Posts tagged ‘Taiwan’

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Trans-Pacific Press Review (TPPR), April 14

Happy reading …

Date Item
April 1 Argentina has sought Chinese support in its negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Argentina started with reaching an agreement with the IMF. China is one of Argentina’s biggest trade and investment partners. According to a report by Argentina’s embassy to China, Argentina’s ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, has had meetings with high-level Chinese officials. The purpose was to ask China to support Argentina in its talks to have deadlines extended and interest on debt lowered.
April 9 Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and a master of innocuous small talk, died last Friday.
April 9 Also on Friday, the world’s biggest Mazu pilgrimage started in Dajia District, Taichung, Taiwan.
April 9 Still on Friday, China’s ambassador to Canada had reassuring news for Michael Spavor‘s and Michael Kovrig‘s fellow citizens: the “vast majority” should not worry about being kidnapped by the police, he reportedly told a Zoom audience Memorial University of St. John’s.
(I suppose his wording was a bit different from kidnapped by the police, rather something like “people engage in those criminal activities, whether it’s Canadians or other nationalities”.)
April 12 Gao Fu (高福), head of the Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, has been quoted as saying that China’s current vaccines  “don’t have very high rates of protection”, but later referred to this statement as a “complete misunderstanding”.
April 14 US climate envoy John Kerry is in China, and two authors on Foreign Policy have some advice for him.
April 14 Also, a US delegation is in Taiwan at President Joe Biden‘s request. President Tsai Ing-wen will reportedly meet with the delegation on Thursday morning.

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Related

Universal topics, Mar 22, 2018
RAE adds Chinese programs, Jun 10, 2013

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Radio Taiwan International suspends 1098 kHz Transmissions for ~ 2 Months

Radio Taiwan International‘s Mandarin programs on the usual 1098 kHz frequency from 21:00 to 01:05 Taipei time (13:00 – 17:05 UTC) will be suspended, because of antenna maintenance work from September 21 to November 20.

据RTI消息,由於中央廣播電臺自9月21日至11月20日止進行天線更新維護工程,原1098千赫頻率21:00~01:05播出之「國語」節目暫停播出。

Radio Taiwan International QSL, 2015

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Related tag:

Radio Taiwan International

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Saturday, August 1, 2020

Lee Teng-hui, 1923 – 2020

Lee Teng-hui and Nelson Mandela met twice: in 1993, when Mandela visited Taiwan, and in 1994, when Lee attended his inauguration as South Africa’s first democratically-elected president.

台湾的主张, 台湾,1999,p. 103

They were two 20th-century giants of democracy, and there were a number of experiences they had in common – struggles for emancipation, more or less intensive tries at Communism, and a crucial role in the democratization of their countries, respectively. But while Mandela led a long open struggle, spending many decades of it in jail, Lee rose through the ranks of the nationalist KMT, supported and promoted by Chiang Ching-kuo during the 1970s and 1980s.

Lee probably owed much of his career to Chiang’s intention to co-opt native Taiwanese citizens into the KMT – a party which Lee actually (and secretly) hated. In the end, he owed his presidency to Chiang, to those in the KMT who threw their weight behind him after Chiang’s death in January 1988, and his own skills as a politician and a technocrat.

Lee’s career came full circle after his presidency had ended in 2000. The KMT revoked his membership in 2001, citing violation of party rules, not least their former president’s and chairman’s close contacts with the Taiwan Solidarity Union.

The KMT had been a vehicle on which Lee pushed forward Taiwan’s democratization, and the re-emergence of Taiwan’s own identity. This rediscovery is still an ongoing process.

While Mandela’s successes and limits in democratizing South Africa were a matter of wide global concern, attention and respect, Lee’s achievements and setbacks mostly took place in the shadows. The likeliest situations that would make the global public look towards the island was when it was threatened by China, with words or military exercises.

Delivering a lecture to an audience at his American alma mater, Cornell University, in 1995, Lee described Taiwan’s situation this way:

When a president carefully listens to his people, the hardest things to bear are the unfulfilled yearnings he hears. Taiwan has peacefully transformed itself into a de­mocracy. At the same time, its international economic ac­tivities have exerted a significant influence on its relations with nations with which it has no diplomatic ties. These are no minor accomplishments for any nation, yet, the Repub­lic of China on Taiwan does not enjoy the diplomatic rec­ognition that is due from the international community. This has caused many to underestimate the international dimen­sion of the Taiwan Experience.

