ISSUE 124                                                                                  January 6, 2022
Taiwan Weekly
Reliable report and analysis of the most important issues in Taiwan
In This Issue
● Featured Opinion: 
● This Week in Taiwan: 
Other Important Events This Week

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President Tsai Urges Beijing to Reject Military Force, Pursue Cross-Strait Peace
In her New Year's Day address, President Tsai Ing-wen called upon Beijing to recognize that military means is not an option to resolve cross-strait differences.
(Photo from: China Times)
Featured News

In New Year Address, President Tsai Urges Beijing Not to Use Force

China Times & United Daily News, January 2, 2022


President Tsai Ing-wen delivered her New Year address at the Presidential Office yesterday. Meanwhile mainland China sent again military aircraft to disturb Taiwan. When referring to cross-strait relations, President Tsai stated that she must remind the Beijing authorities not to misjudge the situation, and to prevent the spread of military adventurism within their ranks. The use of military means is absolutely not an option for resolving differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Both sides should face problems together in a peaceful manner and jointly seek solutions. In this regard, the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the State Council reiterated that the mainland is willing to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and efforts. However, if pro-independence forces continue to provoke and enforce, or even break through the red line, the mainland will have no choice but to take decisive measures.

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Featured Editorial
Driven by the global recovery, Taiwan's economic growth in 2021 exceeded 6 percent, and stock prices also grew considerably. Notwithstanding, Taiwan is faced with a hollowing crisis.
(Photo from: United Daily News)

2021 in Retrospect: Economic Prosperity, Democratic Regression

United Daily News Editorial , January 1, 2022


Driven by the global recovery, Taiwan’s economy grew over 6 percent in 2021, its stock market index closed at 18,000 points, and the Evergreen Marine gave out 40-month bonus to each of its employees. Taiwan-made wafers have become the materials chased by the world, their strategic importance is unprecedented and shining. However, accompanying these records, many industries were ruined by the epidemic, many old stores were forced to close, their employees lost their jobs and became losers in the high growth economy.

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Featured Opinion
According to a commentator, Taiwan's politics has gradually moved towards illiberal democracy, including arbitrary executive power, majoritarian tyranny in the legislature, and a judiciary abandoning the rule of law.

Illiberal Democracy in Taiwan

By Wang Chien-chuang

United Daily News, December 26, 2021


Taiwan is a young democracy that has evolved from authoritarianism. Since young democracies often lack a deep and profound constitutional culture, their rulers often arbitrarily overstep the lines when it comes to freedom and democracy. As a result, signs of an illiberal democracy can be seen everywhere in the process of governance.

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This Week in Taiwan
Housing prices in Taiwan have risen for 13 consecutive quarters.
(Photo from: China Times)
December 28: After Nicaragua unilaterally announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Taiwan on December 10, the media reported on December 27 that President Daniel Ortega ordered the confiscation of the Taiwan government's local assets and transferred them to mainland China. 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) protested this and stated that the embassy in Nicaragua has been a lawfully acquired diplomatic property since 1990. It was sold to the Catholic church in Managua, Nicaragua's capital city, for public welfare purposes, similar to how the Twin Oaks estate had been handled in the United States. MOFA will pursue legitimate international legal means to safeguard Taiwan's diplomatic property. 
December 28: The declining birthrate has impacted higher education. The Ministry of Education announced the registration rates of new students at colleges and universities in the current academic year, with seven schools failing to meet the benchmark target of 60 percent. Among them, the registration rate of Tung Fang Design University is lower than 20 percent, the lowest in Taiwan. In addition, some 20 universities have registration rates edging between 60 percent and 70 percent, the most for the past three years. 
December 29: The renovation of Shoushan Zoo in Kaohsiung cost about NT$500 million (about US$18 million), and the Kaohsiung City Government asked the Taiwan Power Company, CPC Corporation, and China Steel Corporation, to donate NT$80 million (about US$2.8 million), NT$80 million, and NT$60 million (about US$2.1 million), respectively, suspected as a result of coercion. Opposition legislators criticized that state-owned enterprises should not become little treasuries for a few local governments. Kaohsiung city councilors also questioned whether funding through donations serves to evade supervision by the City Council and will become a loophole. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, donations are based upon corporate social responsibility. 
December 29: The Taiwanese karate delegation, which consists of 22 members who traveled to Kazakhstan to participate in the Asian Karate championships, returned to Taiwan on December 24, with 13 testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), seven of which were diagnosed with the Omicron variant. The Sports Administration, Ministry of Education, stated on December 29, that the athletes and coaches who tested positive have only mild to no symptoms.
December 30: Taiwan stocks soared 3,486 points this year, the third largest growth in terms of points in history. The increase of 23.66 percent is also the 14th largest in history and the fifth largest among global financial markets. Taiwan stocks conquered the 18,000-point mark in the last week of 2021 but fell some 29 points on December 30, closing at 18,218, with a transaction value of NT$263.1 billion (about US$9.5 billion). 
December 30: The global port congestion has led to soaring freight rates for container ships. Evergreen Marine is expected to make a huge profit of NT$200 billion (about US$7.2 billion), more than eight times last year. The company also issued an unprecedented 40-month year-end bonus. Based on a starting salary of NT$40,000 (about US$1,443) for new employees, the income of everyone effectively broke NT$1 million (US$36,078), worth four years, rewriting the record of Taiwan companies issuing year-end bonuses.  
December 31: The rise in housing prices in Taiwan continues. According to the official national and metropolitan residential price index for the third quarter of 2021 published by the Ministry of the Interior, the national residential price index was 114.83, rising for 13 consecutive quarters, with a cumulative increase of approximately 14.74 percent. 
December 31: The day saw 41 new imported cases of the coronavirus, setting a new high for cases imported to Taiwan over two years. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), announced that starting from January 4, 2022, travelers to Taiwan must hold a negative COVID-19 test report, with the test administered within two days of boarding.
Taiwan Weekly is a newsletter released every week by Fair Winds Foundation and Association of Foreign Relations which provides coverage and perspectives on the latest developments in Taiwan.

The conclusions and recommendations of any Taiwan Weekly article are solely those of its author(s) and do not reflect the views of the institutions that publish the newsletter.

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