Daily Bloom, 7.17.14

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 17, 2014

King Pu-Tsung, popularly seen as Ma Ying-Jeou’s political enforcer, continues to raise controversy with visits to government bureaus outside of his jurisdiction. King, formerly Taiwan’s representative to the US, was recalled in February immediately before the Sunflower movement to a position as secretary-general of the National Security Council. King subsequently began embroiled in controversy because of visits to the National Police Agency, the Bureau of Investigation, the Immigration Department, and as of yesterday the National Security Bureau, which are viewed as attempts to enforce his authority upon the agencies despite that he may have violated constitutional jurisdictions in doing so. Indeed, as the controversy continues and King continues to visit Taiwanese security agencies, it may be that Ma is attempting tow the line with Taiwan’s security apparatuses.

National Central University states that Taiwan’s photovoltaic technology is among the world’s best. Namely, Taiwanese photovoltaic (PV) technology’s strengths are its capacities to produce cheaply but with high rates of efficiency. However, the Taiwanese photovoltaic industry faces strong competition from China, which can oftentimes produce cheaper. When anti-dumping regulations and tariffs were passed against China in 2013 by the US, against Chinese PV producers selling under production rate prices to flood the market, the Taiwanese PV industry saw an upswing, but close ties between the Chinese and Taiwanese PV industry led to the applications of punitive measures to Taiwan because of Chinese PV makers’ practice of selling Taiwanese PV cells in order to avoid American tariffs.

95% of buildings on Orchid Island found to be without proper permits. This includes the 7-Eleven which has raised recent controversy because of fear of it displacing traditional groceries as the first 7-Eleven built on the island. Orchid Island has, of course, been the site of much controversy in recent years regarding the nuclear waste disposal facility built on it, the high indigenous population, housing policies towards the native population of the island viewed as unfair, and attempts to nonetheless step up tourism to the island.

Tomorrow, July 18th, marks the one year anniversary of the demolition of the Chang Pharmacy in Dapu, Miaoli. Without summarizing the entirety of the proceedings, Dapu, Miaoli has been in the past two years the site of forced housing evictions for commercial development and the organization of protests against evictions largely led by students. Some have pointed to the development of the activist structures and networks behind the Sunflower movement as having their roots in counter-protests against evictions in Miaoli, indeed, some prominent members of the Black Island Youth Front have their background in Miaoli eviction counter-protests. After the demolition of the Chang Pharmacy in July of last year, owner Chang Sen-wen was found dead under a bridge in September; the death was ruled a suicide, but there are those who remain suspicious.

The Daily Bloom will be on site on Miaoli covering the one anniversary of the Chang Pharmacy demolition today. Watch for us. We will be updating our Facebook page with live updates.