What you need to know
Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.
The Ministry of the Interior is proposing a draft amendment to the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act, which requires transparency in the funding of political advertising and bans media outlets from running ads paid for with foreign money.
Officials say the move is aimed at preventing external elements from attempting to influence Taiwan's elections, including groups or individuals from China, Hong Kong and Macau.
According to the ministry, the draft amendment is based on the U.S. Honest Ads Act and the new rules will require all election-related advertisers say who is funding the ad.
The draft also stipulates that if a media company advertises election-related commercials funded by overseas sources, the company will face a maximum fine of NT$10 million (US$324,080) or a fine double the cost of the advertisement.
The ministry has also approved amendments to the Social Order Protection Act, which will allow authorities to detain or fine individuals who knowingly spread false information or new which causes public panic.
President Tsai Ing-wen dismissed speculation that Premier William Lai is set to step down next month.
She also called for self-reflection and unity within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying the party needs to regain public trust following its defeat in the recent local elections.
Speaking to reporters during an press conference held in a hallway in the Presidential Building, Tsai said the DPP should take lessons from its heavy defeat in 2008 and understand that "infighting is not the best antidote."
Tsai said she believes a consensus has now emerged within the DPP to give priority to serious soul-searching and to engage in dialogue with the public in an effort to regain their support as the party moves into the next phase.
The statements come amid reports the DPP's loses in the November ballot have resulted in in-fighting among the party's factions over who should now lead the party and as to whether or not there should be a major cabinet reshuffle.
The government has lodged a protest with Cambodia over it's decision to deport 46 Taiwan nationals to China for their alleged involvement in telecom fraud.
The 46 suspects were among 235 people arrested by Cambodian authorities on Nov. 26.
Taiwan's representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, which is also responsible for Cambodia, had urged Phnom Penh to honor the "nationality principle" by deporting the suspects to Taiwan to face trial.
However, the request was rejected due to Cambodia's support for the One-China principle and the government says it has expressed its concern and deep regret over the decision.
The Mainland Affairs Council says China's insistence the suspects be sent there is "detrimental to the positive development of cross-strait relations."
The central bank says it has increased its budget for issuing NT$10 coins next year due to the popularity of claw machines.
According to Central Bank Deputy Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍), the bank has proposed a budget of NT$1.7 billion (US$55.1 million) to issue new currency, in which 60 percent of the total will be spent on issuing NT$10 coins.
Yang says the coins are needed because of the booming claw-machine industry.
There are now 3,353 claw-machine companies.
Some 10,000 claw-machine stores are in operation across the island, a figure which is higher than the combined number of 7-11 and Family Mart convenience stores.
The New Taipei District Prosecutors' Office has indicted two U.S. nationals for the August murder and dismemberment of a Canadian citizen in the Yonghe District.
Oren Shlomo Mayer and Ewart Odane Bent have been charged with the killing of Canadian Ryan Ramgahan, whose body was found on a riverbank under Zhongzheng Bridge on Aug. 22.
Bent has been custody since his arrest on Aug. 25. Mayer fled Taiwan after the murder, but was later arrested in the Philippines on Sep. 5 and was sent back to Taiwan ten days later.
Both men are facing charges of murder and abandonment and destruction of a corpse.
Two alleged accomplices, American Jason Hobbie and Taiwanese-Canadian Wu Hsuan, have been charged with aiding and abetting the crime.
Prosecutors say they are seeking heavy sentences for all of the suspects due to the brutality of the crime.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says a new round of talks with the U.S. under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) are unlikely to be held before the end of the year.
According to the Department of North American Affairs, Washington has yet to schedule a date with Taipei for the next round of talks.
The ministry says the Office of the United States Trade Representative is busy with other issues and holding TIFA talks with Taiwan is not one of its top priorities.
However, officials say Taipei and Washington are continuing to exchange views on bilateral trade issues via the existing TIFA platform.
The last round of TIFA talks was held in Sep. 2016.
Uruguay has suspended its visa-free treatment for Republic of China (ROC) passport holders.
The suspension comes less than two months after Uruguay included Taiwan in its visa-waiver program.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the South American country halted the preferential treatment because its online e-visa application system is still under construction.
The move means Taiwanese travelers to Uruguay will have to apply for a visa at the Uruguayan embassy in Japan.
Uruguay agreed to include Taiwan in its visa program for visits of up to 90 days on Oct. 19.
The foreign ministry says Taiwan's representative office in Argentina, which is responsible for Uruguayan affairs, will monitor the situation and seek to have the visa-free status reinstated as soon as possible.
The Din Tai Fung restaurant chain has opened its first European store in London.
The restaurant is located in the city's Covent Garden area and can seat 250 people.
The London site also features a cocktail bar serving Taiwanese drinks, including bubble milk tea.
Din Tai Fung Chairman Warren Yang (楊紀華), who attended the store's launch, says the London branch is the restaurant chain's 23rd overseas store.
British comedian Stephen Fry and former London Mayor Boris Johnson also attended the store's opening ceremony and tried their hands at making dumplings.
Din Tai Fung opened its first international chain in Japan in 1996.
It now has outlets in the United States, China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Philippines.
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This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.
Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)
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