What you need to know
A daily breakdown of Taiwan's top stories and why they matter.
McDonald’s China expressed regret and reiterated its “one China” stance on Saturday after airing an ad on Weibo showing the nationality of a student in the ad as “Taiwan,” prompting Chinese netizens to accuse McDonald’s of supporting Taiwan independence, according to CNA.
“We regret about the ad which had stirred up such an unnecessary misunderstanding,” McDonald’s China said on its Weibo page. “We always hold a solid ‘one China’ stance and we are determined to continue to support China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The video has been withdrawn and we are grateful to the attention and supervision in society.”
Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) chimed in on the controversy on Twitter:
Hamburgers, along with airlines, hotels and bakery chains, have been coerced into recognizing Taiwan as a territory of China in recent months. A report viewed by Reuters last Thursday hints that Beijing’s strategy of pressuring international corporations to adhere to its view of “one China” may continue in 2019. The strategy has been repeatedly criticized by Taiwanese officials, who see it as a means of suppressing Taiwan’s sovereignty and international participation.
The ad was released on YouTube on Dec. 6 and pulled on Dec. 18 by McDonald’s China, which is administered separately from McDonald’s Taiwan.
Danish firm halts Taiwan offshore wind projects
Denmark’s Orsted A/S is suspending its offshore wind projects off the coast of Changhua County and has informed its local supply chain to cease the execution of contracts, the Liberty Times reported on Saturday.
The firm made its decision after failing to receive a permit for its Changhua County projects and failing to agree on a renewal of last year’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) rate, the Liberty Times reported.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs awarded Orsted contracts for two wind projects last April, which had been planned to generate 900MW of electricity by 2021.
The move throws yet another wrench into Taiwan’s renewable future. On Nov. 26, the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration’s plans to phase out Taiwan’s nuclear power by 2025 was voted down in a public referendum amid concerns over Taiwan’s ability to implement renewable power in the coming years.
Coast Guard steps up human smuggling patrol
A task force of Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration has been set up one day after a Taiwanese man said he had paid smugglers to bring him from China’s Fujian province to Penghu before realizing others on the boat possessed pork and meat products, according to the Taipei Times.
The man said he had enlisted smugglers to transport him to Taiwan last year after he was jailed in China’s Guangdong Province and subsequently released ahead of a trial. After arriving in Penghu, he flew to Taipei’s Songshan Airport and did not have to clear immigration.
The man said he turned himself in to police when he realized human smuggling presented a loophole to the government’s attempts to keep African swine fever out of the country. The coast guard has said it is currently investigating his case.
Other news from Taiwan:
► Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council is uneasy about a program allowing Taiwanese to become elementary and junior-high school teachers in China. (Taipei Times)
► Taiwan and Paraguay, one of its 17 remaining diplomatic allies, have signed a five-year, US$150 million memorandum of understanding (MOU). (Taipei Times)
► Taiwan’s traditional medicine stores are dying out after an attempt to regulate the shops has not gone as planned, according to an AFP report. (Channel NewsAsia)
► An Indonesian woman has been rescued after allegedly being tortured by her employer in New Taipei. The city’s labor bureau has shared details of the harrowing tale. (CNA)
Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more like it in your news feed, please be sure to like our Facebook page below.