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.
- COUNTRYAAH: 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. Visit itypeusa for more information about 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.