Taiwan

Once a stronghold, Taiwan's presence in the Pacific wanes

In just four days, Taiwan's diplomatic allies fell from 17 to 15, further isolating the island as Beijing aggressively courts the handful of countries that still recognise the government in Taipei.

The Pacific had been a stronghold of support for Taipei as its diplomatic allies steadily dwindled. Until this week, six countries in the region recognised Taiwan over China. But in terms of population, Solomon Islands and Kiribati were the biggest.

Taiwan cuts ties with Solomon Islands, accuses China of 'dollar diplomacy'

The move was announced in a statement released on Monday by Taiwan's ministry of foreign affairs.

"The government hereby declares the termination of diplomatic relations with Solomon Islands with immediate effect, the end of all bilateral co-operative projects, as well as the recall of the staff of its Embassy, technical mission, and medical mission stationed in Solomon Islands," the statement said.

"The Taiwan government also demands that Solomon Islands immediately recall its government personnel from Taiwan."

Taiwan train derailment in Yilan County kills at least 18

Railway authorities say they are investigating the accident, which happened in Yilan County at about 16:50 local time (08:50 GMT) on Sunday.

A total of 366 people were on the train travelling between Taipei and the eastern county of Taitung when all eight of its carriages derailed.

The authorities now say they have freed everyone from the wreckage.

The Puyuma Express 6432 service reportedly came off the tracks close to Xinma station, near the town of Su'ao about 70km (43 miles) from Taipei.

Taiwan is closer to being 1st Asian country to allow same-sex marriage

The country's Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that current laws, which say that marriage is between a man and a woman, violate the Constitution.

The panel of judges has given the island's parliament, known as the Legislative Yuan, two years to amend or enact new laws, which could potentially make Taiwan the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage.

Taiwan bans slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption

The bill also prohibits those using a car or motorbike from pulling their pets alongside them on a lead as they travel.

Anyone caught breaching the order faces a large fine or up to two years in prison - and having their names and photographs made public.

The measures were introduced to improve the country's animal protection laws.

The move on Tuesday is a landmark amendment to Taiwan's Animal Protection Act, and is the first of its kind in Asia.

Uber suspends its service in Taiwan as fines mount

The company said it hoped the withdrawal of the ride-hailing app would persuade Taiwan's leadership to think again.

"We have not made this decision lightly, as we know it will have a significant impact on hundreds of thousands of drivers and riders," Uber said in a statement that criticized the Taiwan government for failing to embrace innovation.

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Taiwan to fund Solomons stadium for 2023 Pacific Games

Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga who is also the Minister for Home Affairs says the stadium venue is expected to cost more than $US28 million.

Mr Maelanga said the country's official preparations will kick off next month once the 2023 Pacific Games Bill is passed by parliament.

But he said a Taiwanese team has already been to look at the proposed sites for the games venues and have returned to Taipei to work out the full details of the project.

Taiwan reacts to controversial Trump call

I am not a fan," he said, particularly when it comes to the incoming US President's comments on women and ethnic minorities. It's not that surprising, given that Lim, lead singer in a popular heavy metal band, is one of Taiwan's most progressive legislators.

Yet when Trump accepted an official call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, Lim was delighted. He hopes the call is just the beginning.

Trump breaks US policy stance with direct Taiwan call

Mr Trump's transition team said he and Tsai Ing-wen noted "close economic, political, and security ties" between the US and Taiwan in a phone call.

The move risks angering China, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has reportedly dismissed the call as a "small move" by Taiwan.

Mr Trump tweeted that Ms Tsai had called him to congratulate him on winning the US election.

DNA from ancient skeletons reveals the Polynesians may have come from Taiwan 5,000 years ago

Now a genetic study has raised intriguing new insights into who the pioneering sea-going people who first arrived on the remote South Pacific Islands were.

The findings suggest that the first inhabitants on the Polynesian islands did not come from New Guinea as originally thought.

Instead they appear to have come from another mysterious Neolithic East Asian population that is thought to have originated in Taiwan.