Taiwan Current Affairs - 2020

China’s interests in the new country Bougainville

Recently, Bougainville, a chain of islands voted for a referendum of independence from Papua Guinea. The referendum saw 85% voter turnout choosing Papua Guinea as second option. The referendum was introduced because the peace agreement signed before 20 years ended. The agreement was signed to end nine year conflict or civil war that killed almost 10% of the country’s population. Employment and land acquisition in the island by copper mines (owned by Papua Guinea, Australia and other foreign countries) were the major reason behind the war.

Implications 

The independence of the country sends strong signals to other movements across the Pacific, especially New Caledonia (a French collectivity) that is preparing itself for the second referendum. The other important message that the independence sends is for the so-called traditional partners of the Pacific namely US, UK, Australia, France and Japan. The referendum has taken place during the period when the strategic anxiety among the traditional partners of the Pacific is at its peak.

China’s interests

The prevailing situation in the Pacific is advantageous to China. China seeks to influence an independent Bougainville. The political and economic presence of china in the country has increased already. China’s support to the island will increase its support among the Pacific islands against Taiwan. It is important to note that Taiwan recently lost two of its Pacific allies this year. Australia, UK and US believe that there are possibilities of China bringing Bougainville into its debt trap diplomacy. China is also interested in Bougainville for its rich fisheries, copper, gold and other resources. Building strong ties with the country will help China increase its presence in the Pacific.

Typhoon ‘Mitag’ approaches Northern Taiwan

Rapidly-moving Typhoon ‘Mitag’ is bearing down on northern Taiwan, where it is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain. With the worst of the weather expected to arrive in the island country, the warnings have been issued for parts of island’s east and north, including the capital, Taipei.

The Taiwan’s weather bureau has categorized Typhoon Mitag been as at the second-strongest typhoon level.

Key Highlights

Taiwan’s weather bureau reported that Mitag was strengthening gradually as it approach the coast of Yilan county at about 27 kilometers per hour with winds gusting at up to 162 kilometers  per hour (100 mph).

The storm’s center is expected to pass just east of the island before heading toward China’s eastern city of Shanghai (on mainland China), then weakening as it moves toward South Korea and Japan.

What are Typhoons?

Typhoon is the regional names for Tropical Cyclones that occurs in Western Pacific and South China Sea i.e. in Philippines islands, eastern China and Japan the tropical cyclones are called typhoons.

A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops between 180° (or 180th meridian or antimeridian is meridian 180° both east and west of Prime Meridian) and 100°E in the Northern Hemisphere. This region is referred to as Northwestern Pacific Basin which is the most active tropical cyclone basin on Earth. This region accounts for almost one-third (33%) of the world’s annual tropical cyclones.