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.
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.
Recent international media reports have revealed the depths of China’s surveillance and social credit system, like something out of the dystopian science fiction series Black Mirror. Just this July, Singapore was the target of the worst cyber attack in its history, resulting in the compromise of over a million patients’ records. When the development of smart cities is completed, what kind of future will we face?
‘Our democracy may look noisy and argumentative, but we always rally around Taiwan, and we always find strength in unity. Because this country belongs to all 23 million Taiwanese. Our country must be kept intact, and passed on to the next generations’ says President Tsai Ing-wen.
Taiwan’s waste crisis has hit used clothes. The old clothes that many conscientiously give away often end up being incinerated or sent to India to be shredded into material for carpets. What can be done to deal with this waste dilemma?
Taiwan has been described as the “recycling kingdom,” but the recent influx of overseas waste has exposed serious recycling problems in the country. What can Taiwan do to address its mounting collection and sorting problems?
Is Crazy Rich Asians just a romantic comedy about people with inherited wealth? Why are people shedding tears in the theater? The steady rise in educational levels and career achievements of Asian immigrants and their children, together with depictions in television and movie dramas, are drawing more attention to the situations of ethnic Asians in U.S. society.
Taiwan has terminated diplomatic relations with the Republic of El Salvador with immediate effect August 21. With Taiwan under constant diplomatic pressure from China, President Tsai solemnly urges the people of Taiwan to stand together.
In the tug-of-war between time and pollution, how can Taiwan make the best choice during the transitional energy period? Should the transition to green energy happen via nuclear power or air pollution?
Our environment is taking a heavy toll as global material consumption reaches over 80 billion tons per year. Dr. Jason Hickel from the University of London argues that unbalanced consumption between countries instead of over population is the main factor to our ecological crises.
Since the 1990s, social mobility in the world's most developed countries has stalled. The low-income trap is restraining people's opportunity to well-being. How should countries make economic growth more inclusive?
Nuclear power is a sensitive issue. While numerous members of environmental groups have adopted a low profile in this area, the Wild Bird Society of Keelung openly supports an interim approach that would use nuclear power to transition to green energy. Below are excerpts of our interview with Shen Chin-fung, director of the Keelung Wild Bird Society.
Taiwan has instituted an ambitious policy of phasing out nuclear power by 2025. It is betting heavily on natural gas and renewables, but has it gone too far in limiting its options while other countries diversify their sources of energy?
Two years ago, the theft of millions from hacked First Commercial Bank ATMs shocked Taiwan. Earlier this year, the ringleader of the cybercrime syndicate was finally arrested in Spain. It became known only after the case was solved that Taiwan played a crucial role in tracking down the international hacker ring that had infiltrated more than 100 banks around the globe, stealing about NT$36 billion.
There are many ways to create a livable city; why start with design? What did Taitung, not exactly an affluent county, do to make design prowess the shared goal of all its local government departments? What do the people of Taitung get out of all this? A dialogue on the topic of “Design Entering Municipal Government Offices” between Han Wu, guest editor-in-chief of Future City@CommonWealth, Taitung County Magistrate Justin Huang, and Taiwan Design Center Chairman Chang Chi-yi gives us a glimpse of how change in the public sector also transforms the everyday life of Taitung County residents.
While everyone in Taiwan is talking about the brain drain, the whole world is vying to attract talent, and if better opportunities await elsewhere, why wouldn’t they choose to leave? And why can’t Taiwan recruit and retain professional talent?
While AI has opened up a wealth of promising opportunities, it has also led to a mindset that can be best described as "AI solutionism". This is the attitude that, given enough data, machine learning algorithms can solve all of humanity’s problems. How should we view this idea?
Taiwan will become the first country in Asia to carry out a law promoting the concept of a “good quality of death” if the “Patient Right to Autonomy Act” comes into effect early next year as expected. But before that happens, four challenges still have to be overcome.
Mental health disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity a year, with depression being the leading cause of ill health and disability, according to the World Health Organization.
