William Lai Succeeds Lin Chuan As Premier Two-term Tainan Mayor William Lai (Lai Ching-te), considered one of the rising stars in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was appointed to the premiership in early September. Lai, who turns 58 next month, holds a master’s in public health from Harvard and previously served as a member of…

Where business has slowed, the main reason appears to be economic factors. Ever since Beijing angrily terminated official communications with Taiwan’s then newly installed Tsai Ing-wen government in June last year, political relations with China have plunged to their coolest point in nearly a decade. But the cross-Strait political chill over Taiwan’s unwillingness to accept a…

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…