Export Recovery Fuels Higher GDP Growth Optimism regarding Taiwan’s economy is rising alongside trade figures as the island continues to benefit from the ongoing recovery in the global economy. Nearly all of the local economic analytics firms have raised their forecasts for GDP growth for 2017, with Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s top academic research institution, coming…

Emirates Sparks Furor in Taiwan Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, is facing fierce criticism after it reportedly banned cabin crew from wearing the Taiwan flag on their uniforms due to pressure from China, AFP reports. The Emirates cabin crew wears pins of their national flag on their uniforms, but a leaked internal email from…

US senators introduce bill to encourage high-level visits to Taiwan Six U.S. senators jointly introduced the Taiwan Travel Act on May 5 to encourage visits between the United States and Taiwan at all levels. The draft bill states that Congress believes the U.S. government should allow officials at all levels, including cabinet-level national security officials,…

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…

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 leaders of the United States and China and their senior officials have not mentioned Taiwan in the initial official comments following the first face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping.  Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports that Trump and Xi “exchanged views on regional hot-button issues,” though it does…

Taiwan’s Homegrown Submarine Build Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen this week unveiled a new Indigenous Defense Submarine program as part of a commitment to boosting Taiwan’s defense system and improving the island-nation’s military self-reliance. The Ministry of National Defense has contracted the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) and shipbuilder CSBC Corporation for the…

As a special service to our readers, Topics Online is providing a weekly news roundup from The News Lens International covering the week’s most important stories from Taiwan, across the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.  An Ex-President Indicted Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) this week became Taiwan’s third-straight former leader to be prosecuted…

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Tsai visits allies, transits USA Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen departed on January 6 for a nine-day journey to visit Central American allies, including stopovers in Houston and San Francisco. The trip occurred amid heightened tensions with China over Tsai’s congratulatory phone call to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.  Tsai’s first stop was a transit in Houston, Texas,…