After many years of controversy, Taiwan on Monday finally started issuing passports with the word "Taiwan" on the cover. The government's primary goal behind this move is to clearly tell the international community that the passport-holder comes from a high-income, democratic nation -- not from the People's Republic of China, for which Taiwan has long been mistaken. The old version of the passport only has "Republic of China" on the cover -- a name too close to "People's Republic of China." It is no wonder that immigration officers in many countries could not figure out the true origin of the passport-holders. This has resulted in countless problems for Taiwanese people traveling abroad.
\nHowever, this wise and reasonable act has long been blindly boycotted by politicians bent on the Great China ideology. It has also come under fire from the pro-unification media, which keep on saying that adding "Taiwan" to passports will raise Beijing's ire and incur retaliatory action. As a result, the process has been jeopardized and frustrated on many occasions. Only now, under the DPP administration, have we completed a process that helps the international community distinguish Taiwanese passports from Chinese ones.
\nOf course, passports are in the first place an indicator of sovereignty. The government has stated that the ROC's effective jurisdiction covers only Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, which are represented by "Taiwan." This is in accordance with history as well as the reality. There is nothing sneaky about it. Being residents of Taiwan, we must understand that the KMT's long-running claim that the ROC's territory includes Taiwan is a blatant lie. The ROC Constitution promulgated by Chiang Kai-shek (
Beijing’s imposition of the Hong Kong National Security Law and a number of other democratic and human rights issues continue to strain relations between the UK and China. The tense situation has significantly decreased the likelihood of British Royal Navy ships being able to continue their practice of docking in Hong Kong’s harbor for resupply — a not altogether unpredictable development. In a Nov. 19 online speech to parliament, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier would next year lead a British and allied task group to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and East Asia. Johnson
President-elect Biden and his team soon will confront a raging pandemic, a severe economic crisis, demands for progress in addressing racial injustices, intensifying climate-induced crises, and strained relations with allies and partners in many parts of the world. They will be oriented to view China as America’s greatest geostrategic challenge, but not the most immediate threat to the health and prosperity of the American people. Amidst this daunting inheritance, US-Taiwan relations will stand out as a bright spot, an example of progress that should be sustained. There are strong reasons for optimism about the continued development of US-Taiwan relations in the
Americans tend to think of Vietnam as a war that split the US rather than as a country in today’s world. Vietnamese are of course way past that. The country does not have any US Electoral College votes, but if it did, they would be cast enthusiastically for US President Donald Trump. When I told a group of university students at a park in Ho Chi Minh City that I was from the US, they asked: “Do you know why we love Trump?” “Uhhh, is it because he hates China?” I asked back. “Yeah,” the group responded in unison. With a 1,000-year history of
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office on Wednesday announced that Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a retired National Taiwan Normal University professor, who Beijing says is a spy, had been sentenced to four years in prison for espionage crimes. The news followed last week’s announcement by Beijing that it is compiling a “wanted list” of pro-independence “Taiwan secessionists” that would be used to “punish” those blacklisted under its national security laws. Taken together, the announcements show that Beijing’s Taiwan policy under Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is becoming increasingly erratic, uncoordinated and poorly thought out, which raises serious questions about Xi’s leadership ability. Shih went missing