Lawrence Chung

Lawrence Chung

Lawrence is a contributor to Inkstone. He covers major news in Taiwan for the South China Morning Post.

How playing up a ‘sense of crisis’ could keep Taiwan’s president in office
Chemistry student Chen Pin-yu will be voting for the first time when Taiwan heads to the polls in January, and she has already made her choice. “I’ll be giving my vote to Tsai Ing-wen because she is more capable of defending Taiwan than Han Kuo-yu or James Soong,” the 21-year-old, who studies at Tamkang University in Taipei, said. Chen was concerned about the self-ruled island’s fate if President Tsai lost to Han or Soong, whom the student said “would turn a blind eye to Beijing eroding our sovereignty.” Young voters like Chen will be crucial for the three presidential candidates on January 11, analysts say, in an election seen as a choice between protecting the island’s sovereignty and kee
How playing up a ‘sense of crisis’ could keep Taiwan’s president in office
Taiwan opens doors to students fleeing Hong Kong turmoil
University students fleeing campus turmoil in Hong Kong can attend lectures at colleges in Taiwan to continue their studies, the Taiwanese authorities said on Wednesday. Students would be allowed to sit in on courses without credits for the rest of the school term, which runs from early December until January 3. “Regardless of whether they are from Taiwan or not, university students in Hong Kong whose studies have been interrupted by the protests in Hong Kong are welcome to register with a number of our universities here if they want to continue their studies,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Education said. Students who want to qualify for a degree would have to apply through the ministry. The offer
Taiwan opens doors to students fleeing Hong Kong turmoil
Facebook vows to ‘protect’ Taiwan’s election from fake news
Facebook said on Tuesday that it would step up efforts to counter disinformation and state-backed influence operations ahead of the Taiwanese presidential election in January. While it does not control the self-ruled island, Beijing claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has sought its return to the mainland fold.  Taiwan’s authorities have reported an average of 30 million cross-border cyberattacks each month this year, with a sizeable number from the Chinese mainland suspected of trying to affect the result of the upcoming election. Facebook said its 35,000 worldwide staff will step up their efforts to check content and beef up security starting in mid-November, when the island’s presi
Facebook vows to ‘protect’ Taiwan’s election from fake news
Murder suspect in Hong Kong wants to surrender. It’s not so easy
A political dispute between Hong Kong and Taiwan could prevent the prime suspect in a gruesome murder case that has triggered months of unrest from surrendering himself. The suspect, Chan Tong-kai, agreed to voluntarily leave Hong Kong for Taiwan to face justice for allegedly killing his pregnant girlfriend on the self-ruled island in 2018. The infamous case sparked an extradition debate that rocked Hong Kong. Chan, 20, has avoided trial for murder since his return to Hong Kong, which cannot prosecute crimes committed in other jurisdictions. He has agreed to surrender to Taiwanese authorities after finishing an 18-month prison sentence in Hong Kong on Wednesday for committing lesser crimes. 
Murder suspect in Hong Kong wants to surrender. It’s not so easy
Taiwan grapples with its identity on national day
As Taiwan celebrates its birthday as the Republic of China on Thursday, something is missing: the seas of flags that used to fly all over the island to mark the anniversary on October 10, colloquially called the Double Tenth. The Republic of China (ROC) is officially 108 years old. It is older than the People’s Republic of China because its founding dates back to October 10, 1911: the start of an armed uprising that eventually ended thousands of years of imperial rule. “I remember when I was young, countless ROC national flags depicting the white sun and blue sky on a crimson red were flying everywhere during the Double Tenth national day, while huge arches with the national emblem and symbo
Taiwan grapples with its identity on national day
Pop star attacked at Taiwan march in support of Hong Kong protests
Cantopop star Denise Ho was attacked with paint on Sunday while she was attending a march in Taipei in support of anti-government protests in Hong Kong. The singer-activist was caught off guard when a member of the Taiwan-based Chinese Unification Promotion Party splashed red paint at her while she was talking to reporters near Taipei’s parliament. The attack came amid heightened tensions in Hong Kong on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. While Beijing has planned massive parades to celebrate the occasion, pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have vowed to take to the streets to demand accountability and greater democracy. And in self-ruled Tai
Pop star attacked at Taiwan march in support of Hong Kong protests
Hong Kong protests are a game changer – for Taiwan
At the Purple Garden Hotel in downtown Taipei, there is little sign that it had once hosted Chan Tong-kai, the Hong Kong student who confessed to killing his pregnant girlfriend in February last year. It was a gruesome murder that, unpredictably, helped to plunge Hong Kong into its worst political crisis since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997 and has spilled over into Taiwan’s elections next year. These days, workers at the hotel are reluctant to discuss the case. Chan, 19, has been sentenced in Hong Kong on money laundering charges stemming from the killing. But 19 months after the murder, in a stunning butterfly effect, Hong Kong’s plan to amend laws ostensibly to
Hong Kong protests are a game changer – for Taiwan
Hong Kong protesters buy gas masks in Taiwan as local supply dwindles
Sales of gas masks have soared in Taiwan, with some shops reportedly running out of stock in the past month as Hongkongers snap up supplies from the island to protect themselves during anti-government protests.  A sales manager at Taipei-based Ceachain Enterprise, a wholesale and online supplier of protective equipment, said the company had triple-digit growth in sales of gas masks and filters compared with the same time last year. “We are running out of stock of [one model] and it will take three months to get more from the manufacturer,” she said, adding that other models that were just as effective were still in stock. Demand for masks and other equipment underscores the intensified campa
Hong Kong protesters buy gas masks in Taiwan as local supply dwindles
A new political party vows to turn Taiwan into a ‘normal country’
A group of supporters of Taiwan independence is set to announce a new political party this weekend, in a move that could affect the incumbent president’s chances of being re-elected next year.  The party, to be named Formosa Alliance, would support outright independence for the self-ruled island.  Beijing claims Taiwan as its territory and has threatened to take it by force if necessary. The Chinese Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, began ruling Taiwan in 1945 after the second world war and moved its government there in 1949 after it lost a civil war against the Communist Party.  Taiwan eventually democratized and held its first direct presidential election in 1996.  But Taiwan is not offic
A new political party vows to turn Taiwan into a ‘normal country’
Taiwan votes to legalize same-sex marriage
Taiwan’s legislature voted to legalize gay marriage on Friday in a landmark move that sees the self-ruled island become the first in Asia to recognize same-sex partnerships. From next Friday, gay couples in Taiwan can enter official wedlock after registering their marriage with government agencies – a result following an article-by-article review of a government bill widely debated by supporters and opponents. The result drew thunderous applause from some 40,000 supporters waiting outside the legislature despite heavy rain. The bill grants gay couples most of the rights given to their heterosexual counterparts under the civil code. It also grants one of the partners the right to adopt a chil
Taiwan votes to legalize same-sex marriage