Taiwan Headlines, Feb. 24, 2021

Chinese children of Taiwanese nationals who were unable to spend the required amount of time in Taiwan in 2020 to keep their residence visas due to a COVID-19-related entry ban will be granted an extension equal to the amount of time the ban was in effect–or 211 days–to allow permit holders to meet the physical presence requirement.

People in Taiwan who accept the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will receive their first and second doses at least eight weeks apart, in accord with recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and a new study which shows that longer intervals between doses are associated with higher efficacy.
The first doses will likely be administered in early March to medical personnel.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) has forecast that Taiwan can expect normal or slightly lower than normal levels of rainfall in the coming two months, meaning that water shortages in central and southern Taiwan will likely continue, and could worsen.

Over the past decade, the average hourly wage gap between men and women in Taiwan has been reduced from 17.1 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2020, translating to a fall from 63 to 51 extra workdays for women to achieve the same pay level as men.
That compares well to the 2019 figures of 31.9 percent in Japan, 30.6 in South Korea, and 17.7 percent in the United States, but still indicates problems still persist.

The anti-authoritarianism group Taiwan Nation Alliance (TNA) decided to back out from a 228 Incident commemorative event that it co-organized after learning that former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT was invited to give remarks at the event.
The Taipei City government is the main organizer of the commemorative event, while the TNA and the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum are co-organizers.
The city government invited Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and Ma, who had attended the event every year as president and issued apologies.
Much of Ma’s martial law-era past, his often pro-China presidency and his recent pro-China remarks haven’t sat well with those advocating transitional justice.
The 228 incident was a 1947 uprising against the newly arrived KMT and ROC government over corruption and violence, and was brutally suppressed.
Most estimates of the number of dead at the hands of the KMT in the low tens of thousands.

Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) Chair Jaw Shaw-kong and now self-pronounced candidate for KMT chair this year and president in 2024 has called for Taiwan to move to a parliamentary system–and for President Tsai to accomplish that before her term ends.
That would be an ambitious timeline, even if she were interested in the idea, which there is no indication she is.

A tax incentive package to encourage purchases of energy efficient electricity appliances that was set to expire on June 14 will be extended an additional two years.

The Cabinet-level National Development Council (NDC) has unveiled a four-year plan focusing on several goals, including the nurturing of Taiwan’s digital talent pool, improving Taiwan’s bilingual education and expanding efforts to hire talent internationally.
The NDC will work this year with other government agencies and experts from various fields to come up with a more concrete definition of what constitutes “digital talent.”

The production value of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry grew 20.9 percent year-on-year to NT$3.22 trillion (US$113.6 billion) last year, while the global semiconductor market grew only 6.8 percent as a whole to US$440.4 billion last year.
This suggests that Taiwan’s chipmakers are likely to increase their dominance this year.

Former President Ma Ying-jeou, referring to the US freedom of navigation movements by US naval vessels in the South China Sea, has attacked the US for infringing on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
The US, France, Canada and UK have all recently conducted such operations to remind China that their so-called ‘nine-dash line’ claims to the entire region are not internationally recognized.
The ‘nine-dash’ line was inherited by the PRC from the ROC’s ‘eleven-dash’ line, which in theory Taiwan still claims.
In practice, however, Taiwan has been as alarmed as the other countries about China’s aggressive moves there.

In a first, Taiwan’s World Trade Organization (WTO) representative has met with his American counterpart at the office of Taiwan’s WTO mission.
This suggests that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is upholding his statement to the US Senate during his confirmation that he will continue former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s policy of lifting the restrictions on contacts between Taiwan and U.S. officials that had been in place since formal ties between the two countries were severed in 1979.
The two discussed WTO reforms and vowed to cooperate on strengthening bilateral relations and safeguarding multilateral trading systems.

Image courtesy of Ma Ying-jeou’s FB page

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