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Latest from Taiwan includes shutting Wang out of the legislature, and Ko giving e-gaming some official respect. Elsewhere China and Hillary clash, and the US pulls its spies out of China.

#KMT #PartyList #Corruption #Pro-gaming #WoW #LoL #Cosplay #SlaveFishing #Passport #RepublicOfTaiwan #UN #WomensRights #HillaryClinton #Espionage #AcademicFreedom #HumanTrafficking #Malaysia #Erawan #UmbrellaMovement #Scholarism #Procrastination



Latest from Taiwan:

  • “Chu respects the system.”  KMT party central will not amend rules to allow Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to run again on the party list. A Central Standing Committee member could still motion to amend the rules. Otherwise, it seems Speaker Wang would need to find a district and run outside of the KMT.
  • Culture of corruption? Minister of Culture Hung Meng-chi resigned Wednesday after a Next Media report of subsidies being offered to KMT legislators in exchange for budget approval. Hung denied any corruption and said he was resigning because of his mismanagement. Premier Mao rejected Minister Hung’s resignation.
  • E-gaming builds prominence in Taiwan. Oct 2 through Oct 4 the Asia-Pacific regional finals tournament leading up to the BlizzCon World Championship will be in Taiwan for the first time. The tournament will feature the games World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. E-gaming is one area where Taiwan hopes to gain international prominence, and Mayor Ko Wen-je recently expressed his support to Taiwan teams heading to Riot Games’ League of Legends World Championships in an official video. In 2012, the Taipei Assassins won the LoL World Championships beating S.Korea’s Azubu Frost.
  • A ban on TW fish. The EU has threatened Taiwan with a ban if Taiwan does not take measures against illegal fishing within 6 months. Taiwan fishing exports to the EU total about $14.5M a year. The threat comes alongside the EU’s investigation of slave fishing in Thailand.
  • Sticker ban too, self-applied. Since August, the popularity of “Republic of Taiwan” stickers for passport covers of Taiwanese citizens has prompted a government ban. Last Friday the Free Taiwan Party pressured the government over the sticker ban with thirty members surrendering to authorities, showing their passports with stickers applied. Authorities declined to make any arrests.


Ongoing Trends in Asia and the World:

  • Bad call by the UN. Xi Jinping’s visit to Washington went as expected, with many words and little else. Shannon Tiezzi at the Diplomat has put together related links, and a breakdown of cap-and-trade in China. Xi Jinping co-hosted the UN Women’s Conference and women’s rights groups react negatively. Hillary Clinton tweeted to call Xi “shameless” for hosting, after detaining five women activists in March, and drew name-calling from China in response. Does this encounter mean we can expect a strong stance on China if Hillary becomes the next US President?
  • We’re not bad at it“?? The Obama Administration hasn’t responded to the major hack by China, in part because the US conducts espionage activities too. “We’re not bad at it,” said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Yet, the US is pulling its spies out of China since data stolen in China’s hack of OPM personnel records would allow China to identify US intelligence agents inserted among actual State Department employees.
  • Academics with Chinese Characteristics. University of Hong Kong’s Professor Johannes Chan has been rejected from a higher post, with alleged pressure from Beijing. Professor Chan is a member of pro-democracy group Hong Kong 2020. The decision-making committee included university and student representatives, but was mostly composed of either appointees by Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chung-ying or members who are also delegates to the National People’s Congress in Beijing. Also this week, former Chief Justice Andrew Li rejected claims that Chief Executive Leung is above Hong Kong’s judiciary and legislature.
  • A second look at Malaysia. Senator Menendez and House Democrats want an investigation into the State Department’s upgrade of Malaysia’s human trafficking status, which may have been made to facilitate Malaysia’s cooperation with the Obama Administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership goals.


Matters of Perspective:

  • Snarls in the Silk Road. Depletion of China’s currency reserves to support the yuan and stock market may impact China’s “Silk Road” plans for Central Asia. Projects with Russia have already been put on hold, and previous development on the Silk Road already faces local political instability, lack of understanding from partners, and bubble characteristics.
  • More than just voting. Scholarism’s Agnes Chow talks the Umbrella Movement and democracy in Hong Kong. “We want to tell people that democracy is not only elections and not only universal suffrage. Democracy includes lots of things, including lifestyle, including how do you decide, how you make decisions in your life…”


For Something Completely Different:

  • A rising demographic. Researchers expect Asians to surpass Latinos in the makeup of America’s incoming immigrant pool by 2055 (projected 36% Asians to 34% Latinos). Latinos will still represent a larger proportion of the total population than Asians.
  • Procrastinators already know this. Washing dishes while focusing on the warmth of the water, the feel of the dishes, and the smell of the soap could have a positive therapeutic effect.


(Feature photo of Liberty Square, by jennifertn.)




The Debrief

A well informed citizenry is the foundation of our modern society. Every week, our news team brings you the most important stories on current affairs, diplomacy, business and human rights, in Asia and around the globe. Not only can we be well informed, but better informed, about the relationship between our lives, our communities, and the common world.

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