National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that while Taiwan has not been included in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), the United States is seeking to deepen its economic partnership with Taiwan. He also reiterated U.S. hopes for peace in the Taiwan Strait and concerns about a unilateral change in the status quo.
The Comprehensive Assessment Program for Junior High School Students ended. A total of 3,413 test takers need to take a make-up test due to testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is the highest number of make-up tests in a year since the pandemic.
So far this year, a total of 543 have died from the pandemic, with 55 percent dying within five days of testing positive and 9 percent confirmed positive after death. Su Ih-jen, former director of the Centers for Disease Control, stated that the close duration between diagnosis and death shows that both the epidemic prevention system and the health care system are problematic.
The Transitional Justice Commission (TJC) announced the 10th wave of criminal conviction revocations, including democracy advocates Shih Ming-teh and Lin Yi-hsiung. Now, all 41 defendants in the 1979 Kaohsiung Incident have been rehabilitated.
The TJC, which has operated since October 4, 2018 on an annual budget of NT$150 million (about US$5.1 million) and will be dissolved at the end of May, has rehabilitated a total of 5,983 criminal convictions.
President Joe Biden of the United States made it clear at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, on May 23 that if China used force, the United States would militarily intervene to defend Taiwan. It was one of the most forceful statements of an American president in support of Taiwan in decades. The White House immediately issued a statement denying the change in Taiwan policy. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also reiterated in his speech on May 26 that the “One China” policy remains unchanged, and the United States does not support Taiwan independence.
The Executive Yuan finalized a new wave of relief and stimulus measures with NT$345.6 million (about US$11.7 million) to subsidize the tourism, transportation, and dining industries hurt by the pandemic, as well as workers with reduced shifts. A total of 899,000 are expected to benefit from these measures.
However, the dining industry suggested that the government should provide subsidies based on the size of the restaurant. A uniform subsidy provides little help to larger businesses.
The Central Epidemic Command Center announced that effective May 26, those with a positive rapid test result confirmed by a physician would be confirmed positive.
Mayor Hou Yu-ih of New Taipei exclaimed that the central government took so long to implement his recommendation.
The pandemic is impacting private consumption. The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics lowered the expected economic growth rate this year to 3.91 percent, a sharp revision of 0.51 percentage points downward from the 4.42 percent figure in February.
As of May 28, a total of 10 children died due to the pandemic. Artist Kuo Yen-chun shared on Facebook the perspective of his medical personnel friends that so many children have left like this, which was alleged by Premier Su Tseng-chang to be a false rumor and should be investigated.
Chairman Eric Chu of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) criticized the government for using its cyber-army and state apparatus to pressure an ordinary citizen. He called upon those in public office affiliated with the party to support Kuo and children. Chu stressed that 10 children have died due to the virus and asked if 10 lives are considered few.