January 11, 2020

Tsai’s Record Victory Moves Taiwan Further From Xi’s Grasp
(Bloomberg) -- Xi Jinping’s goal of bringing Taiwan under his control moved further out of his grasp as the island re-elected a president who has vowed to defend its sovereignty, drawing accusations of cheating and voter intimidation from Beijing. Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide victory over China-friendly opposition challenger Han Kuo-yu to clinch a second term in elections Saturday. Her victory, an emphatic public mandate with a record number of votes, is the fourth time since 2000 that her Democratic Progressive Party -- which advocates for Taiwan’s formal independence -- has secured the presidency. A commentary in China’s official Xinhua news agency said she had employed underhanded tactics. “Tsai and the DPP used dirty tactics such as cheating, repression and intimidation to get votes, fully exposing their selfish, greedy and evil nature,” it said. “Anti-China political forces in the West openly intervened in Taiwan’s elections and supported Tsai in order to contain the Chinese mainland and to prevent the two sides of the Taiwan Strait from getting closer.” Tsai claimed roughly 8.2 million votes, or 57.1%, with Han trailing with 5.5 million and 38.6%. The DPP also held onto its majority in the legislature, albeit with a reduced margin.She has vowed that Taiwan will never be unified with China as long she is in power. Meanwhile Han, of the Kuomintang party, had struggled to find a consistent message on China. Taiwan’s complex relationship with China is the main political fissure in its society, though issues like wages, housing and air quality were also important to voters.In a victory address in Taipei, Tsai said voters had “put democratic values into practice” and that the world should see Taiwan as a partner, not an issue. She urged Beijing to resume cross-strait dialogues and negotiations as equals, and said she hoped the two sides could build a “sustainable and healthy” approach for exchange.Bloomberg Opinion’s Tim Culpan on Saturday’s results“This election is about having democracy and freedom, and not having democracy and freedom,” she said.Tsai was swept to victory by a resilient economy and stock market and protests against China’s grip in neighboring Hong Kong, which have confronted Taiwanese voters with the potential perils of closer ties with the mainland.“I voted for Tsai Ing-wen because I don’t want to lose Taiwan’s freedom,” Rita Huang, a 34-year-old public servant, said after voting in Taipei.China QuestionBeijing has stepped up its strategy of offering an array of threats and incentives in the hope of persuading Taiwanese to begin the process of unifying with its giant neighbor in the four years since Tsai first came to power, and voters in the world’s only Chinese-speaking democracy faced pressure to pick sides in a global battle for influence between the U.S. and China. But the island’s inhabitants have proven largely immune to China’s coercion.“China has failed to shift public opinion in favor of eventual unification, and many of its coercive measures have been counterproductive, pushing the Taiwanese people away,” said Natasha Kassam, a research fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney who studies Taiwan and Chinese politics. “The more that China has attempted to impose a Chinese identity on Taiwan, the more that the people have identified as Taiwanese, rather than Chinese.Chinese president Xi has reaffirmed his desire to use the same “one country, two systems” framework by which Beijing governs Hong Kong to bring the democracy of 23 million people back under its control. Tsai rejects the prospect, and her victory Saturday likely means four more years of no talks between the two sides on one of the region’s main potential flash points, a disappointment for those who had cast their votes for Han.No matter how the situation in Taiwan changes, “Taiwan is part of China,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a statement after the vote. China calls on the international community to adhere to the one-China principle and oppose Taiwan independence, Geng said.U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo congratulated Tsai on her victory and said in a statement that Taiwan had demonstrated the strength of its democratic system, making it “a model for the Indo-Pacific region and a force for good in the world.”China’s Next Crisis Brews in Taiwan’s Upcoming Election“I support closer and more peaceful ties with China and am against independence for Taiwan,” Betty Chang, a 60-year-old accountant, said at a Taipei polling station. “If we choose independence, China will attack us for sure.”No ContactA Japanese colony for the first half of the 20th century, Taiwan came under the control of China’s Nationalist government after World War II. It became a refuge for Chiang Kai-shek and his troops as they fled the Communists at the end of China’s civil war.China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, cut off all contact with Tsai’s government after she declined to endorse the “one-China” policy following her inauguration in 2016. Beijing has since sought to further isolate Taipei diplomatically by convincing smaller nations in the Pacific, Africa and Central America to switch sides.Xi said early last year that Taiwan was central to his plans to “rejuvenate” China in a speech that closely tied the Taiwan issue to his pledge to make China a global power by 2050. China “must and will be united, which is an inevitable requirement for the historical rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era,” he told a gathering in Beijing to mark the 40th anniversary of a landmark overture to Taipei after the U.S. and China established relations.(Updates with vote tallies, Xinhua commentary)\--With assistance from Adela Lin, Miaojung Lin and Cindy Wang.To contact the reporters on this story: Chinmei Sung in Taipei at csung4@bloomberg.net;Debby Wu in Taipei at dwu278@bloomberg.net;Peter Martin in Beijing at pmartin138@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: John Liu at jliu42@bloomberg.net, ;Samson Ellis at sellis29@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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