Taiwan Newsletter Issue 144

Headline News


Taiwan is Taiwan


Minister Joseph Wu of Foreign Affairs urged the WHO to recognize that Taiwan is Taiwan and stop violating the health rights of the country’s 23.5 million people. ”Taiwan is not under China’s jurisdiction; Taiwan’s and China’s health are administered by separate and independent health authorities; and Taiwan’s and China’s flight information regions are administered by separate and independent civil administrations. This is such a simple reality that the WHO should never have missed it.”


WHO’s mistreatment of Taiwan keeps the country out of the WHO and, due to pressure from Beijing, the WHO has been reluctant to share coronavirus-related information with Taiwan while some countries had imposed travel restrictions on Taiwan.


Taiwan accelerates coronavirus research


Following the first reports of the virus late last year, the National Health Research Institute (NHRI) immediately started R&D cooperation with suppliers of biological agents. It is currently testing more than 96.000 pharmaceuticals and botanicals to identify substances capable of inhibiting the coronavirus.


A peptide vaccine is expected to be ready in three months, while a recombinant subunit variant and two others comprising DNA and rearranged genomes are in the pipeline, NRHI said.


NRHI’s progress coincides with the decision of the WHO to invite Taiwan’s medical experts and officials to participate online in a global forum on the virus from Feb. 11-12 in Geneva.


President Tsai seeks further Taiwan-EU ties


Taiwan is committed to forging a closer relationship with the EU and creating better opportunities for citizens on both sides by furthering exchanges in areas such as health care and trade. Taiwan-EU ties have accelerated recently, as shown from record bilateral trade and investments statistics over the past three years and from the growing EU support for Taiwan’s renewable energy industry, including offshore wind power development, said President Tsai.


Tsai made the remarks while receiving Giuseppe Izzo, Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, at the presidential office, adding that the government is looking to raise Taiwan-EU relations to new heights through a bilateral investment agreement.


Taiwan can be part of European Green Deal


“Taiwan is a regional leader (in terms of green energy) so we want Taiwan to be our partner also in the European Green Deal,” said Filip Grzegorzewski, the EU’s top Representative to Taipei.


Under the Green Deal, the EU aims to review its existing law on its climate merits, introduce new legislation on the circular economy, and expand biodiversity, farming and innovation. “We want to make it (the European Green Deal) part of our relationship with Taiwan, so we hope Taiwanese investors can benefit from the ambitious economic program in Europe,” he said, noting that green energy is one of the top priorities of the current Taiwan administration.


Culture & Travel


EVA Air ranked 8th best airline in the world


Taiwan’s EVA AIRWAYS has been ranked the 8th best airline out of the 20 best airlines in the world by AirlineRatings.com. The top 3 airlines are Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and All Nippon Airways. KLM ranked 14th on the list.


The Real Taiwan and the Dutch


This is the title of a book by Menno Goedhart, who was the Representative of the Netherlands for eight years in Taiwan. Traveling to parts of Taiwan unknown to most tourists and befriending many indigenous people, he also reveals some stories which originated from the Dutch VOC period in Tainan. For more info: