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Politics & Society

Politics & Society
The Black Hole of Fake News

‘Opinion War’ Arrives in Taiwan

“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?

These Countries Have the Most Expensive Childcare

Childcare costs make up a significant proportion of many working parents’ outgoings. But how much you pay can vary considerably depending on where you live.

Politics & Society
Han Kuo-yu

Kaohsiung Mayor’s ‘Economic Tour’ of Hong Kong and Macao Spans US-China-Taiwan Situation

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?

Politics & Society
CommonWealth Finance Weekly

Gasoline Prices Run-up in Taiwan

Starting April 8th, gasoline in Taiwan will cost an extra 0.2 NTD per liter. Geopolitics and domestic economic activity in oil-producing countries continue to cut supply and hike up oil prices.

Politics & Society
Fake News & Press Freedom

In the Era of ‘Red Infiltration’

A cold institution has become a hot topic. What can the National Communications Commission (NCC) do about fake news? Or rather, what should we use the NCC for?

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

How Young People Are Turning the Tide against Corruption

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.

Does the e-Mobility Wave Spell the End of Taiwan’s 28,000 Motorcycle Repair Shops?

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.

Politics & Society
Can Health Insurance Boost Fertility?

The Fertility Effect of National Health Insurance in Taiwan

"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."

Politics & Society
Red Candle Games

‘Devotion’ Gaming Controversy: Taiwan’s ‘Soft Power’ Meets China’s ‘Tough Power’

Heated discussion has flared up on Internet forums across Taiwan and Hong Kong in recent days after an online game contained reference to the “Xi Jinping as Winnie the Pooh” meme.

Politics & Society
Why Are Landlords Letting Property Sit Idle Instead of Lowering Rents?

Is Taipei’s East District Becoming a Ghost Town?

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?

Opinion: Taiwan Voted against LGBT Equality, But All is Not Lost

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.

Our World's Biggest Risks in 2019

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.

Politics & Society
Tsai Government in a Pickle

2019 State of the Nation Survey

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?

Politics & Society
Get-Rich-Quick Tales from the 1980s

How Rich Was Taiwan?

The nation was dubbed “the Republic of Casino” by astonished foreign media, and just about every Taiwanese was a gambler.

Politics & Society
The Road to Democracy

Lifting Martial Law and Opening-up Taiwan

Under pressure from within and without, late president Chiang Ching-kuo firmly believed that developing the economy and advancing democracy were Taiwan’s most effective weapons to counter Beijing.

Politics & Society
Taiwan’s First Directly Popularly-Elected President

From Constitutional Reform to Democracy

​​​​​​​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.

Politics & Society
2018 Taiwan Election

Why So Many Referendums This Year?

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?

Politics & Society
The Two Key Competencies Both Children and Adults Need

How to Tackle Fake News

How can we equip children with critical thinking and media literacy as fake news and disinformation proliferate all over the world?

From GATT to WTO, Taiwan’s Global Chess Match

Taiwan finally joined the WTO after three years of applications and a decade of negotiations, heralding an era of globalization.

Destroying Nuclear Waste to Create Clean Energy? It Can be Done

If not for long-term radioactive waste, then nuclear power would be the ultimate “green” energy.

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

The New Debate on Climate Change

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.

Politics & Society
Digital Distrust

We’re Losing Faith in Technology to Solve the World’s Problems

Innovation could be one of the casualties of a lack of trust in digital technology in some countries.

Politics & Society
World Bank Human Capital Index 2018

These Asian Economies Invested in Their People – and It Paid Off

The new World Bank Human Capital Index highlights the benefits of investing in health and education, and the potentially dire consequences of leaving people behind.

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

Could Robot Leaders Do Better Than Our Current Politicians?

Robots would be less erratic, irrational and ideological than human leaders. So what is stopping us?

Politics & Society
Former Anti-Nuclear Protestor

Taiwan’s Energy Transition Can’t Afford to Have No Plan B

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.

