Taiwan establishes ties with Somaliland

Taiwan has made an intriguing foreign diplomacy move by setting up official relations with Somaliland, an autonomous entity that is not recognized by much of the world because it is claimed by Somalia. Taiwan and Somaliland will set up official representative offices in each other’s respective nation, and the latter has appointed an official representative to Taiwan.

Taiwan re-opens its representative office in Guam after closing it three years ago.

Taiwan is still handling the coronavirus well, with no new cases in five straight days and no local cases for 87 days! Taiwan’s total, as of July 8, is 449 cases and 7 deaths.

Taiwan has good reason to worry about Chinese aggression, given what’s happening in Hong Kong and on the India-China border. Personally, I think that Taiwan faces a strong threat of attack and invasion from China, regardless of how brazen the latter’s actions in Hong Kong regarding imposing a fearsome national security law. But the point that China will be more emboldened now, especially given the world’s lukewarm response to Hong Kong, is valid.

Taiwan hopes to attract more Hong Kong immigrants and investors with the opening of its dedicated office on July 1.

The dedicated office attracted at least 180 queries from Hong Kongers after just one day in operation.

However, Taiwan is wary of aggravating China, which is why it has not moved to enact a formal refugee or asylum law.

A record 67 percent of respondents identify as Taiwanese, according to a poll conducted by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center. Respondents identifying as Chinese or both Chinese and Taiwanese decreased from previous years. The poll has been conducted since 1992.

Two Marines have died after being injured after a naval landing drill disaster. The two were among seven naval personnel who were swept into the sea after their boat capsized during the drill, which was in preparation for the upcoming Han Kuang military exercises on July 13-17. Besides the deceased, two others were hospitalized. And adding to the toll, one of the supervisors of this exercise committed suicide in the early hours of Sunday, July 5.

Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves reached an all-time high of US$488.69 billion at the end of June. Part of this was due to market intervention by the central bank, which bought US dollars to try and stem the the rising value of the NT dollar.

Property transactions picked up in the second quarter from the first quarter, but still saw a year-on-year decrease.

Exports fell by 3.8 percent in June due to drastic declines in mineral, chemical and plastic product shipments.

Moody’s maintained Taiwan’s credit rating at Aa3.

Taiwan launched a shopping stimulus voucher program this month where you pay NT$1000 (US$33) for NT$3000 in vouchers. However, this is limited to citizens and residents married to citizens, so most residents and migrant workers are unable to benefit from this.

Taiwan is a haven for LGBTQ art, especially in Asia, where many other countries are not as accepting or tolerant towards LGBTQ people.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre will provide free online packaged highlights of past shows and a series of community events across Taiwan, which will replace its annual free outdoor concerts, this year.

One of Japan’s major colonial legacies in Taiwan was providing clean drinking water, which was marked by Taipei with the release of a 25-minute documentary.

Some Taiwanese who are seriously missing travel were able to experience the joy of checking in at an airport (Taipei’s Songshan Airport) and boarding a plane, though that was it. Of course, one can still fly to Taiwan’s outlying islands for a real trip.