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Taiwan

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Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong lift COVID-19 restrictions on inbound travelers after more than 2 years

goodbye covid
  • On Thursday, Japan’s government announced that the country would be reopening its borders to all individual tourists starting on Oct. 11.
  • Taiwan also announced its plan to remove inbound quarantine for international arrivals by Oct. 13.
  • Similarly, the Hong Kong government announced on Friday its conclusion of hotel quarantine for inbound travelers starting Sep. 26.
  • As for mainland China, the government maintains its “zero COVID” policy that still requires travelers to quarantine at a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.

After more than two years of strict border restrictions, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong have lifted COVID-19 restrictions on inbound travelers.

On Thursday, Japan’s government announced that the country would be resuming visa-free access for certain countries and reopening its borders to all individual tourists starting on Oct. 11. 

Miss Taiwan cries after allegedly being banned from waving island’s flag on stage

  • Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry condemned organizers at the World Congress on Innovation & Technology in Penang, Malaysia, for stopping beauty queen Kao Man-jung from waving the island’s flag on stage.
  • Photos and video shared on social media show the Taiwanese beauty queen crying during the opening ceremony on Tuesday.
  • Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry accused China of putting pressure on the event organizers, calling the country a “bully.”
  • WCIT organizers later apologized to Kao.
  • Organizers claimed they could not allow her to go on stage because of a “last-minute change.”

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry condemned organizers at the 2022 World Congress on Innovation & Technology (WCIT) in Penang, Malaysia, for stopping beauty queen Kao Man-jung from waving the island’s flag and joining other pageant contestants on stage.

Photos and video, shared by Taoyuan Department of Information Technology Director-General Karen Yu on Facebook, show the Taiwanese beauty queen visibly upset and in tears during the opening ceremony of the WCIT on Tuesday.

Taiwanese nursing home apologizes for hiring stripper to entertain disabled veterans

  • A nursing home for veterans in Taiwan has issued an apology after enlisting the services of a lingerie-clad stripper to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
  • Viral footage filmed by an attendee shows one of the elderly vets getting a handful of breasts as the stripper “twerks” over his wheelchair.
  • The stripper spent 15 minutes dancing for the retired army personnel, who are at the facility dealing with dementia and other disabilities.
  • Taoyuan Veterans Home said it would be “more cautious” in the future.
  • Commenters on social media were quick to defend the facility, saying the residents needed “to have some fun.”

A group of veterans in wheelchairs got more than mooncakes for Mid-Autumn Festival after a nursing home in Taiwan enlisted the services of a lingerie-clad stripper to celebrate the Chinese holiday.

The Taoyuan Veterans Home, a state-run facility for military vets, issued an apology for hiring the exotic dancer to perform for the seniors.

US lawmaker delegation arrives in Taiwan on heels of Pelosi visit that stoked China’s fury

  • A bipartisan delegation of eight U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday.
  • The visit continues the trend of U.S. officials and representatives visiting the country to display public support of its leadership.
  • The American Institute in Taiwan shared that the visit will take place from Sept. 7-9 and that the delegation “will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations.”
  • The congressional delegation will also meet with President Tsai Ing-wen during their trip.
  • The delegation’s trip is the fourth by a U.S. congressional delegation since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit, which sparked major tensions with China.

A bipartisan delegation of eight U.S. lawmakers arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday.

The previously unannounced visit continues the trend of U.S. officials and representatives visiting the country to display public support of its leadership despite objections from China, which claims sovereignty over the island. This brings the number of congressional visits in 2022 to four and the total of congressional representative visitors to 28. 

Philippines to allow US access to military bases if China-Taiwan tensions escalate

  • Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Philippine ambassador to the United States, told Nikkei Asia that the Philippines will allow U.S. forces to access military bases in the country if China-Taiwan tensions escalate.
  • Under the 2014 EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement), American forces are only allowed to have a rotational, temporary military presence at several bases in the Philippines. The number of visiting U.S. personnel is contingent on "the scale and the frequency of the activities to be approved" by the two countries.
  • “Looking ahead, we seek to enhance the posture of our alliance to address new and emerging challenges," a Pentagon spokesperson told Nikkei Asia. “We intend to continue to implement infrastructure projects at current EDCA locations and explore additional sites for further development."
  • Romualdez also mentioned that Washington and Manila are currently in talks to increase the number of military bases in the Philippines that U.S. personnel can use, which could possible include a naval base.

Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said the Philippines will allow U.S. forces to access its military bases in the country if China-Taiwan tensions escalate.

In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Romualdez said access to the country’s military bases would be given “if it is important for us, for our own security.”

Taiwanese billionaire pledges $32 million for ‘civilian warriors’ against China

Robert Tsao
  • Robert Tsao, a Taiwanese tycoon, declared that he is prepared to spend $32 million to train “civilian warriors” against China.
  • Founder of United Microelectronics Corp, the 75-year-old made his announcement at a press conference on Thursday in body armor.
  • The news came in light of China’s military drills around Taiwan, which have only increased following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other U.S. lawmakers’ visits to the island.
  • Although once a supporter of reunification, Tsao cites Hong Kong as his “wake-up call” and has reinstated his Taiwanese citizenship.

Robert Tsao, a billionaire who made his fortune through microchips, declared that he is prepared to spend $32 million of his own money to train “civilian warriors” to protect Taiwan in the case of a Chinese invasion. 

Founder of United Microelectronics Corp, the 75-year-old made his announcement at a press conference on Thursday clad in body armor. Amid Taiwan’s decision to take “strong countermeasures” against China’s provocations, Tsao pledged to train 3 million “civilian warriors” within three years. Tsao would work with Taiwan’s civilian defense organization, allocating 60 percent of the funds to an army of “warriors” and 40 percent to firearms training.

Taiwan fires at China’s drones for first time as president orders ‘strong countermeasures’

  • The Taiwanese military has reportedly opened fire at a Chinese drone that entered the island nation’s restricted air space over Erdan Island in Lieyu Township, Kinmen County, before 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
  • “The defense forces issued warnings in accordance with protocol. Because the drone continued to hover over the area, the defense forces opened fire and forced it to leave. The drone flew towards Xiamen at around 6 p.m.,” Kinmen's defense command said in a statement.
  • The Tuesday incident marked the first time the Taiwanese military has fired warning shots amid the height of tensions with China.
  • However, this was not the first time Taiwan has had to drive a Chinese drone away. On Aug. 27, a video began circulating on Weibo showing a drone close to a military outpost in Lieyu Township.
  • Days before that, another drone was spotted over the Lieyu Garrison Battalion on one of the islands of Kinmen on Aug. 16.

The Taiwanese military reportedly opened fire at a Chinese drone that entered a restricted air space just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen gave the order to take “strong countermeasures” against China’s provocations.

Kinmen County’s defense command announced on Tuesday that they had opened fire at the drone after it entered restricted air space over Erdan Island in Lieyu Township, Kinmen County, before 6 p.m.

Taiwanese boy banned from Douyin for calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a ‘fatty’

boy calls chinese president fatty
  • In an interview with the YouTube channel 486 Street Polls, a Taiwanese boy revealed that he was banned from Douyin for calling Chinese President Xi Jinping a “fatty.”
  • The boy was asked for his opinion on China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying’s comment about Taiwan being a part of China.
  • When asked whether Douyin often mentions Taiwan, the boy stated that he was locked out of his account after he fat shamed Xi in a random post.

A Taiwanese boy interviewed by the YouTube channel 486 Street Polls revealed that his Douyin account was banned after he fat-shamed Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the video uploaded on Monday, the interviewer asked several individuals about their opinions on the restaurant theory made by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunyin. On Aug. 7, Hua claimed in a tweet that “Taiwan has always been a part of China” as Baidu Maps show numerous dumpling and noodle restaurants in Taipei. 

