China is two-faced on MyanmarBy Antonio GraceffoChinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is attempting to position himself as a mediator, promoting diplomatic ties with China as a credible alternative to aligning with the US. Instead, Thailand, not China, has provided a safe refuge for the 1.35 million people who have fled Myanmar. They just care about China,” Sai said, when asked how China addressed the refugee situation. However, he also acknowledged that Myanmar has no other option than to maintain close relations with China. Antonio Graceffo, a China economic analyst who holds a China MBA from Shanghai Jiaotong University, studies national defense at the American Military University in West Virginia.
December 21, 2023 21:42 UTC
2024 ELECTIONS: Curb special budgets: TPPStaff writer, with CNAThe Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) on Wednesday announced proposals to curb the government’s use of special budgets and expand the allocation of tax revenues to local governments. TPP legislator at-large candidates Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and Chang Chi-kai (張啟楷) made the proposals during a news conference at the campaign headquarters of TPP Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) in New Taipei City. Speaking first, Huang said that Taiwan’s current system gives the central government control of 82 percent of tax revenue, leaving local governments underfunded and unable to raise sufficient revenues on their own. Taiwan People’s Party Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je makes rice cakes at Nanmen Market in Taipei yesterday. Meanwhile, Chang said the TPP would also push to amend the Budget Act (預算法) to ensure the government does not use special budgets outside of the general budget as a “blank authorization” for unrestrained spending.
December 21, 2023 21:40 UTC
EDITORIAL: Election meddling a key battlegroundThe Chinese government is using TikTok and other social media platforms to sow discontent among Taiwanese over policy issues, and to sway young voters toward pro-China candidates, an official said on Sunday. In the US, several states have banned government agencies, and their employees and contractors, from using TikTok on government-issued devices. However, in the US there is also no legal basis for banning civilians from using TikTok or any other platform on their personal devices. With the presidential and legislative elections just around the corner, the government must ensure it is on top of efforts to combat Chinese disinformation and influence campaigns. Pro-China forces in Taiwan that collaborate on Chinese efforts will add to the challenge, but authorities must remain vigilant, and work to counter them.
December 21, 2023 03:44 UTC
On Tuesday, Hsinchu City Government officials inspected the plot at the city’s Lungen Section No. They said they would investigate to determine whether the property obtained proper permission to be paved and used as parking lot. A Hsinchu City Government official takes pictures at a tour bus parking lot on farmland co-owned by Taiwan People’s Party Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je on Tuesday. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members and others also visited the site to see if work had started to remove the parking lot. DPP spokesman Chang Chih-hao (張志豪) said that Ko contravened regulations by making money leasing the parking lot, and possibly profiting if the land is later rezoned.
December 20, 2023 18:12 UTC
Government needs overhaul, Ko Wen-je saysBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporter, with CNAThe government must overcome six major problems, including a rigid and disabled civil service system, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday as he again called for the adoption of a parliamentary system. Taiwan People’s Party Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je presents his vision of a more parliamentary-style government at his campaign headquarters in New Taipei City yesterday. Moreover, jobs in civil service have become reward posts for the KMT and the DPP to hand out, he said, adding that the system is too rigid. Civil service exams should be improved with more focus on aptitude and oral tests, while civil servants’ salaries should be increased to boost morale, he said. The former Taipei mayor also proposed setting up a permanent judicial reform commission and a national judicial science committee.
December 20, 2023 03:35 UTC
Mumbai Indians pick Pandya as captain over RohitAFP, NEW DELHIThe Mumbai Indians on Friday appointed star all-rounder Hardik Pandya to lead in next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) season, replacing all-format India captain Rohit Sharma, who led the franchise to five title wins. The Mumbai Indians said the change in leadership was a part of their planning and thanked Rohit, the joint-most-successful captain in the tournament’s history alongside the Chennai Super Kings’ M.S. India’s Hardik Pandya reacts during their ICC Cricket World Cup match against Afghanistan at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Oct. 11. “It is in keeping with this philosophy that Hardik Pandya will assume captaincy of Mumbai Indians for the IPL 2024 season.”Jayawardene expressed gratitude to Rohit, 36, for his “exceptional leadership” since taking the reins in 2013. Rohit led Mumbai 163 times in the IPL and the Champions League T20, winning 91 games, drawing four and losing 68.
December 16, 2023 16:41 UTC
People want change, but not the KMT, Ko Wen-je saysBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterWhile 65 percent of Taiwanese want the ruling party to change, 70 percent do not want the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to take over, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Recent polls have consistently shown Ko with the lowest support rate, meaning he would be most affected if the phenomenon plays out. Supporters of Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je, not pictured, wave the TPP flag as well as the national flag at the party’s campaign rally in Tainan yesterday. They were greeted by supporters waving the national flag or the blue TPP flag. The TPP must win so it could give Taiwan back to the people, he added.
December 16, 2023 16:40 UTC
In a major war, Chinese oil tankers in the Indian Ocean “would find themselves very vulnerable,” said David Brewster, a security scholar at the Australian National University. China’s defense ministry did not respond to questions about its position in the Indian Ocean. The US Indian Ocean presence remains in stark contrast, reflecting its Cold War build-up. But China is yet to test its most potent assets in the Indian Ocean, one former Western intelligence analyst said. Some analysts expect that to change, particularly as PLA documents stress the piracy patrols’ importance in protecting Indian Ocean supply lines.
