Taiwan News: DPP Warns on China as eSwatiini Pledges Support

Taiwan News: DPP Warns on China as eSwatiini Pledges Support
Credit: Reuters / TPG

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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Wednesday that China is attempting to erode public morale here in Taiwan as it seeks to influence the political situation and the outcome of November's local elections.

Speaking at a Democratic Progressive Party Central Advisory Committee meeting, Tsai also warned that China is expected to come up with more tactics to bully Taiwan ahead of the elections.

According to Tsai, the government is continuing to assess all possible scenarios and is ready to take on any challenges in order to protect Taiwan's sovereignty and democratic values.

Tsai also said China has stepped up its suppression efforts because Taiwan's relations with other major countries have made sustainable progress.

Read More: El Salvador Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Taiwan

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Premier William Lai (賴清德) has said the public needs to be made aware that the "real intention" behind China's efforts to pressure Taiwan is annexation.

Lai said China has never changed its intention to annex Taiwan and if Beijing succeeds in its attempts to divide Taiwan society, it will keep bullying the island on every pretext.

According to the premier, China's "attacks" against Taiwan will stop only when it sees that its actions are spurring greater unity among the Taiwanese people.

The premier said China should also face the fact of Taiwan's existence and realize that all of its bullying tactics actually run counter to its own purposes.

A survey released in May by the Cross-Strait Policy Association following the Dominican Republic's decision to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing showed that 80 percent of Taiwanese think China is unfriendly towards Taiwan, while two-thirds said that China's efforts to squeeze Taiwan's international space will push the country further away from it.

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The foreign minister of the Kingdom of eSwatini, Mgwagwa Gamedze, said Wednesday that his country and Taiwan will continue to strengthen their bilateral and diplomatic relationship.

The statement comes after China said it hopes to lure away Taiwan's only remaining African ally during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing next month.

China's assistant foreign minister Chen Xiaodong is being quoted as saying that Beijing is looking forward to and hopes that all African nations will "become a member of the largest family get-together."

However, eSwatini's foreign minister said Beijing's comments are untrue and his country will not be attending the forum.

The minister said while eSwatini respects China and any other country, it will stick with Taiwan and continue to strengthen the relationship with the island.

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Credit: eSwatini Ministry of Foreign Affairs
eSwatini Foreign Minister Mgwagwa Gamedze says his country will stand by Taiwan.

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Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is calling on the government to "think carefully" about ways to restore mutual trust between Taiwan and China in order to stop more diplomatic allies switching their allegiance to Beijing.

According to Ma, he was sadden to hear that El Salvador opted to sever ties with Taiwan in favor of Beijing, but believes President Tsai needs to work harder to develop cross-Strait ties based on the ROC Constitution and the "1992 consensus."

Ma said such a course of action is the only way to stop ongoing moves by Taiwan's allies to shift ties to Beijing.

The former president is also touting the "the success of his administration's China policies". Ma suggested that while some allies sought to establish ties with China for economic reasons, they were turned down because China told them not to hurt cross-Strait ties.

And the former president said that was possible because both sides agreed on the "1992 consensus."

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The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) has said the severance of diplomatic ties with El Salvador will have very little affect on Taiwan's financial sector because of its minimal exposure to the country.

The commission said no banks in either country have presences in the other's territory, and there are few bilateral financial exchanges, meaning the impact of the cut in ties should be minimal.

According to the FSC, Taiwan's banking sector had only NT$19.59 million (US$637,000) in outstanding loans to El Salvador as of the end of July, while Taiwanese securities firms and insurance companies do not have any exposure to the country.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has also said that its assessment shows that El Salvador's establishing of ties with China will not have much of an effect on Taiwan's economy.

El Salvador ranks as Taiwan's 73rd-largest trading partner, and it accounted for only 0.03 percent of Taiwan's total exports in 2017.

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The New Taipei City Police Department said Wednesday that a decapitated and dismembered corpse was discovered on a riverbank under the Zhongzheng Bridge in the Yonghe District has been confirmed to be that of a Canadian national.

According to police, the body was that of a 43-year-old Canadian national who had lived in Taiwan for 10 years.

