American support not only pushes Taiwan to the brink of geopolitical conflict but it also includes paying high protection fees.

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Featured Editorial
Rapid screening test kits in Taiwan are out of stock, but only one company, SBCML Medical Lab, has been permitted to import and market. The restrictions make people question whether the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen is profiting certain businesses.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)

Medigen Family Once Again Accorded Special Official Treatment

United Daily News Editorial, May 1, 2022


On April 29 before the Labor Day long weekend, many pharmacies on Taiwan were anxiously waiting for the delivery of coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid test kits, but the miracle did not happen; at the same time, President Tsai Ing-wen posted on her Facebook photos of her visiting a used book store a decade ago, and many people admired that unlike ordinary people, Tsai remained very calm. Unexpectedly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ministry of Health and Welfare, did deliver a miracle by announcing the approval of importation of Korean-made saliva rapid test kits, and amazingly these rare goods come from the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corporation family. The 23 million people in Taiwan always encounter Medigen when the pandemic situation resurges. This company sold the most expensive vaccines globally last year, and it remains unknown whether it will create another international record.

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This Week in Taiwan
Standard & Poor Global Ratings upgraded Taiwan's sovereign rating to AA+, with a "stable" outlook. The assessment expects no major military conflict in the Taiwan Strait in the next few years.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
April 25: The Executive Yuan has promoted air conditioning for every classroom, installing more than 184,000 air conditioning units in more than 3,500 public primary and secondary schools across Taiwan. At Heh Sheng Primary School in Pingtung, Premier Su Tseng-chang connected with 22 local government executives to synchronously activate air conditioning in classrooms. 
A total of NT$32.3 billion (about US$1.09 billion) was invested by the central government and NT$3.49 billion (about US$118 million) by local governments to complete circuit improvement projects, air-conditioning installation, and power management systems. 
April 26: The number of days of quarantine for contacts of local coronavirus (COVID-19) confirmed cases was shortened from seven days to "3+4," including three days of isolation followed by four days of autonomous epidemic prevention. During the autonomous period, one must test negative by rapid test before he can go to work and shop for necessities while wearing a mask. One may not go to school during this period. For travelers entering Taiwan from abroad, the "10+7" regime remains unchanged. 
April 28: The United States House of Representatives passed with an overwhelming majority a resolution directing the Department of State to develop a strategy to help Taiwan regain its observer status in the World Health Assembly (WHA). The resolution was passed by the Senate in August last year and will be sent to President Joe Biden for signature. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its sincere gratitude. 
April 28: The registration system to purchase rapid test kits has been implemented. One may purchase with his National Health Insurance card nasal rapid test kits, five doses per person, for NT$500, at 4,904 pharmacies and 58 public health facilities across Taiwan. Crowds were segregated by even or odd numbers on people's national identification cards. 
Chaos was observed frequently on the first day, and queues appeared at pharmacies in various places. However, the National Health Insurance system was repeatedly reported to be down. The public complained about the government's failure to plan in advance. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center, apologized and asked people to blame the virus.
April 29: The Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, approved the first household saliva rapid test kit originally manufactured in South Korea, with a verified positive consistency rate of 95.83 percent. An estimated 30 million doses are expected to be imported by local businesses. But some legislators, finding that the head of the importer Chen Chann-chien is also the chairman and general manager of Medigen Vaccine Biologics, called upon the Control Yuan to investigate whether there is any corruption or abuse. 
April 29: Standard & Poor Global Ratings announced that it will upgrade Taiwan's sovereign rating to AA+ with a "stable" outlook. S&P Global Ratings assumes that cross-strait relations should not deteriorate in the direction of major military or economic conflict in the next three to five years, while close economic and trade relations between China and Taiwan will support continued cross-strait relations. This is the second time in 21 years that Taiwan has achieved a AA+ rating. 
April 29: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated on April 28 that President Joe Biden of the United States will visit South Korea and Japan for the first time from May 20 to 24. At the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in Tokyo, President Biden is expected to reiterate that U.S. policy towards Taiwan based upon the Taiwan Relations Act remains unchanged. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also stated in Congress that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is open and inclusive and need not exclude Taiwan. 
April 30: In a forum organized by the Fair Winds Foundation, former Vice Premier Woody Duh stated that the global trend of net-zero carbon emissions will become a driving force for the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Taiwan's EV industry has software and hardware advantages in automotive electronics. The industry has an opportunity to surpass semiconductors and become Taiwan's new flagship industry.
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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