Freesun News congratulates Mrs Tsai Ing-wen the newly elected President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)
Your victory reflects the confidence and hope that the Taiwanese people have in your leadership. It was a hard-fought campaign but you won Taiwanese over with your vision, your focus on their concerns and aspirations, and your natural identification with ordinary citizens. We are confident that the Republic of China will thrive under your able leadership.
We also applaud the people of the Republic of China in Taiwan for remaining a model of freedom and democracy in the region through their election process. The choice they have made is a tribute to their courage, as well as their determination to safeguard their freedom, dignity and keep the R.O.C. (Taiwan) firmly on the road to sustainable development.
We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead. We are sure you will ultimately achieve your dream making the Republic of China a full partner in a community of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all.
We sincerely hope that with the spirit of your governance Taiwan will now no longer being “pro” Chinese, but rather “pro” Taiwan, and it will thus be able to take back its rightful place as a Dragon of Asia.
Good luck to you, Madam President, and to the people of Taiwan.…
Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Premier Lin Chuan (林全) told a visiting U.S. official Tuesday that Taiwan hopes to play a positive role in Washington’s Asia policy through increased cooperative relations between the two sides.
During a meeting with Marcus Jadotte, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for industry and analysis, Lin said that Taiwan has noticed the U.S.’s “Pivot to Asia” policy and has been thinking about what kind of role it can play in this.
“At the same time, we have also noticed that the U.S. has been in contact with Taiwan about various subjects,” Lin said, adding that he hopes more communications between the two sides can be held in the future so that “through bilateral cooperative ties, Taiwan can play a positive role in the overall Asia strategy of the United States.”
Jadotte was in town to exchange views with the Taiwanese authorities and businesses on web security, as well as on trade and investment ties between the two countries.
Earlier in the day, Jadotte spoke at the U.S.-Taiwan Cyber Security Forum and signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce with the Taipei Computer Association. The statement calls for both sides to explore ways to work together to counter cyber risks and make the Internet a safer place for individuals and businesses.…
Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) expressed optimism Tuesday about the results of upcoming talks with Japan on maritime affairs cooperation.
Lee told reporters that the Taiwan-Japan dialogue mechanism on maritime affairs cooperation that is expected to be launched by the end of July will be broader in scope than the existing bilateral fishery committee.
Besides fishery cooperation, he said, the dialogue will also cover issues such as maritime emergencies and rescue.
He said the two sides have discussed the matter for quite some time and that Japan has been very sincere.
The minister said he is very optimistic and confident that the mechanism will better protect the rights and interests of Taiwanese fishermen.
Also Tuesday, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said that because the fishery dispute between Taiwan and Japan over the Okinotori atoll remains unresolved, there is a need for continued negotiations to uphold the rights of Taiwanese fishermen in the area.
He said that replacing confrontation and conflict with dialogue and cooperation is the government’s principle in dealing with international affairs and that the Presidential Office looks forward to the opening of Taiwan-Japan dialogue on maritime affairs.
The Okinotori dispute erupted after a Taiwanese fishing boat was detained by Japan April 25 on the high seas near the Japan-controlled atoll.…
Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Taiwan’s two largest airlines — China Airlines (CAL) and EVA Airways (EVA) — have both earned 2016 Leisure Lifestyle Awards presented by Global Traveler, an American monthly magazine for business and leisure luxury travelers.
The award-winning design of CAL’s new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft helped it win the award for Best Premium-Economy Class in this year’s Leisure Lifestyle Awards.
“The cabin features seating with fixed backshell and front-sliding seat recline, 12.1-inch personal entertainment touchscreens, power outlets and USB ports, personal storage space and a reading light,” Global Traveler said.
EVA Airways (EVA) won a Leisure Lifestyle Special Achievement Award for its Hello Kitty-themed aircraft, which was recognized as “Outstanding Customized Services.”
“From check-in to on board, the entire experience is markedly unique by the ubiquitous presence of the popular Sanrio character — found everywhere from the bathroom soap to the butter pats,” said Global Traveler.
EVA launched its Hello Kitty-themed fleet in 2005, and now has seven aircraft with Hello Kitty livery, each with a different theme and name.
The aircraft serves a number of destinations from Taipei to Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Seoul, Shanghai, Bali, Houston, Guam and Paris.
