Daily Bloom, 7.15.14

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 15, 2014

DPP launches set of programs aimed at encouraging youth participation in politics. Announced by DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-Wen, in comments Tsai cited that many of the senior politicians of the current DPP began participating in politics at a young age. Though Tsai emphasized that participation in these programs would not be limited to DPP party members or nominees, the programs seem broadly aimed at sponsoring young politicians, providing them with a stipend of 30,000 NT and political training. Indeed, this would appear to be one of a series of responses in the wake of the Sunflower movement across the political spectrum aimed at encouraging youth participation in politics with the specter of 2016 elections on the horizon, including the formation of a youth advisory committee to the Executive Yuan. The disconnect of youth from electoral politics in Taiwan, inclusive of the Sunflower movement’s non-electoral nature, will likely be a growing issue in years to come.

Ma Ying-Jeou declares need for an “appropriate energy mix” for Taiwan. In comments at the Taiwan Sustainability Summit on Tuesday, Ma referenced his policy statements to move Taiwan towards nuclear-free energy three years ago, and cited Germany as a model for Taiwanese energy transition to emulate. Indeed, the conference was co-sponsored by German institutions including the German Institute Taipei and German Trade Office Taipei.

Meanwhile, the ongoing referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant has attained the endorsement of 120,000. This allows the referendum to move towards the second stage of the referendum, which requires the endorsement of over 904,000. While Taiwanese anti-nuclear politics saw a resurgence during Lin Yi-Hsiung’s hunger strike immediately the Legislative Yuan occupation, protests died down when the government agreed to a temporary halt on reactor construction and following the end of Lin’s hunger strike. However, dissatisfaction on the avowed “temporary” nature of the halt persists.

Kinmen Island negotiates economic and tourist relations with mainland China and Hong Kong. As stated by Kinmen Deputy Magistrate Wu Yu-chin on Tuesday, Kinmen is seeking to become a destination for tourists traveling between Hong Kong and Xiamen in China. Kinmen County officials have also been as of late attempting to secure a lower water price from Fujian Province in China in order to resolve the island’s water supply problem, efforts of which they said have been attempted for close to twenty years. Kinmen Island, though a Taiwanese territory, is located only several kilometers from China and was a site of mortar shelling from mainland China for some decades from the ‘50s to the ‘70s. The site is now a historical site of the Chinese Civil War. A documentary on the near-extinction of the horseshoe crab on Kinmen after the opening of Kinmen to mainland Chinese investment and building of a harbor, entitled The Lost Sea (刪海經), was released last month.