Trending in Taiwan Today

Trending in Taiwan Today
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The biggest stories around Taiwan today.

Rumors that Nicaragua could be next to cut ties with Taiwan

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Rumors are swirling in Taiwan that Central American country Nicaragua could be the next in line to end diplomatic ties with Taiwan, following the loss of Sao Tome and Principe on Dec. 21. Taiwan News reports, in a press conference today, Deputy Foreign Minister Javier Hou (侯清山) hinted that there is one more ally whose relationship with Taiwan is unsteady and is most likely to be the next to severe ties. Hou declined to specify which country, but according to media reports, citing unnamed sources, Taiwan-Nicaragua relations have turned sour recently and the Central American nation has reportedly been attempting to build closer relations with Beijing. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has attempted to arrange meetings between Taiwan and Nicaraguan officials since she took the office in May, but achieved little success, Taipei Times reports.

DPP diplomacy under fire

PFP Chairperson and presidential candidate James Soong shakes hands with DPP Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, and KMT Chairman and presidential candidate Eric Chu before a televise
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

The Kuomintang (KMT) said on Dec. 21 that comments by Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) regarding Sao Tome and Principe’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan were incorrect, Taipei Times reports. Lee told the press that African nation’s decision had no direct connection to the so-called “1992 consensus,” and he said that the African nation ended the diplomatic relationship because the government refused a request for “an astronomical” amount of financial assistance by the Sao Tomean government. The KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Tang Te-ming (唐德明) said that the Tsai administration, composed mostly of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), had expressed confidence that diplomatic allies would not break ties with Taiwan over the refusal to acknowledge the “1992 consensus” but Sao Tome and Principe’s announcement to break ties seven months after Tsai took office in May have raised concerns over the DPP’s statement. Tang added that the Tsai administration must come up with effective measures to prevent more diplomatic losses. According to research fellow at National Chengchi University’s Institute of International Relations Yen Chen-shen (嚴震生), Beijing said it had been contacted by Latin American nations to establish ties, but turned it down because it did not deem them worth disrupting cross-Strait relations. However, the Chinese leadership is now inclined to believe that Taiwan is indifferent toward maintaining cross-Strait relations and it was therefore free to deprive it of diplomatic allies, Yen said.

India steps up parliamentary ties with Taiwan

Narendra Modi

Taiwan and India have formed the India-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Forum (ITPAF), aiming to forge closer ties and enhance the socioeconomic and cultural links between the two countries, CNA reports. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in New Delhi said the ITPAF was formed by members of the lower house of India's bicameral parliament, the Lok Sabha (House of the People), and will work closely with Taiwan’s Legislature. Taiwan's representative to India James Tien (田中光) said that with the formation of ITPAF and establishment of the Taiwan-India Parliamentary Friendship Association in Taiwan's Legislature in April, he could see strong bilateral cooperation in the future.

“Freedom of speech day” set on April 7

Freedom of Speech 言論自由
Photo Credit: Jennifer Moo @ Flickr CC By ND 2.0

The Legislative Yuan approved today that April 7 will be designated as the "freedom of speech day" in Taiwan in tribute to Cheng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), a journalist who committed self-immolation 27 years ago in protest against the suppression of freedom of speech, United Daily News reports. Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said that democracy and freedom are the basic values of Taiwan and hope that the establishment of the new memorial day could help Taiwanese people understand the meaning and value of freedom of speech.

Editor: Edward White