Week in Focus: Down and Dirty in Davos

Week in Focus: Down and Dirty in Davos
What you need to know

Global elites meet in Switzerland as Taiwan wanders off in its own direction.

Davos, Switzerland is hosting many of the world’s elite, and the scene shows how much geopolitics has changed in the past few years. China’s leading economist, Liu He, made a speech claiming that the Chinese domestic market would be opened up to foreign markets, and Trump was surprisingly toned down.

The US has fallen from grace in the eyes of some, as the world’s largest economy has dropped out of the top 10 most innovative countries in the 2018 Bloomberg innovation index. South Korea, Sweden and Singapore take the top 3 in the index, which is based on such criteria as R&D spending and concentration of tech companies. As happens all too often, Taiwan did not qualify as a country in the ranking.

Also left in the cold are the millions of over-educated contract laborers at the whims of unstable employment. A recent short film in the Philippines has raise awareness of their plight.

But Taiwan still has ways to raise its profile abroad. Have you wondered what a bamboo shoot would look like if it were 280 meters tall, square and made of glass? Taipei residents might soon find out, as a new skyscraper is being planned for Xinyi district.

And hey, we can always indulge in some of Taiwan’s soft power, such as hop-hop or vintage comic books.