Politics & Society
Security Cameras Everywhere

The Price of Convenience?

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?

Politics & Society
2018 National Day Address

President Tsai : ‘We Are Determined to Defend the Values of Taiwan's Diverse Democracy’

‘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.

Politics & Society
Taiwan’s Used Clothes Dirty Secret

Clothes You Don't Want, Africa Won't Either

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?

Politics & Society
Taking Stock of Taiwan’s Approach to Waste

Trouble in the Recycling Kingdom

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?

Politics & Society
Crazy Rich Asians

The Dilemmas Those "Asians" Really Face

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.

President Tsai's Statement on Termination of Diplomatic Relations with El Salvador

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.

Politics & Society
​​​​​​​MiTAC-SYNNEX Group Chairman, Matthew Miau

Air Pollution or Nuclear Power?

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?

Politics & Society
Jason Hickel

The Great Challenge of the 21st Century Is Learning to Consume Less

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.

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

Climbing the Income Ladder Takes Generations, Depending on Where You Live

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?

Politics & Society
Keelung Wild Bird Society Director Shen Chin-Fung

Debate More Critical Than Referendum Result

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.

Politics & Society
Risky Nuclear-free Homeland Strategy

Tug-of-War Between Time and Pollution

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?

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

6 Surprising Side Effects of This Year's Global Heat wave

During the first three weeks of July, the world had been hit by one of the strongest heat wave in decades. Here are six of the most surprising side effects of this year’s heat wave.

A NT$36 Billion Hacker Brought Down in Taiwan

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.

Politics & Society
Charting the World

These are the Most Desirable Cities for Overseas Workers

European cities dominate the top 10, including Paris in eighth place.

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

Why Trade Wars Can't Solve the Problems Brought by Globalization

We asked policy experts and business leaders: how can countries really reap the economic and social benefits of global value chains (GVCs), while avoiding inequality and environmental damage?

Politics & Society
From Hot Air Balloons to Taiwan's Largest Design Program

How did Taitung Nurture Its Urban Design Prowess? (Part 1)

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.

Politics & Society
Professor Flight?

NT$150M Couldn’t Tempt This One to Leave Taiwan

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?

These are the Cities Where People Work the Longest Hours

Top of the list is Mumbai, with an average of 3,315 working hours per year.

Politics & Society
Regulations vs. Technology

When the Law Fails to Keep Up with New Tech

Time to reflect: Technology is changing faster than regulators can keep up.

Politics & Society
AI's Dreams and Reality

AI Has Huge Potential – But It Won’t Solve All Our Problems

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?

Politics & Society
Global Plastic Crisis

90% of Plastic Polluting Our Oceans Comes from Just 10 Rivers

Asia is responsible for 8 of the rivers that have the most plastic waste.

Politics & Society
Cyber Security

Here are the World's Most Popular Passwords - They're Also the World's Worst

From 'starwars' to 'whatever', our secret phrases are a gift to hackers.

Politics & Society
Good Quality of Death

Asia’s First ‘Natural Death’ Law, Will Taiwan be Ready?

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.

Depression is the No. 1 Cause of Ill Health and Disability Worldwide

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.

Politics & Society
Gender 'Crippled' Currency

Why are So Few Women Buying into Bitcoin?

It may be a man's world when it comes to dominating in cryptocurrencies.

Politics & Society
Taiwan AI Labs Founder Ethan Tu

Taiwan is Well Positioned to Develop Smart Cities

“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.

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

Conflict Costs the Global Economy $14 Trillion a Year

In 2015, violence cost the world $13.6 trillion. The following year, it cost a trillion more.

Here are the Most Influential Countries in Asia

There are many factors which come together to determine the level of a country's real-world power. What is Taiwan's status in terms of resource and influence on this power list?

Politics & Society
Taking Advantage of Trump's Contentious Style

Make Taiwan Great Again?

