The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a major defeat in the local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as party chairwoman, while Premier Su Tseng-chang verbally resigned but then accepted the president's request for him to stay in his post, stirring public outrage. DPP Taipei City Councilor Wang Shih-chien fired the first shot, asking "war criminal" Su to step down. Chairman You Ying-lung of the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation also criticized that President Tsai should issue an "edict" to identify the core "war criminals." Otherwise, the DPP will be completely annihilated in 2024.
Director Sandra Oudkirk of the American Institute in Taiwan stated at a press conference that avoiding war is the shared responsibility of all policymakers, stakeholders, and diplomats. The flames of war have caused horrific tragedies, just like the ongoing war in Ukraine. Everyone should do their utmost to prevent war from happening.
The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), Executive Yuan, released the latest economic forecast. Due to the slowdown in export momentum, the annual economic growth rate for the year was revised down to 3.06 percent and next year down to 2.75 percent from 3.08 percent, dipping below the 3 percent level. The DGBAS specifically named the foreign CHIPS Act as an important uncertainty affecting Taiwan's economic prospects.
With the easing of pandemic restrictions, masks no longer have to be worn outdoors. People will be permitted to toast table by table, and masks do not have to be worn in certain indoor situations, such as giving a speech or lecture or taking a personal or group photograph. This is the first relaxation of mask-wearing measures since the government imposed a mandate some 555 days ago requiring masks both indoors and outdoors.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) 5-nanometer plant in Arizona is scheduled to hold its first tool-in ceremony on December 6. It is reported that the plant will also produce advanced 4-nanometer chips in the future. The White House confirmed that President Joe Biden will attend the ceremony. Observers interpret the occasion as an endorsement and victory in the Biden administration's policy to return semiconductor manufacturing to the United States.
The Taipei City Government banned single-use plastic cups in 2,206 beverage stores across the city. Starting December 1, the municipal government will conduct checks at random. If a company fails to make improvements after counseling, then it may be fined up to NT$6,000 (about US$196) in accordance with the Waste Disposal Act.
Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Su Ching-chuan lost the Pingtung County Executive election by more than 10,000 votes. Su questioned flaws in the ballot counting process and unfair counting of votes. He retained an attorney to file a lawsuit at the Pingtung District Court for invalid election and filed a counterclaim against the dismissal by the court of his application to preserve evidence. According to the Pingtung District Court, a hearing will be held on December 5 related to Su's request to recount votes. Pingtung County Executive-elect Chou Chun-mi expressed respect for Su's legal actions.
Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan was found liable by an academic ethics committee of National Taiwan University for plagiarizing his master thesis, and his master degree was revoked. Cheng issued a statement on the evening of December 2 expressing regret. He will face the decision calmly and will not file an appeal.
DPP Legislator Tsai Shih-ing, who ran unsuccessfully for Keelung mayor, was also found by National Taipei University to be liable for seriously plagiarizing his doctoral dissertation. The university revoked his doctoral degree. Tsai explained that footnotes were missing in the main text of his dissertation. He does not admit plagiarism and will file an appeal in accordance with the law.
Chiang Hsin-yi, a complainant, stated that many politicians in the elections this year were found guilty of serious plagiarism of their graduate thesis papers. The misconduct is not only a violation of law and infringement but also reflects problems with the honesty and integrity of politicians.