Taiwan News: Taichung Mayor Leads Youth Games Protests, Tsai to Visit Belize, Paraguay

Taiwan News: Taichung Mayor Leads Youth Games Protests, Tsai to Visit Belize, Paraguay
Photo credit: 「林佳龍」臉書

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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said Monday that he believes the world needs to pay attention to China's "ubiquitous suppression" of Taiwan as evidenced by its move to revoke his city's rights to host the 2019 East Asian Youth Games.

The statement comes after the city government announced it had filed a formal complaint with the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) over its recent decision to cancel the games, which had been scheduled for next August.

Speaking to reporters, Lin said his office will exhaust all possible legal means to fight what he described as "the injustice" and said even if the decision cannot be changed, "we need to get more people to understand the truth behind China's moves."

Lin also told reporters that he is willing to travel to Beijing help to resolve the situation if the Chinese government approves such a visit.

“I will tell China that cross-Strait relations should begin with mutual respect and communication with one another, and that both sides can resolve disputes rationally," he said.

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Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung also said he has mailed a petition to the chairman and standing members of the EAOC calling on them to reverse a decision revoking the city's rights to host the 2019 East Asian Youth Games.

According to Lin, he sent the letter in his capacity as mayor of the host city and president of the Taichung East Asian Youth Games Organizing Committee.

Lin said the letter explains that the EAOC's decision violated the city's rights and interests and that his office was given no advance warning of the meeting last week, nor was it invited to attend it to state its case.

Lin said the EAOC has also yet to give a full explanation for its decision.

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee has said it will also submit its own petition to the EAOC protesting its decision to cancel the sports event.

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Photo Credit: 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen官方粉絲頁
President Tsai will seek to raise Taiwan's profile on the international stage through visits to diplomatic allies Paraguay and Belize in August.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will pay state visits to Paraguay and Belize next month.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Jose Maria Liu (劉德立), Tsai will travel to the two diplomatic allies from Aug. 12 through to Aug. 20.

The president will transit in the United States and stopover in Los Angeles on the first leg and in Houston on the return journey.

Liu said Tsai will attend the inauguration of President-elect Mario Abdo Benitez on Aug. 15 and meet with both Abdo Benitez and outgoing President Horacio Cartes for talks during her trip to Paraguay.

And she will travel to Belize on Aug. 16 for a three-day visit, during which she will meet Governor-General Colville Young and Prime Minister Oliver Barrow.

It will be Tsai's fourth overseas trip since she took office in 2016, having visited Panama and Paraguay in June 2016, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in January 2017, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands in late 2017, and Swaziland in April this year.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paul Chang (章文樑) said in early June that Tsai would focus on visiting diplomatic allies in the South Pacific for her next trip, as she her overseas visits had previously favored countries in Latin America.

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Taiwan's airline labor unions escalated their battle with the government yesterday, demanding the introduction of new regulations that would give airline employees the same rights as other workers in regards leave days during natural disasters.

Union representatives say airline employees are usually caught in the dilemma of whether to stay at home for safety reasons and risk punishment, or to go to work and risk injury when local governments announce a day off due to a typhoon.

According to the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union, current guidelines regarding typhoon days are not compulsory and as such airlines do not comply with them. While the EVA Air Corporate Union is accusing the carrier of unilaterally amending the regulations regarding days off during natural disasters.

Airline unions also said the labor ministry should introduce new regulations aimed at better protecting the safety of private sector employees during natural disasters and in order to avoid disputes between labor and management.

The grievances add to ongoing disquiet over working conditions that has already seen 800 pilots of China Airlines (CAL) and 500 of EVA Airways vote on whether to take strike action after they failed to agree terms on overtime and other issues.

If the strike action is approved, more than 30,000 passengers could be affected.

Last week Transport and Communications Minister Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) picked out commercial airline workers when suggesting that labor unions should give advance notice of strike action to avoid unnecessary disruption to the public.

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The Tainan District Prosecutors' Office has detained two suspects believed to have been part of a telecom fraud ring that allegedly included employees of Taiwan Mobile.

One other suspect has been released on bail. Prosecutors said the fraud ring collected massive amounts of personal data from Chinese nationals who had applied for pre-paid mobile phones.

The arrests come after prosecutors searched two Taiwan Mobile branches in Tainan and Kaohsiung earlier this month and seized letters of authorization that had been signed by proxies for mobile phone number applications.

All three suspects have been charged with fraud, forgery and of violating the Personal Information Protection Act.