Despite being constrained by non-recognition as a sovereign state by the majority of the world’s states, Taiwan seeks to be a constructive member of the international community. The island nation only belongs to two intergovernmental organizations – WTO and APEC. Nevertheless, it has found a way to contribute on key issues of global concern through its soft power.
“We achieved 99.7% facial recognition accuracy from online video, drawing from the Labeled Faces in the Wild (LFW) database. This approximated the results achieved by China using 200 million datasets,” says Taiwan AI Labs founder Ethan Tu. Described as “the villagers’ creator,” Tu returned to Taiwan after years at Microsoft to assemble a crack team of professionals for his smart cities AI lab.
With Taiwanese companies losing global presence and opportunities, Jack Hou, vice general manager of UNEO and a columnist at Crossing, thinks that Taiwan has a unique chance to increase its global footprint by seeking out opportunities to engage in dialogue with the U.S. by any means necessary.
Yellow banners and ribbons fluttering along the scenic Royal Palm Boulevard at National Taiwan University (NTU), night and day recently indicate unrest on the renowned campus. Congregating at the school’s landmark Fu Bell Tower near the boulevard, faculty and students are sounding the alarm for Taiwan’s higher education.
The passage of the Environmental Impact Analysis for the proposed Shen’ao coal-fired power plant has ignited popular concerns about air pollution. Over the past two years or more, protests against air pollution have continued unabated. On the heels of the anti-nuclear movement, opposition to air pollution has become the latest environmental battlefield and newest challenge for industry in Taiwan, and a measure by which political parties are judged at election time.
Automation could eliminate millions of jobs globally. Recently, robotics and tech leaders have warned about the risks posed by AIs and stressed the importance of a code of ethics regarding AI. How can robots and humans live in harmony?
China drew widespread attention and debate with its February announcement of 31 incentives to attract Taiwanese talent from various sectors, including the audiovisual, education and medical industries. Given that China’s medical profession has been open to Taiwanese physicians for many years, are these additional “economic benefits” likely to make medical personnel leave Taiwan in droves?
Can using so-called “clean” coal to generate power eliminate concerns about dirty air? As lung cancer has practically become the new national illness, how will Taipower’s new Shen’ao coal-fired power plant impact air pollution and health?
Taiwan boasts a stable democracy, a prosperous economy, a gun-free society and a friendly population. Unsurprisingly, it’s also considered among the world’s safest travel destinations. But Taiwan is still part of the real world, and as the saying goes…Stuff happens. In this article we’ll take an unflinching look at where Taiwan stands where travel safety is concerned.
This Sunday afternoon at Taipei Artist Village, art workers from different nationalities and youth representatives of Taipei will be sharing their observations on the uniqueness and inclusivity of the city with the Mayor of Taipei.
Pingtung County’s Great Chaozhou Artificial Lake is completely dry on the surface, defying traditional notions of a reservoir. This reservoir redirects floodwater underground, filling up underground water storage space until it can be extracted for use as potentially life-saving water in times of drought.
Taiwan has extensive water resources and a strong network of reservoirs, yet still faces water shortages. CommonWealth Magazine takes a look at the key reasons why, including problems lurking below the surface of the reservoirs themselves.
On February 25th, Taiwan’s long-serving Central Bank Governor Perng Fai-nan, 79, will retire, handing the baton to his protege and trusted deputy Yang Chin-long. Is Yang a Perng Fai-nan clone, as some see him? And should he even try to be?
Situated in the Circum-Pacific earthquake belt—or the Ring of Fire—Taiwan is no stranger to earthquakes. Yet even locals of the most earthquake-prone region in Taiwan have revealed a widespread fear since the disastrous earthquake that occurred in Hualien on Tuesday.
Taiwan has the dubious distinction of having more end-stage renal disease per capita than anywhere in the world, leading to heavy use of kidney dialysis. That will only change if the health insurance system and prevailing attitudes undergo overhauls.
According to a new Oxfam report, 82% of the wealth generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population, while the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest 50% of the world saw no increase in their wealth. What happened?