For the fourth consecutive year, Global Traveler took a closer look at the world of leisure travel, recognizing the world’s best leisure destinations, airlines, cruises, hotels, other travel providers and luxury goods to name the Leisure Lifestyle Award winners for 2016.…
Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Nearly 4 in 10 people recently polled in Taiwan said they approve of the idea that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should recognize the “1992 consensus” so that the contacts and negotiation mechanism between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can continue as usual, according to a newspaper survey released Monday.
China said May 21 — one day after Tsai was sworn in as Taiwan’s first female president — that only by insisting on the “1992 consensus” can cross-strait exchanges be maintained.
On this insistence, the survey conducted over the past weekend by the United Daily News, a mass-circulation Chinese-language newspaper in Taiwan, found that 39.6 percent of the respondents said Tsai should recognize the consensus, while 29.7 percent said they are opposed to the idea and 30.7 percent declined to comment.
Beijing insists that Tsai’s government accept the “1992 consensus” that underpinned Taiwan-China relations during the eight years that her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), was in office, something she and her Democratic Progressive Party have been unwilling to do.
The survey also found that among the 46 percent of the respondents who said they were aware of the content of Tsai’s inaugural speech, 76 percent said they were satisfied with the speech, while 15 percent said they were not.…
Taipei, May 23 (CNA) New Transportation Minister Ho Chen Tan (賀陳旦) said Monday that arrangements have been made for talks with tourism officials from China on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meeting in Peru later this month, although the exact timing remains undecided.
Ho Chen is set to depart for Peru May 26 for the APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting, which will take place May 28-29.
He said that bilateral talks with delegates from Thailand and Malaysia have been set and confirmed. As for talks with the Chinese delegates, “arrangements have been made, but the timing has not yet been decided,” he noted.
Asked about developments in the tourism and travel industry, the minister, who was sworn in May 20, said tourism development should be conducted in various areas, and should be done step by step to expand the sources of foreign visitors.
Ho Chen delivered an operational report from his ministry at the Legislative Yuan that day, his first such report since assuming office.
In the report, he elaborated that in the future, the tourism policy will be aimed at assisting the relevant sectors in improving their quality of service, deepening travel experiences and boosting production values.…
Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Calligraphers and painters from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau were conspicuously absent from an ongoing cross-strait calligraphy and painting exchange exhibition.
The calligraphers and painters could not come ostensibly because they were not able to get the necessary paperwork in time, but their absence from the May 19 to 30 exhibition at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall has sparked speculation about their real motives.
Shen Rong-hwai (沈榮槐), head of the Taiwan Chinese Calligraphy Society, said the exhibition was held in Macau last year and shifted to Taiwan this year.
Shen suspected that the Chinese side failed to show up because it has misunderstandings about Taiwan’s new political situation under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who took office on Friday.
Shen said he believed the impact of politics on culture will be short-lived while cross-strait cultural exchanges will be long-term.
He noted that although Chinese artists could not come, more than 200 calligraphies and paintings from the mainland are still on display.
(By Kao Chao-fen and Lilian Wu)
Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Standard & Poor’s, a U.S.-based ratings agency, has placed Taiwan’s economic risk at the same level as that of the United States, indicating that the country faces low to moderate economic challenges, an S&P report showed Tuesday.
According to S&P’s Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA), Taiwan has been placed in the group 3 category, the same as the U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore.
The BICRA report uses a scale from 1 to 10, ranging from the lowest-risk banking systems in group 1 countries to the highest-risk in group 10.
The BICRA analysis for a country covers rated and unrated financial institutions that take deposits, extend loans, or engage in both activities. In addition, the analysis evaluates the entire financial system of a country by taking into account the relationship between the banking industry and the financial system as a whole.
Fan Wei-hua, an analyst with Taiwan Ratings, a local partner of S&P, said that the BICRA report analyzes the banking systems of more than 80 countries around the world. As Taiwan has been placed in the group 3 category, the country’s economic risk is perceived at a low-to-moderate degree.
Fan said that the BICRA report looks at economic growth, monetary policies, financial stability, and property market conditions, as well as the movement of a country’s equity market.…
Taipei, May 24 (CNA) China Airlines (CAL), one of Taiwan’s leading carriers, said Tuesday that it will begin selling tickets on its Taoyuan-Tokyo route with no free checked luggage allowance.
