The promotion of English proficiency is designed to increase competitiveness in the international arena. To help ensure this country’s continued competitiveness in an era of globalization, the National Development Council (NDC) last December launched a plan to develop Taiwan into a “bilingual nation” by 2030. The goal is not to establish English as an official…

Solomon Islands, Kiribati Cut Ties with Taiwan After months of uncertainty regarding whether Taiwan would lose yet another ally to China, the government of the Solomon Islands on September 16 voted to switch diplomatic recognition to the PRC, ending its 36-year formal relationship with Taiwan. Its decision followed statements made by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign…

Southwestern Taiwan is a strong-hold of traditional Taiwanese culture. Many people in this region still speak “Minnanhua,” the local Chinese dialect also known as Taiwanese, in preference to Mandarin. Yet at the same time, the southwest has a corridor of Hakka settlements stretching nearly 50 kilometers from north to south. Taiwanese society is a multiethnic…

Licenses Approved for Three Online-only Banks The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) on July 30 approved applications for operating licenses submitted by three online-only banks, despite having previously stated that such authorization would be limited to two banks this year. FSC Chairman Wellington Koo announced that the licenses will be issued to Next Bank, whose majority…

Sale Of F-16Vs to Taiwan Gets U.S. Approval Following quickly after Taiwan’s US$2.2 billion purchase of tanks, missiles, and other military hardware from the U.S. in July, the Trump administration in August approved the additional US$8 billion sale to Taiwan of 66 F-16V fighter jets, also known as the F-16 Viper. Although in keeping with…