Trending in Taiwan Today

Trending in Taiwan Today
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What you need to know

Today’s biggest stories from around Taiwan.

Tsai's ratings slide

Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval ratings have dropped to a new low of 41.4 percent, according to recent polls released on Nov. 28, by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation. Tsai’s disapproval ratings have increased to 42.6 percent, from 8.8 percent in May. The foundation’s chair You Ying-lung (遊盈隆) said the polls showed that “Tsai is facing a crisis of political authority and personal leadership,” Taipei Times reports.

Taiwan-Japan trade talks kick-off

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock / 達志影像

The Taiwan-Japan Trade and Economic talks began today. The Taiwanese delegation, led by Taiwan Association of East Asian Relations President Chiu I-ren (邱義仁), expressed their hopes to discuss the Taiwan-Japan Economic Partnership Act (EPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In his speech, the chairman of the Japan Interchange Association Ohashi Mitsuo said that the recent negative comments about food exported by Japan was harmful to the people of Fukushima, and he hoped Taiwan would lift the ban on Japanese food imports, the Central News Agency reports.

Badminton ace on top of the world

Photo Credit: 戴資穎

Taiwanese badminton player Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) is the world’s number one female badminton player after winning the final for the women's singles in the Hong Kong Open Badminton Championships. The 22-year-old beat former world number one Carolina Marin on Nov. 26 in the semi-final and faced P.V. Sindhu in the final match-up on Nov. 27. Sindhu won the silver medal in the 2016 Olympics while Tai only made it to the top 16.

Buyer for TransAsia?

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After last week’s sudden announcement that TransAsia Airways, operating since 1951, would close, chair Vincent Lin (林明昇) told United Daily News that a Japanese company is interested in buying the airline. Lin said that he “misjudged the trend of the airline industry” and that crashes in 2014 and 2015 led to continuous losses for the company and eventually the shutdown, UDN reports.

Legislator calls for calm on same-sex marriage

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Legislators met on Nov. 28 for the second public hearing for the proposed Taiwan Civil Code amendment for same-sex marriage at the Legislative Yuan. After the hearing, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), who proposed the amendment, asked the public to stop “attacking ideas from others” and discuss the issue rationally, CNA reports. Meanwhile, thousands gathered outside the Legislative Yuan to support the amendment. Protests have been held by both supporters and opponents of the proposal.

Drug policy softening?

Photo Credit : REUTERS/達志影像

At a policy meeting on Monday night where President Tsai Ing-wen heard reports on the government’s anti-drug efforts, Tsai said that drug addicts who were not involved in drug trafficking should be treated for addiction as “patients and victims of the drug trade” instead of criminals, China Times reports. She tasked the Executive Yuan with developing concrete plans for drug rehabilitation programs, as well as amending the relevant laws to allow for government intervention where necessary.

Indigenous firearms saga continues

Photo Credit: *嘟嘟嘟* @ Flickr CC BY 2.0

A Bunun Aborigine man who was arrested for violating the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act in 2013 was in court today for a preliminary hearing on the controversial case. Tama Talum, 57, says he was hunting for game for his 90-year-old mother when he was arrested. He was later sentenced by a district court to three and a half years in prison. He was also charged with violating the Wildlife Conservation Act for hunting outside permitted ceremonial activities. However, his prison sentence was delayed after Prosecutor General Yen Ta-ho (顏大和) filed an extraordinary appeal in 2015 on his behalf, on the grounds that the original ruling by the district court was based on a narrow interpretation of the law. Taiwanese indigenous people have allowances for owning “home-made shotguns,” and Tama Talum’s arrest came under fire from indigenous rights groups for undermining cultural traditions. UDN reports that the Supreme Court has asked both the defense and the prosecution to bring in two to three expert witnesses for the next court session.

First Editor: Edward White
Second Editor: Olivia Yang