Category Archives: Taiwan home affairs & society

Taiwan home affairs and society



Taiwan’s enduring death penalty

The pace of executions in Taiwan has waxed and waned over recent decades — after a nearly five-year pause in executions, 33 people were executed between 2010 and 2016. Today, the death penalty remains legal, popular and contentious

4 OCTOBER 2017

 Meeting Of Minds: Taiwan’s Yushan Forum slated to become an important dialogue platform

 In a significant development, Taiwan is preparing to host the first edition of the Yushan Forum on October 11 and 12 to complement its New Southbound Policy of engagement with 18 countries in Asean, South Asia and Oceania


The White Wolf of Taiwan

 Zhang Anle and his solution for the cross-strait dilemma


Taiwan’s opposition leader faces internal and external challenges

Supporters of the KMT feel increasingly helpless at home and abroad. If the KMT further abandons its various ties and linkages with mainland China, it may well literally mean the end of the ROC at an earlier date. Can Wu reverse the unfavorable trend? The 2020 presidential election would be definitely decisive


Tsai names Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te as premier

President Tsai Ing-wen named Tainan City Mayor Lai Ching-te as replacement for outgoing Premier Lin Chuan during a news conference at the Presidential Office Sept. 5 in Taipei City


Taiwanese premier resigns amid rising public discontent, but says he completed his major missions

Taiwan will appoint a new premier and form a new cabinet later this week following the resignation of incumbent Lin Chuan amid growing criticism of the government’s performance

15 AUGUST 2017

Minister resigns over massive Taiwan blackout

Taiwan’s Economic Affairs Minister Lee Chih-kung resigned after a malfunction at the island’s largest natural gas plant on Tuesday (Aug 15) caused a massive blackout that affected millions of households amid a heatwave

8 JULY 2017

Taiwan’s president is now less popular than Trump. Here’s why

Tsai’s approval rating sank to 33 % in June, down from just 39 % a month earlier

10 JUNE 2017

‘Tremendous loss to Taiwan’: Acclaimed director Chi Po-lin killed in helicopter crash on assignment

Acclaimed Taiwanese director Chi Po-lin, 52, have died in a helicopter crash on Saturday while filming the sequel of award-winning environmental documentary Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above

28 MAY 2017

From friends to bitter enemies: Taiwan president refuses to pardon Chen Shui-bian

Former President Chen Shui-bian, on medical parole from a 20-year jail sentence for corruption, is challenging his ex-protege Tsai Ing-wen, who has refused to give him a presidential pardon

24 MAY 2017

First in Asia: Taiwan recognizes same-sex marriage

Taiwan’s top court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, a landmark decision that paves the way for the island to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex unions

20 MAY 2017

Wu Den-yih wins Taiwan KMT chairman election

Former Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) won the election for chairman of Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), on Saturday, and now faces a big challenge to unify and energize the struggling party

24 APRIL 2017

Most of the new Taiwan citizens come from Vietnam

Nearly 70 per cent of foreigners who became naturalized R.O.C. citizens in 2016 were from Vietnam, according to government statistics

28 MARCH 2017

Taiwan district court acquits former president of leaking classified information

A Taiwan district court cleared former president Ma Ying-jeou on Tuesday of charges of leaking classified information over a controversial wiretapping case in 2013

14 MARCH 2017

Taiwan’s ex-president indicted in wiretapping scandal

Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou was once a luminous figure. But his attempt to bring down a rival politician has landed him in court. If convicted he could be imprisoned for several years. Klaus Bardenhagen reports from Taipei

28 FEBRUARY 2017

Taiwanese independence and unification factions clash as island commemorates 1947 massacre

Supporters of Taiwan independence and cross-strait unification clashed on Tuesday at a Taipei hall built in memory of the nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, as the island commemorated the 1947 massacre in which the Chiang was blamed for killing thousands of Taiwanese 70 years ago

11 JUNUARY 2017

Taiwan passes bill to end nuclear power by 2025

The amendments call for greater use of renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind energy, and allow private companies to sell electricity to the main utility company

2 JANUARY 2017

The Taiwanese see themselves as Taiwanese, not as Chinese

On Dec. 2, President-elect Donald Trump startled observers when, departing from protocol, he took a phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Trump has suggested that under his administration, the United States may break from the pointedly ambiguous “One China policy.”

26 DECEMBER 2016

Chen Shui-bian makes first public speech after prison release

Chen – who was handed a 20-year sentence for a string of corruption charges shortly after leaving office in 2008 – made a short speech at the opening of his daughter’s dental clinic in Tainan

17  DECEMBER 2016

Taiwan’s Kuomintang party is broke and adrift

A new law has allowed the government to freeze its assets, leaving it unable to pay staff


Taiwanese ‘double agent’ jailed for 18 years after decade of spying for mainland China

A Taiwanese court has sentenced a former intelligence officer to 18 years in prison for reportedly working as a double agent and spying for mainland China as relations worsen with Beijing.


Taiwan opposition KMT’s bank account frozen in assets probe

 Taiwan’s government has ordered a freeze on the opposition Kuomintang’s bank account, officials said Thursday, as part of an investigation into its allegedly ill-gotten political assets


 Taiwan politicians break ranks to meet with Beijing

 A group of opposition officials from Taiwan have bypassed the government and travelled to China on a bridge-building trip as relations with Beijing turn frosty under new president Tsai Ing-wen


Thousands take to streets of Taiwan’s capital Taipei in protest against govt’s plans to reform pensions

A record 250,000 retired military personnel, police officers, civil servants and public school teachers took to the streets of Taipei on Saturday (Sept 3) to protest the government’s pension reform plans, which they say are unfair and « humiliate » their professions

27 AUGUST 2016

Grading Tsai Ing-wen’s first 100 days in office

It has been 100 days since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took office, and public disappointment is already growing towards her administration. A series of policy flip-flops have added to the impression that her administration is indecisive

23 AUGUST 2016

Taiwan’s population to decrease in 5-9 years

 Taiwan has a low birth rate compared to most other countries. As longevity increases, the nation will turn into an aged society in two years, and a super-aged society in 10 years

15 AUGUST 2016

President Tsai Ing-wen ‘losing control’ of Taiwan’s pro-independence camp

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is facing what analysts view as the biggest challenge to her authority since taking office after she reluctantly withdrew her nominations for the top posts in the island’s judiciary.

1st AUGUST 2016

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen formally apologises to country’s indigenous people for first time in history

President Tsai Ing-wen has formally apologised to Taiwan’s indigenous people for centuries of suffering, becoming the country’s first-ever leader to do so

22 JULY 2016

How Bad Is Taiwan’s Economy?

 Compared to other economies around the world, Taiwan is doing just fine

12 JUNE 2016

Taiwan rejects ex-president’s Hong Kong trip

Taiwanese authorities on Sunday (June 12) refused former president Ma Ying-jeou permission to visit Hong Kong, citing national security considerations

21 MAY 2016

Ma Ying-jeou faces investigation in 24 cases against him

Former President Ma Ying-jeou is facing investigation in several cases, including corruption allegations against him, as he has lost his presidential immunity from prosecution

20 MAY 2016

Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen sworn in as first female president

Taiwan swears-in Tsai Ing-wen as its first female President, taking the oath of office at the presidential palace in Taipei after winning a landslide victory in January

26 APRIL 2016

Taiwan finds 4,800-year-old fossil of mother cradling baby

Archaeologists in Taiwan have found a 4,800-year-old human fossil of a mother holding an infant child in her arms, museum officials said on Tuesday.

13 APRIL 2016

Taipei will not be part of Beijing’s Super-Bank: Humiliating conditions

The island’s government announces that it will not be part of the Asian Investment Bank. For entry, the Chinese government demanded it make an application through its Ministry of Finance. This model « is not acceptable. Not only does this wound our national dignity, but violates the very principle of dignity. «’s-Super-Bank:-Humiliating-conditions-37206.html

8 APRIL 2016

Taiwan names first ministers in new Cabinet

Mr Lin Chuan introduced the eight Cabinet members at a tea session with the media. The appointments include Mr Lin Hsi-yao as vice-premier, Mr Lin Tzou-yien as Minister for Health and Welfare, Mr Tung Chen-yuan as Cabinet spokesman and five ministers without portfolio

7 APRIL 2016

No Taiwan politicians found in ‘Panama Papers’ initial report

No Taiwan politicians are among the 90 Taiwanese passport holders whose names were found among the massive trove of leaked files from the Panama-based offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca, according to an initial report released by CommonWealth Magazine

26 MARCH 2016

Taiwan Kuomintang picks ‘Little Hot Chili Pepper’ Hung Hsiu-chu as new party chief

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) elects former deputy legislative speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) as the party’s first chairwoman in its more than 100-year history

15 MARCH 2016

Taiwan elected president Tsai names Lin Chuan as her premier

Lin Chuan has served as minister of finance and has a doctorate in economics, but Tsai said the Cabinet is to be focused on reform and communication

21 FEBRUARY 2016

Taiwanese Mark Lee and Chiang Wei-liang win Berlin awards

Taiwanese cinematographer Mark Lee (李屏賓) on Saturday won a Silver Bear for outstanding artistic contribution at the Berlin International Film Festival, while Taiwanese director Chiang Wei-liang (曾威量) was awarded the Audi Short Film Award for his film Anchorage Prohibited (禁止下錨).

