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…

Economic Outlook 2017: Taiwan

Economic Outlook 2017: TaiwanTaiwan’s economy is expected to continue its recovery in 2017 on the back of a pick-up in exports as the global economy improves. However, the upward trend is expected to remain gradual due to an uncertain international and domestic political environment. According to the government’s Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Taiwan’s economy got back…

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…

Billions at Stake for Taiwan Over Mainland Visa Chops

Billions at Stake for Taiwan Over Mainland Visa ChopsThe viability of Taiwan’s biggest infrastructure project in half a century, a massive US$16.5 billion air terminal complex called the Taoyuan Aerotropolis, designed to lure international transit travelers and investors across the Pacific, hangs at least partly on the semantics of passport stamps. It is not an easy question, and the answer to it may…