Taiwan’s government upset employers and workers when it revised the Labor Standards Act in late 2016 to formalize a five-day workweek system. It has now changed those provisions to increase “flexibility,” further angering labor groups.
"Taking care of your parents is a blessed reward,” one once said to her. “That person must have zero experience in taking care of aging parents,” says Man-chuan Chang (張曼娟), the charming-on-screen teacher-writer who had been overnighting to take care of her 90-year-old disabled father. “When you can only rely on antidepressant pills to keep on, how could you say that’s a blessed reward?”
Lung cancer is commonly associated with heavy smoking. However, non-smokers in Taiwan would be ill-advised to think they are not at risk as they are more likely to develop lung cancer than heavy smokers in the West. Air pollution, incense use and unsafe cooking methods are believed to be among the culprits.
With aging populations, longer life expectancy, and declining fertility rates, retirement has become a serious issue for various nations. What can the public and private sector do to make our pension system more inclusive and sustainable?
Is long-term care for the elderly only up to the government to provide? Now a corner café serving the community’s seniors has proven that long-term care can be not just innovative, but also attract young people to the field.
“As long as I have the money, I can get a private room in a long-term care home.” This is perhaps what most people have been planning for their elderly at home. Yet when there is no room available, no hands to help, a bank chairman would also have to quit to take care of his father.
The chairman of Reporters without Borders (RSF), Pierre Haski, was in Taiwan recently to talk about “illiberal democracy.” In this interview with CommonWealth Magazine, he spoke about the rise of this phenomenon and what could be done to reverse the tide.
President Tsai Ing-wen is currently less popular than her premier, a rare phenomenon in Taiwanese politics. Areas in which the public is least happy with the Tsai administration range from government performance and the economy to air pollution and high housing prices.
Millennials or Generation Y is projected to be the biggest part of the working force. They are, however, facing great technological, political and social challenges at the same time. How can they thrive in the future?
Labor groups in Taiwan have been up in arms recently over the government’s labor policy. And there’s good reason for that, argues professor Hong-zen Wang, who says that workers in Taiwan have even fewer rights than those in less-developed Vietnam.
Incoming Premier William Lai is wasting no time, cracking the whip to jumpstart Taiwan’s ambitious new infrastructure program, focusing on green energy, offshore wind farms, digital infrastructure upgrading, and easing employment regulations. Will the government’s strategy of using small investment to stimulate large growth pay off?
Taiwan’s economy has floundered for the past two decades, plagued by sluggish growth and a lack of direction. Two Academia Sinica researchers have done an in-depth study of what has gone wrong, and they share their findings in this interview.
Dwitta Vita is the winner of 2015 Taiwan Literature Award for Migrants. He points out that there are still a relatively significant amount of migrant workers who don’t get regular day-offs. It is urgent that they’re able to rest like decent workers.
A continued stalemate appears to be on the horizon for official cross-strait relations following the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress. Yet it is worth watching to see how far such substantive measures as “national treatment” aimed at facilitating cross-strait “fusion development” rolled out by PRC President Xi Jinping could go towards winning over a generation of Taiwanese naturally favoring independence.
The term “karyū rōjin,” or “down and out elderly,” highlights the rising poverty, loneliness, and chronic disease of aging populations. Takanori Fujita, the author who coined the term, talks to CommonWealth about the looming crisis in Taiwan.
They’ve been derided as the “strawberry” generation, but Taiwan’s 30-somethings defy stereotypes. Born into an era when freedom began taking root in the country but economic growth slowed, what motivates them and how do they see their futures?
Taiwan intends to increase the use of renewable energy and phase out nuclear power by 2025. But thermal power plants burning coal and natural gas will still play major roles and could pose serious health risks, especially over the next 10 years.
Offshore wind power is one of the two major pillars of Taiwan's transition away from nuclear power and fossils fuels to renewable energies. Yet concerns remain that offshore wind farms might obstruct sea channels, encroach on marine habitats and undermine the livelihood of coastal fishermen.
