China may have toned down its military threats against Taiwan, but its strategy of adopting the “soft power” of economic and cultural influence to absorb Taiwan appears to be working, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.
“Chinese influence and presence is everywhere, as far as I’m concerned,” Su said at an event organized by the Ketagalan Institute, an educational institution founded by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
Su cited several local TV news channels’ live broadcast of a Chinese singing competition show for hours on Friday night as an example, saying it “had gone too far and had violated the principle of proportion.”
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times
The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported yesterday that ETTV and CtiTV dedicated almost their entire news programs to broadcast I’m a Singer (我是歌手), a singing competition show produced by China’s Hunan TV in which several Taiwanese singers made Friday night’s final.
While the production of the show should be seen as a commercial activity, the Taiwanese TV media’s practice showed that China’s strategy of asserting its influence “into the island, into households and into the brains [of Taiwanese]” (入島，入戶，入腦) has been working, Su said.
The broadcast was only the tip of the iceberg, Su said, because TV stations, newspapers and magazines promote pro-China information on a regular basis.
“If the responsible government agency does not regulate such practices, Taiwan could become the next Hong Kong,” Su said, adding that China applied almost the same strategy to Hong Kong media before and after the 1997 handover.
Su also touched upon the anti-nuclear issue at the event, where he delivered a speech on political leadership and reform, saying that the government had failed to even release any credible assessment report on the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
On the contrary, the government is trying to leverage the high threshold required to pass referendums and manipulate the referendum question to get its way, he said.
He called on people to participate in the planned national referendum later this year and “punish the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] by passing the referendum and suspending the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.”
The suspension of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would provide Taiwan with an opportunity to revamp its industrial policy and upgrade its industrial structure by promoting energy conservation, he said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu