Taiwan’s travel ban on China tours sparks industry outcry
The story discusses the Taiwan Tourism Administration’s ban on travel agencies organizing group trips to China, citing national security concerns. Hsiao Po-jen, President of the Taiwan’s Travel Agent Association, seeks to address industry concerns with President-elect Lai Ching-te. The directive has sparked protests from the travel industry, with potential penalties for violators. The Tourism Administration cites the ＂Act for the Development of Tourism＂ to support the ban, threatening license termination for those jeopardizing national interests. Hsiao argues that organizing travel groups should not be deemed harmful to national interests, hinting at possible legal actions in response.
Taiwan mourns the loss of inspirational lawyer Chen Chun-han
Renowned human rights lawyer Chen Chun-han, a legislator-at-large from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), passed away at the age of 40 due to complications from a cold. Despite living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Chen earned law doctorates from National Taiwan University, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming and his office are assisting with the funeral arrangements to ensure Chen’s life ends on a fulfilling note. Chen’s passing has left many in shock and mourning, not only for his political role but also for his exceptional contributions as a champion of life in the face of adversity.
What’s next for Lai Ching-te, the minority president?
Explore the challenges facing Lai Ching-te’s administration with a minority in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan. Experts weigh in on strategies for effective governance, drawing lessons from past leaders and considering the coalition government as a pathway to overcoming legislative gridlock.
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an plans U.S. visit in 2024
Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an plans to visit the United States in the summer of 2024, focusing on cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. The trip may also include Washington if time permits. The visit will prioritize municipal exchanges and involve bureaus related to information, industrial development, and firefighting. Chiang’s previous tours were mainly in Asian cities like Singapore and South Korea. This upcoming visit, his first as mayor, is likely to be politically interpreted, especially given the timing after the inauguration of President-elect Lai Ching-te.
Taiwanese leaders express sorrow over Yoko Abe’s death
Yoko Abe, the mother of the late former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has passed away. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President Lai Ching-te expressed their condolences, highlighting Yoko Abe’s friendly relations with Taiwan and her contributions to Taiwan-Japan relations. President Tsai fondly recalled a shared moment during Yoko Abe’s visit to Taiwan in 2016, while Vice President Lai expressed shock at her demise and prayed for strength for the grieving Abe family. Yoko Abe’s approachable demeanor and efforts in fostering Taiwan-Japan relations earned her high regard in Taiwan, and her passing has been met with mourning sentiments.
Han Kuo-yu faces impeachment buzz as new Taiwan Speaker
Han Kuo-yu, the newly-elected Speaker of the Legislative Yuan, is facing challenges as the idea of his possible impeachment trends online. Currently, there are no laws for removing the Speaker without consent from one-third of proposing members and two-thirds agreeing to the recall. Han, being a legislator-at-large, is immune from recall according to the law. Despite criticisms, DPP chairman and President-elect Lai Ching-te congratulated Han and expressed hope for cooperation among different political parties. KMT legislator Chang Chia-Chun commented on the difficulty of accomplishing impeachment in reality.
Han Kuo-yu consults predecessor after securing Speaker role
Newly-appointed Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu seeks counsel from his predecessor Wang Jin-pyng, demonstrating respect for traditional decorum and the continuation of Kuomintang’s experience. Han emphasizes that non-violent conduct and police intervention are unnecessary as long as his agenda can be accomplished. Meanwhile, You Si-kun, who failed to secure another term, resigns from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and is praised for his commitment to democracy by Lai Ching-te. Lai reveals that You had declared his determination to secure the position of legislative speaker and, if unsuccessful, would resign as a legislator to cultivate new talent. At a gratitude dinner, Lai encourages his party colleagues to anticipate future competitions and collaborations in the Legislative Yuan and continue making strong efforts to push legislation forward.
