What you need to know
A daily breakdown of Taiwan's top stories and why they matter.
Broad support for Tsai’s ‘Four Musts’
The people have spoken, again: 85.2 percent of Taiwanese support the “four musts” framework of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). while 80.9 percent do not support the “one country, two systems” model proposed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, according to a survey published Wednesday by the Cross-Strait Policy Association.
87.3 percent of respondents approve of Tsai’s proposal to set up a three-part security network to manage cross-Strait relations, according to the Taipei Times.
The poll showed that 61.6 percent of Taiwanese are satisfied with Tsai’s overall response to the speech delivered on Jan. 2 by Chinese President Xi Jinping, while 28.2 percent said they were not satisfied – signaling that there may yet be a split between the president’s cross-Strait policies and the leader herself, whose approval ratings had hovered around 20 percent before the latest war of cross-Strait words.
But Tsai’s rejection of Xi’s proposal enjoys support outside of her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). 64.7 percent of Kuomintang (KMT) supporters said they rejected Xi’s “one country, two systems” formula, as did 63 percent of People First Party supporters.
Defense ministry reveals combat drill schedule
One week after Xi Jinping refused to rule out using force against Taiwan, the country’s Ministry of National Defense made public its schedule of combat drills in 2019.
The drills include a month-long Han Kuang live-fire military exercise in the second quarter of 2019, along with combat readiness training, anti-landing operations and an anti-airborne exercise, said Major General Yeh Kuo-hui (葉國輝).
Yeh said the new drills and training routines have been adopted to incorporate defense tactics against a potential invasion by Chinese forces, according to CNA.
Taiwan asks Canada to return fraud suspects
Prosecutors in Taipei have made an extradition request to the Canadian government for the return of cosmetic surgeon Paul Huang (黃博健) and his wife, the internet celebrity Su Chen-tuan (蘇陳端) who is known as Lady Nai Nai (貴婦奈奈), who are suspected of financial fraud.
However, Taiwan does not have an extradition agreement with Canada and prosecutors say it may prove difficult to return the couple, along with Huang’s father Huang Li-hsiung (黃立雄), according to the Taipei Times.
The couple are accused of a fraud scheme in which friends and clients saw about NT$1 billion (US$32.47 million) pilfered after investing into a Taipei cosmetic surgery clinic, along with two other businesses.
Other news from Taiwan:
- Taiwan’s representative office in Melbourne, Australia was one of over 15 foreign embassies and consulates to receive a suspicious package on Wednesday. (CNA)
- Deutsche Welle (DW) and Chunghwa Telecom have beef over their multimedia-on-demand (MOD) broadcasting contract. (Taipei Times)
- Taiwan ranks 32nd in the Democracy Index 2018 report released by The Economist, up one spot from 2017 and fifth in Asia and Oceania. (The Economist)
- Taiwan #5? Taiwan is the world’s fifth most friendly travel destination, behind Australia, the Czech Republic, Poland and New Zealand, according to a Booking.com survey. Cape Eluanbi is its friendliest destination. (CNA)
- Meanwhile, its passport is ranked the world’s 29th most powerful in the 2019 Henley Passport Index. (H&P)
- Nauru President Baron Waqa thanked Taichung Veterans General Hospital yesterday for sending medical teams to Nauru since 2008. (CNA)
Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)
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