Taiwan Newsletter Issue 133

Headline News


Sale of U.S. tanks and missiles approved


Taiwan welcomes the latest sale of weapons approved by the U.S. Department of State, worth US$2.2 billion.


The sale includes 108 M1A2T Abrams Tanks and 250 surface-to-air Stinger missiles with related equipment and services.


In light of China’s ongoing campaign of coercion against Taiwan, U.S. arms sales are instrumental in maintaining cross-strait and regional peace and stability. Taiwan will continue investing in national defense and enhancing security cooperation with the U.S. and other like-minded partners to safeguard Taiwan’s freedom and democratic way of life, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated.


The package does not include the 66 F-16V fighter jets that Taiwan applied to purchase on Feb. 27.


Taiwan, a threat to authoritarianism


Taiwan’s democracy is determined to survive and thrive despite facing threats from China, said Minister Joseph Wu of Foreign Affairs in a rare public speech at a democracy summit held in Denmark.


Wu was invited to the Copenhagen Democracy Summit by the chief organizer Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former NATO Secretary General and former Prime Minister of Denmark.


Taiwan continues to speak up on the deterioration of human rights and religious freedom in China and supported pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, thus making Taiwan a threat to authoritarianism, Wu said.


Donation of US$500,000 to Nadia’s Initiative


Taiwan donated US$500,000 to Nadia’s Initiative, a nongovernmental organization that advocates for victims of sexual violence and aims to rebuild communities in crisis, especially toward the Yazidis, an ethnic minority in Iraq persecuted by the Islamic State (ISIS).


The donation will be used to restore agricultural sustainability and promote de-mining activities in communities affected by ISIS.


Nadia’s Initiative is founded by Nadia Murad, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for her work on the initiative.


Economy & Society


Joint program Taiwan and EU in 5G technology development


A joint program between Taiwan and the European Union in 5G technology development will enter a new phase with planned experiments in unmanned aerial vehicles and a smart factory to launch in October.


The plans are part of Taiwan’s ambition to usher in the advent of the 5G era for commercial applications.


Two 5G national teams have been formed, led by leading telecommunication companies Chunghwa Telecom and FarEastone, tasked with developing applications in entertainment and smart automobile areas.


Other 5G projects include enhancing MICE industry infrastructure to attract international buyers, and smart medical applications incorporating Mixed Reality (MR) technology that provides distance counseling services.


Taiwan and EU to combat illegal fishing


Taiwan and the European Union (EU) have set up a joint task force to help prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the Fisheries Agency reported.


The decision to set up the joint task force followed Taiwan’s removal on June 27 from the EU’s illegal fishery watch list in recognition of Taiwan’s reforms since October 2015 to tackle IUU fishing. “I welcome the considerable efforts undertaken by Taiwan to reform its fisheries legal framework, implement new control tools and improve the traceability of marine fisheries products,” said Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.


The first consultative meeting of the joint task force is expected at the earliest, at the end of the year.


China Airlines goes shopping



Taiwan’s China Airlines (CAL) has signed a memorandum of agreement with Airbus Aerospace Corporation for 11 A321neo passenger aircraft, to be followed by the signing of a formal purchase contract. In addition, CAL will lease another 14 A321neo aircraft which are expected to commence service on regional routes from 2021.


CAL will also purchase 3 Boeing 777F freighters for its long-haul cargo fleet.