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.

Students, Faculty Sound Alarm Bell on University Autonomy

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. 

If You Live in a Big City You Already Smoke Every Day

Shenyang, China holds the record for the worst pollution ever recorded - the equivalent of 63 cigarettes per day for inhabitants during the 2015 record high.

Politics & Society
Air Pollution

Anxious Skies, Taiwan’s New Environmental Battlefield

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.

This is How North and South Korea Communicate with Each Other

Communication between North and South Korea has been somewhat tense over recent decades, but that might soon change.

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

5 Core Principles to Keep AI Ethical

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?

Politics & Society
Will Taiwanese Physicians Flock to China?

Chief Surgeon: Those Who are Supposed to Come are Already Here

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?

Politics & Society
Three Gigantic Geo-engineering Projects

Scientists’ New Plan to Slow Polar Melting: Build a Giant Wall

A giant wall, artificial islands and cooling water are three ways that scientists might slow polar melting.

Politics & Society
Losing the Stars to Artificial Lights

Is It too Late to Save the ‘Night’?

Light pollution is increasingly blocking out the stars and causing other health concerns. Is it too late to solve it?

Thailand Gave Healthcare To Its Entire Population

Thailand has succeeded in introducing an affordable system that has had a dramatic impact on the health of its people.

Politics & Society
Former Vice Superintendent of NTU Hospital

Taiwan’s Hospitals Seeking Revenue Outside of Healthcare to Make Up for Losses under NHI

While Taiwan is admired for its universal health insurance coverage, medical centers find it difficult to remain profitable, so they seek revenue elsewhere, using food courts, convenience stores and parking lots to balance the fiscal gaps from insufficient NHI reimbursements.

Politics & Society
World Economic Forum

3 Ways AI Could Threaten Our World

A new report highlights three ways that AI could be used for harm, physically, digitally and politically.

Even as Birth Rates Decline, Overpopulation Remains a Global Challenge

The world’s population is likely to hit 9.8 billion by 2050, although fertility rates are falling globally.

Does ‘Clean’ Coal Power Exist?

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?

Politics & Society
Travel in Taiwan

Eight Questions about Travel Safety in Taiwan

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.

The World Health Organization is Preparing for ‘Disease X’

The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently preparing for ‘Disease X’. At first it might sound a bit far fetched or cinematic, yet it is necessary. Here's why.

Total Care Nursing Saves Families Time, Money

Some 60% of hospitalized patients in Taiwan rely on relatives for day-to-day care. Now a group in Sanxia is trying to ease the burden on patients’ families tasked with caring for sick loved ones.

Politics & Society
2018 Youth Forum

The Uniqueness and Inclusivity of Taipei

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.

Politics & Society
Underground Reservoirs

One Solution for Water-starved Taiwan?

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.

Politics & Society
Where Has All the Water Gone?

Taiwan: The Water-starved Island

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.  

Politics & Society
Benefits of Multilingualism

Speaking More Than One Language Can Boost Economic Growth

According to researchers, multilingualism can fuel exports, increase salaries and help innovation. Why?

Politics & Society
Perng Fai-nan’s Enigmatic Successor

Who is Yang Chin-long?

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?

Politics & Society
Empty Dutch Prisons

Netherlands is Turning Prisons into Homes for Refugees

Thanks to plummeting crime rates, Dutch authorities have come up with new ways to use the vacant cell blocks.

Politics & Society
0206 Earthquake in Hualien

What Can be Done in the Wake of the Earthquake

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.

Politics & Society
Time to Change Taiwan’s Medical System

No More ‘Kidney Dialysis Island’

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.

Politics & Society
Reward Work, Not Wealth

Oxfam: 82% of New Wealth Last Year Went to the Richest 1%

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?

Politics & Society
The Misconception of GDP

Why GDP Fails to Be a Measure of Success

Should countries continue to use GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as a major index of their progress and development? Here are 5 ways that GDP gets it totally wrong as a measure of our success.

