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Taiwan Editorial Abstract

Taiwan Editorial Abstract
The following is an abstract of editorials in major Taiwanese dailies on Tuesday, several of which looked at the new government that took office May 20:

@Apple Daily: Premier Lin Chuan's first move

Premier Lin Chuan's first political decision was to drop charges against 126 protesters who stormed the Executive Yuan during the 2014 Sunflower Movement.

Lin's decision should be applauded because the Sunflower Movement was an act of civil disobedience that took place after opinions expressed by some members of the public were ignored by the then ruling Kuomintang.

The charges brought up against the protesters when Taiwan has evolved and become a democratic society were inconceivable, when militias in the early days of the Republic of China tolerated similar student movements and former President Lee Teng-hui met and listened to student protesters in the 1990s.

Lin's first move is a good start for the new government, because it followed democratic principles. (May 24, 2016)

Related:
●May 23: Government changes course on Sunflower Movement protesters

@China Times: Start building mutual trust between DPP, CPC; develop a new cross-strait consensus

China has been reiterating the importance of Taiwan's new government recognizing the 1992 consensus as the political foundation of relations across the Taiwan Strait.

But Taiwan's new administration under President Tsai Ing-wen said comments in her inauguration speech that the 1992 meeting reached "joint acknowledgments and understandings" showed maximum good will.

Beijing's deep concerns about the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have been based on its pro-independence stance, while Taiwan's new ruling party has been biased against China. This has led to a lack of mutual trust between the two sides.

Tsai called for both sides to leave behind historical baggage in her May 20 speech. With official channels between Taiwan and China halted, the DPP and the Communist Party of China (CPC) should reach out to each other and improve mutual understanding.

This will help open up opportunities for both sides to communicate and work together, in order to sort out their differences, while allowing both sides to address the economic challenges they face. (May 24, 2016)

@Liberty Times: Punishing Taiwan by offering unilateral benefits?

Chinese authorities have sent seemingly inconsistent messages in response to the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen, calling her speech an incomplete test paper but stressing continuing efforts to expand and push for exchanges across the Taiwan Strait in all areas.

Chinese business magazine Caixin Weekly even suggested that Beijing unilaterally announce the implementation of the trade-in-services deal, ratification of which has been stalled by Taiwan's Legislature since 2014, to win Taiwanese people's hearts and increase the co-dependence of industries in Taiwan and China.

Nobody can ignore China -- now the world's second-largest economy -- but that should not stop Taiwan from looking elsewhere to grow trade at a time when China is experiencing slower growth and the economic rivalry between Taiwan and China is growing.

The Chinese media's message shows Beijing is placing hope in Taiwanese people, who are the most essential factor in cross-strait relations and should be addressed wisely by politicians on both sides.

Related:
●May 20: Beijing describes Tsai's speech as 'incomplete test paper'

@United Daily News: New Southbound Policy's weakness and substance

The New Southbound Policy is an important part of President Tsai Ing-wen's economic policy, seeking to better connect Taiwan and Southeast Asia in order to extend Taiwan's economic and soft power in the region.

It is "new" because similar policies pursued by Tsai's predecessors in the past decades achieved limited results.

However, the new government cannot ignore China's role in the global supply chain, as it produces several key components, and in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a key trade deal for Southeast Asia that is currently being negotiated.

Taiwan's total investments in Southeast Asia actually exceeded those made by China last year, showing that Taiwan has in fact moved into the region.

The real issue for the new government lies in the political reality that Southeast Asian countries generally lean toward China and sit on the fence, making it difficult for Taiwan to achieve political breakthroughs based on economic results.