When Lee retired, he essentially moved from the “pan-blue” (KMT-dominated) political camp into the “pan-green” (DPP-dominated) one. He supported both President Chen Shui-bian, and then current President Tsai Ing-wen. And he was prosecuted by the KMT after Ma Ying-jeou had taken office as president in 2008. Lee apparently wasn’t accused of unjustified enrichment, but of “diverting funds and money-laundering”. In November 2013, he was acquitted.

While Lee was known as a technocrat, especially with a record in agriculture, he also sought for new “spiritual” foundations for Taiwan’s emancipation from the Republic of China, i. E. the Chiang Dynasty’s China, imposed on Taiwan during the 1940s’ second half.

My active advocacy, he wrote in the late 1990s,

for  the “reform of heart and soul” in recent years is based on my hope to make society leave the old framework, applying new thought, face a new era, stir new vigor, from a transformation of peoples’ hearts. This goes deeper than political reform, and it is a more difficult transformation project, but we are confident that we will, based on the existing foundations of freedom and openness, achieve the building of a new Central Plain.

近年来,我积极倡导“心灵改革”,就是希望从人心的改造做起,让我们的社会走出旧有的框架,用新的思维,面对新的时代,并激发出新的活力。这是一个比政治 改革更加深入、也更为艰巨的改造工程,但是我们有信心,可以在社会自由开放的既有基础上,完成建立“文化新中原”的目标。

Zhongyuan (中原, the central plains) is a term charged with a Chinese sense of mission and civilization – in that context, it may appear surprising that Lee, a “splittist element”, would use the term at all. The way Henan party secretary Xu Guangchun (徐光春) referred to the central plains may give you an idea: The history of Henan Province constitutes half of the Chinese history. Two years earlier, Xu had apparently given a talk in Hong Kong, with a similar message. But this wasn’t necessarily what Lee had on mind, in 1996.
From “Taiwanisation – Its Origin and Politics”, George Tsai Woei, Peter Yu Kien-hong, Singapore, 2001, page 19 – 20 (footnotes omitted):

Another anecdote should also be mentioned here. In 1996, Lee Teng-hui declared his ambition to “manage the great Taiwan, and to construct a new Central Plain”. As is known, Central Plain (zhong-yuan) was, and still is, a term usually reserved to describe cultural China. To “manage the big Taiwan” is something easily understood, but to construct a new “Central Plain” is very controversial, to say the least. Some argued that Lee’s aim was to help rebuild China as a “new” central plain, but with his foot firmly on Taiwan. But others rebutted that what really was in Lee’s minds was to build Taiwan as a new Central Plain so that there was no need to unify, or have connections, with the “old” central plain, China.

But while the Taiwan experience hasn’t become as much part of human heritage as South Africa’s has, Lee power to shape his country’s development was probably much greater than Mandela’s to shape South Africa’s.

Lee had become president in extraordinary times. Opposition groups, and “illegally” founded political parties among them, had demanded the lifting of the decades-old martial law for a long time. And when Lee began his second term as president in 1990, after the two remaining years of what had originally been Chiang Ching-kuo’s term, students occupied what is now Taipei’s Liberty Square. Once Lee had been sworn in again, he received a fifty-students delegation and promised Taiwan’s democratization, less than a year after the Tian An Men massacre in China.

When a man follows the leader, he actually follows the mass, the majority group that the leader so perfectly represents,

Jacques Ellul wrote in the 1960s*), and added:

The leader loses all power when he is separated from his group; no propaganda can emanate from a solitary leader.

Lee understood that. Maybe Chiang Ching-kuo understood it, too. But when he made Lee Vice President in 1984, and therefore his heir-apparent, he probably did not know at all how far the “group” – Taiwan’s complex mixture of “ordinary people”, Taiwanese and Chinese nationalists, and, all among them, the islands Indigenous people – would make Lee Teng-hui go.

