Taiwan Newsletter 8/11/2017

Headline News


U.S. senators urge Trump to keep Taiwan in mind


A letter signed by 36 United States senators, 23 Republican, 12 Democrats and one independent, called on U.S. President Donald Trump to keep Taiwan in mind when visiting China.


It called on Trump to honor the Taiwan Relations Act, as his predecessors have, because this Act forms the cornerstone of U.S. policy on Taiwan since ending diplomatic ties in 1979. At the same time it would demonstrate U.S. leadership in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.


The senators agreed that Taiwan is one of the closest U.S. allies which deserves U.S. support.


“Beijing must understand that our strong ties with Taiwan are not negotiable or subordinate to other, unrelated issues. We hope you will make clear the United States will maintain its relationship and channels of communication with Taiwan and also encourage Beijing to maintain its own,” it noted.


President Tsai Ing-wen seeks dialogue with China


President Tsai Ing-wen called on the Communist Party of China to begin dialogue with her Administration to end hostilities and fear of war between the two sides.


Following the conclusion of the 19th CPC National Congress, President Tsai said that the ruling party of China has entered into “a whole new era of ruling.” “Now is the turning point” to change cross-Strait relations, the President was quoted.


Tsai also urged the two sides of the Strait to display the wisdom that has carried both sides over 30 years to work for a breakthrough in cross-Strait relations and long-lasting benefits for the people on both sides.




Taiwan records 3.11% growth in third quarter


The real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.11 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the highest for 10 quarters, according to figures of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).


There is also a strong growth in foreign demand, with exports of goods, mainly semiconductor and machinery and equipment, and services increasing by 11.16 percent.


Imports also increased by 6.54 percent. Based on growth and an estimated 1.8 percent GDP rise in the fourth quarter, DGBAS predicted that annual GDP will grow by 2.42 percent this year.


Four cities and counties among Smart 21 Communities


Chiayi City, Kinmen County, Tainan City and Taoyuan City were named among the Smart 21 Communities of 2018 by the New York based Intelligent Community Forum (ICF).


Smart 21 comprises cities, counties and rural communities which use digital tools to build local economies and societies so they can prosper.


The 21 finalists were selected from 400 cities worldwide based on quantitative and qualitative data they submitted in a wide range of areas, such as broadband infrastructure, innovations and sustainability.





LGBT parade shows progressive, open minded society


Tens of thousands participated in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) parade in Taipei. Members of the diplomatic corps and foreign representative offices in Taiwan also took part in the parade. They represented European Union member states, including The Netherlands, and other countries such as Australia, the United States and Canada.


The head of the European Economic Trade Office, Madeleine Majorenko, said, “It is a fantastic opportunity to show how wonderful Taiwan is, how fantastic a country it is, and how beautiful and open-minded its people are.” Majorenko said that the world can learn from how Taiwan is addressing this issue.


Mark Fletcher, head of the political section at the British Office, said that Taiwan’s LGBT Pride Parade “provides us with an opportunity to send a strong signal of solidarity with LGBT communities, not just in Taiwan, but also in Asia and worldwide.”


Taiwan wins World of Bread contest in France


Taiwan won the World of Bread (Mondial du Pain) contest for the second consecutive year. The contest was held in October in Nantes. This year’s competition was titled “Taste and Nutrition.”


Participants from 19 countries included Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, the Netherlands and the United States.