President Tsai pledges support for R.O.C. armed forces
President Tsai Ing-wen visits forces stationed at Penghu and pledges continued support for the Republic of China Armed Forces. She also inaugurates the renovated Wude Barracks and emphasizes the government’s dedication to revitalizing military dormitories nationwide. The defense budget for 2024 reaches a record high of NT＄600.7 billion, and Tsai inspects military demonstrations by the mechanized infantry battalion of the Penghu Defense Command. The president highlights ongoing defense reforms to establish a leaner and more modern military force and acknowledges the strategic importance of the Penghu force. With the Lunar New Year approaching, she advises officers to stay connected with their families and encourages quality time with loved ones for those on leave.
DPP’s Ker Chien-ming backs You Si-Kun as legislative speaker
The story discusses Ker Chien-ming’s support for You Si-Kun’s bid for the role of legislative speaker in Taiwan. Ker, the Democratic Progressive Party’s legislative caucus whip, stated that he is the most supportive of You Si-Kun’s election. However, Ker mentioned that the decision to appoint You now rests on Ko Wen-Je, the chairman of the Taiwan People’s Party. Ko had previously suggested that Ker may not strongly support You Si-Kun’s election. The Democratic Progressive Party caucus had proposed You Si-Kun for the post of legislative speaker and Tsai Chi-Chang as the vice speaker candidate. Ker believes that it is up to You Si-Kun and Tsai Chi-Chang to decide whether they would meet with the Taiwan People’s Party legislative caucus. Ker criticized the Taiwan People’s Party caucus for privately inviting candidates from the Democratic Progressive Party and the Kuomintang for discussions, describing it as sensational and absurd. Ker emphasized that the key issue now is Ko Wen-je’s decision, particularly considering whether to appoint Han Kuo-yu, the Kuomintang candidate who Ker worries may be influenced by the Chinese Communist Party.
MND: Three PRC balloons spotted near Taiwan amid tensions
Taipei (TVBS News) - The Ministry of National Defense (MND) reported that four People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft violated the median line of the Taiwan Strait or entered Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ) between Wednesday and Thursday morning. A total of 18 PLAAF aircraft and six PLAN vessels were detected around Taiwan during this period. The Republic of China Armed Forces responded by monitoring these violations with Combat Air Patrol (CAP) aircraft, navy vessels, and land-based missile systems. Additionally, the MND noted the presence of three Chinese balloons near Taiwan, floating at elevations between 13,000 and 24,000 feet. One balloon was located 72 nautical miles west of Keelung. The first balloon was detected at 5:57 a.m. on Wednesday, at a height of 24,000 feet, disappearing by 6:32 a.m. Another balloon was spotted at 3:11 p.m., at a height of 13,000 feet, disappearing by 3:57 p.m. The third balloon was seen at 3:30 p.m. at a height of 18,000 feet, disappearing by 4:14 p.m.
Chinese balloons cross Taiwan Strait: MND
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) reported that two Chinese balloons were detected crossing the Taiwan Strait median line within the previous 24 hours, with one passing over Taiwan. The balloons’ transit began on Tuesday morning, with one located 90 nautical miles west of Keelung and the other spotted 113 nautical miles west of Pingtung. Alongside the balloons, Taiwanese forces also observed seven Chinese aircraft and five naval vessels operating continuously in the vicinity of the Taiwan Strait during the same period. The Republic of China Armed Forces closely monitored and responded to the situation using mission aircraft, ships, and shore-based missile systems. This announcement by the MND highlights the ongoing security challenges in the region and comes at a time of increased cross-strait tension.
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.
Taiwan monitors Chinese aircraft and balloons near strait
Taiwan’s National Defense Ministry (MND) reported the detection of four Chinese aircraft and six Chinese balloons in the vicinity of the Taiwan Strait within a 24-hour period. The balloons were found soaring between 15,000 and 27,000 feet, with one detected just 57 nautical miles west of Keelung City. The MND also identified activities involving four Communist vessels in the Taiwan Strait. The Republic of China Armed Forces closely monitored and responded to these activities using mission aircraft, ships, and shore-based missile systems. The military emphasized the constantly changing threat landscape faced by Taiwan, with China’s cognition warfare accompanying its military actions to affect Taiwan’s security. Continual refinement of public announcements is seen as imperative to avoid enemy influence.
