Education ministry rejects NTU President pick

In a stunning violation of university autonomy yesterday, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education refused to appoint Kuan Chung-ming as the new National Taiwan University (NTU) President, citing flaws in the selection process, after the university’s search committee made its decision from eight candidates in January this year. NTU protested the decision.

The controversy stemmed from Kuan serving as an independent board member for mobile phone operator Taiwan Mobile during the selection process, while one of the search committee members is deputy chair of Taiwan Mobile’s board of directors, creating a potential conflict of interest. Legislators from the governing DPP further accused Kuan of scholastic dishonesty (NTU response) and illegal teaching in China. Continue reading “Education ministry rejects NTU President pick”


China’ playbook for conquering Taiwan

Ian Easton, author of The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan’s Defense and American Strategy in Asia, composed an excellent piece in the Diplomat about how Beijing intends to annex Taiwan.

[Xi Jinping’s] playbook is not to win heart and minds in Taiwan. Given the stark differences between the political value systems espoused by the two sides, that would be impossible. China will instead seek to weaken hearts and minds in Taiwan. Beijing will engage in a long and intermittent war of nerves with Taipei, using advanced psychological warfare techniques to convince the Taiwanese that they are in a hopeless situation. China will apply propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, history manipulation, espionage, and economic warfare. Ultimately, Xi’s goal will be to infiltrate and subvert key pillars of Taiwan’s democracy.

We are beginning to see more Chinese fighter jets circling the island and expect more to come. We have seen diplomatic allies lured away by economic opportunities and foreign aid, while other countries shove us under the bus to get better deals with China. We saw people who supposedly represent Taiwan at the Communist Party Congress swear allegiance to Xi and the party, while the fifth column in Taiwan is protected by the very freedom and rights they are encroaching and eroding. We saw one of our own sentenced to jail for supporting democracy and human rights. Continue reading “China’ playbook for conquering Taiwan”

Former VP elected KMT chairman, same downward spiral?

152824eb-526d-4a94-a042-f58dd33bd176After losing both the presidency and, for the first time, control of parliament in the 2016 elections, the century-old Kuomintang today elected former Taiwan Vice-President Wu Den-yih 吳敦義 as its new chairperson. Of the 476,147 eligible party members, 58% voted, 52.2% (144k) of which voted for Wu, just past the 50% that would otherwise have triggered a runoff election between Wu and incumbent chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu, who received the second most votes (19.2%). The six candidates include Wu, Hung, former Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-pin, former health minister Steven Chan, former MP Han Kuo-yu, and former MP Tina Pan. Continue reading “Former VP elected KMT chairman, same downward spiral?”


February 28 is a public holiday in Taiwan, designated as Peace Memorial Day to commemorate the massacres that began on February 28, 1947 and the White Terror period that followed for the next four decades (1947-1987). 70 years have since passed, but it is still a contentious topic in Taiwan due to the fact that Kuomintang (KMT), the political party that massacre perpetrators belong to, is still a major (though currently in minority) player in Taiwanese politics. In many ways, KMT during the White Terror period behaved very much like the Communist Party of China today, as the incident was a taboo subject during those 40 years, and was not even taught in schools until 1990s. Taiwan Bar’s video above (English subtitle/CC available) provides an introduction to something many families in Taiwan still grieve about today.

From the Washington PostFor decades, no one spoke of Taiwan’s hidden massacre. A new generation is breaking the silence.

Detention: horror game about Taiwan’s martial law past

Set in the 1960s, when Taiwan was still under martial law imposed by the authoritarian KMT regime, Detention is an atmospheric horror game that has players go through the life of two high school students. They have to go through the once familiar campus, avoid the evil that has seeped through the classrooms they thought they know, and try to make it to safety. The game infuses elements from Taiwan’s history, Chinese mythology, as well as East Asian folk cultures and religions. With carefully crafted graphics and original soundtracks, the game provides an experience that makes you treasure the freedom and rights afforded to a democratic society.

Detention is available on the online game platform, Steam, for $11.99.

KMT Chairperson visits China

Kuomintang Chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu begins her five-day visit to China today, first stopping in Nanjing to pay respect at the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. Sun Yat-sen is widely considered to be the founding father of modern China as well as the founder of what became modern-day KMT. Hung is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his capacity as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, in Beijing tomorrow.

China has welcome this visit as an important step towards peaceful development of cross-strait relations, again citing the “1992 Consensus” as the basis for cross-strait relations. Of particular importance to China is the one-China principle, while KMT believes the “China” of such principle refers to the Republic of China instead of the People’s Republic of China.

Many in Taiwan, including President Tsai Ing-wen’s government and her Democratic Progressive Party, are watching closely, as some fear that Hung will publicly commit Taiwan to a peace agreement with China, even as KMT lost both the presidency and parliament majority this January. Hung has previously publicly endorsed the idea of both sides belonging to one China without specifying the Republic of China, drawing controversy and ire from many within her party.