I was going to do a huge post gathering up all the commentary, but frankly I am tired of the whole Ma-Xi mess, which ended an era, not began one. But if you are going to read one thing on it, read Solidarity's, because it's the best.
AmCham did a great piece on the nation's debt situation.
Taiwan’s public finances are increasingly strained by debt, aggravating the island’s fiscal woes as it struggles with flagging exports and weak GDP growth. Last year, the central government’s debt reached NT$5.28 trillion (US$161 billion). At 35.85% of GDP, it was just below the statutory ceiling of 40.6%, according to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS). But when government obligations over the next 30 years are added in, public debt swells to nearly NT$24 trillion (US$740 billion), or about 160% of current GDP, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) estimates.KMT Chairman and Presidential Candidate Eric Chu is off to the US. The national election campaign has basically ground to a halt with Chu gone and Ma refocusing things on China, but the legislative campaigns brought out their posters in the last couple of weeks. Chu is not in evidence on the ones that I have seen in Taichung and Solidarity reports, in Taipei either. The election campaign comes against the background of Taiwan's slumping economy, with exports in their ninth straight month of decline. The Ma legacy isn't going to be a "historic" meeting, but a stagnant economy. Tsai is going to have a huge mess to clean up...
This excellent piece on climate change and aboriginal farmers...
Without a written calendar system, the Atayal determine their agricultural routine by observing the floral life cycles. As the Sakura cherry blossom blooms, for instance, they sow the millet. "However, over the past ten to 20 years, the Sakura blossoms earlier and earlier. We felt confused by the climate patterns," said Yuraw Icyang an Atayal elder....echoes what I was told a couple of years ago up at Wuling Farm: the plants are no longer blooming predictably.
Dengue fever: Ralph Jennings in Forbes. Still going on, though the CDC said at the end of October it had been brought under control.
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