Taiwan Presidential Office Spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka remembers Lee Teng-hui – click photo for Tweet

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*) Jacques Ellul: Propaganda, the Formation of Men’s Attitudes, Paris 1962, 2008, New York 1965, S. 97

Friday, July 10, 2020

Ko Wen-je discusses his Chances to be elected President, Cross-Strait Relations

The following is a translation of an article by Radio Taiwan International‘s Chinese service.

The article contains interesting quotes from an interview Ko Wen-je gave Next TV, but leaves out critical comments he reportedly made about Xi Jinping‘s Qin-Shi-Huang kind of actions.

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Xi Jinping acting like Qin Shi Huang?

Main link: No great chance to be elected president/ there are currently no cross-strait relations

Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je said in an interview aired on July 9 that concerning the 2024 presidential elections, he was “taking a preparatory look at the issue” but his own view of the odds for him wasn’t promising, there would be new politicians, and the situation would be different.

台北市長柯文哲於9日播出的專訪中表示,對於2024總統「照這樣準備」,但自評勝算很低,且到那時會有新的政治人物出現、也沒有連任問題,戰局會不同。

Ko’s interview was broadcast on July 9 by Next TV. Asked by host Chen Yalin about the participation issue in the 2024 presidential elections, Ko declared for the first time that “I am still looking at such preparations, preparing for the presidential elections, just choosing like that, does it work or doesn’t it.”

台北市長柯文哲於9日播出的壹電視專訪中,被主持人陳雅琳問及參選2024總統問題,他首度表態「我還是照這樣準備,準備選總統,就這樣去選,行或不行」。

The host followed up, asking “what is the chance that it would work?”, and Ko answered that if you lean on personal popularity to win, the mobilization abilities of the blue and green camps were both strong, and only if you lead by eight percent from the beginning, “if you ask me at this stage, the chances to get elected would be very low.” “When all media are playing the game like this, it can’t be easy.” Also, there would be new politicians by then, and there wouldn’t be re-election issues, which would make it a different campaign.

主持人追問「你覺得行的比例差不多多少」,柯文哲回應若要靠個人聲望贏,藍綠動員能力強,除非一開始就領先8%,「你問我現階段,選了贏的機會很低」,「所有的媒體這樣打,不容易啦」,且到那時都是新的政治人物、也沒有現在連任的問題,戰局會不同。

Ko Wen-je said that he was in a very calm mood now, with doing his work at the Taipei government, and if it [the presidential opportunities] was there, that would be fine, and otherwise, let it be. There was no need to care.

柯文哲表示現在心情都很輕鬆,正常在北市府開工,行就行、不行就算了,何必那麼在意。

Ko also said that at this stage, there were no cross-strait relations, only a Taiwan issue within the confrontation between China and America, with both China and America having their bottom lines. “Frankly speaking, my conduct and actions wouldn’t differ much from Ying-wen’s [President Tsai].”

柯文哲並表示,現階段沒有兩岸關係,只有中美對抗架構下的台灣問題,中美各有底線,「坦白講,我所作所為跟小英(蔡總統)的做法其實也差不多」。

Asked by the host about the Hong Kong national security law and the cross-strait situation, Ko Wen-je said that China has to reflect on how to deal with the people’s longings for democracy and freedom once arriving at a certain stage of economic development.

主持人問及對香港國安法及兩岸情勢問題,柯文哲表示中國必須思考當經濟發展到一個程度時,該如何處理人民對民主自由的渴望。

Asked what he had to say to China’s chairman Xi Jinping, Ko Wen-je said that [Xi] had better respect Taiwan. Democracy and freedom were the core of Taiwan’s politics, cherished by the Taiwanese, and, more importantly, the Taiwanese would want to retain it. Therefore, [Xi] needed to understand Taiwan’s current situation.

