A well informed citizenry is the foundation of our modern society. Every week, our news team for The Debrief brings you the most important stories on current affairs, diplomacy, business and human rights, in Asia and around the globe. Not only can we be well informed, but better informed, about the relationship between our lives, our communities, and the common world.
This week on Taiwan Uniquely: first major university to offer undecided majors, driverless buses in Taipei, and a Taiwan-made satellite. Plus, a love note to Taipei’s skyline.
5 months after the the draft bill on marriage equality passed the first hurdle in Taiwan's legislature, Taiwan's Council of Grand Justices handed down a ruling today, determining that it is unconstitutional to ban same-sex marriage. The decision paves the way for...
Taiwan’s constitutional court heard arguments on Friday over the landmark marriage equality case, marking a significant step forward for the marriage equality movement in Taiwan. The debate focused on key questions about whether extending marriage rights...
Taiwan’s society has also seen a great deal of foreign influence, conflict and change. The timing for women’s rights, gender rights and sexual orientation seems ripe for Taiwan to recognize marriage equality.
奧蘭多與臺南於 1982 年 6 月 24 日締結為姊妹市，台灣總統蔡英文與台南市長賴清德各自慰問奧蘭多市民以及譴責暴力行為。
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and mayor of Orlando’s sister city, Tainan, offers words of encouragement after the deadly shootings in Orlando.
KM contributors Kevin Hsu, Gwenyth Wang, William Yang commenting live on the inauguration of Dr. Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwan’s newest president.
What does the violent clash between police and protesters in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok District known as the Fishball Revolution mean for the future of Hong Kong?
Experts speaking at the New Era in US-Taiwan Relations conference discuss the opportunity to realign policy with new administrations in 2016 for both US and Taiwan.
On January 21, the Ministry of Labor temporarily withheld a plan to lower thresholds for foreign talent to legally work in Taiwan. The proposed changes would have allowed for more foreign lower-tiered white collar workers to enter Taiwan’s workforce.
This week, the focus in Taiwan is on the possible change of KMT presidential candidate from Hung to Chu. In the world, the UN General Assembly wraps up and TPP negotiations conclude.
Latest from Taiwan includes shutting Wang out of the legislature, and Ko giving e-gaming some official respect. Elsewhere China and Hillary clash, and the US pulls its spies out of China.
Lien Chan’s return from China, Thailand’s Erawan shrine bombing might be linked to China’s oppression in Xinjiang, and India and Australia team up in the South China Sea.
Long weekend reading includes Lien’s visit to China, Hung’s break from campaigning, and an adult film actress on the EasyCard. Elsewhere, journalist Wang Xiaolu is blamed for stock market problems in China.
Latest this week includes official bear market for Taiwan, a second chemical explosion in China, North and South Korea take a step back from confrontation.
Latest from Taiwan includes Ko Wen-je’s visit to Shanghai, and a commando rescue at sea. Elsewhere, search for answers continue after bomb explosion in Thailand, and North Korea and South Korea exchange artillery fire.
The aftermath of typhoon Soudelor, and justice in a case from last year’s Sunflower Movement. Elsewhere, nations continue to strategize as everyone focuses on China’s multiple depreciations of the yuan.
Latest from Taiwan includes conclusion of protests amidst impending natural disaster (hopefully not that bad). Elsewhere, the TPP stalls over disagreement, and the world reflects on Hiroshima during the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb.
On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court announced its landmark ruling to officially legalize same-sex marriage across all 50 states. The decision to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples is a long-waited victory for gay rights activists in the US.
DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan-China relations should be based on “accumulated outcomes,” including that in 1992 both sides agreed to disagree in order to move the relationship forward.
The Rohingya, the stateless and widely persecuted minority group in Myanmar and Bangladesh, has the largest number of about 25,000 people who sailed out of Bangladesh and Myanmar since 2014, with hundreds of deaths at sea.
