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.
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.
On November 29, Taiwan’s ruling KMT suffered a historical defeat in nation-wide local elections, losing 9 of 16 county and metropolitan level executive positions, and losing 6.2% of local council seats overall.
A tribe in Tanzania facing eviction due to a development project disguised as a conversation initiative; Iran’s sanctions and nuclear program negotiations and why China’s lowering its interest rates is a cause for concern.
On Monday, negotiators extend negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. Monday was the deadline previously set by negotiators to reach an agreement for Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for easing of sanctions.
On Friday, China’s central bank announced cuts in key interest rates for the first time in two years. Pundits point to the move as a sign that China’s leaders have finally acknowledged an economy in trouble.
We review this week’s news from the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing, including the China-Korea FTA, US-China climate deal, and steps towards a FTA of the Asia Pacific. Also, the new metro line opening in Taipei.
Leaders at last week’s APEC summit in Beijing also concluded a range of agreements and understandings, including the US-China emissions targets, a declaration towards an Asia Pacific FTA, and more.
On Monday, China and South Korea agreed to an FTA between the two East Asian economies. The news of the deal sent shockwaves throughout Taiwan, which has looked to South Korea with a mix of envy and anxiety.
In addition to reviewing US midterm elections’ impact on US-Taiwan relations and the Taipei mayor debates, we tell you about the annual autumn labor protest in Taiwan.
On Friday November 7th, the top two candidates for Taipei mayor went on TV for their first televised debate. How do they compare to each other, and how does the debate compare with the legendary Taipei mayor debate from 20 years ago?
The Republicans claimed a decisive victory during last Tuesday’s United States midterm elections, but the effects on US-Taiwan relations, including bilateral trade relations and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, remains to be seen.
This week we review our curated stories of Taiwan’s economic controversies in the legislature, student activists visit Europe, and ongoing turmoil in one of Taiwan’s African allies, Burkina Faso.
Sunflower student activists Wei Yang (魏揚) and Wu Cheng (吳崢) visited London and Brussels with Taiwan Corner, a Danish organization, to raise awareness in Europe of the pressures and challenges facing Taiwan’s democracy.
According to the legislative agenda, The KMT will prioritize the controversial Cross-Straits Oversight Law, as well as the Free Economic Demonstration Zone legislations, at the upcoming session of Taiwan’s parliament.
Stanford’s conference on Taiwan political polarization, Taiwan’s Gay Pride Parade, and Ukraine’s first national elections since former president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted and civil conflict broke out.
On Sunday, Ukrainians went to the polls to elect a new national parliament, the first time since former pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych fled the country after protesters clashed with the police in February of this year.
On Saturday, the 12th annual Gay Pride Parade was held in Taipei as around 80,000 from across the country and Asia participated in one of Asia’s biggest LGBT events.
史丹佛民主發展與法治中心在 10/17~18 舉辦年會，主要探討台灣的兩極化政治。大部分與會者都同意台灣的未來還有許多問題仍待解決；「基進側翼」創辦人陳奕齊新一與競選總部辦公室主任顏銘緯對灣區台美人社團的演講。
Stanford’s Taiwan Democracy Program held its annual conference on polarized politics after the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan; founder of Flanc Radical (基進側翼) Shinichi Chen spoke to Taiwanese American audience in Palo Alto.
On Thursday, Taiwan’s legislature held a public hearing on the issue of same-sex marriage and the adoption rights of same-sex couples; the U.S. announced that it will recognize same-sex marriages from seven new states.
This week we look at a Taipei mayoral candidate’s trip to the US, China’s premier’s visit to Germany, yet another food scandal in Taiwan, and an interview with former president Lee Teng-hui.
On Wednesday, independent Taipei mayoral candidate Dr. Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) began his US tour, visiting San Francisco Bay Area and meeting with academics, students, industry leaders and Taiwanese American supporters.
We take a look at yet another demonstration calling attention to Taiwan’s housing and property wealth disparity, an update on Turkey joining the fight against the Islamic State, and Hong Kong’s protests leveling off for the moment.
On late Thursday night, Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung have announced that his government is willing to speak to protest leaders, but indicated that he had no intention of stepping down as demanded.
Another new political party try to represent progressive and social democratic views and take down Taiwan’s two party structure, and a review of this week’s top stories, including Hong Kong.
Hong Kongers witnessing police rounding up their unarmed compatriots may only deepen their distrust for the Hong Kong authorities and their backers in Beijing.
The Indonesian parliament voted Friday to scrap direct voting for regional leaders, despite protests by thousands of demonstrators. The move is seen as a revenge against president-elect and Jakarta governor Joko Widodo.
On Monday, Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou said in an interview with foreign press that he “wanted to learn from the way West and East Germany handled bilateral relations,” but reiterated that Taiwan and China were not two states.
The ongoing ebola virus crisis in West Africa, a US Congressional hearing on China and freedom of the seas, Scotland’s independence referendum vote, and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India.
From September 16th to 18th, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, with trade and economic deals and border disputes on the table.
On Thursday, voters in Scotland went to the polls for a historic referendum and voted down a bid for Scottish independence, with 55.3% voting no and 44.7% voting yes, at a voter turnout of 84.59%.
On Wednesday, US Congress held a hearing on “A New Era of US-China Relations”, which focused on limiting China’s recent maneuvers in the East and South China Seas and treatment of US companies in China.
This week we mourn the death of two men with passion, review Taiwan’s latest food safety scandal, take a look at Sweden’s general election results, a Tibetan rally in Taipei and a Taiwan rally in New York.
On September 13, Taiwanese American groups held the annual Keep Taiwan Free rally in New York’s Times Square, with 200 supporters gathered to promote Taiwan’s democracy and UN participation.
Over the past two weeks, Taiwan has been experiencing yet another major food safety crisis, as illegal gutter oil was used in manufactured commercial oil. What went wrong, and how can consumers and scientific experts agree?
Taiwan’s latest food oil safety scandal, NATO on the Islamic State, the race for submarines in the Western Pacific and Scotland, where polls show more 51% for independence, 10 days before the referendum.
Among the new challengers in this year’s midterm elections in Taiwan, small parties fresh from the Sunflower Movement are gearing up to fundamentally change the political landscape. What difficulties await them?
Tensions between Hong Kong and China rise again as China proposes to controls on chief executive elections; why Taiwanese businesses in China are not returning to Taiwan, and India’s prime minister’s first foreign trip–to Japan.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as his first diplomatic trip abroad, and discusses nuclear cooperation, security ties, and trade, as a hedge against Chinese rising power.
From comparing minimum wages in Taiwan and Korea, to another Taiwanese food conglomerate with Chinese business interest buying cable operator CNS, and the case of James Risen, national security and press freedom.
The Ting Hsin International Group, a Taiwanese food conglomerate that owns the largest instant noodle brand in China, is buying Taiwan cable operator CNS, which the Want Want Group almost bought in 2012 amidst protests.