Daily Covid cases reach a new low

Taiwan saw daily Covid local cases reach a low of 27 but with 17 deaths on Tuesday, July 6, after having first gone below 50 on Thursday, July 1, reaching 47 cases but with 13 deaths. Daily local cases rebounded slightly to 39 today, July 7.
There was a scare last week when a cluster of 41 cases at Taipei’s Huainan Market broke out on Friday, July 2. The market was closed and mass screening was implemented with a few more cases detected.

The outbreak has had an adverse impact on Taiwan and its vaccination shortage means it faces challenges in being able to reopen its borders fully, a problem faced by other Covid “successes” like Australia, as reported by The Telegraph.

A fire at a hotel killed four people last Wednesday, June 30, several of whom were guests undergoing quarantine after returning from abroad. Given that the building was mostly empty due to have suffered several fires previously, as well as that the hotel manager told guests to stay inside their rooms during the fire, this raises some serious questions.

Taiwan’s domestic vaccines have generated some controversy due to their accelerated approval process, which will see them apply for emergency usage without having to go through a third testing stage.

Japan is donating another 1.13 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan later this week, after having donated 1.24 million doses last month.

Some Taiwanese are going on special tours to Guam to get vaccinated.

Japan’s Deputy PM Taro Aso had to walk back claims that Japan would intervene to defend Taiwan with the US if China launched an attack, as reported by the SCMP.

Here’s a decent overview of the geopolitical situation of Taiwan amid threats from China and US-China tensions, as reported by Ireland’s RTE.

Meanwhile, Taiwan might provide an alternative model to the digital authoritarianism practiced by China, argues an expert in the Diplomat.

The unemployment rate reached 4.11 percent in May, the highest in seven and a half years, due to the onset of the current Covid outbreak.

Taiwan’s housing market continued to see price rises even despite Covid, threat of China, and a declining population, as reported by Bloomberg.

Trade talks between the US and Taiwan resumed last week for the first time since 2016. The 11th Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) trade talk between the US and Taiwan was held via video-conference and covered several issues including technology supply chains, and digital trade, as well as the environment, intellectual property and labor rights.

One of the most well-known institutions of higher learning to study Taiwan Studies is the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.