ISSUE 147                                                                                     June 23, 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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Is the Taiwan Strait International Waters?
Mainland China recently emphasized that the Taiwan Strait is not international waters, arousing concern and refutation by the United States.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

China Says No, U.S. and Taiwan Say Yes

Summary report by Taiwan Weekly


According to a Bloomberg News report on June 13, when they met with their American counterparts in recent months, Chinese officials repeatedly claimed that Taiwan Strait is not international waters, raising concerns in the administration of President Joe Biden. In a June 13 press conference, Spokesman Wang Wenbin of the mainland China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that China has sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in the Taiwan Strait and at the same time respects the lawful rights of other countries in relevant waters. Wang also said that China is firmly against the claim of certain countries that Taiwan Strait is international waters.

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Featured Opinion
According to a scholar, the dispute between the United States, mainland China, and Taiwan over whether the Taiwan Strait is international waters is nothing more than rhetoric and a regular exercise.
(Photo from: China Times)

Behind Why Mainland China Claims that the Taiwan Strait Not International Waters

By Hu Yong

China Times, June 18, 2022


"This is an act of declaring war that totally flouts the principle of peace in international relations." “Communist China’s attempt to 'internalize Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait' is a provocative move that undermines the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and further escalates regional tensions." In response to the mainland’s Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe's statement that China “cannot but fight at any cost" and Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin's statement that "Taiwan Strait is not international waters," the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) lost no time in responding strongly. If we listen only to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, China is altogether a belligerent bully against the weak, but is this true?  On the other hand, the mainland's recent stance does look tough, why is that?

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, judging from its ban on various agricultural and fishery product imports from Taiwan, China may resort to economic means to exert harsher pressure on Taiwan.
(Photo from: China Times)

No Free Lunch: Mainland China Bans Taiwan Grouper

By Chao Chun-shan

China Times, June 16, 2022


Following its ban on Taiwanese pineapples, wax apples, and sugar apples, Communist China recently announced a ban on Taiwanese groupers due to claims of residual additives.  


After hearing the news, President Tsai Ing-wen immediately expressed a stern condemnation, alleging that China has again, violated international trade regulations, which does not help trade exchanges between the two sides of the strait in any way, and actually hurts cross-strait relations, and Taiwan will not rule out making an appeal to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In my view, the other side of the strait is using this grouper incident to send out a warning signal, and in addition to a "legal war", Taiwan must also prepare itself for an "economic war."

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This Week in Taiwan
The Central Bank followed the United States in raising the interest rate, reducing the economic growth estimate for the year to 3.75 percent and increasing the annual inflation estimate to 2.83 percent.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
June 13: National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan of the United States met with Director Yang Jiechi of the general office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, Chinese Communist Party, unannounced in Luxembourg for 4.5 hours. This was the third time that the two had talks this year. The defense ministers had just met in Singapore from June 10 to June 12, while Sullivan and Yang made a special trip to meet. The timing of the meeting garnered attention.  
June 14: Safeway OA Supply Company, which sells printer cartridges, is suspected of supplying subpar products by mainland Chinese manufacturers in place of Flowflex rapid test kits manufactured and imported from the United States. The nearly 2 million doses sold yielded no test response. The Investigation Bureau, Ministry of Justice, launched an investigation after receiving complaints. 
Huang Nan-ching, the chief executive, was detained with no visitation rights, while Chu Shou-hui, the principal, was released on a NT$1 million (about US$33,650) bail pending prosecution. The Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, immediately banned the import and sale of this product, and businesses were asked to recall it. Due to remaining uncertainties, both ruling and opposition party legislators demanded a thorough investigation. 
June 15: The National Development Council announced that Taiwan ranked 7 among 63 countries in the 2022 Global Competitiveness Report published by the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland, an improvement of 1 place from last year and the highest ranking since 2013. For an economy with a population of more than 20 million, Taiwan has ranked first globally for two consecutive years. 
June 15: A new quarantine system of 3+4 days for travelers entering Taiwan took effect, reducing the duration of self-isolation from seven days to three days, followed by four days of self-epidemic prevention to be completed at the same location as self-isolation. However, for the latter four days, an individual may obtain the consent of the local government to change locations once and quarantine at his own residence or with family. Due to vagueness, the new quarantine regulations have caused confusion and controversy.
June 15: After mainland China banned the import of the Taiwan grouper from June 13, Spokesman Ma Xiaoguang of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council stated that a packaged sample of chilled white hairtail from a frozen food company in Keelung tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Import was suspended for one week until June 16. 
June 16: The Central Bank Board of Governors decided to raise the interest rate by 0.125 percentage points and deposit reserve ratio by 0.25 percentage points, effective June 17. The Central Bank also lowered the economic growth estimate for the year to 3.75 percent and raised consumer price increase to 2.83 percent for the year. 
The Federal Reserve announced June 15 that it would raise interest rates by 0.75 percentage points, increasing the benchmark interest rate to between 1.5 to 1.75 percent. The largest rate increase since 1994 is meant to combat the most serious inflation in four decades. 
June 17: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ministry of Health and Welfare, held an expert meeting and decided to approve the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use authorization (EUA) for children aged six months to five years old, with two doses per child and a 28-day interval between the doses. There are about 900,000 young children in this age group, and inoculation will start in July. The FDA also issued EUA for the Novavax vaccine for people over 18 years old, with two doses per individual with a 3-week interval between the doses. 
June 17: The People's Liberation Army Type 003 aircraft carrier was launched and named "Fujian." According to the Xinhua News Agency, this is China's first self-made catapult-type aircraft carrier. It has a straight and long flight deck and is equipped with an electromagnetic catapult system (EMALS). The full-load displacement is more than 80,000 tons and is expected to enter service in 2025. 
At present, the USS Ford is the only aircraft carrier equipped with electromagnetic catapult technology. According to analysis, the Fujian is the latest and greatest aircraft carrier of the mainland Chinese navy and is expected to carry the latest J-35 twin-engine fighter jets to match the F-35C fighter jets of the United States.
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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