11 aircraft crossing Taiwan Strait median line: MND
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has detected 11 aircraft crossing the median line of the strait within a 24-hour period. The Republic of China Armed Forces are closely monitoring these aircraft, along with 24 other aircraft and five vessels engaged in activities around the Taiwan Strait. Some of the aircraft have exceeded the median line and entered Taiwan’s airspace. The closest distances to Taiwan were approximately 42 nautical miles from Keelung in the north and 85 nautical miles from Cape Eluanbi in the south. The MND highlights the changing security environment and threat model faced by Taiwan, asserting that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is using cognitive warfare and military actions to impact Taiwan. The MND emphasizes the need to constantly adjust the mode of disclosure to avoid being influenced by the enemy. The Republic of China Armed Forces are employing aircraft, vessels, and shore-based missile systems to closely monitor and prepare for response scenarios.
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.
Nauru notified Australia before cutting ties with Taiwan
The Australian government was informed by Nauru before the Republic of Nauru announced its decision to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. However, the decision was not made after consulting with the Australian government. Australia respects Nauru’s sovereign decision. Taiwan accused China of enticing Nauru with financial incentives to sever ties, but China did not comment on the accusations. Nauru’s announcement came right after Taiwan’s presidential election, making it the 10th nation to break off relations during President Tsai Ing-wen’s tenure, leaving Taiwan with 12 diplomatic allies.
MAC slams Beijing for ’dollar diplomacy’ to sway Nauru
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) strongly condemns Beijing’s attempt to lure the Republic of Nauru into resuming diplomatic relations, accusing China of disrupting international order through ＂dollar diplomacy.＂ The MAC criticizes China’s actions as an attempt to suppress Taiwan’s international status and sovereignty, despite its successful presidential election. Beijing’s attempts to snatch away Taiwan’s diplomatic allies will not earn it respect from the international community but will instead highlight Taiwan’s democratic achievements and contributions. The MAC calls on Beijing to stop this zero-sum thinking and emphasizes that the ROC government will continue to strengthen Taiwan’s resilience, unite society, and safeguard its international status and rights.
Embassy reflects on Shih Ming-te’s democratic hopes
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Holy See commemorated a previous visit by Shih Ming-te, the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman, in 2019. Shih expressed elation at the sight of Taiwan’s flag waving in foreign lands and desired to see justice fulfilled and the flag flying everywhere. The embassy’s Facebook post highlighted the contrasting positions of the free world and China’s authoritarian regime toward Taiwan, emphasizing how China undermines Taiwan’s democracy and freedom diplomatically. The post also mentioned the severance of ties between Taiwan and Nauru, reflecting Taiwan’s persistence in democratic transformation and progress despite challenges.
Financial strains lead Nauru to sever ties with Taiwan
Taiwan expresses strong regret and denounces the Republic of Nauru’s decision to sever diplomatic relations and establish ties with China as misguided and not beneficial for its people or regional stability. The Taiwanese Presidential Office highlights that Beijing’s diplomatic suppression is seen as retaliation against democratic values and a challenge to international stability. This move by Nauru reduces Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to twelve, marking the loss of its tenth ally since Tsai Ing-wen became president in 2016. Financial shortfalls resulting from the closure of Australia’s Nauru Regional Processing Center and other factors, such as Nauru’s request for economic aid and the closure of the Nauru branch of the Australian Bendigo Bank, have contributed to the strained Taiwan-Nauru relations.
Ex-NTU president backs Hou Yu-ih for Taiwan presidency
Former president of National Taiwan University, Kuan Chung-ming, shows his support for Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih in Kaohsiung. Kuan criticizes the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for social issues in Taiwan and accuses them of damaging academic freedom and lacking moral integrity. Kuan urges his supporters to vote for Hou Yu-ih, emphasizing the importance of honesty, broad-mindedness, and courage in a leader. He disagrees with DPP candidate Lai Ching-Te’s criticism of the Constitution of the Republic of China, deeming him unfit for the presidency. Kuan reflects on his career and emphasizes the need for a secure Taiwan, a future for the youth, and the happiness of the people.
