The Taipei Hospital across the street from our apartment has had a jolt of activity with increased COVID-19 testing and vaccinations now. In contrast, much of Taiwan’s capital has been in a state of soft calm since the most severe outbreak – culminating in an average of 7 days of 600 new cases per day – It broke out in mid-May.
The vitality that Taiwan is often called “Vibrant democracy“It may have been muted temporarily, but it will come back: Cases are declining, testing capacity is expanding, and vaccines are increasing What the outbreak has highlighted are challenges to Taiwan’s vitality.
at “Taiwan’s vitality” – A volume edited in 2012 featuring an array of stars in the field of Taiwan studies – Steve Tsang wrote, “As much as the people of Taiwan have every reason to be proud of their democratic and economic achievements, what really distinguishes Taiwan is the liveliness and vitality of the place and its people.”
These sources of pride remain true in 2021, but there are growing reminders in the short term Vitality (live, activity or activity) is easier to achieve than to achieve in the long run Vitality (the ability to live and develop, endurance). More than a month into Taiwan’s strictest COVID-19 containment measures, many Pre-existing challenges come to the fore.
Most obviously, rather than generating a constructive, fact-based debate about the policies of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), it fueled the outbreak. political polarization. The two municipalities that were the epicenter of the outbreak – Taipei and New Taipei – had independent mayors and the Kuomintang (KMT), respectively, was bound to create tensions with Tsai’s administration. Stress is a sign of a healthy debate, but quarrel Among some members of the blue camps (led by the KMT) and green camps (led by the DPP) undermine Taiwan’s ability to tame the epidemic.
Even fierce critics of President Tsai Ing-wen described her administration as “beggar vaccine” And the amplify Existing problems with prevalent misinformation and misinformation. Alarmingly, some media reports indicated that AstraZeneca vaccine caused fatalities Without going into normal death rates for some ages, especially for people with pre-existing conditions.
Also, misinformation and misinformation will not dissipate with the outbreak under control. if something happens, Previous elections He predicted that the run-up to next year’s midterm elections for local office could see an escalation in efforts by domestic and foreign sources to undermine Taiwan’s democratic process.
The outbreak has further darkened trends that are already clouding Taiwan’s demographic future. With a rate of 1.07 births per woman, Taiwan ranked last in the world for the most recent CIA World Factbook Ranking of fertility rates. Tsai management announced plans in April to أبريل Spending increase To raise children, after schools closed in mid-May, one-time NT$10,000 (US$357) per child financial support Focused on elementary school and young children. However, there is still a lack of vigorous discussion about support for parents who are juggling work and distance learning or plan to reopen schools when the new term begins in late summer.
These pandemic parenting burdens are indicative of a friendship veneer for children without the social infrastructure necessary to make having children an attractive or even viable option. I would cry with joy if, when my kids were kids, the New York City subway had private nursing spaces like the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). These efforts are helpful but do not address deeper issues: the lack of affordable and non-family-centered childcare options as well as the burdens of traditional views of the mother’s role.
Moreover, Taiwan has failed to embrace and help all the people who want to be parents. Although the praise is well deserved Legalization of same-sex marriageTaiwan has stalled when it comes to expanding family-building options for gay couples and single women. Tsai’s administration failed to lobby for it suitable for adoption Policies and Extended Access to Assisted Reproductive Techniques.
Migration is, of course, an obvious way to modify the increasingly inverted form of Taiwan population pyramid. But harsh lockdowns in crowded dormitories for mostly Southeast Asian workers at times Technology manufacturers شركات She emphasized the long-existing discrimination in Taiwan against peoples of certain nationalities, particularly when combined with low socioeconomic status. Temporary residence granted to these workers, as well as those working in aged care and other important jobs, is seldom always welcome.
On the richer end of the spectrum, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan has emphasized the need to internationalize Taiwanتد startup ecosystem. Last year, a rush of foreigners who obtained residency through “gold card“The return of overseas Taiwanese brings hope for a shot of adrenaline to achieve this goal. Around 2020 270,000 The Taiwanese entered Taiwan more than the left.
It’s too early to tell how high the prices will be Air travel to the United States Refers to short-term pollen tourism in exchange for more permanent departure, but there is an atmosphere of missed opportunity Deepening relations with the diaspora.
moreover, drought And the Blackouts Besides the outbreak, we mentioned that climate change and energy security are growing concerns. Given The dominant role of TSMC In Taiwan’s economy, semiconductor manufacturing requires a great deal of water and electricity which makes these challenges even more acute.
What is important for the issue of energy is August polls On the resumption of construction of a nuclear power plant and the construction of a liquefied natural gas plant. Two additional polls address the timing of the polls and the import of American pork, which contains a leanness-enhancing additive. ractopamine, an issue that has spoiled relations between the United States and Taiwan for many years.
The midterm elections are still more than a year away, but the results of these referendums conducted DPP and KMT have opposite views It will help pave the way by giving a first-hand reading of voters’ opinions. The next, but the outbreak was delayed Kuomintang party leadership elections Also important in shaping who will lead the party into the upcoming election season, as the 2024 presidential election approaches.
This list of concerns was not written as a recipe for despair, but rather as a hope that Taiwan has passed its darkest period in the epidemic and will emerge with renewed determination. Addressing these issues requires internal political determination and the willingness of voters to put collective prosperity over partisanship.
As an American, I’m not part of that electorate, but I’m happy about it Stronger relations between the United States and Taiwan Within the framework of a long-term informal relationship that contributes to the health of Taiwan, both figuratively and literally. I was working on this article as 2.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine donated by the US government Arrive In Taiwan – one aspect of what Daniel Kreittenbrink, a nominee for US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, described as efforts to strengthen relations”in every sector. “
Developing relations between the United States and Taiwan in every sector requires a return to the flow of people before the outbreak of the epidemic. A side benefit of Taiwan achieving a high vaccination rate should be a gradual move toward 2019 numbers More than 600,000 visitors from the United States. conclusion Comprehensive bilateral trade agreement, expands Fulbright Taiwan, presenting Taiwan Fellowship Program For US federal government employees, encourage US universities to change Mandarin language software For Taiwan, other efforts could push this figure up.
The outbreak also highlighted the importance of relationships outside the United States, including donations of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan (1.2 million doses) and Lithuania (20,000 doses). Because, at the base, Vitality It means “life”. Taiwan will thrive better if it can meet the many challenges it faces in an ecosystem of supportive interrelationships.