1H2017 Review: Taiwan

1H2017 Review: TaiwanTaiwan’s gross domestic product is headed for its fastest clip since 2014, according to an economic think tank. GDP will probably exceed 2%, according to a forecast released in April by the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER). Darson Chiu, deputy director of macroeconomic forecasting at TIER, said the figure is not necessarily “a very…

Long-Delayed Taiwan MTR Line Finally Opens

Long-Delayed Taiwan MTR Line Finally OpensAfter 20 years of political trench warfare and a flawed tender process, travelers arriving at Taiwan’s main gateway, the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, will finally get a gleaming new train to take them into Taipei.  The long-delayed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line linking Taoyuan and Taipei is finally completed and opened to the public on…

Taiwan Seeks Kuomintang’s Fabled Riches

Taiwan Seeks Kuomintang’s Fabled RichesWith Taiwan’s Kuomintang completely out of power following January elections, a government committee is being formed to try to get the state’s hands on the party’s fabulous wealth. The Far Eastern Economic Review, in the mid-1990s, dubbed the party “the world’s richest.” It has allegedly been hiding assets in affiliated companies, think tanks, offshore banks…

Will China Bullying Hurt Taiwan’s Economy?

Will China Bullying Hurt Taiwan’s Economy?Although relations across the Taiwan Strait are entering a new ice age, cooperation at a working level is likely to continue, with Beijing not wanting to alienate the taishang, the hundreds of thousands Taiwanese doing business with or in China.  Nonetheless, pressure on Taiwan isn’t going away, and both sides must play a careful game…

China-Taiwan Tunnel a Nonstarter, Taipei Says

China-Taiwan Tunnel a Nonstarter, Taipei SaysThe announcement last week in Beijing that China wants to build a 200-km tunnel to connect Taiwan to the mainland has been met with deep skepticism in Taiwan, with one critic suggesting the plan might have been fueled by drink. “These tunnel proposals were made after banquets and alcohol, and I have never heard of…

Taiwan’s Tsai Has to get the Economy Moving

Taiwan’s Tsai Has to get the Economy MovingTaiwan’s president-elect Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide partly thanks to reaction against cozying up to Xi Jinping’s China and partly to the state of the economy. Xi’s attitudes are unlikely to change and help the Kuomintang recover its fortunes thanks to the mainland becoming kinder and softer. Doing much about the economy is however quite…

Taiwan to Join Submarine Race

Taiwan to Join Submarine RaceThirteen years after the Bush Administration promised Taiwan eight diesel-electric submarines, and 11 years after the Taiwanese walked away from an opportunity to obtain used but top-notch Italian boats, cautious optimism is emerging that the island’s navy will in the coming decade command a submarine fleet that can deter both Chinese aggression and Vietnam from…

Taiwanese Investors Bear Brunt of Viet Riots

Taiwanese Investors Bear Brunt of Viet RiotsTaiwanese businesses in Vietnam have borne the brunt of rampaging mobs protesting China’s recent installation of an oil rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea. The mobs ransacked and torched hundreds of foreign-owned factories, most of them Taiwanese rather than mainland Chinese. The attackers, who appear to have been allowed by the government…

Taiwan-Japan Pact: Bad News for Bluefin

Conservationists and fishery experts are deeply worried that an early April pact in which Japan granted Taiwan generous fishing rights in the waters surrounding the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands could spell the extinction of the phenomenally valuable bluefin tuna in the region. The islands are administered by Japan but are subject to competing claims by Japan, China…

Taiwan’s Tedious Nuclear Saga

At long last, Taiwan's Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, still uncompleted after what might be a record-setting 14 years of construction and slated for commissioning in 2016, has now entered the phase where all systems are undergoing testing. The fate of No. 4, having cost US$10 billion so far, remains hazy. The opposition Democratic Progressive Party…
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