“Too convenient, too cheap, no need to wait,” is what characterizes emergency rooms in Taiwan. As a result, people with minor ailments flock to the ERs of major hospitals, diverting resources from those with life-threatening conditions or injuries.
Can the public healthcare system be sustained if emergency departments are treated like round-the-clock convenience stores?
Thirty years ago, Taiwan sent a team overseas to study semiconductors and recruited Morris Chang back to the country. Can history repeat itself? Taiwan is hoping it can reverse its brain drain, but the government and private sector need to step up.
With its low salaries and lack of stages on which to shine, Taiwan is no longer seen by young people as a land of opportunity, and they are leaving in droves. Are companies and the government ready for the massive talent deficit down the road?
The shadows of successive food safety scandals continue to cast a pall over Taiwanese consumers. At a time when government regulation has proved inadequate and even top brands have faltered, how should Taiwan go about addressing the issue?
Bestselling author of “Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?”, philosopher, & professor at Harvard University, Michael Sandel, gives a keynote speech at the Fulbright Thought Leader Forum in Taiwan on 6/2. He talks about "Leadership and Ethics" in the 21st century.
According to Bureau of Energy Director-General Lin Chuan-neng, while working toward the goal of a nuclear-free Taiwan, equal attention must be paid to ensuring a stable power supply and low greenhouse gas emissions.
Taiwanese writer Lu Ping, who served for seven years as director of the Kwang Hwa Information and Culture Center, Taiwan's cultural window in Hong Kong, comments on the former British colony’s first female chief executive.
CommonWealth Magazine reporters went out on the Taiwan Strait to tell the story of the mullet trade. What they saw was the encroachment of Chinese fishing boats in Taiwanese waters and the environmental catastrophe those vessels are creating.
Taiwan is the fourth largest fish consumer in the world, however, Fisheries Statistic Yearbook shows that Taiwan’s coastal fisheries have only 160,000 metric tons of fish left now. Are Taiwan’s coastal fisheries and waters overfished? Do we know where the fish we eat comes from?
Dwindling student numbers, insufficient resources and global competition are forcing Taiwan’s colleges and universities to reinvent themselves or become obsolete. A unique niche with precise positioning may be the answer.
Taiwan’s largest automobile manufacturing company, Kuozui Motors, features high employee satisfaction and low turnover. It might be hard to picture workers donning headbands and staging angry protests 30 years ago, but management was open to discussions, laying a foundation of trust that endures to this day.
Fewer than 0.1 percent of Taiwan’s corporations have a company labor union. Fubon Financial Holdings not only has a union, but the company and union have an agreement that helps the company respond better to the new labor laws.
Faced with criticism over the introduction of a new workweek system under the revised Labor Standards Act, Hsieh Chien-chien, Director of Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment in the Ministry of Labor, says the aim of the amendment was to create a legal basis for a five-day workweek for all. Following are the excerpts from our interview:
Taiwan recently revised its Labor Standards Act to protect workers interests, but some see it as far too restrictive and lacking in flexibility as businesses reinvent themselves to cope with the arrival of the knowledge economy era.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration is having a hard time satisfying socie-ty’s expectations. The voices of middle-aged people, residents of remote areas, and those demanding educational reforms must be heard.
The CommonWealth Magazine 2017 State of the Nation Survey identified a major generational divide in Taiwan on a wide range of issues. There was agreement on only one point, the need for economic transformation.
The subtle shift in public opinion with 39 years of age as a point of demarcation reflects the reality of divides and frictions developing between the generations on issues large and small. How should Taiwan proceed in the face of this generational divide?
In the course of its first year in office, Tsai Ing-wen’s administration has barely gotten reforms rolling, only to face ire at every turn. Yet for Tsai there is no turning back, making for a bumpy ride ahead in 2017.
Thousands of Taiwanese factories are operating illegally on land zoned for agricultural use. In many cases, they want to become legal but have found few options for doing so, in part because of land speculation and mismanagement. Is there any hope to solve this problem?