13 FEBRUARY 2016

Taiwan quake death toll reaches 116, as rescue ends

Tainan City government called off rescue missions in the rubble of a collapsed apartment complex Saturday, from which 114 people were found dead, bringing the death toll to 116 in a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that hit southern Taiwan Feb. 6

10 FEBRUARY 2016

Taiwan’s energy conundrum

The newly elected Taiwanese government led by President Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be faced with significant challenges in energy policy. Most urgently, viable replacements for Taiwan’s ageing fleet of nuclear reactors must be found.


Taiwan elects first DPP parliamentary speaker

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) won the ninth legislative speakership election in a widely predicted landslide victory, becoming the nation’s first non-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) speaker.

28 JANUARY 2016

ROC improves in Corruption Perceptions Index ranking

Taiwan ranked No. 30 out of 168 countries and territories surveyed in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index released Jan. 27 by Berlin-based Transparency International

25 JANUARY 2016

Simon Chang appointed as new premier

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has appointed Simon Chang (張善政) as the new premier after approving the resignation of former Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國)


16 JANUARY 2016

Taiwan election: First female president Tsai Ing-wen elected after landslide victory against ruling Kuomintang including in parliament

Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party has swept to power in the country’s general election, clinching the presidency and the legislature as Tsai Ing-wen becomes its first female President


17 OCTOBER 2015

Taiwan’s embattled KMT ousts presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu

At an emergency congress, party members voted overwhelmingly to drop Hung Hsiu-chu following a series of poor ratings in opinion polls. She will be replaced by the party’s chairman, Eric Chu

10 OCTOBER 2015

Rare blue-green accord on National Day

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), attending for the first time in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) two terms, said she had accepted her invitation in the spirit of national unity

19 AUGUST 2015

New political party established to campaign for social welfare

A new political party, the Social Welfare Party (SWP,社會福利黨), was established in Taipei on Wednesday to campaign for better social welfare policies, joining a wave of new and emerging parties that are eyeing seats in Taiwan’s Legislature

14 AUGUST 2015

Taiwan, « happiness » boom : never such a high quality of life

The annual survey published by the National Development Council shows that 88% of citizens are satisfied with their family life . The only drawback is the social involvement: almost 50% never help in community life.,-happiness-boom-:-never-such-a-high-quality-of-life-35044.html

6 AUGUST 2015

James Soong announces presidential bid

James Soong (宋楚瑜), chairman of Taiwan’s minority People First Party (PFP), announced Thursday that he will stand in the presidential election to be held next January

2 AUGUST 2015

Taiwan protesters rip up textbooks, demanding education minister’s resignation

Nearly a thousand people rallied outside Taiwan’s education ministry on Sunday (Aug 2), demanding the minister’s resignation and the scrapping of what they describe as a « China-centric » high school curriculum.

19 JULY 2015

 Taiwan’s ruling party endorses conservative pro-China candidate Hung Hsiu-chu for presidential run

Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) has officially endorsed wildcard candidate Hung Hsiu-chu to run for president next year, as the deeply divided party faces a battle to regain public support.

23 JUNE 2015

 Taiwan attracts high number of immigrants from Hong Kong, Macau

A growing number of residents from Hong Kong and Macau are relocating to Taiwan, as the island is coming up with schemes to attract talent and investors from overseas.


24 MAY 2015

 Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien wins best director at Cannes Film Festival

 Prominent Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) won the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Sunday with his first martial arts film « The Assassin » (聶隱娘)

21 MAY 2015

‘Taiwan’s Mandela’ announces presidential bid

A veteran Taiwanese opposition figure and human rights activist launched a bid on Thursday (May 21) to stand for president next year, posing the latest threat to the embattled ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party.

16 MAY 2015

Eric Chu will not run for president in Taiwan’s 2016 election

The head of Taiwan’s ruling party says he will not run for president in the 2016 election. Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu has declined to take part in the party’s primary to select its candidate, as registration closed on Saturday (May 16).

15 MAY 2015

New Taiwan labour laws: Two days off per week, maximum 40 working hours beginning 2016

Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the maximum allowable working hours will be cut to 40 per week with a mandatory two days off, officials of the Legislative Yuan said yesterday


18 APRIL 2015

Women’s status rising in Taiwan: president

President Ma Ying-jeou said Saturday the status of women has been rising in Taiwan due to increases in women’s higher education opportunities, political involvement and labor force participation

15 APRIL 2015

Taiwan opposition DPP nominates Tsai Ing-wen as 2016 candidate

Taiwan could be on track for its first ever female leader after the island’s main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced Wednesday that its chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen will run for president

18 MARCH 2015

Taiwan protesters rally to mark « Sunflower Movement » anniversary

Taiwan protesters Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the student-led « Sunflower Movement », which saw the occupation of parliament for more than three weeks over a trade pact with China.

1 MARCH 2015

Chiang statue beheaded as Taiwan marks ‘White Terror’

A statue of Taiwan’s former leader Chiang Kai-shek was beheaded in another sign of growing fears over Chinese influence on the island as it marked the anniversary of a 1947 massacre that left thousands dead, reports said Sunday

23 JANUARY 2015

Taiwan’s ex-leader faces fresh money laundering charge

Taiwanese prosecutors on Friday indicted convicted former president Chen Shui-bian on an additional charge of money laundering, less than three weeks after he was freed from jail on a medical parole

17 JANUARY 2015

In Taiwan, KMT elects Eric Chu chairman

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) is elected chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) with 99.61 percent of all ballots cast, the highest in terms of percentage of votes obtained since the party first chose its leader by popular vote among party members in 2000.

13 JANUARY 2015

Prominent Taiwanese women’s advocate Shih Chi-ching dies

Taiwanese women’s rights advocate and writer Shih Chi-ching died of a heart attack at her home in Miaoli county in northern Taiwan on Tuesday, according to the Central News Agency. The writer played a role in reforms of the country’s divorce laws.

5 JANUARY 2015

Taiwan ex-president Chen Shui-bian granted parole

Ailing former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is released from prison on medical parole after serving six years for a graft conviction relating to his presidency.

28 DECEMBER 2014

Taiwan’s ex-VP Lu goes on hunger strike seeking parole for Chen Shui-bian

Taiwan’s former vice-president Annette Lu, 70, started her hunger strike on Sunday (Dec 28) as part of a growing campaign for the release from prison of ailing ex-leader Chen Shui-bian


New Taipei mayor appoints James Soong as chief adviser

Ko Wen-je, elected as Taipei’s next mayor on Nov. 29, invited minor opposition People First Party (PFP) chairman James Soong to serve as his chief adviser on Monday, an offer which was readily accepted.


Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou quits as Kuomintang chief

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has resigned as chairman of the governing party after it suffered a crushing defeat in local elections

29 NOVEMBER 2914

Taiwan’s premier Jiang Yi-huah resigns after ruling party loss in local election

Premier Jiang Yi-huah said the party’s crushing loss reflected public unhappiness with government policies, but Ma still vowed that the KMT will rise again

21 NOVEMBER 2014

Taiwan’s senior population may be 4 times that of kids in 2060

If Taiwan continues to have the same low birth rate as in recent years until 2060, the senior population will be 4.4 times that of children, which could have huge societal consequences, the National Taiwan University Children and Family Research Center (CFRC) said yesterday

12 NOVEMBER 2014

A Distrustful Taiwan Takes its Cues from Hong Kong

On Sept. 26, China’s President Xi Jinping restated his hope to see mainland China and Taiwan united on the basis of the “one country, two systems” principle. The timing was odd, with Hong Kong in the throes of a massive student protest demanding true universal suffrage.


Taiwan director Doze Niu gets suspended sentence in naval base ploy

Acclaimed Taiwanese director Doze Niu received a suspended sentence for taking a Chinese cinematographer onto a naval base in Taiwan without authorisation to scout film locations


Taiwan defence minister visits disputed Spratlys

Yen Ming, together with two legislators and several reporters, flew to Taiping, a Taiwan-administered island which is part of the Spratlys – a chain also claimed in whole or in part by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.

