ISSUE 156                                                                                  August 25, 2022
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● Featured Editorial: 
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week

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More than 300 Taiwanese Deceived, Trapped in Cambodia
Young Taiwanese tempted by high salaries have been lured to Cambodia but imprisoned by human trafficking groups. The government has been criticized for being unable to help.
(Photo from: United Daily News)
Featured News

Taiwan's Government Unable to Help: Why?

Summary Report by Taiwan Weekly


Recently, it has been reported that Taiwanese youths who were lured to work in Cambodia by fraudulent organizations, have suffered inhumane treatment such as trafficking, sexual assault, and forced organ harvesting. It has aroused national attention. Three opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislators rescued a 19-year-old man from Cambodia on August 18. According to statistics, at least 300 Taiwanese were trapped there. The Cambodian authorities have launched a comprehensive investigation and arrest action. Both the ruling and opposition legislators in the Legislative Yuan demanded that the government promptly to take action to rescue those stranded in Cambodia.


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Featured Editorial
According to media commentary, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu criticized the legacy of China's Belt and Road Initiative to shift the blame from President Tsai Ing-wen's administration for its ineffective rescue efforts.
(Photo from: China Times)

Blame China's "Belt and Road Initiative"?

United Daily News Editorial, August 21, 2022


As our people were trapped in Cambodia by scams groups. Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu was desirous of using “anti-China” banner to cover up the ineptitude of the government simply by blaming the legacy of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” from which Chinese fraud group trapped Taiwanese into suffering. His remarks were of no avail to rescue those entrapped Taiwanese in Cambodia anxiously looking for help or to those Taiwanese scam suspects to be brought home for justice.

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Featured News
The draft Digital Intermediary Services Act has been criticized for restricting free speech, triggering societal backlash. Premier Su Tseng-chang came forward to suspend the bill.
(Photo from: China Times)

Legislation Restricting Free Speech Caused Backlash, Suspended

China Times, August 20, 2022


Faced with much backlash, the National Communications Commission (NCC) has insisted on promoting the “Digital Intermediary Services Act.” This has been questioned by public, of whether this is a move to cater to the ruling party, and whether it will oppress the freedom of speech. Even many in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) themselves cannot accept it, especially because of the fact that the online forum “PTT” might be closed down, where much of its users are young supporters of the DPP. With so much opposition, Premier Su Tseng-chang came out yesterday to tame the fire, and expressed that he would ask the relevant departments to actively communicate with each other, and they will continue to make adjustments, until everyone approves, before officially launching anything. After hearing the news, the NCC immediately announced the suspension of the public hearing originally scheduled for August 25.

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This Week in Taiwan
The Office of Trade Negotiations, Executive Yuan, announced that the first-round negotiations of the "U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade" will be officially launched in September.
(Photo from: Executive Yuan, R.O.C. (Taiwan))
August 15: Following the visit by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the United States House of Representatives to Taiwan, Senator Ed Markey led another five-member Congressional delegation to Taiwan. This is the fifth American Congressional delegation visiting Taiwan this year. During his meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen on the morning of August 15, Markey stated that during this time of uncertainty, more efforts must be made to ensure peace and stability in Taiwan. He also stated that Taiwan has shown incredible self-restraint and prudence in responding to this greatest challenge. 
August 16: After former Hsinchu mayor Lin Chih-chien had his master degree conferred by the National Taiwan University's (NTU) Graduate Institute of National Development revoked due to thesis plagiarism, his advisor, incumbent Director-General Chen Ming-tong of the National Security Bureau, was also accused of violating academic ethics. Chen has decided not to continue teaching part-time courses at NTU in the new academic year. However, since Chen did not resign, the school will continue to investigate whether he violated academic ethics. 
August 16: Several media sources revealed that the thesis paper of former Hsinchu mayor Lin Chih-chien was written by his assistant Yang Ling-yi. Both the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) candidates for Taoyuan mayor, Chang San-cheng and Lai Hsiang-ling, believe that if Lin's paper is confirmed to be ghostwritten, then it involves fraud. President Tsai, who nominated Lin, and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Cheng Yun-peng who supported his Taoyuan mayoral campaign until the end, should both come forward and apologize. 
August 16: This year, property and casualty insurance companies have paid NT$47.5 billion (about US$1.5 billion) in claims for epidemic prevention insurance, and claims for vaccine insurance broke the NT$10 billion mark, reaching NT$10.32 billion (about US$342 million). A total of NT$57.8 billion (about US$1.9 billion) have been paid for epidemic prevention insurance this year, and the cumulative amount for claims has exceeded the premiums received by 10 times, far exceeding profits made by the property insurance industry in the past three years.
August 18: President Joko Widodo of Indonesia confirmed that both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin plan to attend the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November. Since President Joe Biden of the United States is also expected to attend, it will be interesting to observe how the three leaders interact. 
August 18: The Office of Trade Negotiations, Executive Yuan, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the official launch of the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade. The first round of negotiations is expected to start in September, and a total of 11 issues will be discussed severally. The goal is to sign a high-standard and economically meaningful trade agreement when negotiations are concluded. 
August 19: Mainland China's General Administration of Customs suspended the import of grouper from Taiwan since June 13, citing the detection of banned drugs. The Consumers' Foundation announced the results of a random test of grouper on the market, all of which passed the drug test. The non-profit organization, however, criticized government officials for deliberately provoking a spiral of hostility across the Taiwan Strait, thereby shifting the focus to cover up the ineffective management of grouper production and marketing by competent authorities. Minister Chen Chih-chung of the Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, blasted the foundation as the "Consumers' Foundation of the People's Republic of China." 
August 19: The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) announced a simple life table for 2021. The average life expectancy of people in Taiwan is 80.86 years, specifically 77.67 years for men and 84.25 years for women. The average life expectancy of men and women is the second highest in history. Among special municipalities, Taipei City has the longest life expectancy of 84.17 years. According to the MOI, long-term observation shows that the average life expectancy in Taiwan is on the rise.
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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