Taiwan’s rapidly aging population has made its different pension systems – especially that for public employees – unsustainable. The stakes are high as the country tackles pension reform, and we look at the possible directions the initiative might take.
CommonWealth Magazine’s latest City Happiness Survey has found that residents’ trust in their local leader may go a lot further in promoting a sense of “well-being” than a community’s resources and infrastructure or tangible initiatives.
As the leaders of Taiwan’s 22 cities and counties near the second half of their four-year terms, their approval ratings have taken some unexpected turns. Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te lost his crown, while the chief executives of two offshore counties grabbed ranks 1 and 2, and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je came in second to last.
One-fifth of the antibiotic-resistant germs transmitted to humans come from animals or food, making farms critical firewalls against their spread. Showing farmers new concepts and know-how, the Yunnan-Chiayi-Tainan Animal Disease Diagnosis Center’s assistance encompasses pig feed, diagnosis, medicine administration, and animal health monitoring.
At National Yang-Ming University Hospital, physician Chang Yea-yuan has been spearheading the fight against the overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics that has led to the emergence of multidrug-resistant microbes.
Taiwan’s “Big Six” special municipalities have now taken shape, soaking up resources and people, and extending the gap between cities and towns. Not only improving its ranking across five categories to claim first place, Taipei displaced Taichung City as the top destination for “domestic migration.”
Audrey Tang will soon become Taiwan’s youngest Cabinet minister when she starts as minister without portfolio on Oct. 1 to lead open government initiatives. Describing herself as a “connector,” she is uniquely qualified to play this role. Here’s her story.
Taiwan is facing many challenges, including a shortage of trust in some key institutions. CommonWealth Magazine’s “Social Trust Survey” reveals the public’s greatest concerns and provides the new government a roadmap for change.
How did Lin Chuan, the son of mainlanders who grew up in military dependents’ villages, gain President-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s trust? In a new era marked by de facto majority rule and full accountability for the DPP, what challenges await him?
Majority control of Taiwan’s Legislature changed for the first time this year with the victory of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in January, opening the door to sweeping reform. Newly elected Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, a veteran DPP politician, has pledged to end the practice of closed-door negotiations.
The 2016 elections seem to represent a significant shift away from traditional patterns of Taiwan party politics. Cross-strait issues played a much smaller role than in the past. Moving toward a more normal left-right politics is a positive development in Taiwan politics.
For the first time in Taiwan’s history, the country’s legislature will not be controlled by KMT-led “pan-blue” forces. People will be watching to see if the change in power will unleash reforms and lead to an era of greater efficiency and less partisanship.
The New Power Party, founded by social activists, has become the third-largest party in Taiwan’s Legislature. The capacity of these political neophytes to exercise oversight will soon be put to the test.
After a landslide victory, Tsai Ing-wen will become the first female president in the Chinese-speaking world. Though her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has gained control of the Legislature for the first time, Tsai has a difficult job on her hands even before she takes office on May 20.
Taiwan will be holding its sixth direct presidential election in history on Jan. 16. People First Party Chairman James Soong has participated in four of them. He says Taiwan is facing a crisis of leadership, and he’s the right person to fill the bill.
Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu has had a stellar political career. Yet in the upcoming presidential elections, he is predicted to lose to DPP challenger Tsai Ing-wen. Critics say Chu over-thought his strategy and threw his hat in the ring when it was too late.
Nimble campaign tactics, ambiguous cross-strait discourse, and a strong Taiwanese consciousness are the hallmarks of Tsai Ing-wen’s campaign. The daughter of a successful businessman, she has overseen her party’s rebirth and seeks to renew Taiwan’s socio-political and economic structure.
In Chiayi County, the scions of two political families are pitched against each other. One is a political newbie, the other a seasoned street protestor, and they will have to prove that they are not puppets but able to pull a few strings themselves.
Having lost a by-election to him five years ago by over 6,000 votes, DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is now again taking on Wang Ting-sheng (王廷升), son of a former Hualien Magistrate, for a single seat in the legislature.