Taiwan’s allies voice support as China ramps up intimidation
China’s military intimidation of Taiwan ahead of the presidential election has been warned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). A joint statement by the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, Japanese Deputy Minister and Director-General, Kobe Yasuhiro, and Republic of Korea Deputy Minister, Chung Byung-won, expressed support for Taiwan during a three-way dialogue in Washington. China’s recent military threats towards Taiwan, including deploying balloons across the Taiwan strait, violating airspace, and suspending parts of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), have raised concerns among the international community. MOFA has raised suspicions of attempts to influence the election and emphasized Taiwan’s commitment to cooperation with the US, Japan, and South Korea to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan detects CCP military presence ahead of 2024 election
The Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense (MND) has reported the detection of eight military aircraft and six naval vessels of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the past 24 hours. Additionally, an unidentified balloon crossed the Taiwan Strait median line. The MND denounced China’s activities, which consistently undermine regional stability, and expressed its commitment to maintaining peace and national security. The Republic of China Armed Forces will monitor and respond to CCP military and naval activities to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty. Despite interference from the Chinese PLA, the MND remains determined to uphold Taiwan’s state security and regional stability.
KMT and DPP clash in New Taipei campaign rallies
Presidential candidates from the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held simultaneous campaign rallies in New Taipei City. KMT candidate Hou Yu-ih criticized DPP candidate Lai Ching-te for allegedly belittling the Republic of China (Taiwan) and accused the DPP of corruption. Lai emphasized human rights during his visit to the Luchou Lee Family Historic Estate and promised support for renovating the residence of Lieutenant General Lee, a figure in the resistance against Japanese occupation who was falsely accused and executed during the KMT-led era. Lai highlighted his commitment to economic development and human rights protection.
Taiwan’s CBC hesitant over NFTs as presidential tokens
The Central Bank of the Republic of China (CBC) clarifies that the issuance of inauguration commemorative coins is the authority and wish of the elected president, with the CBC providing assistance. Former Premier Sean Chen suggests issuing a token composed of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) for the incoming president in 2024, which would be a global first. CBC officials express concerns about the risks associated with digital assets, such as NFTs, including transactional challenges, anti-money laundering practices, and legal issues. The CBC is actively studying these risks to protect the public’s rights and interests. Additionally, the CBC is engaged in researching Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) and seeking public input through a consultation process set to conclude in April 2024.
KMT candidate challenges Tsai’s stance on ＂One China＂ policy
Kuomintang (KMT) vice presidential candidate Jaw Shaw-kong criticizes President Tsai Ing-wen’s acceptance of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s statements, arguing that the ＂One China＂ concept in the 1992 Consensus refers to the Republic of China and not the People’s Republic of China. Jaw emphasizes that ＂One China＂ is the Republic of China, which predates the People’s Republic of China by 38 years and highlights its status as Asia’s first democratic republic. He rebuts claims that the KMT’s agreement to the 1992 Consensus poses dangers to Taiwan, stating that the consensus is meant to end the argument and focus on individual duties. Jaw also argues that Tsai’s actions depict a pro-independence stance, despite her verbal denial.
Presidential debate ignites over R.O.C. Constitution
The sole televised debate for Taiwan’s 2024 presidential candidates featured heated exchanges among Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), and Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang (KMT) regarding the representation of the Republic of China (R.O.C.). The candidates were questioned about their recognition of the inherent territory in mainland China and Taiwan, whether both are part of the R.O.C., and their stance on the principle of ＂one country, two systems.＂ Lai expressed skepticism about recognizing the R.O.C. as a ＂guardian deity＂ of both sides, while Hou emphasized his adherence to the Constitution and opposition to the one-country-two-systems principle. Ko argued that following the constitution is crucial for presidential candidates and emphasized maintaining the status quo.