15 OCTOBER 2014

Retired ROC military officers recruited to spy for PLA

To steal crucial intelligence regarding the Republic of China Armed Forces’ new weapons systems, China has recruited several retired officers through Taiwanese businesspeople working in mainland China, getting them to conduct espionage against their own country, Wendell Minnick wrote in his article for the Washington-based Defense News.

10 OCTOBER 2014

Taiwan leader: China should try democracy — starting with Hong Kong

In one of his hardest slaps ever against the Communist leadership in Beijing, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that China should embrace democracy and should start by allowing free elections in Hong Kong.

7 OCTOBER 2014

Taiwan PM warns China cyber attack threat growing

Taiwan’s premier warned Tuesday of increasing cyber attacks from China, the island’s highest-ranking official to denounce attempts to « steal government secrets » despite warming cross-strait relations.

5 OCTOBER 2014

Taiwanese Coast guard plans Taiwan-China sea exercises in 2016

The Coast Guard Administration says it is planning to discuss holding joint exercises with its Chinese counterparts in 2016, focusing on training and mobilization for rescue operations at sea.


China and Taiwan’s Window of Opportunity at APEC

APEC is the ideal international forum, where officials from both the mainland and Taiwan have been able to meet and converse, and the APEC summit in Beijing this November will be the best venue for a Ma-Xi meeting. There are many reasons for this


Taiwanese stage solidarity with Hong Kong protests

Demonstrators sat down in front of Hong Kong’s trade office and made their feelings known to the Taipei representative.


Taiwan leader rejects China unification terms

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou has rejected a « one country, two systems » deal proposed by his Chinese counterpart.


Taiwan President assaulted by independence protester

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou was attacked last night by a pro-independent protester who hurled a book as a gesture protesting Ma’s allegedly pro-China comments during an interview with German media Deutsche Welle.


China and Taiwan walking the line of rapprochement

After more than six decades of conflict over the political status of Taiwan, Beijing and Taipei are taking significant steps toward rapprochement in their relations. Yet how much Chinese influence can Taiwan’s democracy tolerate


Taiwan leader says he backs democracy for Hong Kong

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou, who initiated detente with China, on Tuesday threw his support behind Hong Kong’s push for democracy — calling it a core value shared by Taiwanese people.

30 AUGUST 2014

Taiwan Ministry of Defense warns of China’s might

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is capable of seizing Taiwanese islands, paralyzing the country’s defensive capabilities with cruise and short-range ballistic missiles, as well as by launching amphibious and airborne raids, to take Taiwan proper before forces from other nations could respond, the Ministry of National Defense said

27 AUGUST 2014

Taiwan honours 56,000 WWII soldiers killed in Myanmar

Taiwan on Wednesday honoured tens of thousands of Chinese Nationalist soldiers killed in World War II in Myanmar, many of whom came to the rescue of British troops.

21 AUGUST 2014

Human Rights and Cross-Strait Relations

Human rights need to be part of the cross-Strait conversation. A consular-type agreement would be a good place to start

20 AUGUST 2014

Taiwan’s ex-China affairs official accused of leaking secrets

Wang Yu-chi, minister in charge of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said his former deputy Chang Hsien-yao is being investigated following a tip-off he received in late July accusing the latter of leaking confidential work-related information

19 JULY 2014

Hun Sen Quashes Plans for a Trade Office With Taiwan

Prime Minister Hun Sen said he will block the establishment of a Taiwanese trade office in Cambodia because of the government’s rigid observance of the One-China policy, despite business leaders calling for more practical steps to boost investment from Taiwan.

13 JULY 2014

Taiwan starts sending drones to spy on mainland China

Taiwan has started using unmanned surveillance aircraft to spy on mainland China to reduce the risk to its pilots from an increased deployment of mainland missiles

4 JULY 2014

Academia Sinica doctors urge home detention for Chen Shui-bian

Researchers from Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s top research institure, presented a joint request to Taiwan’s government on July 3 for jailed former president Chen Shui-bian to serve out his sentence at home instead of prison.

29 JUNE 2014

China Official Cancels Events in Taiwan Amid Violent Protests

China’s top official in charge of relations with Taiwan has returned to Beijing, hailing his visit to the self-ruled island as « historic », despite violent protests that forced him to cancel several meetings

28 JUNE 2014

Beijing respects Taiwan’s choice of social system: Chinese official

The mainland and Taiwan have evolved with different social systems, values, thoughts and lifestyles after decades of development, and mainland authorities respect those differences, said Zhang Zhijun, director of State Council Taiwan Affairs Office

25 JUNE 2014

China minister-level official makes landmark trip to Taiwan

China’s most senior official ever to visit Taiwan met his counterpart Wednesday to try to improve relations after mass protests in Taipei earlier this year, sparking angry confrontations between protesters and riot police

25 JUNE 2014

White Paper on Hong Kong Pushes Taiwan Away

 A white paper meant to chasten democratic longings in Hong Kong has alarmed Taiwan, pushing its people farther away from the People’s Republic of China

22 JUNE 2014

Taiwan’s first lady drops Japan visit

Taiwan’s first lady has postponed a rare visit to Japan after a diplomatic row over the wording of posters promoting the island’s exhibition in Tokyo of treasured artefacts

11 JUNE 2014

Taiwan-Ukraine: A Cautious Relationship

Relations between Taipei and Kiev have often been complicated by the policies of their larger neighbors

1 JUNE 2014

Jiang PM, newly elected El Salvador president underscore strong ties

Premier Jiang Yi-huah arrived in El Salvador Saturday and met with president-elect Salvador Sanchez Ceren and vice president-elect Oscar Ortiz, as both leaders spoke of the good relations between the two countries and their hope to further strengthen the mutual bonds

29 MAY 2014

Taiwan ex-minister ordered to pay over wrongful execution

A former Taiwanese defence minister and five ex-military officials have been ordered to pay a total of nearly $2 million over the wrongful execution of an airman 17 years ago

25 MAY 2014

DPP,Taiwan’s major opposition reelects Tsai Ing-wen as its new leader

Members of Taiwan’s major opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were Sunday electing a new leader in the run-up to the 2016 presidential polls

15 MAY 2014

100s of Taiwan firms attacked in Vietnam

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday told a press conference that as of May 14 in Vietnam, over 100 Taiwanese-owned companies had been attacked and damaged, over 10 factories set ablaze and several hundred Taiwanese-owned firms have suspended work owing to safety concerns, noting that the MOEA will assist Taiwanese nationals in seeking compensation from Vietnam

14 MAY 2014

Taiwan president dismisses US green card report

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou on Wednesday categorically denied a report that he holds a US green card and owes the US government Tw$500,000 (US$16,556) in taxes, saying he would resign if the claim turned out to be true.

29 APRIL 2014

Taiwan executes five death-row inmates

Taiwanese authorities said they executed five death-row inmates Tuesday, nearly a year after six prisoners were put to death

27 APRIL 2014

Taiwan halts construction at nuclear plant after protests

Taiwan said Sunday it would stop construction at a controversial nuclear power plant after tens of thousands of protesters blockaded a main street in the capital calling for the project to be scrapped.

25 APRIL 2014

Taiwan leader promises referendum on disputed nuclear plant

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou on Friday promised to let the public decide the fate of a controversial nuclear facility amid growing concern over the safety of nuclear power

22 APRIL 2014

Taiwan anti-nuclear activist starts hunger strike

Former Taiwanese opposition leader and anti-nuclear activist Lin Yi-hsiung Tuesday launched an indefinite hunger strike in protest at a nearly completed nuclear facility, while some of his supporters clashed with police

21 APRIL 2014

Taiwan premier rejects call to scrap nuclear plant

Taiwan’s Premier Jiang Yi-huah on Monday rejected a call from the main opposition party to scrap a nearly completed nuclear power plant, despite planned protests including a hunger strike

7 APRIL 2014

US House Approves Frigate Sale to Taiwan

The House approved the sale of 4 naval frigates to Taiwan while reaffirming its commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act

30 MARCH 2014

More than 100,000 protesters rally in Taiwan against trade pact with China

More than 100,000 protesters took to the streets of Taiwan’s capital on Sunday as a two-week-long campaign against a trade pact with China gathered steam, piling further pressure on the island’s leader

28 MARCH 2014

As Ma Ying-jeou seeks dialogue, ‘sunflower’ student movement continues protest against China trade deal

Police agents are slammed for using violence against students and media professionals. Academics and general public back students. Students respond to president’s overtures by increasing demands.,-‘sunflower’-student-movement-continues-protest-against-China-trade-deal-30682.html

Beijing calls for US to stop arms sales to Taiwan

China’s defense ministry has urged the United States to stop selling arms to Taiwan and to take action to safeguard Sino-US relations

24 MARCH 2014

Taiwan police retake government HQ

Taiwan riot police used water cannon to dislodge hundreds of demonstrators who stormed government headquarters, escalating a protest over a China trade pact that has seen parliament occupied for nearly a week,-police-clear-students-from-government-buildings-as-protest-turns-violent-30635.html

23 MARCH 2014

Taiwan protesters invade cabinet offices as tension over China pact escalates

Hundreds of protesters opposed to a trade pact with China have invaded Taiwan’s cabinet offices, marking a sharp escalation in a student-led movement against the island’s rapidly developing ties with the communist mainland

21 MARCH 2014

Taiwan protesters call for surrounding of ruling party offices

Student protesters occupying Taiwan’s legislature to stop the government from ratifying a contentious trade pact with China called on the public to surround the ruling party’s offices after their ultimatum was ignored

19 MARCH 2014

Is Taiwan’s Military Becoming Too Small to Fight?

