Taiwan Newsletter Issue 134

Headline News


Time for Europe to defend Taiwan


“Hong Kong showed China is a threat to democracy. Now Europe must defend Taiwan,” is the title of an article by former NATO General Secretary and former Prime Minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.


In the article published by British news site The Guardian, Rasmussen highlights Hong Kong as an example of how China’s plans and ambitions for both Hong Kong and Taiwan are in direct contravention of the human rights and values which the European Union claims to promote in its foreign policy. Rasmussen boldly states that if Europe does not take notice of Taiwan’s situation and make meaningful actions to safeguard Taiwan’s liberal democracy, then it is a sure sign that Europe’s own democratic values ae likely to erode.


Rasmussen further states that Europe should follow the United States’ example in Asia and begin stepping up its support to Taiwan’s sovereignty through action. “Until we do, the EU’s claims to be basing foreign on values, is a statement that rings hollow,” Rasmussen is quoted.


Hong Kong capital lands in Taiwan


Hong Kong investment in Taiwan shows an increase by 203 percent in the first half of 2019, reaching US$340 million, according to statistics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.


Dpy Director Darson Chiu of the Macroeconomic Forecasting Center at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research said the Hong Kong government’s proposed extradition bill caused business anxiety and that multinational enterprises were worried about whether politics would affect Hong Kong’s financial independence and whether its free systems would continue.


Opening photo exhibition by Representative Chen Hsin Hsin


The photo exhibition “United Love: Documenting Pride in Asia” was opened on July 27 by Representative Chen Hsin Hsin in Vondel CS in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam.



The exhibition features a collection of photographs by photojournalist Watsamon Tri-yasakda, documenting LGBTQ Pride and public activities in Asia, including the 2017 and 2018 Gay Pride parades in Taipei.


Representative Chen stressed in her opening speech the development and progress of democracy and equality in Taiwan as a key factor, making it the first country in Asia that legalized same-sex marriage.


The exhibition is hosted by CinemAsia with the support of Amsterdam city, China Airlines and Vondel CS and is open till August 4.


Economy & Society


Taiwan-EU trade in goods hit new record


Taiwan moved up one notch as the 15th most significant trading partner in goods of the European Union (EU), according to the “EU-Taiwan Relations 2019 Report” published on July 16 by the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO).


According to the report, trade between Taiwan and the EU reached a historical high of 51.9 billion euros in 2018. Taiwan remained its position as the 21st most important export partner of the EU, while the EU kept its status as Taiwan’s largest source of foreign direct investment in 2018, accounting for 30 percent of its total FDI stock.


Bilateral trade in services between the EU and Taiwan amounted to 10.2 billion euros in 2017. According to the EETO, Taiwan is an attractive market, as its laws protect intellectual property with limited government intervention.


Garbage can becomes smart in Taiwan


A smart garbage can that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and sort recyclable trash automatically, has been introduced by the National Tsing Hua University (NHU). Through built-in imaging sensors, the garbage can is able to distinguish and separate metal cans, plastic bottles, glass and paper containers from the trash.


With the help of AI, sorting garbage is done quickly, and eliminates the need to separate trash by hand while increasing efficiency in waste management.


It also learns from mistakes to avoid repeat of the same error while it takes around 3 seconds to identify and sort each recyclable item.