Taiwan secures 2nd place in Asian freedom rankings
Taiwan ranks second in Asia for freedom according to the Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2024 report, scoring 94 just behind Japan’s 96. The report highlights global decline in freedom for the 18th consecutive year, affecting a fifth of the world’s population. Taiwan maintains its ＂Free＂ nation status with high scores in Political Rights and Civil Liberties, while China is labeled as ＂Not Free＂ with significantly lower scores.
Taiwan strengthens bonds with Tuvalu amid new leadership
Deputy Minister Tien Chung-kwang to visit Tuvalu as Taiwan’s special envoy, showcasing support for the newly elected government led by Prime Minister Feleti Teo. Ambassador Andrew Lin conveys congratulations on behalf of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, emphasizing the solid friendship and continued diplomatic relations between the two nations. Taiwan and Tuvalu, with a 45-year-old diplomatic relationship, share democratic values and aim to promote peace and development in the Indo-Pacific region.
Taiwan’s legislature to discuss Premier’s food safety report
Legislative Yuan Speaker Han Kuo-yu to convene cross-party consultation to discuss Premier Chen Chien-jen’s food safety special report. DPP, TPP, and KMT caucuses express support for the report, emphasizing the importance of setting aside differences for the parliamentary meeting on Feb. 23.
KMT pushes for urgent food safety report in Legislative Yuan
Kuomintang legislator Wu Tsung-hsien pushes for a special report on food safety at the Legislative Yuan, sparking political tensions among Taiwan’s major parties. Premier Chen Chien-jen’s administration faces scrutiny as cross-party consultations falter, delaying the proposed review. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) expresses concerns over procedural delays and politicization of the issue. Stay tuned for updates on the unfolding legislative drama in Taipei.
China’s Coast Guard inspection sparks panic on Taiwan boat
Tensions escalate as China’s Coast Guard inspects ＂King Xia Cruise＂ near Kinmen, causing panic on board. Taiwan’s Ocean Affairs Council Minister, Kuan Bi-ling, condemns the incident, highlighting the strain on cross-strait relations. The recent clash follows a series of events, including a deadly confrontation between Taiwan and Chinese fishermen. China criticizes Taiwan’s response, blaming the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration works to manage the aftermath, coordinating funeral arrangements and supporting survivors.
TPP spokesperson Yang Bao-zheng resigns, denies conflict
Taipei (TVBS News) reports Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) spokesperson Yang Bao-zheng’s resignation from her positions as spokesperson and deputy group leader. At a press conference, an emotional Yang denied internal conflicts, expressed gratitude to party chairman Ko Wen-je, and mentioned the possibility of further education. She plans to rest and potentially return to school, reflecting on her political career and exhaustion from recent endeavors.
TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je calls 2026 election talk premature
Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman Ko Wen-je dismisses talk of a blue-white coalition for the 2026 local elections as premature. Speculation suggests that TPP may field eight legislators at-large in the 2026 local government elections. There are rumblings within political circles that TPP’s legislator Huang Shan-shan may run for Taipei mayor, Legislator Huang Kuo-chang for the New Taipei City chief, Legislator Chang Chi-kai for Chiayi City mayor, and Legislator Lin Kuo-cheng for the Pingtung County magistrate race. Ko emphasizes that discussing matters for 2026 is premature in 2024, as there are 22 counties and cities in Taiwan, and the scenario is subject to potential changes. When asked about a possible blue-white collaboration in 2026, Ko deems it too early to discuss.
Taiwan faces potential shift in legislative power dynamics
Taipei Premier Chen Chien-jen stresses the importance of adhering to constitutional regulations in response to the Kuomintang’s (KMT) plans to expand its personnel power. KMT legislator Weng Hsiao-ling suggests that the Legislative Yuan should have the authority to approve personnel and dismiss unqualified leaders. The KMT also proposes the creation of a Special Investigation Division within Parliament. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators argue that constitutional amendments must be implemented first. Premier Chen emphasizes that Taiwan is a country governed by the constitution, democracy, and the rule of law, and all agencies should follow constitutional guidelines. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) expresses its willingness to collaborate with other parties in reforming the parliament, potentially bringing significant changes to Taiwan’s legal landscape and political power dynamics.
President Tsai unlikely to visit Taiping Island: official
Former Taiwan National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi believes there is a low likelihood of President Tsai Ing-wen visiting Taiping Island in the South China Sea. Su cites concerns over U.S. objections and the potential risk to Tsai’s safety as reasons for this prediction. He points out that the U.S. opposes Taiwan’s involvement in South China Sea issues and that Tsai would have to contend with Chinese fighter jets, aerial escorts, and security threats if she were to visit the island. Su also notes that the U.S. would not support such a trip as it could emphasize Taiwan’s political stance in the ongoing tension between the Philippines and China.