With conscription ending and budgets limited, Taiwan may have to make do with a smaller defense force

Protesters occupy Taiwan parliament over China trade deal

Hundreds of students and activists opposed to a trade deal with China have occupied Taiwan’s parliament and defied police efforts to evict them

13 MARCH 2014

Taiwan air force major indicted for selling intelligence to China

A Taiwanese air force major and a karaoke club owner have been indicted for disclosing military secrets to China, prosecutors in Kaohsiung said Thursday.

10 MARCH 2014

KMT and DPP Mainland Policies: Might the Gap be Narrowing?

27 FEBRUARY 2014

Taiwan, China sign two more agreements

Taiwan and China signed agreements on meteorology and earthquake monitoring Thursday, in yet another sign of improving ties between the former rivals.

24 FEBRUARY 2014

China, Taiwan reach new cooperation deal on air travel

Beijing recognises Taipei’s importance as an international stopover for Chinese nationals travelling to other destinations. Direct flights across the Strait are also set to increase in April to 858 each year.,-Taiwan-reach-new-cooperation-deal-on-air-travel-30388.html

23 FEBRUARY 2014

Taiwan independence group topples Sun Yat-sen statue

A radical Taiwanese independence group said on Sunday they had pulled down a statue of the founding father of the nationalist republic who fled from the Chinese mainland to the island more than six decades ago.

21 FEBRUARY 2014

Breakthrough in cross-strait ties but a long way to go yet

One week after achieving a breakthrough in the form of official cross-strait talks, Chinese President Xi Jinping is pushing for closer political dialogue with Taiwan, but faces challenges to attaining quick results this year, say analysts.

20 FEBRUARY 2014

Xi not correcting Lien’s ROC comment good for ties: scholar

The fact that Communist Party of China general secretary Xi Jinping did not correct Lien Chan, the honorary chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang in his reference to the Republic of China during a meeting in Beijing Tuesday suggests that relations between Taiwan and mainland China have advanced to a higher level, according to a Chinese scholar familiar with Taiwan affairs.

19 FEBRUARY 2014

China agrees to export water to Taiwan-controlled islands

China has agreed to supply water to a Taiwan-controlled island group near the mainland in another sign of fast-warming ties between the two former bitter rivals, officials said Wednesday

18 FEBRUARY 2014

China respects Taiwan system, Xi tells Taipei ex-VP Lien

China’s President Xi Jinping Tuesday told a former vice president of Taiwan that Beijing respects the island’s social system and lifestyle, state media reported, in a sign of the steadily improving relations between the two sides.

11 FEBRUARY 2014

China and Taiwan plan to open offices after first official talks

China and Taiwan held their first official talks in more than six decades on Tuesday, agreeing to open representative offices in a two-hour meeting hailed by both sides as a new chapter in their relationship.

Taiwan defence minister visiting Singapore

Taiwan’s defence minister is visiting Singapore to shore up military relations which were reportedly damaged after his predecessor’s visit in 2012 was publicly disclosed, a military source and local media said Tuesday.


Taiwan says Ma would like to meet Xi at APEC

Taiwan’s minister in charge of China affairs Wednesday said he would support a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Taiwanese counterpart Ma Ying-jeou, suggesting the APEC leaders summit as an ideal opportunity.


Record 2.85 million Chinese visited Taiwan in 2013

Taiwan said Saturday a record 2.85 million Chinese nationals visited the island last year, up ten percent from 2012 although group arrivals dropped slightly after Beijing enacted a tourism law

30 JANUARY 2014

Cooperation with China conducive to peace in the Taiwan Strait: Ma

Speaking to overseas Chinese and Taiwanese in Los Angeles, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou said that cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is conducive to peace

28 JANUARY 2014

Taiwan minister for historic China visit

Taiwan’s minister in charge of China affairs said Tuesday he plans to visit the mainland next month in a landmark trip that marks the first official contact between the two former bitter rivals in six decades

27 JANUARY 2014

Taiwan: Another Step Towards Integration?

The new concept for cross-strait relations, “China plus one,” proposed by Su Tseng-chang, who chairs Taiwan’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), suggests that Taiwan might have taken another step towards comprehensive integration with China

23 JANUAY 2014

Taiwan leader visits allies to safeguard ties after Gambia blow

Ma Ying-jeou, who left at around 1500 GMT will travel to Sao Tome and Principe, and Burkina Faso — two of the only three African countries that now officially recognise Taipei after Gambia cut off ties in November.

10 JANUARY 2014

Taiwan sentences man for spying on China

On Friday, Taiwan’s supreme court convicted Yuan Hsiao-feng, lieutenant colonel, on 12 accounts of leaking confidential military information to China between 2003 and 2007 and imposed a fine of Tw$7.8 million ($260,000) on Yuan – the amount of payment he collected for passing the secrets.

23 DECEMBER 2013

Taiwan battles economic and cross-Strait tensions in 2013

In 2013, Taiwan’s political and economic developments again centred on its relationship with China, and the effect of cross-Strait rapprochement on Taiwan’s domestic conditions. Yet even without China as a factor, Taiwan would still face significant challenges.

30 NOVEMBER 2013

Rallies as Taiwan split over gay marriage

Tens of thousands took to the streets of Taiwan on Saturday to protest against same-sex marriages, as a debate rages in parliament over a bill which would legalise such unions.

26 NOVEMBER 2013

China envoy visits Taiwan amid protests

China’s top negotiator with Taiwan began a visit Tuesday as activists protested against what they described as Beijing’s attempt to annex the island by offering economic benefits.

14 NOVEMBER 2013

Gambia cuts diplomatic ties with Taipei

« Our government express shock and regret that Gambian President Yahya Jammeh sent a letter to our embassy in Gambia on November 14 to inform us the immediate termination of ties, » vice foreign minister Simon Ko told a news conference in Taipei.


First direct China-Taiwan telecoms cable goes live

The first telecommunications cable directly linking Taiwan and China has begun operating. It is expected to meet surging demand arising from closer economic ties between the two former rivals.

26 OCTOBER 2013

Tens of thousands march for same-sex marriage in Taiwan

Tens of thousands of demonstrators, many displaying rainbows and glitter, thronged the centre of Taiwan’s capital on Saturday to press demands to legalize same-sex marriage amid an increasingly tolerant environment on the island nation.

Taiwan major held on China spying claims: Report

Taiwanese air force major has been taken into custody for allegedly leaking confidential information to China, a report said Saturday, in the latest spying scandal to hit Taiwan.

23 OCTOBER 2013

Taipei and Manila set up fishery hotline in bilateral talks: MOFA

Taiwan and the Philippines have officially established a hotline to facilitate two-way communication in the event of future fishing incidents as both sides concluded a fresh round of bilateral fishery talks in Taipei yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.

19 OCTOBER 2013

Recent population figures confirm Taiwan aging problem: official

Recent official statistics showing an increase in Taiwan’s 65-and-over population indicate that Taiwan is on course to go from being an « aging society » to an « aged society, » said deputy interior minister Hsiao Chia-chi

15 OCTOBER 2013

Taiwan’s premier Jiang Yi-huah survives no-confidence vote

Taiwan’s Premier Jiang Yi-huah on Tuesday survived a no-confidence vote launched by opposition lawmakers who accused the government of violating the constitution over attempts to expel the parliamentary speaker.

10 OCTOBER 2013

Anti-government protesters dog Taiwan National Day

Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered on the fringes of Taiwan’s carefully choreographed National Day celebrations Thursday, waving banners and chanting slogans denouncing the policies of President Ma Ying-jeou.

8 OCTOBER 2013

China could invade by 2020, Taiwan’s military says

If China’s 20-year-long military buildup continues at current rates, the mainland will be capable of invading Taiwan by 2020 despite any moves by Taiwanese allies to repel an incursion, a Taiwanese military report said Tuesday.

3 OCTOBER 2013

Taiwan president questioned in leaking info probe

Taiwanese prosecutors questioned President Ma Ying-jeou late Thursday, a report said, following allegations that a legislator’s phone was wiretapped in a widening political scandal that has gripped the island.


Taiwan premierJiang blocked from speaking at Legislature

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) blocked Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) from giving a speech during the Legislative Yuan’s session opening yesterday.


Charting Course for 2014 Elections, Taiwanese Opposition Debates China Policy

The leaders of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have spent the summer in discussion and negotiation over the Party’s China policy, trying to establish a consensus on one of the central issues of Taiwanese politics. These negotiations, taking place in the party’s newly-revived China Affairs Committee (CAC), represent a significant shift in strategy for the party, which is trying to establish and bolster its foreign and cross-straits policy credentials.


Taiwan Speaker Ousted in Political Scandal

Taiwan’s ruling party has expelled the speaker of the parliament in a move that has shaken up the island’s politics and put in question a cross-strait trade agreement with Beijing. Wang Jin-pyng was removed from the party because of allegations that he improperly pressured prosecutors in a case involving a fellow lawmaker.


Ma taking Taiwan back to ‘White Terror’ era: DPP

In a rare show of solidarity, the leader of Taiwan’s main opposition and his rival within the party accused President Ma Ying-jeou Monday of returning the country to the « White Terror » era of autocratic rule.


In Taipei, 1,200 gather for gay marriage ‘wedding banquet’

More than 1,200 Taiwanese people joined a mock “wedding banquet” on Saturday aiming to drum up support for a same-sex marriage bill due to be sent to parliament soon, organizers said.


Taiwanese director wins Grand Jury Prize at Venice Film Festival

Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang won the Grand Jury Prize for his latest film Jiaoyou (Stray Dogs) at the 70th Venice Film Festival on Saturday.


Number of female managers in Taiwan soars by nearly 60%

The number of women taking up management jobs in Taiwan had increased by 58% from 62,000 a decade ago to 98,000 last year, according to a survey released Thursday by the Council of Labor Affairs.


Taiwan Justice minister steps down amid controversy

Justice minister Tseng Yung-fu resigned Friday, hours after being accused of influence peddling by prosecutors in a special investigation unit.

31 AUGUST 2013

Taipei, government launches new measures to protect foreign workers

About half a million migrants, mostly from Indonesia and Thailand, live and work on the island. The government wants to curb the mediation of employment agencies, which undermine productivity and often hire workers illegally.,-government-launches-new-measures-to-protect-foreign-workers-28885.html

24 AUGUST 2013

Taiwanese President Ma’s confidante granted bail in bribery case

A Taiwanese politician known for her close ties with the president and currently on trial charged with taking bribes has been released on bail, court officials said.

23 AUGUST 2013

The Democratic Progressive Party’s Defense Policy Blue Papers and the Opposition’s Vision for Taiwan’s National Defense

The blue paper, a series of four documents prepared by the DPP’s New Frontier Foundation, gave Chairman Su Tseng-Chang ammunition for speeches stressing the party’s defense credentials to the Taiwan public and the United States.

Taiwan ‘to go on buying arms from US’

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday the island will continue to acquire arms from the United States, dismissing reports that the US and China could discuss ending such sales.

14 AUGUST 2013

Taiwan’s convicted ex-president to rejoin opposition

Taiwan’s main opposition grouping on Wednesday approved an application by disgraced ex-president Chen Shui-bian to rejoin the party despite fears the move would damage its image.

8 AUGUST 2013

Taiwan upholds first public transgender marriage

Taiwanese authorities have agreed to uphold the marriage status of a local transgender couple, reversing a previous official decision in a ruling activists said would help the bid to legalise same sex marriage. set Aug. 14 Gaeseong talks

7 AUGUST 2013

Taiwan names new defence chief amid plagiarism scandal

Taiwan’s chief of general staff General Yen Ming was named defence minister on Wednesday following the resignation of his predecessor over plagiarism claims just six days after taking office.

5 AUGUST 2013

Defense minister resigns after only six days on the job

Taiwan Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖), who was appointed only last week, tendered his resignation last night due to a plagiarized article in a 2007 book he wrote and edited.

2 AUGUST 2013

Taiwan politicians scuffle over nuclear bill

Taiwan’s politicians have punched each other and wrestled in a parliamentary brawl over a controversial bill on a nuclear power plant.

1 AUGUST 2013

Taiwan leader defends controversial China trade deal

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday defended a controversial trade pact with China following protests against the deal, saying it would benefit the island’s economy.

29 JULY 2013

Taiwan defence minister resigns after corporal’s death

Taiwan’s defence minister has resigned, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Monday, after the death of a corporal who was allegedly abused by the military in a case that has sparked outrage across the island.

23 JULY 2013

Taiwan struggles to recruit soldiers

Taiwan’s military managed to recruit only 1,847 soldiers or 31 per cent of its targeted number in the first half of the year, raising doubts over whether it can transition smoothly from a decades-old conscription system to one built around professionals by 2015.–49410.html

20 JULY 2013

Taiwan’s Ma reelected ruling party chief

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou was overwhelmingly reelected chairman of the ruling party Saturday, amid corruption scandals involving top officials and public anger at his government.

5 JULY 2013

It’s Taiwan’s fault if it doesn’t trust us, says Chinese general

Chinese general Luo Yuan, vice chairman of the China Strategy Culture Promotion Association, says Taiwan’s attitude is the factor that has delayed the building of cross-strait military trust.                                                                                                                

2 JULY 2013

Taipei mayor sets off on trip to China, Russia

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday (2 July) led a delegation to attend the three-day Taipei-Shanghai City Forum, which will be held today in China, with the mayor’s delegation then set to head to Russia to attend the opening ceremony of the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan on July 6.                                                                                       

25 JUNE 2013

All-out brawl erupts in Legislature

A massive brawl erupted among lawmakers in the Legislature yesterday, as members of the ruling party and opposition party fought for control over the rostrum, ahead of a scheduled discussion on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant referendum.                                                                                                    

23 JUNE 2013

Chen Guangcheng visits Taiwan

In Taiwan Chen is scheduled to give a news conference, address the island’s legislature, meet the parliamentary Speaker, Wang Jin-pyng, and speak at universities.                     

18 JUNE 2013

Philippines, Taiwan on way to mending relations

The Philippines and Taiwan are on the way to restoring their good relations after Friday’s breakthrough fishery meeting aimed at preventing the recurrence of violent confrontations in overlapping waters, Manila’s representative to Taipei said Monday.                                                                                                                                             

13 JUNE 2013

Important consensus reached between KMT, CPC: Yu Zhengsheng

A senior Chinese official said Thursday that important consensus had been reached between the ruling parties of Taiwan and China regarding the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.                                                                                                               

6 JUNE 2013

Taiwan Military Reform: Declining Operational Capabilities?

On June 6, Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) released its first “Blue Paper” evaluating Taiwan’s defense requirements. Although the report probably serves a political purpose, the DPP’s critical assessment of Taiwan’s military budget, readiness and acquisition joins several other recent developments raising questions about the island’s warfighting capabilities                                                                                                

3 JUNE 2013

Taiwan’s former president attempts suicide

Taiwan’s imprisoned   former President Chen Shui-bian tried to kill himself but was stopped by guards, the Justice Ministry said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

29 MAY 2013

Philippine airline cancels Taiwan flights amid row

One of the Philippines’ biggest airlines said Wednesday it had cancelled the planned launch of a new Taiwan route because of tensions over a Taiwanese fishermen being killed by the Filipino coastguard.                                                                                                         

25 MAY 2013

Taiwan has new terms vs The Philippines

The government of Taiwan on Saturday imposed new conditions that would further delay the Philippines’ investigation of the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Filipino coast guards three weeks ago.

