ISSUE 145                                                                                      June 9, 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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A Breakthrough in U.S.-Taiwan Trade After 30 Years
The Executive Yuan announced the launch of the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

U.S.-Taiwan Trade Initiative to Commence Negotiations in Late June

United Daily News, June 1, 2022


On June 1, the Executive Yuan held a press conference on a major breakthrough in deepening U.S.-Taiwan economic and trade relations. Spokesman Luo Ping-cheng and Minister without Portfolio John Deng of the Executive Yuan announced that Taiwan and the United States have officially launched the “U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade Initiative.” A first meeting will be held in Washington at the end of June as both sides take concrete actions to deepen the bilateral economic and trade relations.

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, if the U.S.-Taiwan trade initiative does not reduce or eliminate tariffs, most of the issues will be unfavorable to Taiwan and may mark the beginning of Taiwan's nightmare.
(Photo from: AIT's Facebook)

U.S.-Taiwan Trade Initiative: A Breakthrough or Nightmare?

By Du Tzen-hua

China Times, June 2, 2022


The launch of the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade by Taiwan and the United States, which Minister without Portfolio and chief negotiator John Deng called a 30-year wait, has been hailed by the media as a “major breakthrough” in U.S.-Taiwan relations. To be fair, this is a logical development for the globalization of Taiwan's foreign trade, and the so-called "major breakthrough" was really an overstatement; More conservatively speaking, it could be the beginning of a nightmare for Taiwan. Therefore, we must remain skittish about not being blindly trapped in the "great internal propaganda."

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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, by virtue of its majoritarian tyranny, helped exonerate former President Chen Shui-bian from corruption charges, marking a departure from its governing purpose and bringing authoritarianism and corruption back to Taiwan.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

Darkest Day in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan: DPP Exonerates Former President from Corruption

United Daily News Editorial, June 3, 2022


With current pandemic still hovering at its peak and approaching local election, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DDP), regardless the distress of people livelihood and hatred against corruption, stubbornly passed an amendment of “accounting act” with its majority in the Legislative Yuan exonerating former President Chen Shui-bian from corruption charges related to misusing the state affairs fund. The DPP would rather bear the infamy through the ages only to “rescue one person by the entire party.” As such, nothing but the downright absence of justice and conscience, words fail to describe it. However, if we probe in-depth all the acts of the DPP since it assumed full power, the track of such acts is crystal clear.

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This Week in Taiwan
The United States announced that the biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) will be held from June 29 to August 4, with a total of 26 countries participating. Neither mainland China nor Taiwan were invited to participate.
(Photo from: United States Navy)
May 30: Posts about the recent "Many children are gone" incident have circulated on the Internet The police originally stated that it would question and investigate Kuo Yen-chun which caused a public outcry. The Criminal Investigation Bureau, National Police Agency, Ministry of the Interior, changed its stance on May 29 and stated that it will not question Kuo. The direction of the investigation will be to target the hidden hand behind the content. 
The Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Justice, stated on May 30 that it is tracing the source and clarifying whether there are accomplices behind the false information and whether hostile forces intervened in the operation. 
May 30: Under fierce conflict between the ruling and opposition parties, the Legislative Yuan passed the amendment to Article 99-1 of the Accounting Act to decriminalize misuse of the state affairs fund. The opposition criticized the amendment in unison, and the Kuomintang (KMT) caucus of the Legislative Yuan even called the moment the darkest day in the history of the Legislative Yuan. 
May 31: An AT-3 trainer aircraft of the Air Force Academy was conducting flight training on May 31. It lost contact three minutes after taking off from the Gangshan Base in Kaohsiung and crashed. The 23-year-old second lieutenant officer Hsu Da-chun was killed. The flight training missions of all cadets of the Air Force Academy were suspended for special inspection. 
Before the crash, Hsu had reported by radio that the plane is normal, then the track blip quickly disappeared from the radar screen. 
The flight altitude of the AT-3 trainer was only 500 meters, and the response time only 10 seconds. 
May 31: The United States announced that its biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) will be held from June 29 to August 4, with 26 countries participating. Neither mainland China nor Taiwan were invited to participate. 
This is the first RIMPAC since the administration of President Joe Biden took office. The exercise will be held in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands and southern California. 
Last December, the U.S. Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, advising that Taiwan be invited to participate in RIMPAC, provoking strong protests by Beijing.
May 31: Some people had the "Republic of China" on their international driving permit mistaken for mainland China. Several legislators proposed that the international driving permit be labeled with Taiwan. The Directorate General of Highways, Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced that the cover of the international driver permit will have an additional label of "Taiwan" effective July 1. 
June 1: The Ministry of Labor announced the latest performance of the labor fund. Affected by the pandemic, inflation, and war, the labor fund lost NT$198.36 billion (about US$6.7 billion) as of April this year, of which the loss in April was NT$141.49 billion (about US$4.8 billion), the second highest monthly loss. 
June 3: The United States Department of State updated its description of U.S.-Taiwan relations the second time in a month. On May 5, the description that the U.S. does not support Taiwan independence was removed, but it was restored on May 28. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) stated that the new version is based on Secretary of State Antony Blinken's May 26 speech on China policy. 
June 4: Nearly 3,000 people to date have died from the pandemic in Taiwan. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) previously indicated that the deceased should be cremated as soon as possible within 24 hours after death. However, many complained that they were unable to see their deceased family member for a last time and demanded that the rule be relaxed. However, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the CECC, stated that there is only a requirement to notify within 24 hours but no requirement to dispose of remains within 24 hours. Chen's remarks caused backlash among the public and the funeral 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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