Han leads first inter-party talks, sets session for Feb 20
Newly elected Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu has announced that the parliamentary session will begin on February 20th, taking into account the Lunar New Year holiday and allowing time for staff preparation. Han plans to invite Premier Chen Chien-jen and department heads to deliver policy reports and answer questions. He emphasized his commitment to sincerity and enthusiasm in his role as Speaker, urging all members to consider the future and fostering mutual trust and cooperation between political parties. Han made the decision after the first cross-party consultation, where proposals were made for either February 16th or 20th. Han and Johnny Chiang were elected as Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively, on February 1st.
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.
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.
Dr. Wang Cheng-hsu to join Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan
Dr. Wang Cheng-hsu, a leading hematologist oncologist, is set to join the Legislative Yuan following the resignation of You Si-kun from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). You stepped down from his legislative duties citing personal reasons after failing to secure re-election as a legislative speaker, with the Kuomintang’s (KMT) Han Kuo-yu winning the seat. Wang’s induction will make him the only representative of the medical sector among the DPP legislators, bringing a new perspective to discussions on health issues. Han’s victory in the speakership election signifies a shift in Taiwan’s political landscape.
Huang Shan-shan to bid for legislative speaker seat for TPP
The Taiwan People’s Party announces the nomination of Huang Shan-shan for the Legislative Yuan’s speaker position, signaling a significant shift in Taiwan’s political scene and a new path of civicism.
TPP nominates Huang Shan-shan amid Taiwan legislative battle
Taiwan’s political scene is abuzz as the Taiwan People’s Party nominates Huang Shan-shan for the legislative speaker’s role, potentially altering the landscape and setting the stage for a critical election.
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.
Taiwan monitors Tuvalu elections amid diplomatic tensions
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will closely monitor developments in Tuvalu post-election, as most elected officials have established frequent interactions and friendly stances with Taiwan, ensuring solid diplomatic ties. MOFA condemns China’s attempt to influence the election by buying off local media in Tuvalu. The loss of Tuvalu’s pro-Taiwan Prime Minister has sparked speculation about a potential shift in foreign policy and diplomatic alliance with Beijing. However, MOFA notes that the majority of elected Tuvalu officials maintain good relations with Taiwan and support upholding the amicable relations between the two countries. MOFA urges the international community to pay attention and counter autocratic dictatorial countries that manipulate elections in democratic states. This development reflects the ongoing competition between China and Taiwan for diplomatic allegiances in the Pacific region, with countries sometimes switching allegiances for economic or political support.
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.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun seeks cross-party support
The Democratic Progressive Party’s Speaker You Si-kun plans to meet with speaker and deputy speaker nominees from all political party caucuses in the legislature to seek advice and votes. The DPP nominated current Speaker You and Deputy Speaker Tsai Chi-chang for the positions in the next legislative term. The Kuomintang (KMT) has put forth Han Kuo-yu and Johnny Chiang as their candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker. Han and Chiang have already visited the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) caucus. The TPP respects the decisions of the speaker and deputy speaker candidates who wish to conduct visits. The KMT will hold its caucus leadership election on Feb. 1, after which You and Tsai will personally visit the KMT caucus to seek their support.
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.
KMT legislative nominees to hold key talks with TPP
Kuomintang (KMT) legislative speaker and deputy speaker candidates, Han Kuo-yu and Johnny Chiang, are scheduled to meet with Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) caucus and eight lawmakers on January 29. The dialogue is expected to last approximately 35 minutes and will be followed by a media conference. The TPP has emerged as a key minority party after the legislative elections on January 13. However, the party has not declared its support for either the incumbent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates or the KMT for the legislative speaker race. The TPP has launched four demands for parliamentary reform, emphasizing transparency and openness in political values.
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.
You Si-kun confident in Legislative President re-election
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), expresses confidence in his re-election ahead of the legislative speaker vote on Feb. 1. Reports suggest a split vote by the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), with support for You from the DPP for Speaker and endorsement of Johnny Chiang from the Kuomintang (KMT) for Deputy Speaker. You emphasizes the need for constitutional amendments to address significant legislative reforms proposed by the TPP’s new legislators. He also recommends a review and reform of the entire constitutional system, advocating for adherence to the conventional separation of powers. The TPP will hold an internal meeting on Jan. 26 to discuss the matter further.
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.
Eric Chu unveils youth-focused political growth plans
The Kuomintang (KMT) held a post-election gratitude tea ceremony in Yunlin County, where Chairman Eric Chu emphasized the party’s reform strategies and plans to nurture young members for political roles. Chu, along with New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih and Yunlin County Commissioner Chang Li-shan, announced the party’s commitment to increasing engagement with social and web media to appeal to younger voters. Chu highlighted the success of young KMT candidates in the recent legislative elections, with 10 out of 15 securing victory. Mayor Hou emphasized the need for unity and collaboration within the KMT caucus in the Legislative Yuan, particularly with proportional representation legislators from the south. He also urged the party to present facts, rectify misconceptions, and attract new voters while strengthening support from existing ones. The KMT has been actively nurturing young talent in its key structure in recent years.