China - Taiwan

Chronology from Sep 2020 to Dec 2020

: President Trump signs COVID-19 relief and government funding bill into law, which included the Taiwan Assurance Act.

: Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan approves a series of government measures implementing the government’s decision to lift restrictions on imports of pork containing the controversial feed additive ractopamine and US beef from cattle aged over 30 months.

: Taiwan reports first community spread of COVID-19 after 253 days without infections.

: Taiwan’s Central Election Commission approves two referendum proposals aimed at banning the import of US pork with ractopamine and requiring a binding referendum with island-wide election. Organizers must collect 289,667 valid signatures on petitions. If they do, the referendum banning US pork imports would take place on Aug. 24, 2021.

: US includes Taiwan on the watchlist for currency manipulation for the first time since 2017.

: Taiwan’s first Tuo-Chiang guided missile corvette is launched. The Coast Guard’s variant of the corvette was launched on Dec. 11.

: John Deng, Taiwan’s de-facto chief trade negotiator, says that a requirement to label US pork containing ractopamine could be challenged as a nontariff trade barrier unless Taiwan could provide scientific evidence to support it.

:   New Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi announces regulations in the city that stipulate that pork importers in the city must disclose ractopamine inspection results.

: Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office indicts Ho Jianghua, head of the China Unification Promotion Party’s (CUPP) women’s department, and aide Pao Ke-ming over alleged involvement in setting up a spy network for Beijing.

: US approves the possible sale to Taiwan of a Field Information Communications System (FICS) and related equipment to Taiwan at an estimated cost of $280 million.

: Taiwan military announces that 18 F-16A/Bs originally sold to Taiwan in 1994 had completed scheduled upgrades to F-16Vs.

: Taiwan and Saudi Arabia sign an agreement on avoiding double taxation.

: In its annual report, the US–China Economic and Security Review Commission recommends that the position of director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei be made a presidential nomination comparable to ambassador and subject to Senate confirmation.

: Japan’s representative in Taiwan, Izumi Hiroyasu, says that his main task is to assist the island in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

: Yuan T. Lee, Taiwan’s only Nobel laureate, endorses plan to open Taiwan to US pork. He said that it was safe to consume pork with ractopamine so long as the drug was within the safety limit.

: KMT legislators throw pig skin and entrails at Premier Su Tseng-chang when he tries to address the Legislative Yuan on the issue of US pork imports.

: Several Taiwanese media report that Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, director of intelligence of US Indo-Pacific Command, arrived in Taiwan for a visit. Both AIT and Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry refused comment.

: Inaugural meeting of US–Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue is held in Washington.

: For the fourth time, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) founder Morris Chang represents Taiwan’s president at the annual leaders meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC).

: Taiwan’s National Communications Commission announces it would not renew the license of CTiTV, which had been accused of being a mouthpiece for Chinese propaganda.

: Pro-Beijing Dagongbao newspaper reports that Beijing plans to punish Taiwan “separatists” and their foreign backers with measures, including “severe sanctions” and giving them up to life sentences in their absence. Global Times suggested that Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang would be among the first targeted by the measure.

: China and 14 other Asia-Pacific nations sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Taiwan immediately announces it would seek to join the trade bloc.

: Taiwan representative to the US Bi-Khim Hsiao speaks with Biden foreign policy advisor Tony Blinken by phone to congratulate Biden on his election victory.

: Secretary of State Pompeo tells a syndicated radio show that “Taiwan has not been a part of China.” On Nov. 14, the State Department clarified that the US takes no position on Taiwan sovereignty.

: Taiwan Navy confirms that US Marine Corps personnel had arrived in Taiwan to provide training on assault boats and infiltration operations. The US Defense Department and Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense subsequently denied the report.

: US Mission to the UN in Geneva urges WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to invite Taiwan to its upcoming meeting on COVID-19.

: US announces a possible sale to Taiwan of four Weapons-Ready MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $600 million.

: US announces a possible sale to Taiwan of up to 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS) and related equipment for approximately $2.37 billion.

: Taiwan’s Department of Cyber Security reports that Taiwan’s central and local governments had been hacked 1,709 times since 2018, attributing the hacks to China.

