Written by Yi-Yu Lai. Lennon Wong is the director of a shelter for migrant workers in Taiwan. Before joining the shelter in the early 2010s, he was already a labour activist and worked in the Chinese Federation of Labour and the First Commercial Bank Union. Although his prior work was not directly relevant to migrant workers in Taiwan, his engagement with the labour movement may have started with the issue of migrant workers from Southeast Asia. As a result, we may thus understand the cross-border movement of migrant workers between Taiwan and the Philippines through some of his observations.
A Great Linguist with a Scientific Mind and Poet’s Soul: In Memory of Professor Robert Blust
Written by Hsiao-Chun Hung. Professor Robert (Bob) Blust was a world-renowned linguist whose contributions will be sorely missed by his many colleagues. Bob’s ideas sometimes provoked controversy. Small groups sometimes seek fleeting moments of fame in academia by targeting well-known scholars, often without sufficient or relevant supporting evidence. This approach attracts attention as a “newsworthy” difference of opinion, at least temporarily, until it can be dispelled. Facing such challenges, Bob consistently retained stoic confidence in his scientific methodology, regardless of the enthusiasm of his critics.
Landlords, Subsidies, and Policy Failures: Renting in Taipei and New Taipei City
Written by Natalie Dai（戴淨妍）, Jessica Hsu（徐卉馨）, Sophia Lee（李昕儒）, Dennis He（何正生); Translated by Sam Robbins. In August 2020, Lin Nuo-ning signed a half-year contract with her landlord and planned to stay in this apartment during her career move. However, when Nuo-ning applied for the subsidy for a second time, she received a call from her landlord whilst at work, criticising her for applying for the subsidy without telling her landlord first. As a result, her landlord asked her to move immediately. In applying for the subsidy, Nuo-ning had unintentionally caused the national tax bureau to contact her landlord to expect her tax records.
Location, Location, Location: Renting in Taipei and New Taipei City
Written by Natalie Dai（戴淨妍）, Jessica Hsu（徐卉馨）, Sophia Lee（李昕儒）, Dennis He（何正生); Translated by Sam Robbins. For recent graduates like Yi-ting, mostly all renters, rent typically takes up between one quarter and one-third of their monthly income. According to the Ministry of Labour, the average monthly salary for recent graduates in 2019 was 28,231NTD (£724; $1021). Judging by mean rental prices per region, if they are willing to move out to the suburbs of New Taipei City, they can expect to pay around 8,000NTD (£205; $289) a month for an eight ping (26 square meters; 285 square feet) apartment.
“Going to America”: An overview on Taiwanese Migration to the US
Written by Aspen Chen. The ostensible dearth of strong geographic, cultural, or political ties between the two places make the large-scale out-migration of Taiwanese to the US an interesting phenomenon: Why do so many Taiwanese immigrate to the US, and how has the pattern changed over time?
The Public Nature of Civil Disobedience: Lessons from the Sunflower and Umbrella Movement
Written by Leon N. Kunz. In March 2014, participants in the Sunflower Movement peacefully occupied the main chamber of Taiwan’s parliament to block the ratification of a controversial trade agreement with the PRC that they viewed as a threat to Taiwanese democracy. In September of the same year, protesters involved in Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement created street occupations to push for genuine democratic reform. In both cases, participants not merely occupied public space but claimed to engage in civil disobedience. According to the often-cited definition by liberal theorist John Rawls, civil disobedience is “a public, nonviolent, conscientious yet political act contrary to law usually done to bring about a change in the law or policies of the government.” To what extent did the occupations in Taiwan and Hong Kong conform to the dominant liberal civil disobedience script?
Left Perspectives on Connecting Taiwan to the International World: How New Bloom Magazine was Founded
Written by Brian Hioe. New Bloom Magazine, which is approaching its sixth anniversary, was originally founded in 2014 in the aftermath of the Sunflower Movement. Other founders of the publication and myself were participants in the Sunflower Movement, and we first began talking about the need to found a bilingual publication to connect Taiwan to the international world in April, which was around the time of the withdrawal from the Legislative Yuan. The publication subsequently launched in July 2014.
Youth Votes and Youth Vision in Taiwan’s 2020 Presidential Election
Written by Mark Wenyi Lai. Young Taiwanese have every right to distance with China and to protect Taiwan’s achievement of democracy, independence, and prosperity. But they do need to figure out what great vision they are pursuing, what change they seek after this predictable and over-praised election.
Layering Digital Tools for a New Humanity: the Internet as a Landscape of Purposeful Accretion and a Lesson from Taiwan
Written by Theodore Taptiklis. In Taiwan established internet infrastructure is being overlaid with new levels of creative functionality. These are opening up and transforming the polity and the meaning of citizenship in a range of mutually reinforcing ways. For example, Pol.is is enabling public consultation to be scaled to large numbers. Citizens can create a Pol.is identity using Facebook or Twitter and can see themselves and their concerns in relation to one another much more clearly with the help of a visual interface.
Could there be a federal solution for Hong Kong and China?
Written by Walter C. Clemens, Jr. Hong Kongers have earned the right to genuine self-rule. This essay suggests how this could happen within the framework of “One Country, Two Systems.” But Hong Kongers’ demands for freedom go against the tide of repression—not just in Russia, Turkey, and India but especially in China. Claiming that he will restore China’s former glory, President Xi Jinping is becoming the country’s most supreme bully since Mao Zedong.
A Huge Difference from the June 4th Movement: The Relationship between Students and Workers in Today’s Leftist Movement in China and Its Limitation of Thought Resources
Written by Kuo Jia. Indeed, the left in Taiwan borrows heavily on this knowledge in its analysis of subjects and effects in movements. However, I do not mean that Western Marxism and new social movement theory that developed in Taiwan from the 1990s is always better or more progressive. I am just suggesting that these may inspire or supplement mainland China’s orthodox Marxism for young leftists and their movements.