Written by Niki Alsford. To conclude, Taiwan Studies exists as an academic discipline because those who engage with it—whether in the continental or oceanic stories—care deeply about it. Debates surrounding its positionality will continue in an almost cyclical context because the anxieties academics have about the future of the field are shaped by the very concerns that we are all facing in a continued onslaught on languages, humanities, and social sciences at academic institutes across the globe. The future-proofing of the discipline rests in encouraging our students to engage with and think about Taiwan. After all, it is a brilliant island to study.
Pondering the Pacific: One of the Moons Version II
Written by Ysanne Chen, Ilin Tsai, and Shih-Hao Huang. In “Pondering the Pacific,” we conceptualise the Pacific as an oceanic highway or a contact zone. The vast ocean connects Pacific Islands. We travel from the island of Taiwan (we are reluctant to call it main(is)land) to Pongso no Tao to recover and explore this connection. When on the island, we further learn about Tao people’s connectedness to other Pacific Islanders. Upon our return, we wrote these poems to celebrate the Pacific. Along with other Pacific Islanders writers and poets, we praise the Pacific for its abundance and ability to connect people. We also join Pacific Islanders in voicing out against nuclear contamination and all forms of environmental injustice.
Pondering the Pacific: One of the Moons Version I
Written by Shih-hao Huang, Chiahua Lin, and Robinson Pinghao Liu. Employing “the Pacific” as a contact zone, this poetry collection explores the dynamic and shifting relationship between land and sea, allowing Indigenous culture and history in the trans-Pacific context to engage in spatial and historical complexity. This journey triggers memories and connects the present with the ancestral past. When seeing the constellations in the sky, one is reminded of the stories about stars. However, we were reminded that we often forget Taiwan is also a part of the Pacific. Therefore, we authored poems to represent, substantiate and celebrate the connection: the LOST connection between the Pacific Ocean and us.
Fighting from the Grassroots: Indigenous Health Justice is All About Life
Written by Yunaw Sili and Besu Piyas. The story began in 2006. That year, the Council of Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan issued a guideline stating that if Indigenous students need preferential treatment for college admission, they must pass the national Indigenous language certification test. As a result, many parents were worried that their children’s access to higher education would become more difficult. Because of this issue, we started our grassroots organising work in Hanxi Village, Datong Township of Yilan County. That was the first time we engaged and coordinated with the community people on local concerns. On April 19th, 2006, we demonstrated in front of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, fighting for our youth’s college rights.
The Best-Laid Plans of Rice and Men (And Ducks): Organic Farming in Yuanli Township
Written by Li Ching Chen, Translated by Sam Robbins. Hae works on a rice-duck farming cooperative in Yuanli. He wanted to take advantage of the fact that ducks eat rice pests and raise the ducks in the rice paddies. Although the idea was good in theory, there were many difficulties in practice. For example, he told me many of the dogs from the township started hunting the ducks. As ducks slowly waddled through the rice paddies, the dogs would start salivating.
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.
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.
Taiwan’s Role in International Organisations and its Climate Change Efforts
Written by Simona Grano. Since the early 1990s, Taiwan has been developing its energy policies in response to the trends established by the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Even though Taiwan is not a signatory Party, a Taiwanese delegation has never been absent from the UNFCCC.
Taiwan’s Green Efforts
Written by Chien Te Fan. Taiwan, also known in Europe as Formosa in the mid-16th century, is an island country with rich biodiversity. However, in the Pacific Rim seismic zone and the main path of typhoons in the Northwest Pacific region, Taiwan has been one of the most vulnerable countries threatened by the current climate crisis. Therefore, since the late 19th century, Taiwan has been striving to maintain its precious natural resources and resilience to survive the effects of industrialisation and adapt to climate change.
Taiwan’s status at the science-policy interface for global climate change: why getting it right matters
Written by Leslie Mabon. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) arguably represents an unprecedented level of international cooperation on a global problem. Therefore, the 2021 meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC – COP26 in Glasgow – is especially significant. COP26 marks five years (including a one-year pause due to COVID) since the Paris Agreement and is the first point at which countries must update their pledges for action to limit global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible. Yet despite the importance of COP26 and the UNFCCC to find ways of avoiding harmful climate change, one high-emitting country of 23 million people will be absent from the negotiations – Taiwan.
Taiwan-UK Offshore Wind Cooperation Successes Should be Big News at COP26
Written by Col. Bob Stewart and Lord Rogan. With the COP26 Conference in Glasgow fast approaching, the UK Government has made the challenge of addressing climate change a priority for post-Brexit Britain. It is one of the platforms being used to launch ‘Global Britain’ back onto the world stage, and there is a great deal riding on COP26 delivering tangible results that can make a real difference in the years ahead.