From Miracle to Bottleneck: the Future of Municipal Solid Waste in Taiwan

Written by Natalie Wong.
The economic boom and intensive urbanisation of the late 1970s generated a mountain of garbage in Taiwan. Improper waste disposal and poor municipal solid waste management (MSW) led to sanitary problems and environmental pollution. Although the Taiwanese government implemented a municipal waste policy in 1984, the citizens protested industrial landfills and open dumping sites for years. Later, the Taiwanese government implemented a recycling and waste scheme and the volume of waste was successfully reduced.

The Median Line in the Taiwan Strait: A Dangerous Loophole

Written by R. D. Cheng. On March 31, People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) warplanes flew across the “median line” in the Taiwan Strait that has long served as an unofficial airspace boundary between Taiwan and China. This behaviour was unusual and provocative move on China’s part — the first time in 20 years that such a deliberate incursion took place.

Ivan Karamazov with a Maoist Face: Guo Songfen’s Book Collections and Third World Existential Marxism

Written by Po-hsi Chen. Guo’s concern resembled the philosophical rendition of the post-war Czechoslovakian ‘socialism with a human face’, which emphasised individual freedom and personal choice under the Soviet regime. Indeed, Guo passingly referred to ‘Second World’ Eastern European communist theorists’ re-reading of Sartre in the post-Stalin context.

Cold War Border Politics: Chinese Maritime Captives in Korea during the 1950s

Written by Yu-Cheng Shih. The fishing and sailing communities during the Cold War is a long-neglected subject in current Cold War scholarship. For fishers and sailors whose livelihood requires frequent border-crossing, legal documentation became necessary, lest they be arrested as undocumented immigrants or smugglers. In other words, the new Cold War border illegalised a considerable part of these people’s livelihoods.

Introduction to the NATSA Special Issue: Overview of the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA)

Written by Diane Hsieh. The North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA) is an academic organisation and registered American 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1994. The NATSA annual conferences are the largest academic events on Taiwan Studies in North America, which not only provide scholars and students of Taiwan Studies a regular forum to meet and exchange intellectual ideas, but also allow researchers on East-Asia and beyond to receive dynamic feedback and broaden their academic horizons.

Documenting Taiwanese Modernism: Le Moulin’s Untimely Historical Project

Written by Tim Shao-Hung Teng. In 2015 Taiwanese filmmaker Huang Ya-li (黃亞歷) released his documentary Le Moulin (Riyaori shi sanbuzhe/ 日曜式散步者) to critical acclaim. The film recounts the major life events of four core members of Taiwan’s prewar surrealist poetry society, Le Moulin (fengche shishe/風車詩社). Known for its experimental style that does away with interviews and voice-over narrations, the nearly-three-hour film cites, extracts, pastes, and freely associates materials such as literature, paintings, photography, sounds, film footage, diary entries, and newspaper clippings. These sources are not always readily recognisable and nor are they all directly related to the poets’ works.

The Critical Functions of Taiwanese Education Agents During the Era of Commercialisation in Global Higher Education

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.

Is Taiwan’s Party System Headed for a Crackup?

Written by Kharis Templeman. These are all signs of what political scientists call party system institutionalisation (PSI)—the degree to which interactions among significant political parties, including the issues they advocate for, their membership and bases of support, and the shares of the vote each wins, are stable across multiple election cycles. Is PSI good for democracy? In general: yes.

“Today’s Taiwan, Tomorrow’s Hong Kong”: Linkages between Hong Kong’s Protests and Taiwan’s Democracy

Written by Gerrit van der Wees. The Hong Kong protests also constituted a wake-up call for the people in Taiwan along the lines of “Today’s Hong Kong, Tomorrow’s Taiwan.” The erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong today is a clear example of what could happen in Taiwan tomorrow if Chinese pressure, intimidation and influence operations are allowed to run their course.

CASE STUDY: English-Language Media Reaction To The End of China’s FIT Policy

Written by Ben Goren. On Wednesday 31st July, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced that it would stop issuing individual travel permits to residents in 47 Chinese cities. The announcement was a single sentence issued by the Ministry stating such trips would be suspended “due to current cross-Strait relations” and did not further elaborate. This lack of detail created space for speculation in media commentary on the change in policy. Searching for “China ban solo tourists Taiwan”, I found 21 English language media reports issued within a week of the policy announcement from outlets regarded as ‘international’ or those with a globally recognised brand.

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