Former speaker You Si-kun resigns, sparks political shuffle
Former Legislative Speaker You Si-kun has resigned from his at-large legislator position, citing personal plans. This decision was reported to President-elect Lai Ching-te on January 19. Former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Julian Kuo disclosed that Lai had selected two departing Taiwan People’s Party legislators for his cabinet and arranged for You to assume another high-level position. The vacant at-large legislator position will be filled by Dr. Wang Cheng-hsu, Chairman of HOPE Foundation for Cancer Care. Additionally, DPP policy head Wang Yi-chuan may potentially take on the at-large legislator role if more vacancies arise. DPP legislator Chuang Jui-hsiung, who is rumored to be appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, has not yet received any official appointment.
Taiwan VP Lai Ching-te’s sympathy letter to Japan published
Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te’s letter expressing sympathy to Japan for the Noto Peninsula earthquake was published in the Hokkoku Newspaper on February 1. Lai’s message, along with a similar one from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, emphasized Taiwan’s willingness to assist in the relief and recovery efforts. Lai mentioned that the Taiwanese government promptly offered aid, including a contribution of 60 million Japanese yen, while private donations from Taiwan have reached 2.5 billion yen. Lai also paid tribute to Yoichi Hatta, an engineer from Ishikawa Prefecture who worked on infrastructure projects in Taiwan, demonstrating the enduring gratitude of the Taiwanese people. The newspaper also featured a photo of Lai’s visit to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in 2011 when he was the mayor of Tainan.
Premier Chen eyes return to academia post-May
Premier Chen Chien-jen expresses his desire to return to academic research at Academia Sinica after May 20. He hopes to continue serving humanity through his academic pursuits, which have always been his passion. President-elect Lai Ching-te is confident in his well-thought-out arrangements for cabinet positions, aligning with the people’s expectations. Lai intends to recruit capable individuals for ministerial and agency head positions, regardless of their political affiliation.
Taipei official rebukes China’s election meddling in letter
Taiwan’s Director-General in Boston, Charles Liao, responds to China’s interference in Taiwan’s elections with military threats and economic bullying. Liao highlights Taiwan’s commitment to democracy and refusal to bow to Chinese pressure. The U.S. State Department, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the European Union’s European External Action Service congratulate elected officials Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim. Despite China’s attempts at interference through disinformation, military intimidation, and economic threats, Taiwanese voters remain resilient in their pursuit of democracy and freedom. Liao’s response is prompted by a Boston Globe article suggesting that the U.S. should prioritize Taiwan as a democratic partner.
Over half of Taiwan backs President-elect Lai Ching-te: TPOF
A recent survey by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation reveals that 52% of respondents have confidence in President-elect Lai Ching-te’s leadership. The survey, conducted from Jan. 15-17, 2024, among adults aged 20 and above nationwide, shows that 21% have high confidence in Lai’s ability to lead, while 30.9% are somewhat confident. On the other hand, 19.5% are not very confident, 18.7% are not at all confident, and 7.3% held no opinion. The survey, which had a total valid sample of 1083 respondents, also found that 51.9% expressed confidence in Lai, while 38.2% reported having no confidence in him. The survey was funded by TPOF and had a margin of error of approximately 2.98 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.
VP-elect Hsiao Bi-khim diagnosed with COVID-19 again
DPP Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time. She underwent rapid testing in Miaoli due to congestion symptoms, which confirmed her infection. Despite her diagnosis, Hsiao diligently followed the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s guidelines, wearing a double mask and avoiding contact with others. She completed two events in Miaoli under these conditions but had to cancel subsequent activities to protect the public. Hsiao expressed regret to her supporters for not being able to interact with them and informed President-elect Lai Ching-te about her diagnosis.