Politics & Society
Labor Standards Act Controversy

Employers Emerge Victorious

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.

Politics & Society
Man-chuan Chang

Hate Me or Resent Me, I Have No Regrets

"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?”

Politics & Society
Former Vice Superintendent of NTU Hospital

Go Get a Lung Screening Immediately, Even If You Don’t Smoke!

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.

Politics & Society
Retirement: Challenges & Solutions

Here’s How We Can Fix Our Pension Systems

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?

‘Care Café’ Serves Seniors as well as Community

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.

Politics & Society
Super-Aged Society

Bank Chairman Quits for His Father's Long-Term Care

“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.

Politics & Society
Interview with RSF Chairman Pierre Haski

The Specter of ‘Illiberal Democracy’

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.

Politics & Society
2018 State of the Nation Survey

70 Percent Dissatisfied with President Tsai’s Performance

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.

Politics & Society
'Reach for the Stars'

Has This Advice Failed an Entire Generation?

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?

Politics & Society
Taiwan vs. Vietnam

Who Treats Workers Better?

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.

Politics & Society
Universal Healthcare Coverage

WHO: Healthcare Costs are Pushing Millions into Extreme Poverty, This Outrage must End

At least half of the world’s 7.3 billion people still do not have access to essential health services. Director-General of the WHO (World Health Organization) calls the world's governments to act now.

Can Small Investments Create Large Returns for Energy Production?

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?

Politics & Society
Taiwan’s Economic Miracle Long Gone

Chronicling a 20-Year Decline

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.

Politics & Society
Aging Society

The Job Market is Booming for Older Workers

With the structure of population aging, the projected share of people aged 65 and over in the job market is projected to rise sharply.

Politics & Society
Dwiita Vita

Migrant Workers Should Get the Day-Off

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.

Politics & Society
Housing Justice

These Cities Have the Least Affordable Housing

Of the top 20 cities with least-affordable housing relative to income, seven are in Asia and six are in Latin America.

Politics & Society
Wooing Taiwan's Independence-Minded Youth

Can Xi’s ‘National Treatment’ Strategy Work?

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.

Politics & Society
Taiwan Turnaround

Fighting the Brain Drain

See how Taiwan’s internet tech scene is catching up by checking in with some star players about how Taiwan’s brain drain is affecting them and how they are addressing the issue.

Politics & Society
A Growing Class of ‘Down and Out Elderly’

Indifferent to Life, Ready to Die

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.

Politics & Society
The ’35 Generation’

Seeking Freedom, Living for the Moment

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?

Politics & Society
Taiwan’s Energy Transition

Facing Up to a Hot, Dirty 10 Years

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.

The Conundrums of Offshore Wind Power

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.

Taiwan’s ER Crisis

“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?

Politics & Society
Reversing the Brain Drain

Time for Homecomings

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.

Politics & Society
Taiwan’s Growing Talent Drain

‘Farewell, Taiwan’

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?

Politics & Society
Rethinking Taiwan’s Food Safety System

Is Your Kitchen Really Safe?

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?

Politics & Society
Michael Sandel

Leadership and Ethics in the 21st Century

Michael Sandel, Harvard ethicist, scholar, & TED Talk star gave a Keynote speech on “Leadership and Ethics” at the Fulbright Thought Leader Forum on June 2nd, 2017.

Politics & Society
Interview with Michael Sandel

We Need Public Discourse on Big Ethical Questions

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.

Politics & Society
Lin Chuan-neng

Striving for Energy Transition

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.

Preparing for the Golden Years

Have you pictured what your life will be like when you’re old? Whether living alone, or in the company of family, or growing old with a group of good friends, old age can have many forms.

Beijing’s 'Safest' Candidate Least Trusted in Hong Kong

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.

Politics & Society
Fish Depletion in the Taiwan Strait

A China-made Environmental Catastrophe

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.

