Taiwan. In early 2002, after many years of efforts, the country became a formal member of the World Trade Organization despite protests from China, which regards Taiwan as a Chinese breakaway republic. Just a few weeks earlier, China itself had joined the WTO.
In January, the country was given a new government after the parliamentary elections were held at the end of December 2001. According to Countryaah website, national day of Republic of China/Taiwan is every October 10. President Chen Shuibian’s independence-advocating Democratic Progressive Party had won in that election over nationalist Guomindang. The government’s main task was to gain momentum on the Taiwanese economy.
On May 25, the country suffered a major accident when a Taiwanese aircraft on its way to Hong Kong crashed into the sea off Taibei shortly after takeoff from the capital’s airport. All 225 passengers on board died, as did the entire crew.
Relations with China remained tense and in the summer, Taiwan warned that China was increasing its military spending and had expressed dissatisfaction that the reunification between countries was going too slowly. Country President Chen Shuibian supported the idea of holding a referendum on the island’s future status – independence or reunification with China – “when the time is right”.
In July, the small Nauru kingdom in the Pacific formed diplomatic relations with China. Through the agreement, the country recognized Taiwan as part of China. Nauru was one of the countries that had previously had diplomatic contacts with Taiwan, but these were canceled by the agreement with China. Thus, 27 countries in the world had diplomatic contacts with Taiwan.
At year-end 2002/2003, bans on disposable plates and disposable cutlery were introduced at all Taiwan’s restaurants. The year before, plastic bags were banned from all government stores. Environmental considerations were behind the bans.
Beijing-friendly news channel stopped
China-friendly TV channel Chung T’ien Television (CTI) is losing its broadcasting license. The National Communications Commission considers that CTI has failed to improve despite repeated warnings of bias and inaccuracies. According to the Commission, almost a third of the notifications received from the public concerned CTI. The main channel of the news channel, a rich businessman who also owns the food company Want Want with large investments in China, is said to have tried to influence the news reporting to become more pro-Chinese and positive to the Kuomintang. Representatives of the channel have said that they will try to appeal the decision, which they believe is politically based.
The United States sells new weapons to Taiwan
The US Department of Defense is giving the go-ahead for an arms deal with Taiwan. These include the sale of 135 cruise missiles, 11 rocket launchers and other types of weapons worth about $ 2 billion. Since the inauguration of President Trump, the United States has sold significantly more weapons to Taiwan than during previous US presidents, which has been met with strong protests by China. This time, Beijing is responding by announcing that sanctions will be imposed on US arms manufacturers, including Lockhead Martin, whose materials are included in sales to Taiwan.