What you need to know
A daily breakdown of Taiwan's top stories and why they matter.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Monday that overseas businesses should return to Taiwan to help increase domestic demand and dodge the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
Tsai, speaking to China-based Taiwanese businesspeople at a Lunar New Year banquet in Taipei, said the government is focusing on three major initiatives – growing domestic demand, marketing Taiwan globally and helping overseas businesses return to Taiwan – to counter a slowing global economy and weakening trade demand, according to the Taipei Times.
She said overseas businesses should shift their models from “made by Taiwanese businesses” to “made in Taiwan.”
Up to a million Taiwanese live or work in China at any given time, and China remains Taiwan’s largest export partner. However, frayed trade relations between China and the United States have led Taiwanese multinationals, such as Foxconn, to set their sights on emerging markets such as that of Vietnam.
A Taiwanese economy perceived as stagnant, and declining domestic confidence in Taiwan’s economic growth, were cited by observers as a main reason why Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a humiliating defeat in November 2018’s regional elections.
China Airlines cancels 28 flights as strike continues
Taiwan-based China Airlines, in the midst of an ongoing pilots’ strike, canceled 28 flights on Tuesday, according to the airline’s official website.
The cancellations, which include flights between Taipei and Hong Kong, Sydney and Vienna, can be viewed here on China Airlines’ website.
Meanwhile, representatives of about 60 labor unions rallied yesterday outside Taipei’s Songshan Airport in support of the striking China Airlines pilots and decried proposed legislation that would require workers to give employers advance notice of a strike.
A Taipei City Confederation of Trade Unions official told the Taipei Times it was unfair to portray the pilots as forcing the airline to acquiesce to their demands by holding passengers hostage.
China Airlines pilots are asking the company to reduce their work hours, increase their bonus pay, replace managers who perform poorly and ban retaliation against union members.
The Taoyuan Union of Pilots said yesterday over 600 pilots have joined the strike, which began on Friday during the Lunar New Year holiday.
China Airlines also said passengers who were disrupted by the pilots’ strike could be compensated US$250 (NT$7,700), provided they were not traveling as part of a tour group, after receiving criticism for offering independent travelers just US$100 (NT$3,100).
Other news from Taiwan:
► Kuomintang (KMT) politician and former Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) says he will likely announce a presidential bid in March. Courtney Donovan Smith wrote here about his considerable influence within the KMT. (Yahoo!)
► Taiwan’s economics minister said the island would not face electricity shortages. The Tsai administration’s fluctuating energy policy has come under fire from critics from all sides in recent months. (CNA)
► Nuclear power proponents said they would launch three new nuclear power plebiscites to extend the operation of power plants and relocate nuclear waste stored on Orchid Island. (Taipei Times)
► Nearly 600 pig farms have ignored government orders to stop feeding their animals food waste in an effort to prevent African swine fever from reaching Taiwan. (CNA)
► Tainan reported its eighth imported case of dengue fever in 2019 on Monday. The case involves a Taiwanese man who works in Vietnam but traveled home for the Lunar New Year holiday. (CNA)
► Reporter Ann Maxon interviewed Shiau Hong-chi (蕭宏祺), president of the Taiwan Men’s Association. (Taipei Times)
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Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)
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