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,…

Taiwan Turns to Soft Power

Taiwan Turns to Soft PowerTaiwan is in the middle of an enormous national effort to promote its soft power, aiming both to improve and enrich society and at the same time stimulate growth in an era when it has lost many of the industries that drove the economy during the past 50 years as one of Asia’s original tigers.…

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 Election: The Strait is Wide but the Emperor is Still too Close

Taiwan Election: The Strait is Wide but the Emperor is Still too CloseThe sweeping victory of Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan’s Jan. 16 elections was far more than just a rejection of a divided Kuomintang and an indictment of the recent performance of the luckless outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou. The election of Taiwan's first female president was a reaction against the aggressive nationalism…

Taiwan Electorate Appears Certain to Reject Beijing’s advances

Taiwan Electorate Appears Certain to Reject Beijing’s advancesOn Jan 16, history appears to be in the making in Taiwan as citizens go to the polls to elect their president. Tsai Ing-wen, female candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has consistently maintained a substantial lead over two rival candidates and seems dead certain to be Taiwan’s first woman president. Pessimists say relations…

Taiwan Gets a New International-Class Museum

Taiwan Gets a New International-Class MuseumA majestic structure in the shape of a ballet dancer stands in a lake in what used to be sugar cane fields in southwest Taiwan. This is the southern branch of the National Palace Museum (NPM), which opened in Chiayi on December 29 after a journey of 14 years and an investment of NT$7.934 billion…

Taiwan: Political Predicament for the KMT, Dilemma for the DPP

Taiwan: Political Predicament for the KMT, Dilemma for the DPPWith the first-ever meeting in Singapore on Nov. 7 between the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China now a month old, the dust has settled enough to seek to assess its impact. The popular result was depressingly predictable for the flailing Kuomintang, the current ruling party. Recent polls show…

Xi-Ma Meeting to Bolster China’s Territorial Claims

Xi-Ma Meeting to Bolster China’s Territorial ClaimsThe widespread feeling in Taipei is that the unprecedented Singapore meeting on Nov. 7 between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou may be an election ploy that won’t have much effect saving the disastrous election campaign of the flagging Kuomintang Party for the Jan. 16,2016 polls. But it may be more important…