Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng confirmed for the first time in the Legislative Yuan that Taiwan is negotiating with the United States, which intends to transfer its arms inventory in East Asia to Taiwan. As for which type of ammunition is of the greatest quantity? Minister Chiu stated that it is inconvenient to explain this publicly. American media commentator Garland Nixon, who used Twitter to expose that the Biden administration has a plan to "destroy Taiwan," responded on Twitter that Taiwan is fast becoming the Ukraine of the Pacific.
The terms of four grand justices will expire at the end of September. President Tsai Ing-wen approved a 2023 review committee for nominating grand justices of the Judicial Yuan, with Vice President William Lai as the convener. The committee will help the president nominate candidates and consult the Legislative Yuan for approval, after which all 15 incumbent grand justices will be nominated by President Tsai.
The Central Standing Committee of the Kuomintang (KMT) discussed regulations governing the nomination for legislative and presidential candidates in 2024. Secretary-General Justin Huang stated that members of the Central Standing Committee suggested recruitment over a primary election, but the party will solicit opinions from all sides to build consensus. Chairman Eric Chu will not include himself in the presidential polling. This is interpreted as Mr. Chu not running for president in 2024.
The Central Executive Committee of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) discussed the nomination process for legislators in the 2024 elections. Considering that local councilors were recently elected, an immediate run for legislator may affect social perception, so the party recommends that incumbent local councilors not run for the Legislative Yuan. The move is interpreted as an attempt to contain Hou Yu-ih, a popular contender for president within the KMT who has just been re-elected as mayor of New Taipei.
President Tsai Ing-wen will visit diplomatic allies Guatemala and Belize in Central America and plans to make a rest stop in the United States on her return trip, probably at the end of March. Chairwoman Hsu Chia-ching of the Overseas Community Affairs Council confirmed that there will be four banquet receptions hosted by overseas compatriots. The east coast location is confirmed to be New York, while the west coast location may be in Los Angeles. According to Bloomberg, Speaker Kevin McCarthy of the U.S. House of Representatives confirmed plans to meet President Tsai in the United States but stressed that this does not mean ruling out a future trip to Taiwan.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) announced that starting March 10, direct flights with 10 destinations in mainland China will be resumed. The direct flight points reopened include Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Qingdao, Wuhan, Ningbo, and Zhengzhou. The MAC also previewed 13 charter flight destinations and resumption of the "Mini-Three Links" passenger transit by the Qingming Festival holiday.
A soldier of the Army's Lieyu Garrison Brigade was rescued by the mainland Chinese coast guard after his attempting to swim to the other side of the Taiwan Strait wearing a life jacket. The Taiwan Affairs Office of Fujian Province stated that a man was indeed rescued at sea, but he was sent to the hospital immediately, and his identity cannot be confirmed yet. Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng stated that a task force is investigating the facts and asked observers to avoid using the term "deserter."
Online magazine The Diplomat reported that outgoing President David Panuelo of Micronesia, a Pacific Island country, suggested that its Congress switch to establishing diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Mr. Panuelo revealed that in February, he had discussed with Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu that if Taiwan and Micronesia established diplomatic relations, then Taiwan would be asked to provide an aid of US$50 million. Minister Wu admitted in the Legislative Yuan that he had indeed contacted and exchanged perspectives with the Micronesian president.