Taiwan Headlines, Jan. 23

A plan to launch electronic identification cards has been suspended until a specific law has been established as a legal basis to govern the matter.
The eID plan has received considerable pushback, including from within the DPP.

The KMT reportedly lost over NT$160 million last year, adding to a mountain of debt and liabilities.
Current Chair Johnny Chiang, however, reportedly personally raised NT$10 million.

A national referendum on activating the long-mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei will be held on Aug. 28.
It asks: “Do you agree that the 4th Nuclear Power Plant be activated for commercial operations?”
Considering the rods have already been shipped back to the US, and the costs of restarting the project high, it is unlikely to happen under President Tsai regardless of the result.

Ministry of Economic Affairs reported that export orders for last month surged 4.8 percent month-on-month and 38.3 percent year-on-year to a record-high US$60.55 billion.
However, the Investment Commission said foreign direct investment (FDI) in Taiwan fell to US$9.14 billion last year, down 18.32 percent from 2019.
The pandemic and a drop in Chinese investment likely due to the political climate were probably factors.
Another issue with this number is that some huge individual investments, such as those by Micron and Orsted, can cause big swings in this number.

In its 2021 Business Climate Survey, the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taiwan found that 85.7 percent of the respondents expressed confidence in Taiwan’s economic outlook over the next 12 months.
The figure was the highest since the chamber added the question to its survey four years ago.

Taiwan’s jobless rate was 3.85 percent in 2020, the highest since 2017.
The latest figure was 0.12 percentage points more than in 2019.
Considering the economic wreckage in most countries due to the pandemic, a mere 0.12 increase in unemployment is remarkably good.

Bloomberg Magazine has picked Taiwan Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim as one of the “Eight of the Most Important People to Watch in 2021.”

Outgoing UN ambassador Kelly Craft Tweeted a picture of herself standing in the UN General Assembly with a stuffed Taiwan Black Bear peeking out of her bag with the text “The time is right for nations of the world to stand as one in opposition to the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) efforts to exclude and isolate Taiwan. All [UN] member states should recognise the benefits of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organisations and the damage done by its continued exclusion.”
She has also recently emphasized bipartisan support in the US for Taiwan, and expressed confidence the new administration would continue to support Taiwan.

The European Parliament has passed two resolutions bearing content supporting Taiwan.
The resolutions for the first time encourage EU member states to “revisit their engagement policies with Taiwan” and to work with international like-minded partners “to protect democratic Taiwan from foreign threats.”
Revisiting engagement policies sounds similar to recent moves by the US.
The two resolutions reiterate the EU’s stance that it has been closely monitoring the cross-Taiwan Strait situation, while expressing concern over “China’s increasingly provocative military maneuvers aimed at Taiwan,” and calling on both sides to resolve their differences through peaceful means.
They also urge EU members to support Taiwan’s “meaningful and pragmatic participation as an observer in World Health Organization (WHO) meetings, mechanisms and activities, so as to jointly fight against the global public health crisis.”

Related Posts