Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Yes, President Tsai is Stalling on Marriage Equality

President Tsai met supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage on Saturday, and claims that more dialogue is needed on the issue. By doing so, the president creates a moral equivalence that simply does not exist

President Tsai Ing-wen at the weekend held meetings with both opponents and proponents of same-sex marriage at the Presidential Office and asked Vice President C.J. Chen to chair a platform for dialogue between the two sides over an issue that has caught the attention of the international community in recent months as Taiwan moves closer to becoming the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex unions. 

In a post on her official Twitter feed on Feb. 18, President Tsai wrote that, “Today I met with reps from both sides of same sex marriage issue. Resolving differences is a start — more dialogue & understanding needed.” 

Continues here.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Do Chinese Students Threaten Free Speech at Universities Abroad?

Nationalistic PRC student groups abroad are becoming increasingly vocal when it comes to academic institutions inviting critics of the CCP. Whether they succeed in eroding the West’s traditions of freedom of expression will be contingent on how universities respond

Imagine a group of foreign students at, say, Fudan University in Shanghai or Peking University in Beijing organizing a campaign to prevent a former Chinese official or academic known for his pro-regime views on Tibet or Xinjiang or Taiwan from giving a lecture at the university. Worse, a foreign embassy in Beijing or consulate in Shanghai were in contact with the group of students and compelled them to threaten the university because foreign officials had “serious concerns” about the event and the ideology of the invited speaker. 

It’s not difficult to imagine what the consequences would be for those students in China, and that is why the scenario above is, under the prevailing circumstances, unimaginable. 

Continues here.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

India Brushes Off Beijing’s Warnings Over Visit by Taiwanese Parliamentarians

Beijing continues to pressure Taiwan’s non-official diplomatic allies into avoiding official contact with representatives from the democratic island-nation. By ignoring China’s demands, India sets an example that should be emulated by other sovereign states

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has warned India to respect China’s “core concerns” and “prudently deal” with Taiwan after a delegation of academics and businesspeople led by three female Taiwanese legislators visited India earlier this week. 

“We hope that India would understand and respect China’s core concerns and stick to the ‘one China’ principle and prudently deal with Taiwan-related issues and maintain sound and steady development of India-China relations,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media, referring to “so-called legislators from Taiwan.” 

Continues here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Misconceptions on ‘One China’

From ‘one China’ to the ‘1992 consensus’ and the ‘status quo’, the politics of the Taiwan Strait are a complex play involving vagueness and word games by all the parties involved. And given the high stakes, the international community must get those terms right. 

“One China” has figured prominently in the news in recent weeks, first following President-elect Donald Trump’s remarks to the effect that the U.S. might choose not to be bound by the “principle” and then, as president, when he reaffirmed his country’s commitment to abide by it during a telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week. And every time “one China” makes it in the news, expect that some people will get it wrong. 

It would be unfair, however, to only blame the media for failing to understand the wording, nature, and ramifications of “one China,” the policy — the usually vague wording which guides a country’s relationship with both the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan — and the principle, which is what Beijing insists on. Academics, and even government officials on the “Greater China” desks all over the world, often get it wrong as well. 

Continues here.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Trump Vows to ‘Honor’ ‘One China’ Policy

By returning to the status quo, President Trump may temporarily have assuaged apprehensions in Beijing and reduced tensions in the Taiwan Strait

U.S. President Donald Trump had a “lengthy” telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday night and agreed to honor the “one China” policy, according to a press statement by the White House. 

“President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China had a lengthy telephone conversation on Thursday evening,” the press release stated. “The two leaders discussed numerous topics and President Trump agreed, at the request of President Xi, to honor our ‘one China’ policy.” 

Continues here.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

China to ‘Commemorate’ Taiwan’s 228 Massacre

The CCP’s latest exercise in propaganda is unlikely to win hearts and minds in Taiwan, but nevertheless indicates greater willingness on Beijing’s part to criticize the KMT 

Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesman An Fengshan told a regular press conference on Wednesday that China will hold a series of events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 228 Massacre in Taiwan. 

An did not specify what the commemorative events will be, or where they will take place. 

Continues here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Will it Happen?

Disagreement between the Executive and Legislative branches of government on the legalization of same-sex unions in Taiwan is slowing down progress on the issue and advantages opponents 

Taiwan has received a fair amount of media attention in recent months, in large part due to the famous telephone conversation between President Tsai and U.S. president-elect Trump in early December. But another development has generated quite a lot of interest as well, even among media organizations that normally would pay little heed to this island-nation. With a bill slowly climbing its way up inside the legislature, Taiwan has come to be regarded as the likeliest candidate to becoming, perhaps as early as this year, the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. 

After several months — years, in fact — of battles in the trenches, members of Taiwan’s LGBTQI community and their supporters who had gathered outside the legislature had every reason to be euphoric on December 26 when the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee reviewed and passed a proposed amendment, initiated by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Yu Mei-nu, that would rephrase the contents of Article 972 of the Civil Code which stipulates that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. In a concessionary move, committee members agreed to retain the language “between a man and a woman” while adding a clause recognizing “both parties to a same-sex marriage.” 

Continues here.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Cambodian PM Bans ROC Flag, Reaffirms ‘One China’ Stance

As Chinese influence in Cambodia continues to grow, Prime Minister Hun Sen attempts to ingratiate himself with Beijing

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen told a gathering of Chinese and Cambodians at the weekend that the “Taiwanese flag” — the Nationalist flag that represents the Republic of China — should not be raised in Cambodia and reaffirmed his strong commitment to the “one China” principle. During his speech to the Cambodian-Chinese Association on Saturday, the prime minister said the flag was to be banned across Cambodia. 

Continues here.