Trending in Taiwan Today

Trending in Taiwan Today
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

The biggest stories from around Taiwan today.

Tsai meets with US officials

Cruz, Sanders projected winners in Wisconsin primary
Photo Credit: EPA/ 達志影像

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday met with Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbot, despite China reportedly sending a message to the U.S. lawmakers urging them not to meet Tsai, CNA reports. Tsai was making a stop in Houston en route to Central America for diplomatic visits when Ted Cruz visited Tsai at her hotel for a brief meeting. Cruz told the media after the meeting that he, along with other Texas senators, have received letters from Beijing prior to the meeting asking them not to meet Tsai to uphold the “one-China policy.” Cruz said the letter was, however, unpersuasive.

“The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves,” Cruz said in a statement on Sunday. Cruz also expressed his strong stance on protecting U.S.-Taiwan relationships, adding that he looks forward to working with President Tsai to strengthen the partnership. Cruz and Abbot’s discussions with Tsai included increasing trades and more commercial ties between Taiwan and Texas.

Cruz, a Republican who endorsed Trump after losing to him in the primaries, had previously defended Trump’s call with Tsai in December 2016, which broke the traditional U.S. policy regarding cross-Strait relations, The Guardian reports.

Former vice president joins race for KMT leadership

Photo Credit: Chen Su 公有領域

Former Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) announced today he would run for the Chinese Nationalist Party (or Kuomintang, KMT) chairperson slated for May 20. KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) said that she supports anyone who runs and all candidates should be confident of themselves, United Daily News reports.

Wu is now the third candidate who has officially announced plans to run, following Hung and KMT deputy chair Hau Lung-pin (郝龍斌). Wu had previously criticized Hung’s leadership, notably her take on cross-Strait policies. Wu said in his announcement today that he would call for "sustainable and peaceful" cross-Strait relations under the "1992 Consensus," The China Post reports.

KMT chief deputy chairman steps down


KMT Deputy Chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) announced on Saturday his decision to resign, adding that he had completed his scheduled tasks. Chan was reportedly dissatisfied with Hung’s disclosure of internal party discussions and negotiations regarding the party’s ongoing assets investigation, saying Hung’s handling of the issue “was extremely unwise.”

Hung told the public on Saturday that Chan is “awfully important” to her and she asked the media not to “maliciously drive a wedge” between her and Chan, Taipei Times reports. Chan's resignation will leave the party with four vice chairmen: Jason Hu (胡志強), Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), Chen Chen-hsiang (陳鎮湘) and Lin Jung-tzer (林政則).

Social activist and writer displeased with party leader, leaves NPP

馮光遠 時代力量
Photo Credit:時代力量提供

Award-winning screenwriter and author Neil Peng (馮光遠) said on Sunday via a video uploaded on Facebook that he would leave the New Power Party (NPP). NPP, Taiwan’s third largest political party, was founded by civil activists in 2015. Peng said that he is not satisfied with the current party leader Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and the NPP’s original purpose has shifted under the influence of Huang, who Peng says holds all power. Peng also said in the video that he does not wish his hard work and contributions to the party be “reaped by specific people,” thus his decision to leave the party. Peng has been on the NPP leadership team since September 2015.

Hong Kong activists assaulted at Taiwan and Hong Kong airports

Photo Credit: Bobby Yip / Reuters / 達志影像

Hong Kong lawmaker Nathan Law (羅冠聰) was physically assaulted at Hong Kong International Airport by pro-China protesters on Sunday night after returning from a two-day forum in Taipei City, Taiwan. Law has filed a police complaint and held a press conference this afternoon in which he said that he believes the violent mob of protesters were “hired” by others to attack him and suspects them to be involved with local gangs.

Law, fellow legislators, and Demosistō Secretary-General Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) were invited to attend a two-day forum in Taiwan held by the NPP. They were harassed by pro-China protesters at the Hong Kong airport on Jan. 7 before departure and encountered another group of 200 protesters from the pro-unification Patriot Association (愛國同心會) after landing at Taoyuan International Airport. A few protesters clashed with the police and a man attempted to attack Law and Wong, Apple Daily reports. Law and his company were escorted out by the police and Taiwan political activist Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), who criticized the Patriot Association on his Facebook page for “creating fear” and hurting people. There were also protesters outside the building where the forum was held and dozens of police officers stood guard until the event ended.

Editor: Olivia Yang