Trending in Taiwan Today

Trending in Taiwan Today
Photo Credit: Reuters / 達志影像

What you need to know

Today's biggest stories from around Taiwan.

Gay woman commits suicide after participating in marriage equality rally

Photo Credit: 路透社 / 達志影像

A gay woman is reported to have committed suicide after taking part in the marriage equality rally, which was held in Taipei on Dec. 10 and drew more than 200,000 people.

A Facebook post, which has since been removed, detailed the incident. It was published by social activist Wang Yi-kai (王奕凱), who referred to the woman as “a friend," and has been widely reported in Taiwan Chinese-language media today.

According to Wang's Facebook post, media reports showing the woman attending the rally were seen by her family. The woman's, family, which had long been ashamed of the woman's sexual orientation, decided to shut the woman in her room. She was later found dead.

Wang says he removed the post. He refuses to reveal the woman’s identity in fear it would expose the identity of the woman’s parents.

What to Do If You Need Help: contact Taiwan Suicide Prevention Center (台灣自殺防治中心) or call 0800 788 995

International bestselling author exposes Chinese censorship in U.S. over Taiwan


Nassim Taleb, author of the international bestseller "Black Swan," has exposed what he says was attempted Chinese censorship of one of his books to be sold in the United States.

The Chinese company printing a U.S.-bound edition of his 2012 book, “Antifragile,” sought to change a reference to "Taiwan" so that it included "China," the author said in series of comments on Twitter.

“I (angrily) said ‘No censorship!’,” Taleb says. He has also has posted photos of the manuscript with suggested changes, which he says are from the Chinese printing company.

Taleb’s publisher Random House was supportive of his decision and has changed to a new printer, he says.

Read more on China’s censorship over Taiwan and other publications here:
"Protesters Take to the Streets After Bookseller Breaks Silence on Abduction by China"
"Shanghai Bookstore Tears Out 'Taiwan' from Dictionaries"

Bloomberg’s currency manipulation accusation incorrect: Central Bank


Taiwan's Central Bank yesterday denied accusations that Taiwan is closer than China to acting as a currency manipulator. The bank, which was responding to a report by Bloomberg, will also send a report to related authorities to clarify its stance regarding the accusation, reports CNA.

The Central Bank said that Taiwan's trade surplus with the U.S. is far smaller than China’s, standing at US$10 billion a year compared to China's US$300 billion. This shows, according to the bank, that Taiwan is far less likely to become a currency manipulator than China. It also said merely using trade surplus statistics to determine if a country is involved in currency manipulation is not objective.

The Bloomberg report says Taiwan is more suited to bear the name “currency manipulator” than China after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s accusation that China has been ripping-off the U.S. by manipulating its currency. Although China’s trade surplus with the U.S. and its other trade partners is far bigger than Taiwan’s, Bloomberg reports that if measured as a share of the economy, Taiwan’s trade surplus is six times the size of China’s.

The report cites calculations from William Cline, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, who found that the Taiwanese dollar is undervalued against the currencies of its trading partners by more than 25 percent. Cline thinks that the Chinese Yuan is “more or less fairly valued by his reckoning, which takes account of current and prospective trade flows,” Bloomberg reports.

U.S. and Taiwan react to Trump's 'one-China' policy comments

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters / 達志影像

The U.S. and Taiwan continue to react to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's comments on the "one-China policy," made on Fox News Sunday. Trump said, "I fully understand the 'one China' policy, but I don't know why we have to be bound by a 'one-China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade."

Richard C. Bush, senior fellow at the U.S.-based Brookings Institution and former U.S. diplomat in Taiwan, published an open letter to Trump yesterday. Bush writes, "Not only would it not work as a practical matter to try to use the One-China policy to leverage U.S. objectives on other issues, it would be immoral to do so. Taiwan is not a 'tradeable good'" and "to enter into negotiations with China on the One-China policy is to create a zone of uncertainty that puts Taiwan at risk."

According to CNA, Taiwanese officials said on Monday that Taiwan will not become "a bargaining chip" in an international geopolitical game if the country can maintain democracy and expand international participation. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)'s spokesperson Alex Huang (黃重諺) has refused to comment on Trump's remarks, but says Taiwan would be pleased to see policy changes by any other government that can ensure the country's democracy and help Taiwan take part in international events or discussions.

Gender-neutral public restrooms to be launched

Photo Credit:Reuters/達志影像

Yilan County in northern Taiwan plans to start promoting gender-neutral public restrooms at scenic attractions next summer, reports Liberty Times. The county government says the move is to boost the user-friendliness of public facilities, but there have been mixed responses towards its decision. Some say it shows a great improvement in gender equality, while others doubt its safety and hope the government will consider it further.

There are currently 18 scenic attractions under the jurisdiction of the Yilan County Government and they attract over 5 million tourists a year in total.

Editor: Edward White