ISSUE 143                                                                                      May 26, 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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President Tsai's Performance in Six Years
May 20 marked the sixth anniversary of President Tsai Ing-wen's inauguration. Her administration's favoritism of the Medigen vaccine is most criticized by the public.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Latest Poll: President Tsai Approval 46.2%

China Times, May 21, 2022


While coronavirus (COVID-19) infections continue to surge in Taiwan, May 20 marked President Tsai Ing-wen’s sixth anniversary in office. The Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation released its latest poll showing Tsai’s job approval rating stands at 46.2 percent, down 3.7 percent from last month. The overall job approval rating after serving six years stands at 61.55 percent. As for her second-term performance on six major government measures, the development of domestic COVID-19 vaccines ranked the highest on the job disapproval rating. Whereas the job approval rating for Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center, stands at 59.53 percent, falling below 60 percent for the first time since two and a half years ago.

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, Tsai is the most powerful president in recent years, but biased practices of her administration have led Taiwan's democracy to regress.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Why Support for President Tsai is Declining

United Daily News Editorial, May 20, 2022


May 20 marked the sixth anniversary of President Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration, while more than a million people in Taiwan confirmed with the coronavirus (COVID-19); the so-called “New Taiwan Model” of epidemic prevention collapsed, and the people suffering. Successes in epidemic prevention once gilded the Tsai administration, but the reality is that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has grown pompous and presumptuous. In recent years, President Tsai has been calling the shots with arrogance and concentrated power, but she has put national security, energy, food safety, and justice in predicament. With her failed epidemic prevention strategy, Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program, and social justice, will President Tsai try to rectify the errors in the two remaining years of her tenure?

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, recent U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have become a top-down relationship, and Taiwan is no longer able to play a leading role in obtaining the weapons that it desires.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

U.S. Won't Sell Arms Desired by Taiwan

By Guo Chong-ren

United Daily News, May 21, 2022


Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security Mira Resnick of the United States held a video conference with members of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council and the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan on May 14, explaining that the administration of President Joe Biden has adjusted its arms sales policy to Taiwan, saying that the U.S. will be terminating most arms sales to Taiwan that do not fall under the category of “asymmetric warfare." The two chambers of commerce have since issued an open letter to protest.

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This Week in Taiwan
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently raised Taiwan's travel alert from Level 2: Moderate Risk to Level 3: High Risk, advising the American public to avoid traveling to Taiwan.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)
May 15: On Sunday afternoon, the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church reported a bloody shooting causing one death and five injuries. A 52-year-old Taiwanese doctor who stood up to block the gunman was shot to death. The shooter was David Chou, an immigrant who was born in Taiwan. Police called the shooting a politically motivated hate crime, and the suspect could face death penalty. 
May 16: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised the alert level of Taiwan's pandemic from Level 2 in early May to the highest Level 3 and advised the American public to avoid traveling to Taiwan. South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and many European countries are also in the third tier. 
May 18: A dark horse candidate for Taoyuan mayor has emerged from the opposition Kuomintang (KMT). Chairman Eric Chu named former Premier Simon Chang as mayoral candidate. The nomination process faced backlash by party supporters due to inadequate communication and coordination with local figures and other potential contenders. 
May 19: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Taiwan remains severe. On May 19, Taiwan added 90,331 domestic cases and 59 deaths, both hitting new highs for the year. The cumulative number of local cases this year has also exceeded 1 million, reaching 1,044,470. For the first time, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) released statistics that the death rate of those who had not been vaccinated was six times that of people who received three doses of vaccine.
May 19: In order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, Taipei took the lead in announcing online instruction for high schools and below from May 23 to May 27. Ten (10) localities including Yilan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung followed suit. 
May 20: The Legislative Yuan passed in third reading amendments to certain provisions of the National Security Act, stipulating that no one shall steal Taiwan's core technologies for foreign countries, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and foreign hostile forces. Violators may be punished with a maximum of 12 years in prison in addition to a fine of NT$5 million (about $168,150) to NT$100 million (about US$3.3 million). Legislator Lee De-wei of the KMT reminded national security and intelligence agencies not to arbitrarily place criminal charges and should pay attention to protection of human rights.
May 21: President Joe Biden of the United States held a leaders summit in Seoul with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul. They reaffirmed that maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait as critical to the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. 
May 22: The 75th World Health Assembly was held in Geneva, Switzerland, but Taiwan did not receive an invitation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed regret, and Taiwan sent Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Li Li-fen to lead a WHO action team to express Taiwan's desire and determination to participate. Taiwan will also hold meetings with the United States, Japan, and other countries outside the WHA.
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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