Ma touted that US-Taiwan relations has been at its best in 36 years, and he credits that to his “successful handling” of cross straits relations based on the 1992 Consensus, and a “low-key, surprise-free approach” to dealing with the US.
On Thursday, Kaohsiung’s City Government launched a long-waited “Sunny Registration” pilot project for same-sex couples, but some LGBTI activists criticize the project for not having any legal effect.
On Friday, May 15, Taiwan’s parliament lowered the maximum normal working hour from 84 hours per two weeks, to 40 hours per week; long term caretakers also get government aid. But some worry about funding and economic competitiveness.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership would become the world’s biggest free trade deal, but only if it is signed successfully amidst opposition from groups in the US and Japan, while Taiwan tries to join but with possible criticism at home…
The Sunflower Movement’s major criticism of the trade deal with China runs parallel to Congressional Democrats’ major criticism of the TPP, namely, the lack of legislative input and oversight.
On top of questions over sovereignty and public involvement, Taiwan faces another set of questions that are more global in nature. Namely, how will Taiwan’s decision affect the economic plans of the US and China?
Two paths now appear before Singapore: the first one hopes that there will be many more leaders like Lee to sustain his contributions to Singapore; the second view calls for a transitional opportunity for the society. Signs seem to be pointing to the latter.
The 228 Incident is a massacre in 1947 during which brutal government crackdown left more than tens of thousands of deaths in Taiwan. Young people in Taiwan are commemorating it with a growing annual music festival.
Since Indonesia announced a ban on Indonesian migrant domestic workers, the plan faces skepticism within Indonesia, while Taiwan begin to look elsewhere to supplement its aging population and shrinking workforce.
Amnesty International’s annual report 2014/15 points to freedom of assembly, the death penalty, and prison conditions as top problems in Taiwan, but shows progress in the past two decades.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance has proposed new changes to property taxes in Taiwan, to combat a runaway real estate market. However, the finance ministry’s proposal has been called by KMT and DPP legislators alike as not going far enough.
The labor union of China Airlines may enter a six month negotiation with the company’s management, to resolve a dispute ostensibly over year-end bonuses but may touch on other latent labor rights issues.
National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), President Ma Ying-jeou’s right hand man, quietly announced his resignation from public office. Does this signal how bad Ma’s ship has sunk?
A TransAsia Airways (復興航空) regional flight crashed into downtown Taipei minutes after it took off, killing 31. The accident raises new concerns for the airline’s safety records, and whether downtown Taipei’s airport should be relocated.
Taipei’s Mayor Ko Wen-je said that colonization made Taiwan’s culture more “advanced” than China’s, but many in Taiwan say that Ko’s straight-talking style is a breath of fresh air for Taiwan’s political scene.
Six young firefighters die in an explosion in Taiwan, and raises questions about long term personnel shortages and wasteful spending, as 19 firefighters have died in the line of duty in the past two years.
Taiwan’s legislature held its first legislative session for the same-sex marriage bill yesterday, making it the first East Asian country to do so.
Taiwan’s debate on constitutional reform continues into this week, focusing on whether Taiwan should adopt a pure parliamentary system to replace its current brand of semi-presidential system.
This past week, the world was shocked by two terrorist attacks, in Sydney, Australia and Peshawar, Pakistan, respectively. While the Sydney attack may be an isolated incident, Pakistan’s attack may signal some changes there.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner retained their super-majority of seats in the legislature, signaling a continuation of Abe’s economic stimulus policies known as “Abenomics.”
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters bid farewell to their 75-day street occupation when police stormed the main protest site at the Admiralty district, tearing down thousands of colorful tents and makeshift barricades.
Student activist Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) runs for parliament in his native Miaoli; calls for constitutional reforms in Taiwan; India and its climate change challenges, and civil unrest in the US after a series of racially-charged cases of deaths by police.
After the dramatic local elections last week, political opinion makers from both the KMT and DPP sides are turning their attention to the issue of constitutional reform and systems of governance.