Of the 356 candidates vying for directly elected legislative seats in Taiwan’s fast-approaching elections, 63 are from political families and 40 are the children of former politicians. Will they change the face of hereditary politics in the country?
From cross-strait relations to the parliament and party politics, ripples will course through the political scene in Taiwan beginning on January 16, 2016. How the new leadership and citizenry respond will determine how the volatility plays out.
Developing apps, wearable devices or electric vehicles - what sounds like Silicon Valley startup preoccupations is everyday school life at China’s Tsinghua University High School, where high schoolers have access to the top-notch facilities and faculty of the prestigious Tsinghua University.
In CommonWealth Magazine’s survey of people in Taiwan’s 22 cities and counties, many local leaders, including those considered stars, saw their satisfaction ratings fall below expectations, but some newcomers made big jumps.
Taiwanese consumers have gotten into the habit of buying a banana at convenience stores, but that banana may ultimately stir up nightmares for Taiwan's farmers. CommonWealth Magazine takes you behind the scenes to explain why.
While foreign media and experts heap praise on Taiwan's "utopian" 20-year-old national health insurance system, many in the island's medical profession lambast it as a "sweatshop system." A former health minister expresses strong opinions about the system's ills.
When a disaster occurs in Taiwan, medical workers respond with passion. But once the adrenaline wears off, they face an even more real challenge – a flawed health insurance system – that is leading to shortages in critical medical fields.
The huge crush of burn victims from the Formosa Fun Coast disaster has exposed long-existing problems in Taiwan's national health insurance system. Can the incident prompt reforms that make the lives of overworked medical professionals a little easier?
Taiwan's national health insurance system is lauded as one of the world's most effective, but it faults were recently exposed after a water park disaster. National Health Insurance Administration deputy chief Tsai Shu-ling admits reforms are needed but warns that there are no perfect solutions.
Her emergence as the Kuomintang's prospective presidential candidate may have been the product of unusual circumstances, but "Little Hot Pepper" Hung Hsiu-chu is ready to wage a vigorous campaign against heavy favorite Tsai Ing-wen.
More frequent droughts and reservoirs with shrinking capacity mean constant water shortages in Taiwan. An integrated approach outlined in a national drought management policy is needed to deal with this threat.
Dang thi phuong lan, who is preparing to return to her native Vietnam after working for the same family for eleven years, recalls the highs and lows of her time in Taiwan, and how she came to see it as her home away from home.
For many, the changing face of Taiwan's families can make family reunions over the Lunar New Year holiday difficult. But in this changing world, it may be finally time to let go of entrenched beliefs and accept people for who they are.
In Germany, real estate is an essential good. In Taiwan, it's a means to get rich and will likely stay that way as long as the cost of owning property remains negligible. Without tax reform, housing justice in Taiwan will be hard to come by.
Legislation was passed in 2011 to register actual real estate transaction prices in Taiwan but it was watered down in cross-party consultations. As calls for revisions mount, can a better system be devised and passed?
Public support for Taiwan's Legislative Yuan is below 10 percent because of incessant partisan wrangling and the body's lack of efficiency. How much is Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to blame and what does the future hold?
Older people swore it couldn't work, but for the team at 1987 Studio, opportunity was right there before them, and they are determined to pave a new way in filmmaking for themselves and their young peers.
CommonWealth Magazine's latest State of the Nation Survey found ongoing dismay with partisan wrangling at home but decidedly mixed attitudes toward China, even in the wake of social movements portraying Beijing as a villain.
Taiwan's Nov. 29 local elections in the books, Taiwan is already gearing up for national elections in early 2016. In the run-up, the country's major parties will likely square off over constitutional reform and resource allocation.
Why stumble, if not in order to get back up? The Kuomintang cannot afford dejection or hesitation, and must recognize and learn from mistakes. From the grass roots to the party power core,, how can the loose, sluggish party machine recover its might?
Few trials in life are more difficult than saying goodbye to a loved one. Oftentimes a prolonged illness devoid of hope for a turnaround is harder on the living than the dying, and when nature gains the upper hand, not knowing when to let go only results in lasting regret.
