“Fake news” is the battlefield of the internet age, with the freedom of speech so valued by democratic societies used against them. Taiwan is a major battleground in this information war. Can it stop “fake news” from influencing its 2020 presidential election?
Taiwanese academics find themselves fatally attracted to conferences and journals offering easy and fast publication of such papers and less than rigorous peer reviews. In the second half of CommonWealth Magazine’s investigation on Taiwan’s mingling with predatory publishers, we take a look at how and why the phenomenon has taken hold.
Three days after the conclusion of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu's whirlwind economic tour of Hong Kong and Macao, PLA fighters crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait, prompting a rebuke from the United States. Other than efforts to promote the sales of Taiwanese fruit to China, just how has Han’s cross-strait tour reshaped relations between the U.S., Taiwan and China?
The largest population of international students in Taiwan is not concentrated, surprisingly, in the popular “top four” universities: NTU, NCKU, NTHU, and NCTU. Instead, you will find them enrolled en masse in the former technical college National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, colloquially known as Taiwan Tech. Taiwan Tech’s contribution to fostering foreign talent has won them three billion NT$ in donations from grateful international enterprises. Why is Taiwan Tech so successful at attracting elite students from around the world?
A CommonWealth Magazine investigation has found that many Taiwanese academics are publishing articles in dubious “predatory journals” in relatively high numbers. What is going on and how is it affecting the country’s academic community?
A deluge of corruption-related news and scandals has recently rocked the world. But there are plenty of reasons to believe that 2019 will be the year in which young people turn the tide against this lack of integrity and accountability.
Thirty years ago, motorbike repair shops were even more ubiquitous than convenience stores are today. The nearly 30,000 workshops were real cash cows. Now, with the advent of e-bikes, traditional mechanics feel pressure to adjust and venture into unfamiliar terrain.
"Without the high level of immigration that the U.S. has traditionally enjoyed, we might have fertility problems as severe as Taiwan’s, and be facing the challenges of shrinking workforce that Taiwan is facing today—we might yet in the future."
Pollution data suggests Taiwan’s air quality should be getting better. But a CommonWealth Magazine investigation has found that the data may be tainted, with companies using various tactics to hide high air pollution emissions readings.
In mid-January, Yun Fu Lou, a well-known restaurant at East District Taipei, sent shock waves through the gourmet community with its announcement that it will shut down at the end of February. Reportedly, the restaurant, a fixture in the city’s hospitality sector for more than four decades, could not afford the pricey rent anymore. The nearby Swatch watch store ceased business at the beginning of the year, although the landlord had lowered the annual rent from NT$1.8 million to NT$1 million. Is there still hope for a revival of the once buzzing and busy East District of Taipei?
Featuring a bold spatial design that encourages students to run around, Guanpu Elementary School is only the second school to be built under Hsinchu City’s “new school movement.” Before its completion, the school had already built a reputation for both its architectural design and its curriculum. When admission applications skyrocketed, the building design had to be altered to accommodate more classes.
While the results of the referendum were daunting for Taiwan’s LGBT community, and its global allies may be tempted to lose heart, buying into the narrative “Stories of Taiwan’s increasing social liberalization may be overstated,” there are some bright spots to be gleaned from.
For leaders surveyed for the latest edition of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, environmental threats dominate the list for the third year in row - both in terms of impact and likelihood. “Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” the report warns.
Despite steady economic growth, perceptions of Taiwan’s wealth inequality and deep pension cuts have undermined support for President Tsai Ing-wen’s government. Can it do anything to regain public confidence a year before the next presidential election?
Having hurriedly assumed the top seat of power, he rapidly set about pushing forward democratic reforms in Taiwan, becoming Taiwan’s first directly popularly-elected president. Yet populism and money politics reared their ugly heads from time to time on the road to democratization.
Voters were handed a record number of ballots in the just-concluded local elections because they also cast votes in ten concurrently held referendums, with one vote per referendum. Why were so many referendums held this time, and what is the threshold for referendums?
The debate over climate change is no longer about what causes global warming. Rather, the issue for policymakers is how to ensure that billions of at-risk people and businesses around the world can rapidly adapt and ensure that their communities are as resilient as possible.
There are people who are drawn into a chat while buying an ice cream abroad, instantly overcoming their fear of speaking in a foreign language. Others are like travelers on a quest, successfully reviving dormant language skills in just seven days. Taiwanese polyglot Terry Hsieh, who speaks 25 languages, is living proof that “immersive learning” is more effective than attending formal classes in language schools.
Ever since the large-scale blackout on August 15 last year in Taiwan, a sense of risk has helped this doctor, once totally opposed to nuclear power, to slowly change his tune. Following is an excerpted interview with Dr. Ming-Jiuh Wang.