: US approves arms sales to Taiwan worth a total of $1.81 billion including: standoff land attack missiles, HIMARS rocket launchers, MS-110 Recce Pods, various vehicles, light arms, and communication equipment. China’s Foreign Ministry announces sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, and Raytheon over the companies’ involvement in arms sales to Taiwan.

: A Taiwan civilian air aircraft carrying supplies to Taiwanese coast guard officers stationed on the disputed Dongsha Islands is advised by Hong Kong air traffic controllers not to enter the airspace over the islands because “dangerous activities” were in progress in the area. A second flight completed the resupply on Oct. 26.

: Taobao Taiwan decides to shut down after it was ordered to register as a mainland-based company.

: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington publishes a survey reporting that US “thought leaders” expressed strong support for defending Taiwan.

: Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) warns Taiwan of the risks of traveling to China after CCTV broadcasts supposed confessions of four accused of spying for Taiwan.

: President Tsai Ing-wen’s National Day address focuses on plans to support Taiwan’s economic development. She also urged China to move on cross-Strait dialogue.

: Chinese diplomats interrupt Republic of China National Day reception hosted by the Taiwan office in Suva, Fiji. The clash injured Taiwan diplomats, but Taiwan chose not to acknowledge the incident until it had made the news in Fiji. China claims that its diplomats were provoked.

: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticizes Chinese military maneuvers in the Pacific and reiterated US assurances to help Taiwan defend itself at a meeting of the quadrilateral security dialogue meeting of the US, Australia, Japan, and India. Separately, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien warned China against any attempt to retake Taiwan by force, reiterating that the US stood by its posture of “strategic ambiguity.”

: Legislative Yuan passes KMT motion calling for formal diplomatic relations with the US. Taiwan Foreign Minister Wu had earlier insisted that Taiwan was not pursuing formal diplomatic relations with the US.

: The US classifies fish caught by Taiwan boats as products of forced labor, based on conditions under which the crews worked, according to the US Department of Labor’s annual List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor report.

: China blocks observer status for the San Francisco-based Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia’s parent, at the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the grounds that it had a Taiwan subsidiary.

: Taiwan and the US hold a virtual Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) webinar on using public-private partnerships to improve infrastructure. They announce the signing of “The Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure Finance and Market Building Cooperation” to support such projects in the Indo-Pacific region.

: The European Union hosts its first-ever investment forum in Taiwan.

: Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu criticizes Beijing for breaking the status after it claimed that the median line of the Taiwan Strait did not exist.

: US Under Secretary of State Keith Krach begins three-day visit Taiwan to attend memorial services for former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui. No economic dialogue talks were held, but Krach met with Hong Kong and China democracy activists.

: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, meets James K.J. Lee, director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York, the first time such a public meeting occurred.

: KMT announces that it would not send a delegation headed by former speaker of the Legislative Yuan Wang Jin-pyng to the annual Cross-Strait Forum sponsored by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) after China Television said Wang would be coming “to sue for peace.”

: Somaliland opens a representative office in Taiwan.

: KMT caucus whip in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, Lin Yi-hua, announces the party would introduce amendments to Article 15 of the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation to ban ractopamine and other beta agonists in domestic and imported pork.

: Taipei-based Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF) says that it has been removed from its partnership with BirdLife International after the British-based conservation group insisted the CWBF commit to not promoting the legitimacy of the Republic of China or the independence of Taiwan from China.

: The Dalai Lama expresses hope to visit Taiwan in 2021 “if Beijing allows.”

: KMT national convention reiterates the party’s cross-Strait narrative, which is “1992 Consensus based on the ROC Constitution.” The KMT said it opposes Taiwan independence and China’s “one country, two systems.”

: An amendment to Taiwan’s Audio-Visual Management Act banned PRC companies providing “Over the Top (OTT)” services in Taiwan (OTT services provide cable TV access over the internet).

: Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduces a new design for Republic of China passports, making the word “Taiwan” more prominent.

: Nationalist Party (Kuomintang/KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang Chi-chen announces that the KMT will start a signature campaign seeking a referendum on the government’s decision to allow the import of US pork containing ractopamine.

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