至於對中國國家主席習近平有何話說,柯文哲表示,他還是要尊重台灣。民主自由是台灣政治的核心;台灣人會珍惜它、更重要的是台灣人會去想要保有它,所以他必須了解台灣的現況。

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Updates / Related

Taipei to continue forum with Shanghai (click picture)

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

This week in Taiwan’s Airspace: “the Democratic Progressive Party authorities colluded with external powers”

Probably this kind of plane – click photo for source

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, June 11 — Responding to media coverage concerning a U.S. C-40A transport plane flying over Taiwan on June 9, PRC State Council Office for Taiwan Affairs spokesperson Zhu Fenglian pointed out that American Air Force planes flying over Taiwan harms China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, violates international law and fundamental standards of international relations. It is illegal conduct and a serious provocative incident. We express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition against this.

新华社北京6月11日电 针对有媒体报道6月9日1架美军C-40A运输机飞越台湾,国台办发言人朱凤莲11日应询指出,美军机飞越台湾,损害我主权、安全、发展利益,违反国际法和国际关系基本准则,是一起非法行径和严重挑衅事件。我们对此表示强烈不满和坚决反对。

Zhu Fenglian said that the Democratic Progressive Party authorities colluded with external powers to assault Chinese sovereignty and security, break peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, and bringing calamity to the security and well-being of the people on the island. We express strong condemnation of this. We have the determination, the will, and the ability to resolutely defend national sovereignty, security, and development interests. We solemnly warn the Democratic Progressive Party authorities of misjudging the situation. They must not underestimate the strong will and resolute determination of the entire Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and they must immediately stop the above-mentioned conduct.

朱凤莲表示,民进党当局勾结外部势力侵犯中国主权安全,破坏台海和平稳定,祸患岛内民众安全福祉。我们对此表示强烈谴责。我们有决心、有意志、有能力坚决维护国家主权、安全、发展利益。我们严正警告民进党当局不要误判形势,不要低估全体中国人民维护国家主权和领土完整的坚强意志和坚定决心,立即停止上述行径。

Statement by Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense, quoted by Reuters:

the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF), as Taiwan’s air force is formally known, deployed fighters to repel Chinese Su-30 Flanker fighters. The PLAAF fighters were given verbal warnings to leave Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.

The incident followed a transit of Taiwanese air space, with permission, by a U.S. C-40A Clipper military personnel transport aircraft — a variant of the civilian Boeing 737. […]

The Military News Agency quoted underneath is part of Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense:

Military News Agency reporter Tsai Fang-yun, Taipei, June 9 – The Ministry of Defense said today that in the morning, a number of  Chinese Communist Party Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jet flights were detected as briefly entering Taiwan’s southwesterly airspace in the morning. In addition to radio warnings, our patrolling fighters controlled the entire process and took active measures to dispel them.

國防部今日表示,上午偵獲中共蘇愷30戰機多架次,短暫進入臺灣西南空域,除廣播告警外,我空中偵巡戰機全程掌握並採積極驅離應處。

The Ministry of Defense emphasized that by use of combined intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations, it is in full control of the Taiwan Strait, peripheral waters, and airspace. It takes an active role in firmly protecting homeland security and urges compatriots to be at ease.

國防部強調,國軍運用聯合情監偵作為,對於臺海周邊海、空域狀況,均能充分掌握,並採積極應處作為,確維國土安全,籲請國人放心。

Also, responding to media coverage about “a U.S. C-40A transport plane flying through Taiwanese airspace”, the Ministry of Defense points out that the American plane entered our airspace in accordance with procedures and request, and did not land at any of our airports [during passage]. The military is in full control, and everything is currently normal.

此外,針對媒體報導「美軍C-40A運輸機飛越台灣領空 」,國防部指出,美機進入我空域,係按程序完成申請,期間並未降落我任何機場,國軍都能充分掌握,目前均正常。

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Monday, June 8, 2020

Radio Taiwan International’s Korean Service plans Return to Shortwave

A 2014 photo of Taiwan’s Tamsui transmitters site,
RTI QSL card 2015

After a break of some fifteen years, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reportedly plans a return to shortwave for its Korean language department. These plans had been raised at an award ceremony for RTI’s Korean department, held by the Korea Shortwave Club in Seoul in November 2019, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reported back then. RTI’s board of directors was expected to take a positive decision in January 2020, and RTI’s German service confirmed in a mailbag program on May 29 that the Korean programs would indeed return to shortwave.

This follows the resumption of shortwave transmissions by the foreign broadcaster’s French and Spanish services. According to RTI’s French service’s mailbag program in February, RTI’s management wants the station to use all means of communications available, to raise Taiwan’s profile.

No opening day has apparently been specified, but the switch from the summer to the winter 2020/21 broadcasting season (in late October) doesn’t appear unlikely.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

June 4 Anniversary and Hong Kong: Broke Horses and Resisting Horses

I think there have been two moments when Chinese people of my age basically told me two things.

a) Yes, they had been among the 1989 protesters, be it in Beijing, be it in other places in China.

b) They had come to understand since how wrong they had been back in 1989, and what a calamity they had all been spared by the crackdown.

In both cases, I listened, nodded, and didn’t argue. I didn’t believe them a word. And I felt I was listening to another chapter from a universal story of human weakness, just as Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago had, again, many decades earlier, and who had said that “it was like listening to a horse describing how it broke itself in.”

I didn’t argue because I felt that I hadn’t been in their place, that I still wasn’t in their place, and because I knew them beyond their (rather pathetic) political point of view. We were friends, or sort of friends. Hadn’t we known each other personally, and had it been an online encounter, we would probably have had a fierce debate.

Work style – CCTV evening news on July 24, 2013.

This comes to my mind when I read triumphant Chinese news articles about how many signatures had been collected by now, in support of the “security law for Hong Kong”. Obviously, I have no way of knowing if the numbers are real – and I don’t know how many bosses have “nudged” their staff to sign, or else.

People have to survive. There seems to be a rule: a majority of people will only be prepared to fight for their freedoms when they see a chance to succeed at it. That hope is waning in Hong Kong. It is, on the other hand, very much there in Taiwan. The rule that bleak situations break morals isn’t universal, as shown by exceptions. But it is often broad enough to work in favor of those who abuse their powers.

I can’t blame anyone. But I’m critical of a certain kind of “self-broke horse”. That’s the horse that denies the pressures and the threats, that argues that it recognized a necessity, acted accordingly, and that those horses that continue to resist the necessity would be obnoxious or dangerous. That’s a likely pattern of argument once the self-broke horse has “seen the light”, because every horse that remains noticeably free – or resisting – challenges, by its mere existence, not only the people in power, but also the broke horse itself.

A society could be more relaxed if broke horses could admit – even if only to themselves or in private – that they simply don’t want to live a – supposedly too difficult or painful – dissident’s life, or that they want to be happy, and that their happiness requires a certain monthly income, i. e. a favorable career. The problems begin to explode when they try to link their rather personal desires to “something greater”, and when freedom and conscience aren’t the “greater things” of choice, it will most probably be “the motherland”.

China’s rulers understood that, and they fostered such tensions. That’s why they pushed “patriotic education” in mainland China in the 1990s – to fill the void left behind by the crushed hopes of 1989, and to cater to nationalist feelings that had been there anyway – among many 1989 protestors, too.

Here in Germany, I have sometimes heard people vent anger about Wolf Biermann, an East German singer and songwriter who was stripped of his citizenship and exiled by the East German authorities in 1976, while he was on a pre-approved tour of  West Germany.

Biermann had been a vocal critic of East Berlin – a dissident. He hasn’t been much of a critic of Western flaws after 1976. In fact, he embraced all the good and bad things the West had to offer – imperialism included.

One should be aware of that. Biermann is no saint. But he has done more than most of us. He opposed a regime. That may not be enough for a lifetime – but it’s more than what most of us would be prepared to do.

So let’s be grateful for the courageous. Not to hate them for their integrity is a good first step into the right direction. To learn from them – within the realms of our abilities – should be a good second step.

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Updates / Related

365 days, Tsai Ing-wen, June 4, 2020
Sacrificed and gained, Sui Muqing, June 2, 2020

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

President Tsai Ing-wen begins her Second Term, Inaugural Speech in full

in Chinese

in English

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Related

A second term, Jan 13, 2020
“We uphold our principles”, Jan 2, 2019
First Double-Ten speech, Oct 11, 2016
Economy with new bones, May 20, 2016
She’s back, April 15, 2015

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Related / Updates

Domestic in Focus, J. A. Cohen, May 21, 2020

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