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 Hong-zen Wang, Pei-chia Lan, Yen-fen Tseng, Chia-ling Wu, Chiung-chih Chen. On 26th February 2020, Taiwan Centre for Disease Control (CDC) announced that there had been 32 confirmed cases of infection in Taiwan. Case #32 was unknowingly infected when she was employed as the caregiver for Case #27 during the latter’s hospitalisation. After the CDC disclosed her identity as an ‘illegal’ Indonesian migrant worker, public fears surged; consequently, several county governments announced that they would tighten the measures and crackdown on undocumented workers.
Written by Ying-da Wong. The government seemed to take it for granted that all citizens and foreign residents are issued with an NHI Card, and that their NHI Card is valid. As a matter of fact, as detailed below, there is a wide gap between this presumption and reality. This gap may affect people’s rights or adversely curtail the effectiveness of disease prevention. So, before I move on, a fundamental question must be asked: are migrant workers entitled to the NHI, and are they issued with an NHI Card?
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 Winnie King. As recent polls suggest that Tsai will retain her role of president, many commentators point to the six month long (and counting) protests in Hong Kong, the 18-month long (and counting) trade war between the United States and Mainland China. We cannot however, ignore successful policies adopted during Tsai’s tenure as leader—most significantly her iteration of the New Southbound Policy (NSP)—and the contribution this has made towards diversifying Taiwan’s economy beyond that of cross-Strait relations.
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 Yu-Ching Kuo and Robyn Klingler-Vidra. In this piece, we discuss how Brexit affects Taiwan in its role as a key player in the critical innovation arena of the global semiconductor industry. To do so, we contextualise Taiwan’s semiconductor industry in the dynamics of the global marketplace and discuss the potential effects of uncertainty on innovation.
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 Chun-yi Lee. Does Brexit impact Taiwan? The answer is, yes. Rather than repeat the tired cliché of ‘this is a globalised world’, I will instead ask our readers to think deeper about the interconnectivities of supply chains, the mobility of human talent in the innovation and high education sectors, and cross-regional trading agreements such as the TPP and CPTPP. If one considers all these different elements, Brexit certainly impacts on Taiwan and East Asia as a whole.
Written by Francesca Congiu. The political emancipation of labour unions was followed by a progressive erosion of worker rights and has resulted in Taiwan racing to the bottom of global labour standards. Organised labour in Taiwan is characterised by its continuing low rate of unionisation, which has caused a profound void of worker representation since the beginning of democratisation.