15 MAY 2013

Taiwan recalls Philippine envoy over shooting

Taiwan has recalled its ambassador to the Philippines and announced it has frozen the hiring of Philippine workers to protest against the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman, rejecting an apology over the incident as inadequate.                                                  

Gangsters and politics shake hands in Taiwan

In Taiwan, the borderline between the realms of politics and organized crime has always been murky; some people say that gangsters on the island do not bribe politicians but become them. Yet a recent mass attempt by outlaws to become members of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has perplexed observers                                                                                                     

14 MAY 2013

Ma Ying-jeou’s popularity falls to new low

Support for Taiwan’s president, Ma Ying-jeou, has fallen to a record low of 19.1%, while public dissatisfaction has climbed to a record high of 69.9%, reports our Chinese-language sister paper China Times.                                                                             

7 MAY 2013

Taiwan intelligence unit confirms Hong Kong visit

A top Taiwanese intelligence official has visited Hong Kong in a landmark trip seen as the latest sign of fast-warming ties between Taiwan and former rival China, officials and local media said Tuesday.                                                                             

6 MAY 2013

Taiwan wavers on F-16 deal

Taiwan says that it needs fighter jets which are more advanced than the upgraded F-16 announced by the United States, suggesting that it was dropping its bid for dozens of the aircraft.                                                                                                             

1 MAY 1013

Taiwan launches integrity probe for top officials

Taiwan is carrying out a review looking at the integrity of its top-tier politicians, a report said Wednesday, after a string of high-profile corruption scandals that have rocked the island.                                                                                                  

21 APRIL 2013

Ma: No point rushing into political talks with Beijing

Taiwan’s president, Ma Ying-jeou, says the time is not right for political talks with Beijing, and there is no point rushing political dialogue.

19 APRIL 2013

Activists ‘horrified’ at Taiwan executions

Taiwan has executed six prisoners, the second time in six months a group of six has been put to death.                                                                                                 

17 APRIL 2013

Taiwan shows force in biggest live-fire drill since 2008

Taiwan staged its biggest live-fire drill since 2008 on Wednesday, in an operation involving more than 7,000 troops that simulated a Chinese attack as its leader warned of Beijing’s arms build-up                                                          

11 APRIL 2013

Taiwan moves closer to setting up China liaison office

Taiwan’s cabinet Thursday approved regulations governing the opening of a China liaison office on the island, a priority in efforts to normalise relations with its former enemy.                                                                                        

10 APRIL 2013

China anger at Japan-Taiwan disputed island fishing deal

Japan and Taiwan have signed a deal allowing Taiwan to fish near a group of disputed islands, prompting China to express « extreme concerns ».                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

4 APRIL 2013

Taiwan’s strategic confusion

Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou’s mantra of ‘no unification, no independence, and no use of force’ is coming under increasing strain.                                                                                                                                         

1 APRIL 2013

Taiwan president’s confidante disciplined by party

Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang party on Monday suspended the membership of Lai Su-ju, a confidante of the island’s president, for her alleged involvement in a high-profile corruption scandal.                                                           

30 MARCH 2013

Taiwan vows to step up patrol in East China Sea

Taiwan’s president has commissioned a new vessel to beef up patrol in a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea also claimed by China and Japan.                                                                                                                       

24 MARCH 2013

Taiwan outlines international trade pact

Taiwan has outlined strategies for joining the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade deal being negotiated among 11 countries, according to a report by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.                  

16 MARCH 2013

Taiwan develops medium-range missile: Report

Taiwan has developed its first medium-range guided missile that could be used against former rival China, according to a former defence minister in a new book cited by a media report Saturday.                                                                               

10 MARCH 2013

Up to 200,000 protest nuclear energy

Over 100 civic groups joined the nationwide event, including the I am Human group and Victims of Nuclear Power, from Northern Taiwan. Despite the unseasonably hot and humid weather, people flooded into the street in front of the Presidential Office, with some even decked out in heavy costumes.                                                                                                                                

28 FEBRUARY 2013

Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou says US plays pivotal role in cross-strait peace

Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou said Tuesday that the United States plays a pivotal role in the development of peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait, noting in particular the stabilizing effect of Washington’s « six assurances. »                             

27 FEBRUARY 2013

Taiwan to Continue Enforcing Death Penalty

Taiwan says it will continue to enforce the death penalty, despite international appeals to end capital punishment on the island. Taiwan has executed 15 people since 2010, when it ended a five-year informal moratorium on the death penalty. Six people were put to death in the latest round of executions in December 2012                                                                                                                     

25 FEBRUARY 2013

China’s Xi vows friendly ties with Taiwan

New Chinese leader Xi Jinping vowed Monday to pursue friendly ties with Taiwan and keep seeking « peaceful reunification » in a meeting with an influential politician from the island, state media reported                                       

23 FEBRUARY 2013

Taiwan Foreign minister calls for peaceful Diaoyutais resolution

Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) yesterday called for a peaceful resolution to the East China Sea sovereignty row as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began his trip to the United States amid the ongoing disputes between Tokyo and Taipei over the Diaoyutai Islands.

13 FEBRUARY 2013

Two accords bring Taipei and Beijing closer

The two sides sign an agreement allowing clearance of their respective currencies. Another would let either side open offices across the strait.


Outgoing Taiwan premier cites health as reason for resignation

As part of the resulting Cabinet reshuffle, Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah will replace Chen and Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) head Mao Chi-kuo will in turn be appointed vice premier, while Deputy Taipei Mayor Chen Wei-jen will assume the secretary-general post                                                                                                                                                                                         


Jiang Yi-huah to replace Sean Chen as premier

Taiwan  Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) is set to replace Sean Chen as Taiwan’s premier, according to media reports citing high-ranking officials.                                                                                                                                            

31 JANUARY 2013

Taiwan’s pension funds are like a train headed towards a cliff

An aging population and low birth rate are a threat to the country’s pension funds. Those for military, civil service and teachers are in fact expected to go bankrupt between 2019 and 2027. The issue has sparked an intense debate between and within parties’s-pension-funds-are-like-a-train-headed-towards-a-cliff-27012.html

28 JANUARY 2013

Taiwan president presses for US subs deal

Taiwan urged the United States on Monday to honour an agreement to supply submarines to replace its current elderly fleet, as a US congressional group visited the island to evaluate defence needs In April 2001 then-President George W Bush approved the sale of eight conventional submarines as part of Washington’s most comprehensive arms package for the island since 1992

12 JANUARY 2013

Taiwan to expand Taiping wharf: report

The government plans to expand its wharf at Taiping Island in the South China Sea to accommodate larger vessels as part of its ongoing military enhancement project in the disputed region, a local newspaper said yesterday.         

9 JANUARY 2013

Taiwan executions put Justice Minister Tseng on the spot

Rights lawyers say they plan to file criminal charges against Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu, while calling for his impeachment for « illegally » ordering the execution of six convicts who had been handed death sentences, confirmed by the Taiwan Supreme Court, for a total of eight murders. The men were executed on December 21 by pistol shots to the head and heart in three prisons across Taiwan, without prior notification to families or lawyers                                                                                                                       

1 JANUARY 2013

Defense Ministry begins transition toward all-voluntary armed forces

Men born after 1994 will only have to receive four months of military training as opposed to 12 months starting from this year, as part of the transition to an all-voluntary armed forces.                                                                        

31 DECEMBER 2012

Taiwan upgrades dozens of fighter jets

Taiwan plans to complete the first stage of an ambitious plan to upgrade its fighter jet force by the end of 2013, in an effort to maintain a credible deterrent against China into the 2030s.                                                                                                                   

30 DECEMBER 2012

Taiwan holds first Chinese music concert

Thousands of music fans packed a Taipei stadium to watch the island’s first concert staged by Chinese singers and rock bands, reports said Sunday, in the latest sign of warming cross-strait relations.                                                                           

13 DECEMBER 2012

The strategic triangle : US-China-Taiwan

When it comes to the US-China-Taiwan relations, the initial assertion tells us that without US backing, declaration of de jure independence is simply not a feasible option for Taiwan. But the complicating factor is that Washington not only has an interest in the security of Taiwan but also in stable relations with China, particularly after growing bilateral ties. Thus, the maintenance of the status quo turns out to be US policy, too. To achieve such a goal, the US has adopted strategic ambiguity as the cornerstone of its policy toward the cross-Strait relations for the past few decades.                                                                                                                                                                          

28 NOVEMBER 2012

Taiwan to trim number of generals after amendment

The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed an amendment to the Organic Act of the Ministry of National Defense, paving way for the nation’s armed forces to significantly downsize the number of its generals from 379 to 268.

23 NOVEMBER 2012

Foreign affairs ministry rejects proposal to invite Dalai Lama

“After an internal evaluation, we decided that now is not an appropriate time to have the Dalai Lama visit Taiwan,” Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko said at a legislative hearing when asked by opposition lawmakers to confirm the decision.

