Thursday, November 24, 2016

More than Marriage Equality, it’s a Battle Between Reason and Obscurantism

The current mess isn’t a gentlemen’s debate on policy, where one side’s facts are weighed against those of their opponents; it is, instead, a battle between the forces of reason and obscurantism

What a dispiriting state of affairs. As the two camps involved in the battle on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan confront each other in yet another round of public hearings today, the opposing camp has continued to escalate its assault, not only against the LGBT community, but against reason itself.

The sad part about all this is that the anti camp, despite calling itself the “silent majority,” constitutes but a small fraction of the Taiwanese public and is primarily a Christian one in an overwhelmingly Buddhist country. Despite this, its members have succeeded in hijacking a process that isn’t only beneficial to Taiwan, but that shouldn’t even have been a controversial one, given public attitudes. 

Continues here.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thousands protest as Taiwan inches closer to legalising same-sex marriage

Opponents of same-sex marriage rallied outside the legislature as lawmakers discussed proposed amendments to the civil code

Several thousand people on Thursday gathered outside the legislature in Taipei as legislators met inside the chambers to debate the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Taiwan. Amid changing attitudes, the country is poised to become the first in Asia to do so.

Brought by the busload from all over the nation, the white-clad protesters — the majority of them from Christian churches — assembled on a main road outside the barricaded parliament, chanting slogans and seeking to pressure legislators to delay, or cancel altogether, the passage of amendments to the civil code that would permit homosexual unions.

Continues here.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Christians fighting same-sex marriage in Taiwan are now utterly desperate

Gay marriage would help gangsters and other criminals, apparently

Conservative Christians have been taking to the streets to stop same-sex marriage in Taiwan – and they are getting desperate. Taiwan is inching ever closer to becoming the first country in Asia to legalize equal marriage despite Christian groups warning it will destroy society as we know it.

The groups, such as the Protect the Family Alliance and the Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance, have good reasons to be desperate.

Continues here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

A Taiwan Defense Blueprint for the Trump Era

Three things Taiwan can and should do now to mitigate the potentially negative repercussions of a Trump presidency 

The election of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States on November 9 is expected to bring change — how drastic remains to be seen — to different aspects of U.S. policy, both domestically and internationally. Largely the result of mounting discontent with the U.S. political establishment, Trump’s successful campaign also tapped into a growing segment of American voters who want a U.S. global disengagement. 

For U.S. allies worldwide, a possible winding down of the U.S. security umbrella, which has ensured stability in Europe and the Asia Pacific over the past 70 years, will be a source of apprehension. Vulnerable frontier states like Taiwan, whose continued existence as a free, liberal-democratic country next to authoritarian, expansionist and revisionist China is largely predicated on continued U.S. political support and military assistance. 

Continues here.

'One Country, Two Systems' Is as Good as Dead

Interest in unification with Beijing has been dwindling. Developments in Hong Kong are the nail in the coffin 

The latest round of protests in Hong Kong following Beijing’s disqualification of two pro-independence lawmakers isn’t only a symptom of the territory’s growing volatility: it once and for all closes any possibility of the “one country, two systems” formula ever being applied to Taiwan. 

As police hit protesters with truncheons and attempt to disperse them with pepper spray, across the Taiwan Strait in democratic Taiwan, twenty-three million people are taking note, aware more than ever since retrocession in 1997 that “one country, two systems” is not a viable option for them, if indeed it ever was. 

Continues here.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Can Taiwan Hold Out Against China’s New Strategy?

China ius busy trying to dismantle the U.S. security alliance in Asia. Can Taiwan weather the storm? 

After years of assertiveness that only succeeded in tightening a United States-led regional alliance meant to contain its ambitions, China appears to have changed tack recently and is now intensifying its efforts to woo what it sees as the weak links in this chain. With two apparent successes in the past month—first, the Philippines, which hitherto had been a staunch US ally, followed by Malaysia—China has put the viability of the US “pivot” to Asia into doubt and likely caused other US allies to question Washington’s commitment to remaining in the region and its ability to ensure their security. 

Continues here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The Riddle of Hung’s ‘Peace Platform’ with China

Can the KMT chairwoman create new facts on the ground with Beijing? 

Kuomintang Chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) arrived in China this week for a series of meetings and a cross-party forum, causing divisions within her party and apprehensions across Taiwan that the Beijing-friendly politician may seek to sign a “peace treaty” with China. 

Hung, whom the KMT leadership pushed aside as the party’s presidential candidate at the eleventh hour in late 2015 due in large part to the unpopularity of her cross-strait policies, has been accused of manipulating the KMT’s new policy platform, adopted on Sept. 4, which while reinforcing the so-called “1992 consensus” failed to incorporate longstanding references to each side interpreting differently what “one China” means. 

Continues here.