Republican Indiana governor is latest US official to visit Taiwan

  • Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) announced his arrival in Taiwan and thanked Taiwan’s Director General of the Department of North American Affairs, Douglas Hsu, in a tweet on Sunday.
  • Holcomb led a delegation in Taiwan as part of an “economic development trip" to the self-governing island and later to South Korea.
  • “I couldn’t be more energized to spend this week building new relationships, reinforcing long time ones and strengthening key sector partnerships with Taiwan and South Korea,” Holcomb said in a statement.
  • “This week marks my second trip to South Korea as Governor, and I am also proud to be the first U.S. governor to visit Taiwan since before the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m committed to building an economy of the future with these global partners who are helping propel Indiana forward by creating tomorrow’s businesses, today.”
  • The trip came after Taiwan-based chip manufacturing company MediaTek announced its plans to open a design center in Indiana in partnership with Purdue University.
  • The Taiwan visit also came after the recent signing of the CHIPS Act, a bipartisan law that would strengthen semiconductor chip manufacturing in the U.S., on Aug. 9.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) recently became the latest American politician to visit Taiwan.

Holcomb confirmed his arrival and thanked Taiwan’s Director General of the Department of North American Affairs, Douglas Hsu, in a tweet on Sunday. Holcomb arrived with a delegation, including Indiana’s commerce secretary, as part of an “economic development trip” to Taiwan and South Korea.

China rescinds pledge to not send troops to Taiwan in event of Chinese control

  • China updated its position on Taiwan in a white paper called "The Taiwan Question and China's Reunification in the New Era,” highlighting President Xi Jinping’s stand on granting even less autonomy to Taiwan should they unify.
  • The new paper revealed that the Chinese government is no longer honoring its pledge not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan.
  • Instead, the paper now proposes that the nation return to China’s rule under a "one country, two systems" model, the same system that Hong Kong was placed under after the British returned it to Chinese rule in 1997.
  • Major political parties in the nation have mostly rejected the "one country, two systems" model. Based on opinion polls, it also has not gained any public support.
  • Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council has denounced the paper and accused it of being
  • "full of lies of wishful thinking and disregarded the facts."

A recently released official document revealed that the Chinese government is no longer honoring its pledge not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan. 

China expressed its position in an updated white paper called “The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era,” which highlights President Xi Jinping’s stance to grant even less autonomy to Taiwan in the event of Chinese control over the island.

Chinese official sparks ridicule for tweeting Taiwan’s many Chinese restaurants show island has ‘always been a part of China’

  • On Sunday, senior Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying sparked online ridicule for her tweet suggesting that Taiwan’s many Chinese restaurants proved that the two were of one culture.
  • Hua has been extremely vocal about U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) controversial visit to Taiwan last Tuesday
  • The trip has been heavily condemned by China as a violation of the communist country’s “One China” policy, which maintains Taiwan as an inalienable part of the mainland.
  • “Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei,” Hua posted on her Twitter account. “Palates don’t cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home.”
  • The statement has evoked nearly 6,000 responses, with many users finding fault in the Chinese official’s logic.
  • One netizen wrote, “This is illogical. There are countless KFCs in China. By your logic, does it mean that… I don’t dare think about it.”

On Sunday, senior Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying sparked online ridicule for her tweet suggesting that Taiwan’s many Chinese restaurants proved that the two were of one culture. 

Hua has been extremely vocal about U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) controversial visit to Taiwan last Tuesday, a trip that has been condemned by China as a violation of the communist country’s “One China” policy, which maintains Taiwan as an inalienable part of the mainland.  

‘We are truly led by imbeciles’: Nancy Pelosi slammed for ‘connection’ with China comment

  • Twitter users slammed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) for her “connection” with China comment that was said during a speech in Tokyo on Friday.
  • “When I was a little girl, I was told at the beach if I dug a hole deep enough, we would reach China, so we've always felt a connection there," Pelosi said.
  • Her comment ignited criticism on Twitter, with one user writing, “We are truly led by imbeciles.”
  • “Did Nancy Pelosi actually dig all the way from her home to China? Because I would totally get the connection she feels then,” another user tweeted.
  • Pelosi led a Congressional delegation consisting of Chairperson Gregory Meeks (D, NY-5), Chairperson Mark Takano (D, CA-41), Congressional representative Suzan DelBene (D, WA-1), Congressional representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D, IL-8) and Congressional representative Andy Kim (D, NJ-3).
  • The delegation visited Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan with a stopover in Taiwan on Tuesday, a move condemned by China months before the planned Asia trip.

Twitter users slammed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) for saying she has always felt a “connection” with China.

During a speech on Friday in Tokyo, the last stop of Pelosi’s recent visit to Asia, Pelosi recalled a childhood memory about China.