11 NOVEMBER 2012

DPP to set up committee to handle China affairs: report

The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to set up a committee to find a new direction for its ties with China after the Beijing leadership transfer concludes at the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress, a report said yesterday


Beijing main obstacle to FTA with EU: European lawmaker

The European Parliament supports Taiwan’s bid to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union, but strong pressure from China is the main obstacle preventing this from being realized, a visiting European Parliament member said yesterday.

29 OCTOBER 2012

Taiwan’s China spy problem

As relations between Taipei and Beijing continue to improve following the re-election of Taiwan’s President, Ma Ying-jeou, to a second term in January, China’s intelligence collection against the island it claims as its own remains as aggressive as ever, with major spy cases grabbing the headlines about once every six months.

27 OCTOBER 2012-10-27

Crisis of confidence in Taiwan’s govt

The Taiwan government is suffering a public confidence crisis only five months into President Ma Ying-jeou’s second term.

15 OCTOBER 2012

Taiwan’s defence spending up 1.8 % in past decade

Taiwan’s defence spending has grown a mere 1.8-per cent over the past decade, the lowest increase among five Asian countries analysed in a recent study released by a US-based thinktank Monday 15.

4 OCTOBER 2012

India renews Taiwan embrace

Although India recognizes the government of the People’s Republic of China (mainland China) instead of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the legitimate government of the territory of China, relations between India and Taiwan have grown substantially since the two countries had set up representative offices in each other’s capitals in 1995

Taiwanese Pro-Independence Politician Visits China

Frank Hsieh, the former chairman of Taiwan’s pro-independence party, is touring China for a visit that he says is aimed at building mutual trust


Japan tries to turn back Taiwanese vessels

Japanese coast guard vessels have tried to turn away dozens of Taiwanese fishing boats near a chain of disputed islands in the East China Sea after firing water cannons at them


Taiwan sends patrol boats near disputed islands

Two Taiwanese coast guard patrol ships have sailed to waters near a disputed island chain in the East China Sea to assert Taiwan’s claim to i

22 AUGUST 2012

Taiwan refuses medical parole for jailed ex-leader

Taiwan authorities on Wednesday refused to grant ex-president Chen Shui-bian parole for medical treatment, saying he could get proper treatment in prison

17 AUGUST 2012

Taiwan ex-leader cleared of perjury charge

Taiwan’s high court on Friday cleared former president Chen Shui-bian of one charge of instigating perjury in the latest legal victory for the jailed ex-leader

11 AUGUST 2012

Taiwan women in same-sex Buddhist wedding
Two women tied the knot on Saturday in Taiwan’s first same-sex Buddhist wedding, a move rights groups hope will help make the island become the first place in Asia to legalise gay marriage.

9 AUGUST 2012

Beijing and Taipei sign new trade agreements

New deal provides greater legal protection and cuts custom red tape. Investors in China and Taiwan are promised equal, if not preferential, treatment. In case of arrest, police must inform families and companies on the other side. In Taiwan, people protest deal fearing mainland colonisation of the island.

28 JULY 2012

Ma orders Foreign Ministry to probe removal of flag in London

President Ma Ying-jeou has instructed the Foreign Ministry to look into a recent row over the removal of an R.O.C. flag from a London display by Olympic organizers, his spokesman said yesterday

Wife of James Soong dies of cancer aged 72

Viola Chen, wife of People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong, died of colon cancer yesterday. She was 72.

24 JULY 2012

Taiwan’s Chen rattles the prison bars

Taiwan’s former president Chen Shui-bian, serving the third year of his 17-and-a-half-year prison term for corruption, has been grabbing much renewed attention lately. This time around, however, it is not his crimes or trials that are in the focus but the state of his health

16 JULY 2012

Taiwan tests new weapons in China war simulation

Taiwan for the first time Monday tested how a fleet of advanced submarine hunting aircraft and attack helicopters would be utilised in the event of an attack by rival China, officials and media said.

4 JULY 2012

President Ma vows to excise ‘tumor of corruption’

President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated his administration’s intolerance of corruption at a Kuomintang Central Standing Committee conference held yesterday (July 4) afternoon.

3 JULY 2012

Lin Yi-shih gives partial confession over graft

Former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世)was taken into custody yesterday after partially confessing to bribery allegations at a 12-hour interrogation session. The Taipei District Court granted prosecutors’ demand to detain Lin on the grounds that he was involved in the serious crimes of bribery and spoliation of evidence.

28 JUNE 2012

Beijing’s generosity puts Taipei on edge

It might be customary elsewhere that when Country A showers Country B with billions of dollars, both sides’ leaders present the good deed concertedly so that either has a chance capitalizing on it in political terms. But this does not apply in the case of mainland China and Taiwan, because both sides claim they belong to one country.

23 JUNE 2012

China offers credits for investment from Taiwan

Four Chinese state banks will offer up to US$95 billion in credit to Taiwanese investments in business on the mainland, the director of Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office Wang Yi told a conference in Xiamen

18 JUNE 2012

Taiwan to clear all landmines near China

In yet another sign of warming ties with former rival China, Taiwan said on Monday that all landmines laid on the frontline islands off the mainland during the 1950s will be removed within six months

22 MAY 2012

Taiwan’s Ma plays it cool

Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou was widely expected to embed a formula for unification with China into his re-inauguration speech on Sunday. Perhaps the embattled leader, whose approval ratings have fallen to as low as 20%, wanted to do so. However, he also had to toe the line with Washington

20 MAY 2012

Taiwan’s President Ma sworn in for second term

President Ma Ying-jeou was sworn in to the 13th presidential term of the Republic of China yesterday morning, calling his inauguration a milestone on Taiwan’s journey to becoming a mature democracy.

28 MAI 2012

28 MAI 2012

Su Tseng-chang wins DPP chair vote

Former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday became the new chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), easily beating his four opponents in a race that could have a major impact on the future direction of the party.

14 MAY 2012

Taiwan’s Ma Loses the Reins

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has been pushing for a series of highly controversial reforms he doesn’t want to deal with in his second term, which begins May 20

6 APRIL 2012

Taiwan ranks 46th happiest country in the world, 3rd in Asia: UN report

The happiest region in the world is Northern Europe, with Denmark in the lead, and the least happy region — according to the recently released World Happiness Report conducted by the Earth Institute (EI) of Columbia University, entrusted by the United Nations General Assembly — is Sub-Saharan Africa, with Togo at the bottom. Taiwan ranked number 46

28 MARCH 2012

Comments on Taiwanese Marriage Trend Spark Outrage

A legislator’s comments in Taiwan have touched off a public furor over one of the island’s stickiest social issues. Increasingly, Taiwanese men are choosing wives from overseas, and some say that is leaving growing numbers of local women without husbands

26 MARCH 2012

Taiwan opens Chinese Investment Door Wider

Chinese businessmen have only invested US$272 million in the island since 2009 when rules were relaxed, a tiny fraction of the US$80 billion that 80,000 Taiwanese companies have invested in China

22 MARCH 2012

Closer cross-Straits relations welcomed

Top officials from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) met in Beijing for the first time since the KMT’s victory in the island’s leadership election in January

16 FEBRUARY 2012

Beijing mayor visits Taiwan amid protests

Beijing’s mayor arrived in Taiwan Thursday, officials said, amid protests from dozens of anti-China activists who labelled him a « human rights villain »

14 FEBRUARY 2012

China blocks Hong Kong-Taiwan embrace

Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) government would like to see Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Donald Tsang stop by on the island. However, it seems Beijing and Tsang himself aren’t too keen on the implications of such a visit


Taiwan’s Dynamic Civil Society

21 JANUARY 2012

Chinese firms invest $ 184 million in Taiwan in 3 years

Taiwan’s government said Saturday 21 that Chinese firms had invested around $184 million on the island since it relaxed rules on mainland investment in mid-2009 amid warming relations

15 JANUARY 2012

Why Ma won the election and what’s next for Taiwan and China

In presidential elections this weekend, Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s incumbent president from the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), or Nationalist Party, decisively defeated Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). With about 52 percent of the vote (compared to Tsai’s 45.6 percent and the third-party candidate James Soong’s 2.8 percent), Ma will be able to govern with a clear majority of popular support. His margin of victory was far higher than most opinion polls had predicted. Many Soong supporters seem to have decided in recent days that by voting for their preferred candidate, who is almost politically identical to Ma, they might hand Tsai the victory

14 JANUARY 2012

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou wins second term

Taiwan’s incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou has won a second term in office, promising to further improve ties with neighbouring China

31 DECEMBER 2011

Taiwan to cut conscription to 4 months in 2013

Taiwan’s defence ministry yesterday (December 30) announced it would slash compulsory military training times for all males from one year to four months starting in 2013, at least a year earlier than expected

30 DECEMBER 2011

Taiwan, Israel to establish free trade deal task force

Taiwan and Israel have agreed to set up a task force to study the possibility of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) before 2013, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday


Dead heat election raises Taiwan stakes

With barely a month-and-half left before Taiwan’s crucial presidential election, the race is neck and neck between incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou and the leading opposition candidate, Tsai Ing-wen. Televised presidential debates that begin this weekend will likely add to the uncertainty. The only guarantee in  this exciting drama is that it is not over until the last voter casts his or her ballot on January 14, 2012.