The new type of tickets, sales of which will begin through its website from 10 a.m. Wednesday, will first be available for flights between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Tokyo Narita International Airport that depart July 9 and after, the carrier said.
The carrier said it believes the tickets will be attractive to travelers seeking to save some money but who also want to enjoy free in-flight meals and entertainment.
Passengers who book such tickets can still purchase baggage allowance online for US$30 per 20 kilograms, but will not be able to do so at the airport, the carrier said.
A limited promotional economy-class fare of NT$5,100 (US$155.99) excluding tax will be available when ticket sales begin, according to the carrier.
In comparison, a return ticket in economy class on the same route found on the carrier’s website, for a week-long trip from July 9 costs NT$13,769, which includes a combined tax and fee of NT$1,277.
According to the schedule shown on Taoyuan airport’s website, CAL is competing with 10 other carriers on the Taoyuan-Narita route, including four budget carriers — Tigerair Taiwan, Jetstar Japan, Scoot and Vanilla Air.…
Beijing, May 23 (CNA) Chinese scholars on Monday had mixed views of cross-Taiwan Strait relations following the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on May 20, but the majority opinion was that bilateral ties were in for a bumpy ride, at least in the near future.
Zhu Weidong (朱衛東), deputy director of the Taiwan Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at a forum in Beijing that cross-strait relations are at a crossroads, and if Taiwan veers away from the correct road, the path it takes will certainly be bumpy.
Because Tsai did not make clear her stance on the 1992 consensus in her inauguration speech, the cross-strait relationship could enter an uncertain phase, and to what extent the relationship deteriorates will hinge on Taiwan’s stance toward the consensus, Zhu said.
Beijing has insisted that Tsai’s government accept the “1992 consensus” that underpinned Taiwan-China relations during the eight years her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), was in office, something she and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have been unwilling to do.
Likening Taiwan and China to two trains, Zhu said that if the trains collide, Taiwan will be the bigger loser.
May 20 could be a turning point from which Taiwan’s national power declines, and if the two sides continue grappling with each other, Taiwan will gradually lose its bargaining chips vis a vis China and cross-strait ties will enter a vicious cycle, Zhu contended.…
Taipei, May 22 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has received over 30 foreign delegations since she took office Friday, including one from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in Europe, the Holy See.
Tsai on Sunday met with Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, the Holy See’s apostolic nuncio to Japan who attended the new president’s inauguration as a special envoy of Pope Francis.
Noting that diplomatic ties between the two countries will enter their 74th year this year, Tsai said Taiwan has worked with the Vatican on many humanitarian projects, including support for refugees in northern Iraq and earthquake relief in Nepal, Japan and Ecuador.
“As a member of the international community, we will steadfastly support democratic, free and humanitarian values,” she said.
Taiwan will also follow Pope Francis’ call for helping the impoverished and the disadvantaged and fighting injustice.
On the same day, Tsai also met with Haitian Foreign Minister Pierrot Delienne, St. Lucian Education Minister Robert Lewis, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega of Belize and Honduran Supreme Court President Rolando Edgardo Argueta Perez.
In a Facebook update posted Sunday afternoon, Tsai said she had met over 30 foreign delegations since Friday after she was sworn in as president, and she thanked their long-term support of Taiwan.…
Taipei, May 22 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday urged the United States to support Taiwan’s bid for the U.S.-led trade bloc Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Tsai said Taiwan and the United States have close trade relations, noting that Taiwan was the ninth largest trade partner of the United States last year and that the U.S. has again surpassed Japan to become Taiwan’s second biggest trade partner.
Taiwan’s government will actively pursue the chance to participate in the second round of negotiations on the U.S.-led TPP and achieve its goal of joining the trade bloc, Tsai said during a meeting with a visiting delegation of U.S. congressmen.
The first round of negotiations on the TPP among its 12 Pacific Rim members was completed in October 2015 and the members signed the agreement on Feb. 4 this year.
The pact has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Congress, however, and with free trade a sensitive issue in this year’s U.S. presidential election, there are questions whether it will be approved before the end of President Barack Obama’s term.
