Taiwan is one step closer to becoming the first Asian country to legalize same sex marriage. Two draft amendments to the Civil Code aimed at legalizing same sex marriage passed the first reading at the legislature in Taiwan on December 26, 2016. Article 972 of the Civil Code will add the paragraph recognizing “both parties of a same sex marriage. This is an addition to recognizing marriage made by the male and female parties. Another amendment includes the rights and duties of the same sex couples who marry. According to the procedure of the legislature, the bill will be reviewed after April before it is passed as a law after the second and third readings.
The Alliance of Religious Groups for the Love of Families Taiwan made up of multiple religious groups and parents oppose to the amendment and propose a “special law” to for LGBT marriage rights. Conservative religious groups, mostly the Christians, oppose to the amendment.
Victoria Hsu, the president of the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) will share with us her views on same sex marriage. Victoria Hsu is a lawyer and a member of the Gender Equality Committee of the Executive Yuan (Taiwan’s Cabinet).
Taiwan Sentinel website was established in January, 2017, according the Editor in Chief, J.Michael Cole. Michael Cole has been living in Taiwan since 2005 and has closely monitored the political development of Taiwan. He said he has travelled across the island extensively and has built close contact with people from all walks of life in order to better understand Taiwan. The purpose of setting up Taiwan Sentinel is to defend liberal democratic way of life in Taiwan adding that it serves as a bridge between Taiwan and foreign audience in order to address misperceptions of the Taiwan Strait covered by the international media. Michael Cole is also a senior non-resident fellow with the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham, UK and associate researcher with the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China. He was also Editor in Chief of Thinking Taiwan between 2014 and 2016, a product of Dr.Tsai Ing-wen’s Taiwan Thinking Foundation, Taiwan’s premier source of non-partisan analysis about politics and society in Taiwan.More
Trade Office of Swiss Industries Taipei (TOSI) celebrated the Switzerland National Day on August 1st in a special way, inviting guests from various embassies, representative offices and other important personages in Taiwan to enjoy the Zurich Sing Academy (Zürcher Sing-Akademie) concert at the national concert hall in Taipei after the cocktail reception.
The director of Trade Office of Swiss Industries Taipei, Mr.Rolf Frei said the Zurich Sing Academy (Zürcher Sing-Akademie) was invited by the Taipei International Choral Festival to perform in Taipei and he discussed with the organizer if the concert could be arranged on the Switzerland National Day on August 1st. Mr.Frei said this is a unique experience where some 200 guests could enjoy the concert with the rest of the 1200 Taiwanese audience and celebrated the national day at the same time.
Mr.Rolf Frei said his mission in Taiwan is to promote trade and tourism and in November, he will organize an innovation forum with speakers and experts to give speeches on innovation in Switzerland. He hopes the forum will bring together more cooperation between Taiwan and Switzerland in the field of innovation. Innovation is the engine of economic growth in a knowledge-based economy and Taiwan is making the transition to an innovation-based economy while Switzerland is one of the world’s most innovative countries, according to the Global Innovation Index 2017.More
The Representative of Turkish Trade office in Taipei, Ambassador Ismet Erikan said everyone should remember the tragic incident, the failed coup d’etat that took place in Turkey on July 15, 2016. The coup left around 250 dead and 2,200 injured. The Turkish representative said democracy is hard to gain and to defend adding that Turkey is now safe and the number of tourists has increased including Taiwanese tourists.
Ambassador Ismet Erikan hopes the number of Taiwanese tourists to Turkey will increase from 100,000 to 1 million some day given the fact that around 14 million Taiwanese travel abroad every year.
Ambassador Michel Lu Ching-long was posted in France three times on and off for a period of 16 years in total. Amb.Lu had been devoted to the promotion of bilateral ties between Taiwan and France and his performance of Taiwanese glove puppetry had impressed many important personages and people from different walks of life in France during his posting. On this week’s On the Line, former Taiwan’s representative to France, Ambassador Michel Lu Ching-long shares with us his views on the bilateral exchanges.
Taiwan and France have had close relationship for decades. According to former Taiwan’s representative to France, Ambassador Michel Lu Ching-long, 11 agreements have been signed between the two sides and there are 59 ongoing projects on research and science as well as seismology.
Ambassador Michel Lu said around 1800 French students are currently studying in Taiwan as compared to only 10 French students in 1982, so the educational exchange has increased tremendously. Currently around 3,000 Taiwanese students are pursuing education in France.More
Mr.Musawenkosi Aphane, the head of mission of Liaison Office of South Africa in Taipei said South Africa has advanced agro processing but the industry is in the hands of a few businesspeople and his government hopes to expand this industry. Aquaculture is one sector South Africa hopes to grow and the government of South Africa has introduced Operation Phakisa since 2013 and the focus is on ocean economy and health. Taiwan has had close cooperation with South Africa in the areas of agro-processing and aquaculture. Mr.Musawenkosi Aphane said he has seen the highly sophisticated technology in Taiwan and the technology of aquaculture has been transferred to South Africa adding that when he retires, he will engage in aquaculture business with Taiwan.