Taiwan Headlines, Dec. 26

Welcome to Taiwan Headlines, news that impacts Taiwan’s future. I’m also recording a Taiwan Report News Brief today, which goes in depth into some bigger stories.

Residents in an area of northern Taiwan will receive simulated warnings on their mobile phones Dec. 29 indicating an imminent volcanic eruption.
If the messages are delivered smoothly, the Central Weather Bureau will apply for the volcano warning system to be included as part of Taiwan’s Public Warning System (PWS).

The Legislative Yuan on Friday approved setting the legal age of adulthood at 18.
The passed revisions that allow the age of adulthood, known formally as the age of majority, to be lowered from the current threshold of 20.
It will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2023.
Another provision included requiring both men and women to be at least 18 when they get married, a change from the existing law that had set the minimum marriage age at 18 for men and 16 for women.

According to the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER), business sentiment improved last month among local manufacturers and service providers, but property developers turned slightly cautious after policymakers voiced concern about housing price hikes.

With China becoming increasingly unfriendly to foreign media outlets and new national security laws making journalists nervous in Hong Kong, there has been a sharp spike in media outlets and journalists registering in Taiwan.
As of Christmas day, 71 international media outlets and 124 journalists were registered in Taiwan, a jump of 18 outlets and 27 journalists.
This is important, as all too often in the past Taiwan got little news coverage–including of the Sunflower movement–and what was covered was often covered very badly.
There has already been a marked improvement in Taiwan coverage this year, though–with some exceptions–there is still a ways to go before they really understand what is going on in Taiwan.

Starting on January 1st, Taiwan will begin using new passport stamps, the first change since 2013.
The stamps feature a small map of Taiwan, the words Republic of China in Chinese, ROC (Taiwan) in English and a cute retro-looking airplane.
Curiously the fonts used look handwritten, with the date in a font that doesn’t look too different than everyone’s favourite font, Comic Sans.

The “Belize Urban Resilience and Disaster Prevention Plan,” a Taiwanese foreign aid project centered on natural disaster prevention technology, gave residents three extra hours to evacuate the area as floods triggered by Hurricane Iota approached in November.

A pro-Beijing Hong Kong magazine is running with a cover story that features an image portraying the president as “Empress Tsai,” with her dressed in royal garb from the Qin Dynasty including a crown while she sits smiling on a throne.
The article, which was posted on the magazine’s Web site, said: “Green camp party’s new authoritarianism” and: “Behind the scenes of Taiwan’s dictatorship that arose from a popular election.”
“The DPP has been criticized as becoming too much like the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) during the Martial Law era,” the article said. “President Tsai is turning into a leader of a new authoritarian state.”
These are talking points frequently used by both the KMT and Chinese state media.

Image courtesy of 亞洲週刊’s Facebook

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