Taiwan Headlines, Jan. 10

Taiwan’s population fell for the first time on record in 2020, down 0.18 percent, or 41,885 people, from the previous year.
Taiwan will become a super-aged society by 2025, meaning that one in five citizens will be over the age of 65, mainly due to the falling birth rate and rapidly aging population.
The number of marriages also dropped in 2020 to a low not seen in over a decade.

Apple iPhone maker Hon Hai Precision (also known as Foxconn) has signed a deal with Chinese electric carmaker Byton to help produce its first vehicle.
The move marks a big push by Foxconn into auto manufacturing as it tries to diversify its business beyond just assembling consumer electric products.
Byton’s M-Byte SUV is expected to launch by the first quarter of 2022.
There is also talk of Apple coming out with a self-driving car in 2024, and some rumours have included Hon Hai as a potential partner.

On Jan. 6, the Taipei City Council became the first council to pass a resolution to seek a constitutional interpretation on ractopamine pork regulations.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said he respects the council’s resolution.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) is raising the maximum reward tenfold for whistleblowers to encourage reporting of high-level financial crimes.
The maximum reward will be NT$4 million (US$140,000), paid to those who provide information that helps the FSC uncover financial crimes that are penalised with at least a NT$10 million fine or three years’ imprisonment.
Rewards for reporting low-level crimes will be increased five-fold.

The Investment Commission has announced that it will check the identity of the shareholders of TutorABC, the largest online English teaching platform in Taiwan, to determine whether the company is backed by Chinese investment.
An investigation on the blog Lao Ren Cha–linked to on our site Report.tw–has shown pretty conclusively that TutorABC and the Chinese parent company iTutorGroup present themselves as one online.
The staff of TutorABC has to abide by a “one China” directive, whether or not they live in China–with teachers being fired for as innocuous a statement as “I am a Taiwanese teacher.”

A Japanese survey found that 78% of respondents ‘felt close’ to Taiwan and 68% described Taiwan as ‘trustworthy’.
Asked why they had positive feelings, they cited the friendliness of Taiwanese people, the countries’ shared history, and the fact that many Taiwanese can speak Japanese.
A similar survey in Japan last year found that 90% of respondents had a negative impression of China.
The opinion poll was paid for by Taiwan’s representative office in Japan.

UK-based Flight International ranked Taiwan’s air force as the 10th most powerful in the world, ahead of Japan, which was ranked 11th.
The US topped the list, with China coming in second.

Following last week’s “Political-Military Dialogue” between the US and Taiwan, US Secretary of State announced that US ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft will visit Taiwan.
Her three-day trip will start on January 13, and leave on the 15th–only five days before President Trump and presumably her will be leaving office.
She will not be the highest-ranked person to visit Taiwan from the US, but she will be the first US ambassador to the U.N. to visit the country.
A spokesperson of China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations said “The United States will not succeed in its attempt to harm China’s core interests through political manipulation on the Taiwan question.
We wish to remind the United States that whoever plays with fire will burn himself.
The United States will pay a heavy price for its wrong action.
China strongly urges the United States to stop its crazy provocation, stop creating new difficulties for China-U.S. relations and the two countries’ cooperation in the United Nations, and stop going further on the wrong path,”

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