US$3b Infrastructure Spend Clears First Reading The budget for the Tsai administration’s US$3.29 billion first phase of a major infrastructure project passed an initial reading in Taiwan’s parliament this week. The passage of the legislation for the so-called “forward-looking infrastructure plan” was marred by physical clashes in the Legislative Yuan as opposition Kuomintang lawmakers tried…

FDI in Taiwan Slashed, Investment from China Mixed  Applications by foreign companies to invest in Taiwan in the first five months of the year was down 6% on the same time a year ago, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The ministry’s Investment Commission says 1,260 foreign direct investment (FDI)…

Panama Switches Allegiance from Taiwan to China Panama President Juan Carlos Varela announced on Monday that the Republic of Panama had severed ties with Taiwan and had established diplomatic relations with China instead. Panama and China announced that Panama now “recognizes that there is only one China in the world” and that Taiwan is part of Chinese…

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…

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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,…

Tsai Makes First Overseas Trip President Tsai’s first diplomatic trip since taking office took place in June with visits to Panama and Paraguay, two important Latin American allies for Taiwan. She began her three days in Panama by attending the opening ceremony of the expanded Panama Canal. After meeting with top officials in the country,…