Tsai vows to cope with changing circumstances

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Tuesday that her administration would adapt to changing circumstances to protect the sovereignty and security of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and safeguard Taiwan’s democracy and freedom.

Tsai made her remarks while inspecting and observing a military exercise of the Army Defense Command in Hualien and Taitung.

She reiterated that Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in his Jan. 2 speech on Taiwan, refused to rule out using force to unify Taiwan and China if necessary.


Credit: Taiwan Presidential Office

Tsai observes military exercises on a Jan. 15 inspection tour.

Tsai has enjoyed a surge in popularity since responding to Xi’s speech by unequivocally rejecting Xi’s proposal of a “one country, two systems” framework for Taiwan, although it remains to be seen whether the goodwill towards her cross-Strait stance will extend to her and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the upcoming 2020 presidential and legislative elections.

On Tuesday, Tsai mentioned that she had observed recent improvements in military equipment and combat skills after watching exercises designed to test the military’s responsiveness and combat readiness.

Control Yuan votes to impeach Kuan

Taiwan’s Control Yuan voted yesterday to impeach National Taiwan University (NTU) president Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), the latest in a saga of controversy surrounding his protracted nomination and eventual appointment.

The Control Yuan, a government watchdog which disciplines government officials, voted seven to four to impeach Kuan for alleged violations of the Civil Service Work Act. Kuan wrote opinion pieces for Next Magazine while he was a professor at NTU for which he was paid NT$50,000 (US$1,622) per month, and continued to do so anonymously as a Cabinet member between 2012 and 2015, according to Control Yuan member Wang Yu-ling (王幼玲).

Kuan’s case will be forwarded to the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission under Taiwan’s Judicial Yuan.


Credit: 關鍵評論網 羊正鈺

Embattled NTU president Kuan Chung-ming.

WHA participation off the table for now

Taiwan’s foreign ministry has decided against seeking participation in this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) during the executive board session of the World Health Organization (WHO) held from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1.

The ministry has decided not to raise the issue with diplomatic allies and friendly countries for practical purposes, according to Bob Chen (陳龍錦), director-general of the Department of International Organizations of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This year’s WHA will be held from May 20 to 28 in Geneva, Switzerland. Previous attempts by Taiwan to participate in the WHA, the WHO’s highest decision-making body, have been blocked due to pressure from Beijing.

Other news from the region:

  • Kinmen county magistrate Yang Cheng-wu (楊鎮浯) voiced his approval of cross-Strait bridge, water, electricity and gas links with China’s Fujian province. Xi Jinping mentioned the bridge proposal in his Jan. 2 speech. (CNA)
  • Videos of a child being beaten by his father, sensationalized by media as “Meatball Dad,” have sparked an outcry about abuse in Taiwan. (Taipei Times)
  • Detained Chinese lawyer Yu Wensheng has been awarded a human rights award by the French and German ambassadors to Beijing. (AFP / Straits Times)

Read Next: Video of Human Rights Lawyer Yu Wensheng Highlights China's Abuse of Detainees

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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