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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. 

President Biden shows determination to defend Taiwan in new ‘60 Minutes’ interview

Biden 60 Minutes
  • In a “60 Minutes” interview, President Joe Biden was asked whether U.S. Forces would defend Taiwan, to which Biden answered with an unfaltering “yes.”
  • However, the president’s response differs from the official statement given by the White House, which maintains “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan.
  • In response to Biden's interview, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated that the U.S. should “fully understand the extremely important and highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question and abide by the one China principle.”
  • Taiwan also responded by expressing, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) extends its sincere appreciation to President Biden for once again emphasizing the staunch and rock-solid US security commitment to Taiwan.”

President Joe Biden declared in a television interview that U.S. armed forces will defend Taiwan in case of an unprecedented invasion by China, contradicting official U.S. policy. 

In a “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday night, Biden was asked about Taiwan and China by CBS News correspondent Scott Pelley, “What should Chinese President Xi know about your commitment to Taiwan?”

UK seeks to hire Taiwanese teachers amid plan to phase out controversial Confucius Institutes

confucius institute
  • A group of cross-party Members of Parliament, including Alicia Kearns, a Conservative MP, is currently in talks to hire new teachers from Taiwan as the U.K. government seeks to phase out Beijing-backed Chinese language known as Confucius Institutes.
  • The recent decision came after Kearns asked Taiwan to play a more significant role in teaching Mandarin in the U.K. as distrust over the Chinese Communist Party continues to grow.
  • Kearns, a member of the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, proposed a Higher Education Bill amendment in June. The amendment would allow British officials to close down Confucius Institute schools over concerns about academic freedom.
  • Speaking to Channel News Asia, Kearns explained that Confucius Institutes are under the CCP’s control and that they “do not teach accurate history,” a practice that "needs to end."

The United Kingdom is now looking to hire Taiwanese teachers as part of proposed plans to phase out its Beijing-backed Chinese language schools known as Confucius Institutes.

A group of cross-party Members of Parliament (MPs), including Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, is currently in talks to hire new teachers from Taiwan and replace Confucius Institutes in the U.K., according to The Observer.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Repercussions of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan felt around the world as countries and companies stay on their toes

  • The repercussions of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) controversial and highly publicized visit to Taiwan on Tuesday are being felt by countries and companies throughout the world.
  • Although the House speaker’s trip to Taiwan lasted less than a day, it evoked strong reactions from countries around the world who understood the geopolitical impact of having one of America’s highest-ranking officials visit the island.
  • On Friday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China released a statement announcing sanctions on House Speaker Pelosi.
  • China also announced that the country would be halting dialogue with the U.S. in several areas, including between theater-level military commanders and regarding the climate crisis.
  • On Friday, tech giant Apple told its suppliers to strictly abide by Chinese customs regulations that parts from Taiwan be labeled as being made from either in “Taiwan, China” or “Chinese Taipei.”
  • Japan has also been on high alert, after five Chinese ballistic missiles landed in the waters near Japan’s southwestern islands on Thursday.

The repercussions of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) controversial and highly publicized visit to Taiwan on Tuesday are being felt by countries and companies throughout the world as tensions rise amid the prospect of a world war. 

China issued multiple warnings during the weeks leading up to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which the communist country strongly condemned.