A Reflection on the UK’s Parliamentary Reaffirmation to Bolster Economic, Security & Develop Strategic Ties with Taiwan

Written by Raian Hossain. Most importantly, the debate at the House of Commons has highlighted a strong unity among different political parties’ parliamentarians in bolstering ties with Taiwan in all possible ways, be it economic, helping the island in international recognition, along with ensuring peace, security, and stability across the Taiwan Strait region. The cross-party unity approach ensures much more robust ties between UK-Taiwan in the upcoming days despite which party forms government in London in future.

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.

Searching for Taiwan’s Flavour: An Introduction to the series

Wrtitten by Po-Yi Hung. Where is the border of a country? To answer this question, we will often open a world atlas – or a national map of a specific country – to look at the boundaries drawn on the map. While we consult a world atlas or a national map to locate the borders of countries, we probably will also notice some “unsettled” borders between different countries. As you may have known, people have different opinions in drawing the borderline between Taiwan and China.

Crops, Houses, or Panels? The Land-Use Conversions of Taiwan Farmland

Written by Tsai Chia-Shen. Decades after opening to free trade, Taiwan’s food sufficiency rate has slid and maintained between 30-35% after 2003 (CoA 2020), reflecting a severe food insecurity status that has raised public concern over the quantity and quality of farmland. Although referring to other lately industrialised countries, it is prevalent that the agricultural share of GDP shrinks in the history of industrial transition, the decrease of employment in the agricultural sector still indicates the risk of losing food security, food sovereignty, and even State sovereignty.

The “Fruits” of Open Source: The Story of Open Hack Farm 

Written by Sam Robbins. As alternative food movements continue to develop and food politics has risen higher on the political agenda in Taiwan, there is perhaps still more opportunities for growth and collaboration between those concerned with the future of how food is produced in Taiwan. For Chen, the primary concern is still sustainability and environmentally sensitive agriculture. Open data and open technology is just a means to the broader end of preparing Taiwan for an increasingly unstable climate future. 

Food, Politics and Solidarity Economies in Taiwan

Written by I-Liang Wahn. Food plays a central role in Taiwanese culture, with the evolution of Taiwanese cuisine mixing multiple historical influences and constituting unique identities. But food is also increasingly a political topic and a field for solidarity economies. The politics of food was especially brought to the fore in three developments last year: a series of political events around food, the celebration of a milestone by two independent food media, and an academic conference devoted to food activism.

How did Malaysia and Taiwan respond to Covid-19? Part II: Pandemic’s Impact on Economy

Written by K. Thiruchelvam. Our earlier article described how governments in Malaysia and Taiwan have responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic on their health systems. We identified common themes from both countries’ responses to the pandemic and acknowledged the importance of public sector capacities and capabilities in shaping and steering them. This second part of the article will describe how governments in Malaysia and Taiwan have responded to the challenges of the pandemic in their economic sector. 

Saving an Ageing Industry by Employing Migrant Workers: The Legalisation of Agricultural Migrant Workers in Taiwan

Although 2022 may be seen as the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, it has also marked the third year after Taiwan opened its agricultural labour market to Southeast Asian workers. It is widely known in Taiwan that small tenant farmers in the vegetable, fruit, and tea sectors and livestock farmers have been challenged by chronic shortages of seasonal labour.

Taiwan’s Prowess in the ICT Industry  

Min-Hua Chiang examines the growth of Taiwan’s robust ICT industry. China was considered a potentially important competitor to Taiwan’s ICT firms a few years ago. However, China’s effort to reduce its reliance on importing key components was unsuccessful. In July 2021, Tsinghua Unigroup, a state-backed semiconductor manufacturer, filed a bankruptcy request. Chinese chip industry only took 7.6% of total global semiconductor sales. Its equipment and materials for production are still limited to older technologies. The American government has been encouraging manufacturing production at home to reduce imports of key components from overseas. Nevertheless, the high labour cost and lack of qualified workers in the semiconductor industry will make it difficult to reduce its reliance on Taiwan. The greater US-China competition in the high technology industry is only likely to increase the superpowers’ dependence on Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.

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