Politics & Society
Slow Fish

Where Does Our Fish Come From?

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?

Politics & Society
Reinventing Tertiary Education

Aiming for a Unique Profile

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.

Politics & Society
Labor Law Revisions

Co-opetition Key to Labor-Management Ties

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.

Politics & Society
Labor Law Revisions

Collective Agreement Expedites Labor Negotiations

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.

Politics & Society
Labor Law Revisions

Our Goal: A Five-Day Workweek for Everyone

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:

Politics & Society
Labor Law Revisions

'I Got My First Real Day Off in Over 20 Years'

Lin Chih-chien, a department store counter sales lady, feels that her rights would be better protected with more government inspections.

Politics & Society
Labor Law Revisions

Responsibility System Needs Appropriate Compensation

Photojournalist Cheng Chao-wen believes that journalists should be allowed more free time to enhance their skills and be properly compensated to ‘keep the flame burning.’

Politics & Society
Labor Law Revisions

More Paid Leave Brings Greater Personal Flexibility

Software Engineer Huang Pei-en appreciates the paid annual leave that comes with the revised Labor Standards Act, but misses the seven national holidays he used to enjoy.

Politics & Society
Labor Law Revisions

Is Taiwan Out of Kilter with Reality?

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.

Politics & Society
2017 State of the Nation Survey

Neglected Voices Hound Tsai Administration

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.

Politics & Society
2017 State of the Nation Survey

Only Common Wish: Fix the Economy

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.

Politics & Society
2017 State of the Nation Survey

Fissure Point Identified at 39 Years Old

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?

Politics & Society
2017 Forecast: Domestic Politics

Reform Gets Underway as Approval Plummets

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.

Politics & Society
Gay Marriage Legalization

Factions Clash as Marriage Equality Law Tabled

Last week, as legislators reviewed the Marriage Equality Law, thousands of protesters gathered outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Politics & Society
Battling the Spread of Illegal Factories

Taiwan’s Industrial Land Crisis

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?

Politics & Society
Lin Wan-i:

We Cannot Abandon Reform over Dissent

Pension reform is of vital importance as Taiwan faces the challenges of industrial transformation as well as an aged society. Can the long-overdue reform succeed this time?

Politics & Society
National Pension Reform

Taiwan on the Edge of a Precipice?

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.

Politics & Society
2016 City Happiness Survey

Taiwan’s ‘Well-Being’ Revolution

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.

Politics & Society
2016 Local Leader Approval Survey

Political Shifts Point to New Leadership Trends

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.

Politics & Society
National Chiayi University Animal Disease Diagnosis Center

Superbug Prevention Through Source Management

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.

Politics & Society
National Yang-Ming University Hospital in Ilan

Infectious Disease Specialist Leads Fight against Superbugs

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.

Politics & Society
2015 City Happiness Survey

Restructuring Triggers Fight for People, Resources

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.”

Politics & Society
New Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang

Taiwan’s Democratic Innovation ‘Connector’

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.

Politics & Society
Taiwan Social Trust Survey

Judicial Reform Long Overdue

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.

Full Text of President Tsai's Inaugural Address

The following is the full text of President Tsai Ing-wen's inaugural address as released by the Presidential Office:

Politics & Society
Premier-designate Lin Chuan

The Most Inside Outsider

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?

Politics & Society
Parliamentary Speaker Su Jia-chyuan

A Neutral Mediator?

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.

2016 A Different Taiwan Election

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.

Politics & Society
A “Green” Legislature

Is Reform Really in Store?

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.

Politics & Society
Congress’s Third-largest Party

Can New Power Be an Effective Watchdog?

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.

Victory Speech of Tsai Ing-wen

Full text of Tsai Ing-wen’s victory speech at international press conference.

Politics & Society
Taking the Helm of a Stagnant Taiwan

Tsai Faces Three Major Challenges

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.