Ko backs Tsai’s foreign policy, critiques domestic plans
Presidential candidate Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) expresses support for President Tsai Ing-wen’s foreign policy but rejects her domestic policy agenda. During a televised debate, Ko emphasizes the need for Taiwan to establish its own position amid the U.S.-China confrontation. He cites former U.S. President Trump’s efforts to distance from China and quotes U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s stance on China. Ko, accompanied by his spouse Chen Pei-chi, appears in a black suit with a purple polka dot tie, wearing a Republic of China national emblem and KP badge.
Hou Yu-ih challenges Tsai’s foreign policy effectiveness
Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih challenges the effectiveness of President Tsai Ing-wen’s foreign policy, questioning its impact on Taiwan-China communication, severed relations with former allies, extended military service, and increased risk of Chinese fighter jets breaching Taiwan’s airspace. The three presidential contenders, including Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Lai Ching-te and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) candidate Ko Wen-je, discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations and their stance on President Tsai’s policy. Hou questions DPP’s handling of tainted politics during their time in power and highlights his support for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). He also addresses concerns over cross-strait flight operations and employment difficulties for Chinese students in Taiwan. Hou pledges to follow the Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and maintain administrative neutrality without relying on any side.
KMT’s Hou Yu-ih slams DPP’s COVID-19 response in debate
Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for their mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic during a live presidential debate. Hou specifically targeted DPP presidential candidate Lai Ching-te, accusing him of neglect during the outbreak. Hou further claimed that Lai focused on issues surrounding his family home’s illegal expansion claim instead of caring for the public. As the former mayor of New Taipei City, Hou stated that any pandemic-related advice proposed to the central government was denied. He also criticized the DPP government for shortages of anti-epidemic supplies and food safety issues. Hou emphasized the need to establish a special investigation team to probe malpractices in the DPP’s pandemic approach. Additionally, he questioned Lai’s advocacy for Taiwanese independence, suggesting that it could escalate cross-strait tensions. Hou criticized Lai’s tactics as underestimating the intelligence of the Taiwanese people and disrespecting the Republic of China (Taiwan). He portrayed Lai as ungrateful and not trustworthy for Taiwan.
Voters in Taiwan can verify data online: MOI
The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has announced that the public can check their voting rights information by using their ID card and birth date on the Department of Household Registration website from December 26 to December 28. People can also visit local township, city, or district offices to check the list of eligible voters and request a correction if there is inaccurate data. To have voting rights, individuals must be at least 20 years old and have continuously resided in the free area of the Republic of China for at least six months for presidential elections, and at least four months in the respective constituency for legislative elections. The voters’ list will be compiled using records from 20 days before election day. The Department of Household Registration will also enable online inquiries about polling station locations from January 8 to 13, 2024, to assist individuals who do not live at their registered addresses or have not received a voting notification.
Police: Students found with weapons to face criminal charges
Students in Tucheng Precinct of New Taipei City Police Department who are found with harmful weapons like knives will face legal consequences under the Criminal Code of the Republic of China, Social Order Maintenance Act, and Juvenile Justice Act. Recently, a student named Kuo and a girl named Lin were arrested on suspicion of instigating a serious crime, and they are currently being investigated for an attempted murder case. They have been sent to a juvenile court for trial. Kuo, accused of slashing the throat of a classmate named Yang, has been detained, while Lin has been held responsible. In response to the incident, Tucheng police and the school have increased patrols on campus and provided psychological counseling for students who witnessed the event.
KMT VP Jaw vows to expand Taiwan’s diplomacy
KMT vice-presidential candidate Jaw Shaw-kong pledges to expand Taiwan’s diplomatic relations if the KMT wins the upcoming elections. He criticizes the ruling DPP for losing nine diplomatic allies during their eight-year tenure. Jaw’s remarks were made during a Constitution Day event organized by the KMT’s Department of International Affairs, attended by KMT Chairman Eric Chu and KMT Vice Chairman Andrew Hsia. Chu defends Hsia, stating that he is a valuable asset to the party and urges media outlets to avoid spreading misinformation. Hsia expresses regret that young people overlook the significance of Dec. 25 as Constitution Day in Taiwan and promises to restore the value of the Republic of China if the KMT wins the elections next year.