Social Movements

Taiwan, Be on the Right Side of History When It Comes to Labor Migration

A few months before the presidential elections, I gave a talk in Taipei on the responsible recruitment of migrant workers, where they do not bear the cost of their job recruitment and begin their employment saddled by debt. Afterwards, a participant came up to ask me which presidential candidate I thought would stand the best chance to reform Taiwan’s labour recruitment system towards the Employers Pays Principle, where the costs of recruitment are borne by the employers...

Taiwan’s Energy Policy at the Crossroads in the Presidential Election in 2024?

Energy policy remains a highly controversial policy arena in Taiwan after democratization, given its importance for Taiwan’s security, environmental sustainability and economic development. Under the presidency of Tsai Ing-wen, the agenda of “Nuclear-free Homeland 2025” (2025非核家園) proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party in 2016 has been subject to political challenges, which involved the debates about the use of nuclear energy beyond 2025 and the reduced capacity of coal-fired electricity plants for air pollution mitigation. The policy strategy to replace nuclear energy with rapid solar energy development has also faced enormous social challenges as its large-scale installation conflicts with the existing land uses...

Arts/Culture

Calling For a Return to Sinocentrism in the Name of Opposing It: Responding to ‘Reconsidering Sinophone Studies’

The International Journal of Taiwan Studies, one of the flagship journals of the discipline, published an unusual piece several months ago by Flair Donglai Shi. Though framed as an attack on Shih Shu-mei’s concept of the Sinophone, the crux of the piece’s argument is effectively that Taiwan studies is insufficiently Sinocentric...

Interviews

A Conversation with Diane Wilson Near Day 30 of a Water-Only Hunger Strike Against Formosa Plastics

New Bloom editor Brian Hioe interviewed American activist Diane Wilson, who is nearing day thirty of a water-only hunger strike against the actions of Taiwanese company, the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG). Pollution from a FPG subsidiary-owned steel mill in Vietnam led to fish die-offs in 2016 in what some have termed Vietnam's largest ecological disaster in history, affecting fishing villages along more than 200 kilometers of coast. Wilson is on hunger strike to call attention to Formosa's refusal to answer for the fish die-offs...