Politics & Society
James Soong :

Taiwan’s Problem Is Leadership

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.

Politics & Society
The Political Model Student

Eric Chu on a Mission Impossible

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.

Politics & Society
Tsai Ing-wen

Ready to Take on Cross-strait Turbulence

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.

Politics & Society
2016 State of the Nation Survey

Ready to Test a New President

Taiwan will soon elect a new president, and CommonWealth Magazine’s 2016 State of the Nation Survey has uncovered the priorities most on the minds of the country’s people.

The Burden of Being a Political Heir

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.

Hsiao Bi-khim Takes on Local Scion

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.

Politics & Society
Legislative Yuan Elections

A Second-generation Wave

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?

Politics & Society
Letters to the Editor: A Letter to the Future President of Taiwan

Dwiita Vita: Our Aspirations as Indonesian Migrant Workers

As a migrant worker from Indonesia, Dwiita Vita tries to gather opinions from Indonesia fellow workers at the informal(caretaker) and formal (manufacturer) sector. What are their aspirations?

Politics & Society
Taiwanese Political Outlook:

Clashing Interests, Old Party in Crisis

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.

Politics & Society
Tsinghua University High School

Students Play Lead Role on Educational Stage

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.

Politics & Society
Political Stars Take Small Step Back

2015 Local Leader Approval Survey

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.

Politics & Society
'Banana Kingdom' No Longer

Taiwan's Farmers under Assault

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.

Group Aims to Help Foreign Laborers

One out of every 40 people in Taiwan today is a migrant laborer from Southeast Asia. Now a "migrant workers' business school” founded by Taiwanese youths aims to help them realize their dreams.

Politics & Society
Lin Fang-yue

A 'Sweatshop Healthcare System' Won't Make Progress

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.

Politics & Society
Taiwan's Health Care Crisis

Surgeons the New Endangered Species

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.

Politics & Society
Taiwan's Health Care Crisis

Queuing for Emergency Rooms

When hundreds of burn victims were recently rushed to emergency rooms after a fire catastrophe at a seaside water park, the problem of Taiwan's overcrowded emergency rooms came to the fore.

Politics & Society
Taiwan's Health Care Crisis

Water Park Disaster Exposes Systemic Flaws

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?

Politics & Society
NHI Deputy Chief Tsai Shu-ling

Lower Payments Aim to Save Public Money

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.

Politics & Society
Stephane Corcuff

'Acquiring' Ancestors in Taiwan

Inside a cluster of decrepit wooden houses dating from the Japanese period, French scholar Stéphane Corcuff came across a wooden ancestral memorial plaque that changed his relationship with Taiwan.

Politics & Society
Watchout Cofounder Zuyi Lin

Social Activist with a low Profile

Although Zuyi Lin masterminded the Appendectomy Project, a campaign to recall underperforming lawmakers, he shies away from serving as figurehead to Taiwan's growing civic action movement.

Politics & Society
Interview with Hong Hsiu-chu

Campaigning to Reawaken Hope

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.

Does A Degree from Taiwan Really Worth It?

After coming to Taiwan with high expectations and studying for four years, students from across the strait find themselves asking each other, "Is it worth it?

Politics & Society
The Invisible Killer

Coping with Persistent Drought

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.

Politics & Society
Taiwan's Diverse Families

I Call Taiwan My Second Home

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.

Politics & Society
Taiwan's Diverse Families

Finding a Haven in Close-knit Family

Lai Lixia, one of many Chinese women who have made their homes in Taiwan, has found comfort and happiness in her close-knit family even if she is not always fully accepted by others.

Politics & Society
Taiwan's Diverse Families

Stan Shih: No Outsourcing Granddad's Role

In a large corporation you can make use of helpers as long as you delegate authority, but no one can take my place as a father and grandfather – there's nowhere to outsource this task.

Taiwan's Diverse Families

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.

