Natural resources and energy
Taiwan has no significant natural resources
except for the fertile soils and forests. The only
minerals extracted today to a greater extent are
dolomite, marble and sulfate. Many of the raw materials
needed by industry must be imported.
Taiwan has small own oil and natural gas reserves,
but is almost entirely dependent on imports for its
energy supply. Imported oil accounts for half energy
production, coal for one third and nuclear power for
less than one tenth.
Major exports by Taiwan with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Fuel for the three nuclear power plants is also
imported. A fourth nuclear power plant began to be built
in 1999, but has long been delayed due to political
opposition, among other things, with regard to safety
aspects as it is being built in a densely populated
area. Following the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan
in 2011, the opposition party DPP had ordered that the
nuclear industry be gradually shut down until 2025. The
party also demanded that the construction of the fourth
nuclear power plant, which was almost completed, should
be halted. After extensive street demonstrations and
protests, the KMT management finally agreed to put the
project on ice, despite seeing huge costs in not
completing it at the same time as Taiwan was finding it
difficult to manage its energy supply.
At the beginning of 2017, a legislative amendment was
passed in Parliament which meant that the nuclear power
plants in Taiwan would be closed during the period until
2025. It was also decided that the energy sector should
be liberalized and that renewable energy sources would
be used increasingly. But in the coming year,
dissatisfaction among Taiwanese people with the Tsai
regime's energy policy increased. The attempts to phase
out nuclear power were reported to cause power outages
and increased air pollution.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, TW stands for Taiwan.
The environmental movement is strong in Taiwan, where
rapid industrialization has left its mark. Air pollution
is evident in the cities and virtually all waterways are
severely soiled. The storage of toxic and radioactive
waste has destroyed large areas. The high use of coal,
oil and gas results in large greenhouse gas emissions.
The government has promised to cut emissions to levels
from 2000 by 2025 and it wants to invest in renewable
energy sources, especially wind power and solar energy.
Suspicious spies are arrested
Authorities report that three retired military commanders have been arrested
on suspicion of spying on China's behalf. Media reports indicate that the number
of arrested soldiers is in fact eight.
Disputes with Japan
Taiwan sends coastguard vessels to Diaoyu (Senkaku in Japanese) after
Japanese vessels try to chase away Taiwanese fishing vessels that have come too
close to the disputed archipelago. The islands are controlled by Japan but the
Beijing regime and Taiwan also claim the islands and in recent times the dispute
with Japan has become acute (see China Calendar).
Chinese cooperation agreement
China and Taiwan enter into a cooperation agreement on investment, including
rules for dispute resolution.
Electricity price increases
The state-subsidized electricity price is raised, leading to strong protests
against the government.
Prime Minister Chen takes office
On February 6, Prime Minister Sean Chen and his government will take office.
The President is re-elected
Ma Ying-jeou may continue as president for another four years after winning
the presidential election on January 14 with 51 percent of the vote against 45
percent for DPP leader Tsa Ing-wen. Even in the parliamentary elections,
Kuomintang is doing well - the blue alliance gets 51 percent of the vote
compared to 44 percent for the green alliance where the DPP is included.