Daily Bloom, 7.22.14

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 22, 2014

Control Yuan member Huang Huang-hsiung publishes report into KMT party assets. The KMT has come under fire in the past for that after Taiwanese democratization, the KMT refused to turn over party assets dating from the Martial Law period to the Taiwanese government. What is in question is that after coming to Taiwan in 1949, the KMT also brought a significant amount of party resources over from mainland China, and it has sometimes been suggested that the KMT may be one of the wealthiest political parties in the world as a result. Huang referred to KMT assets as the “Ring” of Taiwanese politics, citing comparison to Sauron’s ring in the Lord of the Rings fictional trilogy. Huang is a two-term member of the Control Yuan who has not been nominated for another term, and he cites the lack of interest of other Control Yuan members into this longstanding problem of Taiwanese politics as his reason for publishing the report.

First meeting of Executive Yuan youth advisory group held. The call for the formation of a youth advisory committee to the Executive Yuan was, of course, a response to Sunflower movement and the view that it was of necessity for politicians to remain in touch with youth. Thus, the announcement of the formation of the committee came after a speech by President Ma citing the disconnect between youth and political politicians. Twenty-seven advisors were named from 248 applicants between the ages of 18 and 35, but two resigned before the meeting, and three did not attend the meeting. The meeting, which lasted 90 minutes, was not open to the media, but participants were divided into six groups, each with a different focus. This is not the only effort aimed at raising the level of youth participation in Taiwanese politics recently, including a DPP young politicians initiative, and the Mosaic program aimed at allowing young leaders from countries abroad to get to know Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also announced a summer camp to allow Taiwanese young people to better know international affairs, however, to be held in English

Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch declares need for maintaining Nuclear Reactors No. 1, 2, and 3 after halting of work on Nuclear Reactor No. 4. The Taiwanese government has cited the necessity of maintaining nuclear power for Taiwan’s power supply in recent months, although President Ma pledged as recently as 2013 that Taiwan would move towards a policy of no nuclear energy. Nuclear Reactor No. 1 is currently reaching the limit of storage for spent nuclear power rods which will necessitate the construction of new storage, but storage of nuclear waste materials has generally been controversial as well, most prominently in regards to storage facilities on Lanyu Island.