Improvement Seen in 2017 Outlook Economists are increasingly bullish on Taiwan’s growth prospects through 2017, with three local forecasting organizations raising GDP growth projections to over 2% for the year. The Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) announced on April 19 that it had raised its forecast from 1.73% to 2.11%. “The stronger-than-expected momentum of…

Taiwan Human Rights Advocate Held in China While on a trip to China, Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che was seized by the authorities on March 19 and held incommunicado before China finally announced that he had been arrested for “activities endangering national security,” according to media reports. As of press time, Lee, an instructor…

New Infrastructure Plan to Boost Economy Premier Lin Chuan on March 23 unveiled a NT$880 billion (US$28.9 billion) infrastructure stimulus plan, dubbed the Forward-looking Infrastructure Program (FIP). It aims to build capacity in such sectors as the digital infrastructure, railways, renewable energy, urban-rural development, and water resources. On March 28, speaking at a station on…

U.S. Frigates Join Navy. More on the Way? The Taiwan Navy took possession of two refurbished U.S. Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates on March 16 at a cost of around US$190 million. The two frigates are equipped with AN/SQR-19 Multi-Function Towed Array Sonar (TACTAS), a system for the long-range passive detection of enemy submarines which was…

The Ministry of National Defense Launches Fighter Program The Air Force commander, General Shen Yi-ming, signed a memorandum with the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to award the research institute, a unit of the Ministry of National Defense, with a NT$68.6 billion (US$2.22 billion) contract to build 66 trainer fighter aircraft. The program, titled “Blue…