DPP commits to youth engagement after elections setback
Top Taiwanese leaders from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are recognizing the need for fresh approaches and new policies to connect with the youth after a challenging electoral run in Taichung City. Legislative Deputy Speaker Tsai Chi-chang expressed his concerns to DPP Chairman Lai Ching-te, pledging to introduce novel ideas and practices over the next four years to gain youth support. In response, Lai stated his intention to proactively address youth issues and develop a strategic plan to win back young supporters. Tsai believes that Lai’s forthcoming policies will generate further optimism among the younger population. DPP legislator Ho Hsin-chun and councilor Chiang Chao-kuo echoed these sentiments, urging the party to prioritize young people’s ideas and adjust existing regulations to meet their expectations. DPP caucus whip in the Taichung City Council, Lee Tien-sheng, also acknowledged the disconnect with the younger generation and emphasized the need for the party to work harder to gain their support and recognition.
DPP to nominate current speakers for legislative posts
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) plans to nominate Legislative President You Si-kun and Vice President Tsai Chi-chang for the upcoming inauguration of the legislature. President-elect Lai Ching-te intends to meet with the vice presidential nominee to seek out the opinion of other political parties’ legislative caucuses. In response, the Kuomintang (KMT) nominated legislator-elect Han Kuo-yu and legislator Johnny Chiang. Han and Chiang have already visited the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) for closed-door meetings and subsequent media interviews. The TPP Caucus respects the candidates’ wishes and is open to future meetings with the DPP nominees.
U.S. congressional caucus reaffirms support for Taiwan
Vice President Lai Ching-te welcomes the bipartisan U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus, highlighting Taiwan’s strategic role and mutual commitment to peace and stability. The visit underscores unwavering support for Taiwan.
US congressional leaders show Taiwan bipartisan support
The U.S. Congressional Taiwan Caucus co-chairs, Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Democratic Representative Ami Bera, are visiting Taiwan from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26, 2024. This marks their first visit to Taiwan in recent years, symbolizing their bipartisan commitment to Taiwan’s democracy. Their visit comes after Taiwan’s presidential election, celebrating the victory of Taiwan’s democracy. Diaz-Balart and Bera will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President and President-elect Lai Ching-te, and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. Talks are scheduled with Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim and other Taiwanese political leaders. Both Diaz-Balart and Bera have been long-standing friends of Taiwan, often leading or proposing initiatives and bills supportive of Taiwan. The Congressional Taiwan Caucus is the largest secondary body in U.S. Congress relating to foreign affairs. Their visit reemphasizes the U.S. Congress’ support for Taiwan, following the 2024 presidential election and marking the 45th legislative anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to deepen Taiwan-U.S. relations based on shared values and the U.S. Congress’s support.
Lai Ching-te celebrates democracy with Marshall Islands
President-elect Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had a virtual call with Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, celebrating their successful elections and shared values of democracy, freedom, and human rights. President Heine praised Taiwan as a beacon of democracy and expressed hope to attend Lai’s inauguration ceremony. Both leaders highlighted the 26-year diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands, emphasizing successful cooperation in various sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, renewable energy, education, climate change adaptation, and information technology. Lai expressed his intention to collaborate with the Marshall Islands in addressing climate change.
Lai Ching-te commits to democracy and Indo-Pacific stability
Vice President and President-elect Lai Ching-te reaffirms commitment to democracy and peace in Taiwan Strait and Indo-Pacific region during meeting with U.S.-Taiwan Business Council. Lai highlights alignment of Taiwan-U.S. economic cooperation with Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. Expresses gratitude for U.S. support following election, acknowledges solidarity against Chinese authoritarianism. Thanks U.S. for commitment to Taiwan’s security and efforts to address double taxation issue. Anticipates strengthened supply chain partnerships between Taiwan and U.S. through enacted double-tax relief act.
Global Times warns Lai of Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation
Taipei (TVBS News) reports that Taiwan’s diplomatic allies are gradually decreasing, as stated by a Chinese official media outlet. Nauru recently announced its decision to sever ties with the Republic of China and Taiwan, bringing the number of diplomatic allies down to 12. This marks the tenth nation to break ties during President Tsai Ing-wen’s term. The Global Times report highlights the more restrained approach of Taiwan’s President-elect Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim towards cross-strait policies, urging them to fully understand the reality and trend of the Taiwan Strait and completely abandon any path towards Taiwan independence. Lai, elected as a ＂double minority,＂ faces the challenge that 60 percent of the Taiwanese population does not recognize the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In response to Taiwan’s elections, the U.S. clarified its stance by stating that they do not support Taiwan’s independence, aiming to dissuade Lai from becoming a disruptive force like former President Chen Shui-bian, which could affect the U.S.’s strategic plans.
