Written by Ian Inkster. The East Asian capacity for self-help is not an illusion nor irrelevant to our further understanding of the global Covid 19 crisis. More of this later. First, a few statistics that put East Asia in some perspective, derived from my analysis of the figures available on 28-29 March. All figures are problematic and very temporary, but the death/cases ratio seems sturdy in that the numerator is visible, which is more difficult to hide and easier to find than most of the measures being bandied about elsewhere.
Written by Tyler Prochazka. As the coronavirus spreads rapidly around the world, the global economy could face its most serious decline since the 2008 Great Recession. While Taiwan has avoided a serious community spread of COVID-19, it is not immune to the global economic fallout from the pandemic. To assure that its citizens are able to keep their heads afloat financially, the Taiwanese government should prioritize an emergency basic income for every household over bailouts to corporations.
Written by Min-Hua Chiang. The relocation of Taiwanese outward direct investment (ODI) away from China is a clear sign of the shifting global business landscape. The cross-strait division of labour in manufacturing production has started to fade after China’s wage hike, industrial upgrading as well as stricter rules on the environment and labour protection. Taiwan’s ODI in China has declined visibly after 2012.
Written by Michael Reilly. In the medium to long-term, the coronavirus outbreak may turn out to be the high-water mark of foreign investment in China. Even before this, foreign companies were growing increasingly frustrated as the government increased minimum wage levels in provinces such as Guangdong and Fujian, and they also became frustrated with a growing burden of regulations and a bias in favour of domestic companies.
Written by Corey Bell.
The 2019 Yushan Forum, hosted earlier this month by the Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation, lived up to its hype as a major forum on Asian trade and security. In a major coup, this year’s programme succeeded in attracting a number of prominent speakers, including Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who delivered the event’s opening address, her Vice President Chen Chien-jen, India’s former foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon, and Sandra Oudkirk, the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Written by Michael Reilly. Not since the end of the 2nd World War has the international trading environment been shrouded in so much uncertainty. Four years ago, the future looked clear. In October 2015, the USA and eleven other countries agreed on what would have been the world’s largest free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), covering 40% of the global economy. The USA and the EU were also talking about a similar agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Then came the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election as president of the USA.
Written by Kenneth H. Chen. My fieldwork uncovered the critical functions played by Taiwanese education agents in sending international students abroad. These education agents served as mediators of students and parents’ feelings, emotions, and relationship with others. Studies show that middle-class parents and children are calculative and anxious about seeking college education abroad.
Written by David O’Brien. One of the odder cross-Strait news stories this month was the case of the Shandong man surnamed Chang who was spotted emerging from the sea onto a beach of Taiwan’s Lesser Kinmen Island with three child’s inflatable swimming rings, a big bag of chillies and 1,381 RMB.
Written by Min-Hua Chiang. Businesses and entertainers have been forced to adhere to the “One-China Policy”, and from 1st August 2019 Chinese nationals from 47 cities in China were prohibited to visit Taiwan on an individual basis. China’s new tourism restraint is another attempt to intimidate Taiwan.
Taiwanese officials estimated a reduction of NT$18,000 million (US$574 million) in tourism revenue and a fall of 0.1% GDP following China’s new tourism policy. Looking at the statistics in detail, the impact on Taiwan’s economy is limited.
Written by Perl Li. In light of the recent pressure China is exerting on Taiwan through tourism, I hope the Tourism Bureau will properly utilise its resources to improve its campaigns both to support the tourism economy as well as Taiwan’s international reputation.
Written by Eric Chen-hua Yu. Empirical studies on presidential approval ratings in the US and other OECD countries have long concluded that the state of the economy is an important factor explaining the rise and fall of presidential approval ratings. Specifically, when economic conditions are good, the sentiment toward the president will be positive. In light of this correlation, does the presidential approval rating in Taiwan follow such a pattern?
Written by Chia-Yuan Huang. Unlike the so-called Taiwanese ‘elites’ or ‘talents’ who were headhunted by Singaporean companies with the highest-level employment pass, a number of recently-migrated young Taiwanese workers in Singapore are engaged in the service industry. Most work on a contractual basis, dispatched by an agency and hold the lowest-level work pass (hereafter WP), which has many restrictions.