Read More: Taiwan, Telecoms and Our Outlaws of the Marsh

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
A student dressed in Winnie The Pooh costume to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping sits on the stage to protest against a popular Chinese talent show 'Sing! China' after the show is forced to cancel at National Taiwan University, in Taipei, Taiwan, Sept. 24, 2017.

The Taipei District Court has sentenced six people to between 20 days and five months in prison for their involvement in violent clashes that occurred during a Chinese music festival in Taipei last year.

The six defendants include Chang Wei (張瑋), the son of Chinese Unity Promotion Party founder Chang An-le (張安樂), who is also known as the "White Wolf."

Chang Wei was given a 40-day sentence on charges of attacking and injuring several students who were protesting the "Sing! China: Shanghai-Taipei Music Festival" at the National Taiwan University (NTU) last September.

The Chinese reality television singing competition became the center of pro-independence protests last year, in part because the event referred to NTU as "Taipei City Taiwan University", leading to accusations that the show was a vehicle to project Chinese soft power on Taiwan's soil.

These demonstrations in turn attracted pro-unification elements, including members of the Chinese Unity Promotion Party, and violence ensued.

Lee Po-chang (李柏璋) was also sentenced to 40 days for attacking and injuring to a member of the Chinese Unity Promotion Party.

Hu Ta-kang (胡大剛) was sentenced to five months in prison for hitting a student he thought was assisting Lee with an extendable baton and an additional 20 days on charges of intimidation.

Three other individuals were sentenced to between 40 and 70 days.

All the verdicts can be appealed and the sentences can be commuted to fines.

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Two Taiwanese members of a Chinese university alumni association have been indicted on charges of violating national security laws.

According to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office, the suspects are both members of the Jinan University Taiwan Alumni Association.

One currently holds the position of secretary-general while the other is the executive officer.

Prosecutors said the two met with Taiwan nationals and Chinese officials in a third country between 2009 and 2012 in an attempt to develop a network to serving Beijing.

They allegedly enrolled 17 people, including legislative assistants and local officials from 2012 to 2016 and received nearly NT$3 million (US$98,000) in payments from Jinan University.

Along with being indicted on charges of violating national security laws, the pair also face charges of violating the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

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President Tsai has told a delegation from the Spanish Congress of Deputies that she hopes they will help the two countries sign a youth working holiday agreement and a tax information exchange agreement.

Tsai also expressed hope that the delegation will help prod the European Union to conduct an impact assessment and start negotiations with Taiwan on a bilateral investment agreement.

The Spanish delegation is being led by Ruben Moreno Palanques, the commission coordinator of the People's Party.

He is visiting Taiwan this week at the invitation of the government.

Tsai said there is enormous potential for cooperation between the two countries and they can continue to strengthen cooperation in the areas of navigation technology, innovative research and development and patents.

The president also thanked the Spanish Congress of Deputies for their support for Taiwan in the international community.

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More than half of voters don't care which political parties are vying for local government seats in November's election, according to a poll by the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum, a think tank that is reputed to be staffed by academics known to support unification with China.

The forum said its recent survey found that 51.7 percent of voters were indifferent - a slight drop from 52.8 percent in February.

The poll shows the main opposition Kuomintang party was the most popular party, with a support rate of 23.1 percent, followed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party with 14.6 percent, the New Power Party with 6 percent, and the People First Party with 2.9 percent.

All the other political parties were struggling with a support rate of less than 1 percent.

The survey also found that 57 percent of respondents think there is need for a viable third party, 36 percent oppose that view, and 9 percent had no opinion on the issue.

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Photo Credit: 台灣國護照貼紙 Taiwan Passport Sticker
Taiwan passports are still valid, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is denying rumors that have appeared on the Internet claiming that ROC passports are not being recognized by international airlines due to Chinese pressure.

The denial follows claims made online that an ROC passport holder was "almost" denied entry to the United Kingdom after an airline employee said the passport was no longer valid from July 25 on the insistence of Beijing.

Foreign office spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the rumor is blatantly false and is calling on the public not to fall for such fake news.

Lee says the UK and the European Union continue to grant ROC passport-holders visa-free entry and the rules have not changed.

However, he went on to say that some airline ground crews might have been confused by the recent calls by Beijing for airlines to change the Taiwan's designation.

According to Lee, ROC nationals who experience any difficulties concerning recognition of their passport should contact their local Taiwan representative offices for assistance.

Read Next: ANALYSIS: Taiwan Is Better than Selfish Bosses and Their Heartless Wage Threats

This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor: David Green


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