Taiwan News: Tsai Repeats Call for 'Taiwan Consensus,' Cabinet Set to Resign

Taiwan News: Tsai Repeats Call for 'Taiwan Consensus,' Cabinet Set to Resign
Credit: Taiwan Presidential Office
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Tsai: Rejecting ‘one country, two systems’ is this year’s ‘Taiwan consensus’

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday that the “Taiwan consensus” stands in opposition to the “one country, two systems” framework proposed by China for Taiwan.

Speaking at a meeting with Nauruan President Baron Waqa, Tsai once again rebuked comments made last week by Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying: “Rejection of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework is the most important ‘Taiwan consensus’ of this year.”

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Credit: Taiwan Presidential Office
Nauru President Baron Waqa (L) and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

Tsai has enjoyed domestic and international support for her response to Xi’s Jan. 2 speech, in which the Chinese leader adopted a conciliatory tone towards the people of Taiwan (and their new KMT local leaders) while heavily deemphasizing the aggressive language of his March 2018 speech. Xi did explicitly reiterate his refusal to rule out using force in his quest for “unification” of China and Taiwan, which drew the ire of Tsai and international observers alike.

The “Taiwan consensus,” a term which has caught fire on social media, may also give Tsai a de facto slogan and vehicle for her “Four Musts” framework for cross-Strait relations as the leader heads into a 2020 presidential campaign which is expected to be hotly contested.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed its “heartfelt gratitude” to Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, for his Sunday statements on Twitter in support of the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences.

Marquis is the first senior White House official to speak publicly in support of Taiwan. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, is focused on ongoing trade talks with China.

Magnitude 5.3 quake shakes east Taiwan

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake shook eastern Taiwan at 8:16 p.m. last night just off the island’s eastern coast, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The quake registered its highest intensity in Taitung’s Changbin Township, where it measured 4 on Taiwan’s 7-tier intensity scale, according to CNA. It reached an intensity of 3 in areas of Changhua, Hualien and Taitung.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located at sea, according to the CWB. It marked the center at about 66.7 kilometers northeast of Taitung’s County Hall at a depth of 33.9 kilometers.

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Credit: Central Weather Bureau
Cabinet resignations as early as tomorrow

Taiwan’s entire cabinet is set to resign as early as Thursday, according to multiple reports.

The resignations would include the long-anticipated departure of Premier William Lai (賴清德), who is expected to step down from his post in favor of former premier Su Tseng-cheng (蘇貞昌).

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator and erstwhile Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) is expected to serve as Su’s deputy.

The Liberty Times originally reported on Monday that Taiwan’s cabinet was set to step down after the Legislative Yuan passes its 2019 fiscal year budget – a move alluded to by DPP legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) in an interview with The News Lens in November 2018.

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Credit: CNA
Former premier Su Tseng-chang is set to lead Taiwan's cabinet after the expected departure of Premier William Lai.
Labor group accuses MOL of favoring foreign workers

The Taiwan Labor Front accused the Ministry of Labor (MOL) of proposing a measure that may allow businesses to favor foreign workers over locals in violation of the Employment Service Act.

Taiwan Labor Front Secretary-General Sun Yu-lien (孫友聯) said the proposal, meant to encourage Taiwanese enterprises to return and invest in Taiwan, allows returning businesses to prioritize foreign laborers over locals.

The proposal gives these businesses a one-year grace period of hiring foreign laborers before recruiting locals, after which the MOL will conduct its usual checks on the ratio of local to foreign workers, according to CNA.

Taiwan Mobile to test emergency alerts

Taiwan Mobile, one of Taiwan’s largest telecom carriers, will send an emergency alert message at 4 p.m. on Jan. 9 to test a disaster response system.

In a news release on its website, the company urged users not to panic upon receiving the message.

Taiwan Mobile users can expect their phones to vibrate and make special warning sounds, according to the company, which advised users to ignore the warnings.

Read Next: OPINION: Time for Tsai to Use Her Momentum to Renew Taiwanese Identity

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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