Daily Bloom, 7.11.14, 7.12.14, and 7.13.14, Weekend Edition

Welcome to the Daily Bloom! The Daily Bloom will be a daily shortform blog with updates on the day’s political going-ons. If something particularly exciting happening in Taiwan, we will be providing live updates on our Facebook page and Twitter account. At the end of the day, we will compile the live updates to provide a chronological timeline of the day’s events. If not, we will simply report on what happened that day, or what might be of note that happened. If you have news tips about what would be interesting to cover, send to [email protected]!

July 11, 12, and 13, 2014

Reports: Taiwan using unmanned drones to surveil the Taiwan strait to prevent Chinese incursions: As reported on by the Liberty Times, AFP, South China Morning Post, and China Post, drones based in Taitung have now expanded surveillance to the Taiwan Strait.  Does this foretell increased tensions across the strait?  One may, of course, speculate as to reactions from China.  Nevertheless, the current question in the air is as to whether Taiwan will be integrated into American military strategies in the East Asian region broadly aimed at the containment of China in the near future—indeed, reports also suggest that America is interested in the drone program which began in March and currently numbers 32 drones.  The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense refused to comment on the matter, however.

Minister of Education Chiang Wei-Ting embroiled in controversy over academic fraud: The controversy in question stems from the withdrawal of of 60 papers published by Chen Chen-Yuan in the Journal of Vibration and Control by the publication earlier this month, on the basis of fraudulent reviews.  Chiang was listed as a co-author on five of these papers but, for his part, he claims that he was not aware his name was listed as a co-author on these papers.  Chiang, originally a civil engineering professor, was appointed Minister of Education in February 2012.

KMT Legislator Alex Tsai continues to court controversy, calling Sunflower student protestors “pigs”: Tsai, always a controversial figure, previously courted controversy in regards to the Sunflower movement after an incident during April in which he did not stop his car for 1 KM when two protestors attempting to prevent him from leaving the Legislative Yuan premises became lodged on its hood.

President Ma Ying-Jeou throws support behind Sean Lien, currently running for Mayor of Taipei: Lien is the son of Lien Chan, former chairman of the KMT and vice president of Taiwan.  Critics, however, have often pointed to Lien’s lack of any political experience.  This declaration of support comes after there having been rumors of factional rivalry in the KMT through which Lien and Ma found themselves at odds.  As there is a longstanding precedent of mayors of Taipei winning eventual presidency of Taiwan, this is not insignificant.