A CommonWealth national survey on attitudes toward end-of-life medical treatment lays bare the struggle between choosing a good way to die for oneself on the one hand and being unable to let go of family members on the other.
Why do terminally ill, dying patients receive futile medical treatment that often prolongs their suffering? CommonWealth Magazine and the non-profit 393.citizen.com surveyed Taiwan's critical care specialists to get the answer.
The cities of Taipei and Hsinchu are the most competitive in Taiwan but that competitiveness did not translate into a sense of well-being, according to CommonWealth Magazine's 2014 City Happiness Survey.
As the year-end elections loom large in Taiwan, the chief executives of the island’s 22 cities and counties are battling to retain office, yet 40 percent have suffered a drop in their popularity. CommonWealth holds their scorecards up for readers to judge.
The gas explosions that jolted Kaohsiung were the product of long-term neglect of public safety. They pose a series of huge challenges to governance at the central and local level that will be hard to overcome.
Squeezed between the demands of their jobs and the demands of taking care of aging parents, many middle-aged Taiwanese workers are desperate for a sound long-term care system that has yet to materialize.
Taiwan's rich-poor divide is at an all-time high, with the top 1 percent of income earners enjoying most of the gains of economic growth. The situation is unlikely to change unless Taiwan overhauls its outdated tax system.
Popular pressure has forced Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant to be put on hold. CommonWealth Magazine's latest survey looks more closely at what the public was thinking and if it is ready for the consequences.
The sight of students storming government buildings shocked many Taiwanese. Where did all these angry young people come from? To understand their outrage, we must look at Taiwan from their perspective.
By trampling on the legislature and forcibly hindering democratically elected lawmakers from rightly exercising their constitutional authority, a minority of protesting students is doing Taiwanese democracy no favor.
How can Taiwan find a solution for cross-strait contacts that guarantees economic benefits, democracy and national security? Here are three steps Taiwan needs to take to rebuild the public's trust in the government.
CommonWealth Magazine's latest State of the Nation survey found a breakdown in confidence in Taiwan's government, dismay over the country's rich-poor divide, and a desire to not be so economically dependent on China.
Only 40 percent of Taiwan's top executives are optimistic about economic prospects in 2014, yet 70 percent are preparing to increase wages. CEOs nearly unanimously favor free trade agreements, but remain bearish on investment.
Taichung has emerged as the place where most Taiwanese would like to live, pushing aside Taipei. While the capital is still seen as the island's most representative city, its glitter generates less happiness than its country cousins.
With the bold ambition of becoming a "city of reading," Kaohsiung is pooling the resources of its 61 public libraries, making millions of books available to its schools. Throughout Taiwan, cities are raising competiveness by elevating culture, and the answer lies in books.
Taiwan's top five mayors stand the greatest chance of rising to political supremacy. But first they must win the enigmatic hearts of the younger generation. A new CommonWealth survey shows how they're stacking up.
She is known as the top female CEO in Taiwan’s machinery industry, building Hiwin Technologies into the world’s No. 2 precision components maker without a technical background. So what skills does she bring to the table?
CommonWealth Magazine's New "Good Cuisine" Movement is off and running, calling on everyone to take the "40-mission" low-carbon diet challenge, to eat with greater value, conscience and environmental consciousness.
Food education is becoming the new foundation for moral and mental growth. When children appreciate what they eat, they also learn to care for others, cherish the earth and understand the value of life.
Cho Po-yuan enjoys one of the highest voter support rates of any KMT mayor or county executive. As one of the new generation of KMT leaders, how is Cho getting his constituents to sense his passion for public administration?
What does well-being taste like? The residents of Yilan seem to know. More than 90 percent of people living there say they are happy. What has their chief executive done to make them feel so satisfied?
Taiwan's highest public approval ratings belong to newcomers. But will they be able to meet expectations? And what do the rankings reveal about the state of Taiwan's democracy and the island's political landscape?