Politics & Society
Housing Justice

Germany: Housing Is Human Right

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.

Politics & Society
Housing Justice

Legislative Loophole Hurting Reform

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?

Politics & Society
Taiwan's Unpopular Legislature

Six Questions for Wang Jin-pyng

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?

Politics & Society
Jonathan Liao

Making Our Own Films

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.

Politics & Society
2015 State of the Nation Survey

China, Political Infighting on People's Minds

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.

Politics & Society
Election Fallout

Five Big Challenges Await Taiwan

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.

Politics & Society
The KMT's Next Move

Get Close to the Grass Roots

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?

Politics & Society
Legislator Tien Chiu-chin

Holding on Only Preserves Regrets

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.

Die With Dignity – A Global Issue

In Japan, the term "shukatsu" – preparing for the end of life - has become a catch phrase among the elderly. In Europe and North America, "living wills" or "advance directives" are widely discussed.

Politics & Society
Confessions of a physician

Who is Weeping Silently?

A first-hand account from a doctor of how futile medical treatment can actually occur.

Politics & Society
Attitudes on Life and Medical Care Survey

Good Death or Poor Life, What Do You Choose

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.

Politics & Society
Survey of Taiwan's Critical Care Specialists

Futile Medical Treatment Commonplace

Why do terminally ill, dying patients receive futile medical treatment that often prolongs their suffering? CommonWealth Magazine and the non-profit surveyed Taiwan's critical care specialists to get the answer.

Politics & Society
Rewriting the Final Chapter of Life

The Need to Let Go

When is it time to say goodbye to loved ones? Taiwan has grappled with the question at great expense, resulting in considerable medical futility in end-of-life care.

Politics & Society
2014 City Happiness Survey

Prosperity Not Translating into Happiness

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.

Politics & Society
2014 City Happiness Survey

Is Your City Safe?

According to City Safety Index established by CommonWealth, as many as 14 of the 22 municipalities in Taiwan emerged as "high risk" places. What can their residents do to protect themselves?

Politics & Society
2014 Local Leader Approval Survey

DPP Retains Top 3, Near Half See Ratings Fall

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.

Politics & Society
The Kaohsiung Gas Explosions

Petrochemicals: Welcome Worn Out?

Five petrochemical industrial zones provide Greater Kaohsiung with over 10,000 jobs. With public outcry over the recent tragedy at a boil, will the city ask the industry to take a hike?

Politics & Society
The Kaohsiung Gas Explosions

The Menace of 'Hidden Giants'

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.

Politics & Society
The Cry of the Salaried Worker

Who's Looking after Me?

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.

Politics & Society
The 1% vs. the 99%

Taiwan's Vast Wealth Gap

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.

Politics & Society
Taking Taiwan's Pulse on Nuclear Power

An Ambivalent No to Nuclear Four

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.

Politics & Society

What's Driving the New Generation

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.

Politics & Society

How Close to Collapse Is Taiwan's Democracy?

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.

Politics & Society
Anti-Services Pact Furor

What Should Taiwan Do Next?

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.

Politics & Society
Anti-Services Pact Furor

A Chance to Deepen Taiwan's Democracy

The controversy over a trade agreement with China has engulfed Taiwanese society. Touching on political, social, generational and class fault lines, it may end up being a boon for democracy.

Politics & Society
Taiwan's Youth Exodus

Why Taiwanese Are Willing to Be Foreign Workers

Why would young Taiwanese want to work in Singapore as low-skilled migrant workers? Why would they still want to go even if they are exploited and treated badly?

Hope in Taiwan

These are simply not the worst of times for Taiwan – thanks to the many people rolling up their sleeves, taking responsibility, breaking new ground, dedicating themselves, and making a difference.

Politics & Society
2014 State of the Nation Survey

Widening Wealth Gap Spawns Discontent

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.

Politics & Society
Top 2000 CEO Survey

Mild Recovery, Rising Wages

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.