Taiwan Headlines, Mar. 5, 2021

The Taipei High Administrative Court revoked a decision by a household registration office not to permit a same-sex marriage involving a foreign national from a country in which such marriages are illegal.
The office based its decision on Article 46 of the Act Governing the Choice of Law in Civil Matters Involving Foreign Elements, which states that “the formation of a marriage is governed by the national law of each party.”
The court found that the restrictions in Article 46 run contrary to the Constitutional Court’s Interpretation No. 748, which established the constitutional right to equal marriage.
In the case in question, Taipei’s Daan District Household Registration Office refused to permit the marriage of Taiwanese legendary activist Chi Chia-wei (祁家威) and his Malaysian partner.
As relates to this particular case, however, the court noted that Chi’s partner has been unable to provide a certificate showing that he is single, and has said the COVID-19 pandemic and fear of legal repercussions in Malaysia have prevented him from applying for one.

A recall attempt against DPP Kaohsiung City Councillor Kao Min-lin (高閔琳) failed to attract enough signatures to proceed.

GlobalWafers has acquired a 70.27 percent share of German competitor Siltronic AG.
With the acquisition of a controlling stake in Siltronic AG, the Taiwanese company is set to become the world’s second-largest silicon wafer supplier.

Taiwan’s three science parks reported revenues of NT$3.28 trillion (US$117.85 billion) for 2020, up 15.03 percent year on year and setting an all-time high.

Taiwan achieved its best ever ranking in the 27-year history of the Index of Economic Freedom, climbing five spots to No. 6 out of 184 economies, according to the annual report released by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation.
Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, and Ireland topped the report in that order, with the five countries the only ones classified as “free.”
Taiwan at No. 6 was classified as “mostly free.”
According to the report, Taiwan’s better ranking this year is primarily because of an improvement in government integrity.
The report, however, said the main problem holding Taiwan back from the top economic freedom category “remains the continuing relative lack of labor freedom.”

According to an official statement by the US State Department, the embassies of the United States and Taiwan in the Kingdom of Eswatini partnered with the Government of Eswatini to host a virtual Partnership Opportunity Delegation.
The Department said that the US and Taiwan are working together with Eswatini to identify private sector opportunities that will strengthen the information technology sector in Eswatini.

Taiwan and Somaliland have set off their ICT partnership program by signing the E-government Capability Enhancement Project.
The project is aimed at enhancing the e-government capability in Somaliland
The objective is to improve government network management, establishing the data exchange platform among government institutions, and capacity building and institutional strengthening.

The parliament of the Flemish region of Belgium approved a resolution calling for the region’s government to strengthen its ties with Taiwan and work on promoting peace across the Taiwan Strait.
It was approved with a vote of 117:0 and four abstentions.

Lithuania has announced it plans to open a trade representative office this year in Taiwan.
The ruling coalition in Lithuania, an EU member of 2.8 million bordering Russia, has made supporting “freedom fighters from Belarus to Taiwan” a pillar of its governing program.
Separately, a Lithuanian foreign ministry spokeswoman said Vilnius would prefer direct or EU-led economic ties with China over participating in a Beijing-led “17+1” grouping with Central European countries.

Japan has pre-ordered over 6,200 metric tons of pineapple after China blocked imports from Taiwan, shattering previous records.
In another show of support, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressed his government’s support for Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Interim Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Japan met with Taiwan’s top envoy to Japan at the U.S. ambassador’s official residence.
This is a sign that then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcment he was lifting restrictions on contacts between Taiwan and U.S. officials put in place after formal ties between the two sides were severed in 1979 appears to still be in force.
During his Senate confirmation hearing, current Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated he planned to continue the policy change.

Image courtesy of Chi Chia-wei’s FB page

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