17 NOVEMBER 2011

US and China fret over Taiwan

Since Ma Ying-jeou assumed the presidency in Taiwan in May 2008, relations across the Taiwan Strait have  improved dramatically. In the past three-and-a-half years, 16 agreements have been signed on practical matters  that have largely benefited the people on both sides of the strait.
The presidential election in Taiwan is scheduled for January 14, 2012, and the race is extremely tight. Regardless of the outcome, the election will have significant impact on the cross-Strait situation and on United States interests

10 NOVEMBER 2011

Taiwan says early-warning radar nearing completion

Taiwan said it has begun testing a billion-dollar early warning radar system, designed to give an  extra six minutes’ warning of any Chinese missile attack, which is nearing  completion. Deputy Defence Minister Chao Shih-chang said the installation the state-of-the-art, long-range radar system, supplied by US defence group Raytheon, has entered its final stage.


Arms deliveries to Taiwan are lagging: US draft study

The transfer of U.S. arms to Taiwan, the chief barrier to better U.S.-China ties, is moving at a snail’s pace, at least for several
eapons systems, a draft report to the U.S. Congress showed.

4  NOVEMBER 2011

Dark days for Taiwan’s spies

When Taiwan’s government last month announced budget cuts in military intelligence, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) insisted operations against mainland China would not be affected. It’s only administrative expenses being whittled down, said the MND, and if anything, Taiwan’s strength in intelligence warfare will be boosted. However, media paint a vastly different picture, suggesting Taiwan’s future leaders will be completely deaf and blind to secretive developments across the Taiwan Strait

26 OCTOBER 2011

Taiwan’s Ma talks peace but gets an earful

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s mention of a possible peace agreement with mainland China to end six decades of hostility across the Taiwan Strait has become a political bombshell

18 OCTOBER 2011

Peace talks possible in a decade: Ma

President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that his administration would “cautiously consider” whether Taiwan should negotiate a peace agreement with China within the next decade if three major premises are met, including a high level of consensus among nationals

13 OCTOBER 2011

Taiwan ex-president gets extra jail term

Taiwan’s ex-leader Chen Shui-bian – who is already in jail for corruption – was given an additional 18-year sentence on Thursday for his role in a financial scandal, a high court spokesman said. Chen, who was president between 2000 and 2008, is already serving a jail term of 17 years and  six months on two bribery convictions in sprawling corruption cases that saw his wife Wu Shu-chen get the same sentence.


Deficit decreases for 3rd year: gov’t

The deficit for the 2012 budget has decreased by 33.1 percent to NT$114.6 billion, the third consecutive decline, which shows the annual budget drafted by the cabinet for next year is well-planned and appropriate for the long-term development of Taiwan, Premier Wu Den-yih announced yesterday


China hits out at US deal on Taiwan F-16 fighters

China has reacted angrily to a US deal to upgrade Taiwan’s ageing fleet of US-built F-16 fighter planes

25 JULY 2011

Taiwan’s Astonishing Abortion Rate

For every pregnancy leading to a Taiwanese woman giving birth, a remarkable three are estimated by a Taiwan pediatrician to have  been aborted, a figure that others believe isn’t too far from reality

3 JULY 2011

Ma Ying-jeou officially named KMT candidate

Incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou, who was yesterday officially declared the Kuomintang (KMT) running candidate for the 2012  presidential elections, expressed his hope to see Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng keep his post next year in the Legislative Yuan

21 JUNE 2011

Taiwan lifts historic ban on Chinese solo tourists

Taiwan lifts a decades-old ban on travel to the island by individual Chinese tourists, saying visitors would act as « peace ambassadors » for the former arch foe. Initially, Taiwan will allow 500 individual arrivals from the mainland per day, who it hopes will help maintain  across the Strait

16 MAY 2011

Taiwan to allow promotion of island’s independence

Taiwan’s parliament tentatively approves a measure that would allow local groups to support the island’s independence, as well as communism, in a further move to promote pluralistic democracy.

10 MAY 2011

Who’s influencing who across the strait?

In numerous interviews given to Western media before and after he took office in 2008, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou said his cross-strait policies would make China more like Taiwan and not the other way around. He spoke of his government’s responsibility to further the democratic  development of all ethnic Chinese communities, and labeled Taiwan a beacon of democracy to Asia and the world.

16 APRIL 2011

Taiwan set to lift 20-year sex trade ban

The world’s oldest profession will still come with some strict rules, however. It will be restricted to red-light districts, away  residential and religious zones. Brothels and sex workers will be required to apply for licences and prostitutes will have to undergo periodic health checks.


Malaysia to allow visa-free entry for Taiwanese

Taiwanese nationals will soon be allowed to visit Malaysia without a visa, a minister said Thursday, in a bid to increase the
number of tourists and boost foreign exchange earnings

8 JANUARY 2011

Number of countries granting Taiwan visa-waiver privileges hits 97

President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that the number of countries that have granted visa-waiver privileges to Taiwanese passport  holders has increased to 97, indicating that the government’s “flexible diplomacy” strategy has borne fruit.

22 NOVEMBER 2010

Gender crisis looms in Taiwan

The traditional Chinese preference for male heirs is cited as one of the reasons for Taiwan’s growing gender imbalance. Its
male-female ratio at birth stands at 108.4 boys per 100 girls last year


More Taiwanese favor status quo with mainland

More and more Taiwanese prefer to maintain the political status quo with China while fewer wish to see the two sides reunify,
despite vastly improved relations over the past two years.


ECFA formally takes effect today

The landmark economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China and an intellectual property rights protection  pact across the Taiwan Strait formally take effect today, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) announced yesterday


Taiwan eases Hong Kong and Macau visa process

Residents from Hong Kong and Macau can apply for visa to Taiwan for free via the Internet starting today, the National Immigration  Agency said. After citizens from the two Chinese cities received approval on their online visa applications, they can print the approval statements and give them to Customs officers when entering Taiwan along with their mainland China issued passports for clearance. Upon receiving the Customs clearance stamp, a print approval statement is in effect a 30-day visa.

16 MAY 2010

Taiwan hopes for full membership at World Health Organisation

Taiwan tells the World Health Organization (WHO) that it hopes to finally become a full WHO member in place of the observer status it  currently enjoys

12 MARCH 2010

Taiwan justice minister resigns over death penalty

Taiwan’s justice minister has resigned after failing  to win support for her opposition to the death penalty. Wang Ching-feng had  said she would not give the go-ahead for any executions

31 JANUARY 2010

Taiwan’s Ma welcomes US arms

The United States has announced a US$6.4 billion package of weapons, including PAC-3 missiles, to be sold to Taiwan, drawing  strong protest from China. China reiterated yesterday its stern objection to US arms sales to Taiwan, and suspended all military exchanges with the United States. But President Ma Ying-jeou, who was in Los Angeles at the time of the announcement, said that with the weapons, Taiwan will be more confident of defending itself, which will facilitate the development of cross-strait ties, according to his spokesman Tony Wang

3 JANUARY 2010

Mainland tourists to Taiwan hit mark

A total of 606,100 mainland tourists visited Taiwan in the past year, with each spending nearly $1,800 on the island, including accommodation and shopping, Shao Qiwei, chairman of the Beijing-based Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits, said on Friday


Taiwan’s Ex-President Sentenced to Life Term

A Taiwanese court sentenced former president Chen Shui-bian to life in prison after convicting him on graft charges Friday, a
spectacular fall from grace for a man who rode to power on promises to end decades of corruption and expand the island’s de facto independence

27 JULY 2009

Chinese President Congratulates Taiwan Leader

President Hu Jintao of China congratulated on Monday 27 July the Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou after his election this weekend as  chief of Taiwan’s governing party, a victory that analysts said could bolster Mr. Ma’s efforts to pursue engagement and economic ties with China

3 MAY 2009

At last Taiwan has a feet in the World Health Organization

Common sense prevailed at last. After a dozen years of futile efforts, Taiwan has achieved a breakthrough: Acquiring observer’s status  at the forthcoming meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the ruling body of the World Health Organization