Lai urges lawmakers to bridge government, people
Recently elected Democratic Progressive Party President Lai Ching-te shares his experiences and expectations with newly inaugurated legislators, urging them to act as a bridge between the government and the people. Lai emphasizes the importance of hard work and teamwork in driving national development, and gives three pieces of advice to first-time lawmakers. He encourages them to become a new force for the nation, stay true to their original intentions, engage in professional questioning, and implement their ideals. Lai draws from his personal experience as a legislator, highlighting the importance of learning from others’ experiences and continuously improving professional expertise.
President-elect Lai Ching-te advises new legislators
Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) visited the Legislative Yuan to participate in the ＂New Legislator Consensus Camp.＂ Lai encouraged the newly-elected DPP legislators, stressing his neutral stance in Congress. He shared his past experiences and strategies as DPP caucus head, as well as the painful experiences he went through during his tenure. Lai, hailed as the strongest caucus director during his time in the Legislative Yuan, gave three suggestions to the new legislators: to become a new force for the nation, to focus on their professional duties and ideals, and to work cooperatively with the party caucus to advance national development goals. Lai emphasized the importance of teamwork in the Legislative Yuan and hopes to guide the new legislators in effective governance and realizing their ideals in Congress through the sharing of experiences by Legislative Yuan Speaker You Si-kun and caucus whip Ker Chien-ming.
DPP leaders launch gratitude tour to connect with locals
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president-elect, Lai Ching-te, and vice president-elect, Hsiao Bi-khim, have begun their nationwide bento box meeting tour to engage with local concerns and express gratitude to election staff and volunteers. The tour started in Kaohsiung and Pingtung in southern Taiwan and will continue for two weeks, covering the entire island and its outer islands. The bento box meetings aim to create a relaxed atmosphere for discussions on the post-election situation and the future of the new parliament. Despite the election results, the DPP remains committed to listening to local opinions in the new political landscape.
DPP urges Beijing to reassess cross-strait relations
The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) China Affairs Department has called on Beijing to realistically confront cross-strait relations. This plea comes in response to a recent statement by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), which claimed that the Taiwan election results do not represent the majority’s views and reiterated that ＂Taiwan is China’s Taiwan.＂ Following Taiwan’s elections, Nauru, a Pacific island nation, severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The DPP criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for exploiting Nauru’s financial difficulties and coaxing the country into establishing diplomatic relations with China. The DPP’s China Affairs Department reaffirmed that its chairman, Lai Ching-te, has consistently stated his commitment to maintaining the status quo under the constitutional system of the Republic of China (R.O.C.). Lai advocated for dialogue and cooperation with China based on parity and dignity. The DPP’s China Affairs Department condemned the CCP’s suppressive measures against Taiwan and urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to publicly pledge not to unilaterally alter the status quo across the Taiwan Strait using military force. Despite Lai Ching-te’s stance on dialogue and cooperation, Beijing has continued to disregard Taiwan.
Lai Ching-te’s playful banter steals the show at DPP event
DPP president-elect Lai Ching-te and vice president-elect Hsiao Bi-khim express gratitude to campaign staff and volunteers at a Thanksgiving banquet in Taipei. Lai playfully declares that his VP is better than President Tsai Ing-wen’s VP, sparking laughter. Lai’s social media post generates humorous responses, while Hsiao teases Lai about his preference for cats or dogs. President Tsai Ing-wen joins in the banter, expressing a desire for both. Hsiao shares a nostalgic photo of her and Lai enjoying Taiwanese popsicles, expressing appreciation for campaign staff.