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…

China Declares All-out Diplomatic War on Taiwan

China Declares All-out Diplomatic War on TaiwanWith its June 13 coup de foudre in switching Panama’s diplomatic ties from Taiwan to Beijing, China has set Taiwan firmly on the course toward internationally isolated pariahdom, a sudden burst of diplomatic pressure that appears to have been generated by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party government’s refusal to knuckle under to the so-called “1992…

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…

Trump’s Uncomfortable ‘Bargaining Chip’ Across the Strait

Trump’s Uncomfortable ‘Bargaining Chip’ Across the StraitThere can be little doubt that Taiwan is entering unsafe waters as a result of the sensational early-December telephone call between US President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Chinese officials have been remarkably restrained so far, presumably in order not to feed a vicious cycle of insults and tensions versus the incoming US…

Taipei Leans Toward China Peace Deal

Taipei Leans Toward China Peace DealTaiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, strangled by economic restrictions by Beijing, has unexpectedly begun endorsing the idea of inking a peace agreement with its archfoe, a dramatic turnaround in the party’s China policy.  Ever since the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War in 1927, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Republic of China…

China’s Latest Taiwan Strategy: Divide and Conquer

China’s Latest Taiwan Strategy: Divide and ConquerBeijing is continuing to tighten the screws on Taiwan, with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun now saying that China is only willing to cooperate with Taiwanese cities and counties that explicitly accept that the island is part of China. China has been blowing cold ever since the anti-unification Democratic Progressive Party came to…

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…

Expect More China-Taiwan Tensions

Expect More China-Taiwan TensionsWith newly-sworn Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen wriggling around a Beijing demand that she verbally acknowledge the “1992 Consensus,” a cryptic version of the One China principle agreed by her China-friendly Kuomintang predecessors, China is likely to wage a four-year campaign to convince the island of the folly of voting for the mainland-wary Democratic Progressive Party…

Taiwan’s Outgoing President May Face Charges

Taiwan’s Outgoing President May Face ChargesIf lawyers and civic groups have their way, Taiwan’s outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou, who leaves office today, (May 19) could well follow his predecessor, Chen Shui-bian, into prison. While Ma will be protected in civilian life by eight to 12 security officers, his team of legal advisors might need to be even bigger. Taiwanese lawyers…

Fish, Tourists New Pawns in China Battle Over Taiwan

Fish, Tourists New Pawns in China Battle Over TaiwanThere is growing suspicion in Taiwan that China is trying to use commercial pressures by cutting back on tourism and fish imports to force the country’s new President, Tsai Ing-wen into acknowledging that Taiwan is a part of China in her May 20 inaugural speech. The most visible target is Taiwanese-farmed milkfish, or Chanos chanos,…
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