Written by Ratih Kabinawa. In an attempt to raise awareness about the lives of marginalised groups in Taiwan, the Taiwan Studies Programme at the University of Nottingham, U.K., organised a movie screening and discussion – Migrant Lives Matter: ‘Nine Shots’ – that showcased the dark side of migrant labour recruitment and employment in Taiwan. The film reveals some perspectives from different stakeholders, including labour advocacy networks, in addressing problems related to Taiwan’s labour migration system. Using the movie as a prompt, this article explores various advocacy networks and migrant labour movements in Taiwan. Why and how do these networks emerge and organise themselves? What are their motivations and activities? And how do these networks advocate for policy change and work to build solidarity to empower migrant workers?
Written by Bonny Ling. Since late-July 2020, a diplomatic row has embroiled the governments of Indonesia and Taiwan over who in principle should pay the cost of recruitment for low-skilled workers seeking jobs abroad. To date, the industry norm is that low-skilled migrant workers pay these fees of recruitment or placement to labour brokers in their home country, months before they begin their work and see their first pay. In order to secure a job abroad, many borrow heavily to pay for these recruitment costs upfront.
Written by Ratih Kabinawa and Jie Chen. President Lee Teng-hui transformed ROC Taiwan’s foreign policy from a rigid “man and bandits don’t co-exist” mindset, a dictum which defined the Chiangs’ era, to one focusing on pragmatic diplomacy. This stance emphasised flexible ways to promote Taiwan’s international standing as its own legitimate sovereign state. President Lee used Taiwan’s achievement as a new democracy with impressive economic and technological prowess to win fresh international sympathy and support.
Written by Karl Chee Leong Lee. Despite lingering pessimism surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on Southeast Asia’s economy, Malaysia has unexpectedly enjoyed a new wave of Taiwanese investment. According to official figures released by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) last April, the value of inbound manufacturing-based investment from Taiwan has increased seven-fold. In 2019 Taiwan became the fourth largest FDI source for Malaysia’s manufacturing sector after China, the US and Singapore.
Written by Ratih Kabinawa. Taiwan’s presidential election is just around the corner and the entire world is watching this highly contested democratic event that will determine not only Taiwan’s domestic politics but also foreign affairs direction. While the presidential debates mainly covered the future of cross-Strait relations with Beijing, little attention is given to Taiwan’s relations with countries in Southeast Asia. How will the result of the presidential election affect Taiwan’s engagement with Southeast Asian countries?
Written by Yuri Baral. At the time of Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy’s (NSP) inception, the core focus was on the value of cooperating with neighbors to better exploit each partners’ respective comparative advantages… Initial discussions aimed at defining the scope and goals of the policy did not explicitly mention a new platform for engaging with youths in Asia.
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 Alan H. Yang and Ding-Liang Chen. Taiwan has lost several of its diplomatic allies in recent years. These setbacks have prompted Taiwan’s government to devise new approaches to improving its international presence and foreign relations strategy.
Written by Kevin Lin. In mid-August 2018, over 250 labour activists from more than a dozen countries across Asia spent three days in Taipei at the first Labour Notes regional conference. The gathering was meant to highlight the serious labour organising in Asia and discuss the ways forward. It was a unique occasion in many ways.
Written by Chee-Hann Wu. Homecoming 微塵望鄉 is a 2017 production by Puppet & Its Double Theater 無獨有偶工作室劇團 featuring Lily 馬莉莉, daughter of veteran father and immigrant mother, and Paochi (寶枝), Vietnamese caregiver who takes care of Lily’s dementia inflicted farther.
Written by Josie-Marie Perkuhn. Southeast Asia (SEA) is one of the foremost target regions of President Tsai Ing-wen’s New Southbound Policy (NSP). The NSP seeks to guarantee Taiwan’s trade prospects and stabilise the Republic of China’s status through economic and people-to-people integration.
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.