December 16, 2023 03:35 UTC
I can manage the US and China best, Ko Wen-je saysBy Tsai Yun-jung and Jason Pan / Staff reportersTaiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said he would be the best choice to handle US-China tensions because both sides can trust him, as he compared his party to the Jesuit order. “I am the most capable among the three candidates of handling relations with the US and China. “On the other hand, although I have visited China and made friends there, Taiwanese people would still have trust in me, as this is the most important thing,” he added. “I am the safest choice here that both sides [the US and China] can accept.”Taiwan People’s Party Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je, left, holds a flag with legislative candidate Chen Wan-hui during a campaign event in Yilan County yesterday. That Ko had said in previous interviews he would not have to resign as TPP chairman if he loses the election shows that he could rule for life, Liu said.
December 16, 2023 03:33 UTC
Lai must respond to questions, Ko saysStaff Writer, with CNATaiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Wednesday called on Vice President William Lai (賴清德) to clarify his stance on Taiwanese independence, which Ko said has left many confused. Taiwan People’s Party presidential candidate Ko Wen-je is pictured in Taipei in an undated photograph. “[Former DPP chairperson and pro-democracy movement activist] Huang Hsin-chieh (黃信介) said pushing for Taiwan independence is something you do, not something you speak of, but Lai has neither done nor spoken of it,” Ko said. Lai has declined media requests to reply to Ko’s statements, saying he would not respond to “personal attacks.”Ko said it was fine that Lai did not want to respond, but that he must respond to people’s questions. Lai might as well be honest and say Taiwan independence is “not viable for the time being,” Ko said.
December 14, 2023 21:38 UTC
Central bank leaves rates unchangedSTAYING STEADY: The central bank decided not to deviate from its current policy rates on the back of the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its rate in placeBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterThe central bank yesterday left its policy rate intact for the third straight quarter, saying that inflationary pressure has moderated and a policy pause would help support the economy amid lingering global uncertainty. Central bank governor Yang Chin-long, speaks during a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Taiwan’s central bank held interest rates steady at its final meeting of the year, leaving borrowing costs at their highest levels in eight years as the nation gears up for a critical January election. The central bank is looking at GDP growth of 3.12 percent next year, from a 1.4 percent this year. Central bank officials attributed the uptick mainly to a low base.
December 14, 2023 21:38 UTC
Ministry calls for peaceful resolution in Guatemala issueStaff writer, CNATaiwan on Tuesday expressed hope that Guatemala’s ongoing controversy over its newly elected leader would be resolved peacefully, days after prosecutors there tried to prevent Guatemalan president-elect Bernardo Arevalo from taking office next month. Cheng Li-cheng, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Arevalo, son of former Guatemala president Juan Jose Arevalo Bermejo, won his country’s presidential runoff in August by beating former Guatemalan first lady Sandra Torres Casanova by a 61 to 39 percent margin. “We believe it is perfectly feasible to have good relations with both the [People’s] Republic of China and Taiwan,” Arevalo told Reuters during a post-victory interview in August. Following Honduras’ decision to cut ties with Taiwan in March, Taiwan was left with only 13 diplomatic allies worldwide, with Guatemala and Belize the only ones in Central America.
December 14, 2023 03:34 UTC
Manchester United slide out of UEFA Champions LeagueAFP, MANCHESTER, EnglandManchester United on Tuesday bowed out of Europe with a whimper as a 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich rounded off a miserable UEFA Champions League campaign that has put Erik ten Hag’s future as manager in doubt. United have lost 12 of their opening 24 games of the season — a run that has also ended their defense of the League Cup and sees them languishing sixth in the Premier League. They finished bottom of the Champions League’s Group A as FC Copenhagen took the second qualifying spot behind Bayern following their 1-0 win over Galatasaray SK. Manchester United’s Dutch manager Erik ten Hag watches their UEFA Champions League Group A match against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Tuesday. In contrast to the gloom in Manchester, there was joy in the Danish capital, as Copenhagen qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League for just the second time in their history.
December 13, 2023 18:33 UTC
Many drums beating in Indo-PacificBy Gurjit SinghChina-ASEAN relations have acquired a tenuous stability and economic engagement continues unabated. Despite Indonesia’s proactive leadership of ASEAN negotiations with China regarding the code of conduct in the South China Sea, differences remain. This is unacceptable to other nations, notably Quad members, which resist giving China control of the South China Sea. Indonesia held the first ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum in September. There are many drummers beating around the Indo-Pacific region, and the Chinese drumming is not the only beat that is being heard.
December 13, 2023 17:09 UTC
Ko lays out transportation policiesBy Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe law should be amended if most people are against allowing heavy motorcycles on freeways, Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday, going back on his previous policy proposal while sharing his vision for improving transportation in the nation. Taiwan People’s Party Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je presents his transportation policy at his campaign headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District yesterday. They also include fragmented information hindering overall development, and the slow upgrade of international airports and harbors, he said. Other solutions include leaving the evaluation of major transportation infrastructure to professionals with expertise; facing public opinion honestly; accelerating transit-oriented development; perfecting the aerial and maritime transportation network; enhancing data analysis; greening airports and harbors; cultivating professional airport and harbor personnel; integrating national data; developing intelligent transportation systems; and launching a national traffic app. The feasibility of transportation development plans must be assessed before allocating budgets, or else election promises are empty, he said.
December 13, 2023 05:17 UTC