Taiwan Newsletter Issue 143

Headline News


WHO should not exclude Taiwan


Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center reported on Monday a total number of 530 suspected cases of coronavirus infection in Taiwan.


Among them, eight were confirmed to have the virus, 269 people were ruled out and the remainders are under quarantine for further examinations,


Health experts from all effected countries were invited last week for an emergency meeting by the World Health Organization (WHO), but Taiwan was not invited.

In the wake of this exclusion, President Tsai Ing-wen called on the WHO not to exclude Taiwan from global efforts to deal with new virus, adding that political considerations should not prioritize over people’s health. As part of the global community, Taiwan and its 23 million people have the same rights as those in the rest of the world, Tsai said.


The President also called on China to fulfill its responsibility as a member of the global society by providing adequate information to Taiwan about the spread of the deadly virus.


All arrivals in Taiwan, regardless of where their trips originated, will be required to have heath checks if they show symptoms of the new virus.


European Parliament passed resolutions backing Taiwan


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs thanked the European Parliament for the passage of resolutions on Jan. 15 reiterating support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the activities, mechanisms and meetings of international organizations, as well as urging peaceful resolution of cross-strait differences and preservation of the status quo


The resolutions reflect the importance the EU attaches to democracy and security in Asia. The organization’s firm and long-standing friendship is sincerely appreciated by Taiwan’s people, MOFA said.


Taiwan donations pour in after earthquake in Turkey


Following the magnitude 6.8 earthquake which struck the eastern Turkish province on Jan. 24, Taiwanese made donations to the AKUT Association, a Turkish disaster rescue non-governmental organization.


AKUT was reportedly amazed by the large number of donations as well as messages from Taiwanese on social media. Taiwan was the 2nd largest source of donations after Turkey, said AKUT Secretary-General Zeynep Aktosun.


The donations and support from Taiwan are an act of reciprocation to AKUT, which was the first foreign rescue team that came to Taiwan’s aid after the catastrophic 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Sept.1999.


Maintenance center for F-16 fighter jets



Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AICD) and Lockheed Martin signed a collaboration agreement that will make Taiwan the first maintenance center for F-16s in the Asia-Pacific.


Taiwan is the first country to work with Lockheed Martin on upgrading

its existing F-16s to F-16 Viper jets.


With the expected completion in 2023 of the upgrade of the country’s 144 F-16s along with the acquisition of 66 new F-16V Block 70/72 aircrafts, Taiwan expects to have a total of 210 F-16Vs, the largest fleet of F-16vs in the Asia-Pacific region.


Economy & Society


Taiwan records economic growth rate of 2.73%


The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) announced that Taiwan’s economic growth for 2019 amounts 2.73%, expectedly ahead of the rest of Asia’s four tigers


DGBAS attributes it to the better-than-expected domestic investment, exports and private consumption, which led to an expansion of production capacity, and significant increase of exports of information technology, audio-visual products and electronic components.


Ban on disposable tableware effective


The use of disposable tableware was already not permitted at restaurants and food stands in government agencies or on school campuses since 2006, but the ban is now being gradually extended since Jan.1 to other restaurants and food courts in shopping malls in Taiwan, including food stalls in hypermarkets.


The banned disposable tableware includes cups, bowls, plates, glasses, chopsticks, knives, forks and drink stirrers.