Tsai also expressed her thanks to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate for passing a bill in March that directed the U.S.…
Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Newly inaugurated President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will lead senior officials Monday in paying tribute to Dr. Sun Yat-sen, founding father of the Republic of China, and others at the Martyrs Shrine, Presidential Office officials said Sunday.
Paying a “remote” tribute to Dr. Sun’s tomb in Nanjing has been a tradition for an ROC president soon after their inauguration ceremony.
But Tsai, who was sworn in on Friday, will change the symbolic “remote” tribute and pay her respects instead to the founding father and others at the Martyrs Shrine in Yuanshan in Taipei.
The minor change is aimed at “defeudalizing” the significance of the ritual, according to the officials.
A group calling itself the “Anti-sinicization League” said it will hold a press conference at the site to express opposition to Tsai’s “worshipping of previous colonial rulers.”
In a statement, the league, whose members are staunch advocates of Taiwan independence, said it is opposed to the new government’s policy of “continuing to lock Taiwan in China” — a policy they complain is symbolized by the scheduled ceremony at the Martyrs Shrine.
Tsai will lead Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), the heads of the five Yuans (branches) of Taiwan’s government and other senior officials in attending a ceremony that will feature the playing of the national anthem, laying a wreath and bowing three times in front of the martyrs’ name plates.…
Taipei, May 20 (CNA) Taiwan’s new President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) pledged in her inaugural speech Friday that her administration will help young people of the country overcome difficulties and hand over a better country to the next generation.
“When its young people have no future, a country is certain to have no future. It is the solemn duty of the new administration to help young people overcome difficulties, achieve generational justice, and deliver to the next generation a better country,” Tsai said.
Tsai and her deputy Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) were sworn in as president and vice president of the Republic of China at the Presidential Office earlier in the day.
Tsai, 59, is the first female president of the country. She led the Democratic Progressive Party to victory in the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 16, thus achieving a complete transfer of power, the first of its kind in the history of the Republic of China.
In her inaugural speech, the new president praised the citizens of Taiwan as a “free and democratic people,” who she said on Jan. 16 elected “a new president and new government with one single expectation: solving problems.”
Tsai said the country is facing a difficult situation and she is willing to be the person who leads a government able to take on every challenge.…
Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Taiwan is encountering frequent cyber attacks, with the scale reaching the level of a “quasi war,” the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said Wednesday, although other Cabinet officials said that the situation is under control.
The frequent attacks on Taiwan are some of the most serious in the world, mainly because “most of the cyber attacks come from the other side of the Taiwan Strait,” the ministry said in a report to a legislative committee.
A lot of hackers have infiltrated Taiwan’s key systems of national defense, diplomacy, utilities, air traffic control and telecommunications, with the scale and depth of the attacks reaching “the level of quasi war,” it said. It provided no evidence or details.
The ministry made the report to the Foreign and National Defense Committee, which had invited the ministry, as well as other related government agencies, to report on the necessity of forming a fourth military branch and the challenges posed by cyber attackers to the information security of the government and private sectors.
The fourth military branch as advocated by the Democratic Progressive Party in its blueprint for national defense last year refers to a unit beyond the air, navy and army services, and will comprise personnel versed in information and telecommunications expertise.…
Taipei, May 11 (CNA) With Taiwan facing a decline in Chinese tourists, Transportation Minister-designate Ho-Chen Tan (賀陳旦) said Wednesday he will promote Taiwan as a good travel destination at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meeting later this month.
Ho-Chen, who will assume his duties as transportation minister May 20, will lead a Taiwanese delegation to attend the APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting slated for May 28-29 in Peru.
Asked by CNA about the recent decline in Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan, Ho-Chen said that when he reports on Taiwan’s tourism at the APEC meeting he will mention that Taiwan is facing a decline in foreign visitor arrivals but will not single out Chinese tourists.
In addition, he will take the opportunity to promote Taiwan as a good choice for tourism among residents of APEC member countries, he said.
Ho-Chen said he also expects to hold bilateral talks with tourism officials from China and will discuss the development of tourism across the Taiwan Strait.
He argued, however, that Taiwan needs to do more to promote itself with foreigners and increase their understanding of Taiwan.
For example, he said, the Tourism Bureau should make greater efforts to help unique B&Bs and cultural attractions set up websites with information in English so that people who do not speak Chinese can learn more about these destinations.…