Police said the body parts, which included evidence of knife wounds to the man's calves, were discovered on a riverbank in Zhongzheng Park, by two of his friends.

The man had last been seen on Sunday when he played online games with the friends.

Police say they went looking for him after he failed to contact them for a number of days and they were searching the riverside park where he usually walks his dog when they discovered his remains.

The investigation into the man's death is ongoing.

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Credit: AP / TPG
Bronze medalist Taiwan's men's team badminton stands on the podium during ceremonies at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 22, 2018.

Taiwan is now in 10th place in the overall Asian Games medals table with three gold, three silver and eight bronze medals, after adding one silver and three bronze medals to its tally Wednesday.

Bowlers Chou Chia-chen (周佳溱), Pan Yu-fen (潘育分) and Tsai Hsin-yi (蔡昕宜) won silver in the women's bowling trios with 4,255 pinfalls.

Meanwhile, Chen Wei-ting (陳暐婷) clinched bronze in the Women's wushu sanda 52-kilogram category after losing to China's Li Yueyao in the semifinals.

Rower Chang Chu-han (張筑涵) won bronze in the kayak single women finals with a score of 103.80.

While Ho Chia-hsin (何嘉欣) won Taiwan's third bronze of the day in the men's 63-kilogram taekwondo division.

Taiwan's Chen Yi-hsuan (陳怡瑄) shot a score of 706 points in the ranking round of the archery compound women's individual event -- breaking the Asian Games' record.

The score also pushed Chen to the top of the rankings of the 52 archers competing in the compound women's individual competitions.

While Chen Li-ju (陳麗如)was placed 10th with a score of 690 points. The pair's performances left Taiwan third in the ranking round of the compound women's team contests with a total score of 2,085 points, behind South Korea and India.

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The Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling against former cabinet secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世), 50, who was convicted on charges of corruption as a result of his inability to explain the origin of NT$15.8 million in his bank account.

The court has ruled that Lin serve two years in prison and pay a NT$15.8 million fine for his involvement in accepting bribes from a businessman in return for contracts with state-owned companies.

However, the Supreme Court has returned charges of receiving bribes in breach of the Anti-Corruption Act to be sent back to the High Court for retrial.

Lin, who was a Kuomintang lawmaker and close friend of Ma Ying-jeou, was sentenced to 12 years for corruption by the High Court in February 2016, though this verdict will not have to be reconsidered.

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Credit: Legislative Yuan
Lin Yi-shih was caught up in a high profile corruption case that shattered his political career.

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EVA Airways' management and pilots have failed to reach an agreement during their third meeting over working conditions.

Pilots said they are willing to give the airline another week to consider their demands over pay issues and rest hours.

According to the Pilots Union Taoyuan, the pilots sensed goodwill on the part of the company and acknowledged that it would be difficult for EVA to meet their demands immediately.

The union said it has decided to give the company at least another week to review the details of the pilots' demands and hopes to schedule a subsequent round of negotiations.

A union representative said the pilots will hold off on any decision to take strike action.

China Airlines and EVA Air pilots voted overwhelmingly earlier this month in favor of a strike over work conditions.

An announcement concerning a date for the planned strike had been expected this Monday, but was postponed after the pilots agreed to hold another round of negotiations with the airline.

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The Ministry of Labor has said work at a construction site at Taoyuan International Airport remains suspended after three workers were killed in a mudslide there on Tuesday.

The ministry also confirmed it has fined the contractor NT$300,000 for violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The subcontractor that was actually doing the work where the accident occurred will be referred to prosecutors for further investigation into its alleged failure to take the necessary safety measures.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the site had already had several problems and work there had been suspended three times since 2016.

Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) has extended his condolences to the families of the victims.

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Taiwan's unemployment rate for July climbed slightly from a month earlier to reach 3.81 percent, up 0.11 percentage points from June.

The government said the slight increase is due to the number of first-time jobseekers entering the market during the current graduation season.

After seasonal adjustments, the unemployment rate for July also rose 0.01 percentage points from June to 3.69 per cent.

According to the government, the figure after seasonal adjustments shows that the local job market remains stable.

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

Editor David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)

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