Taiwan Current Affairs - 2019

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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.

Taiwan: First Asian country to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage

On May 17, 2019 in a landmark decision, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage thus giving gay couples the ‘Right to Marry’.

Key Highlights

  • About: The Taiwanese parliament took the historic step by passing a law in favour of same-sex couples and allowing them to form ‘exclusive permanent unions’.
  • Features:
  • The bill was passed on 17 May which is celebrated annually as the ‘International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia’.
  • The law contains a clause that allows couples to apply for a ‘marriage registration’ with the government agencies.
  • It also offer few adoption rights to same-sex couples like allowing spouses to adopt biological children of their partner. But does not allows same-sex couples to co-adopt.
  • LGBTQ Rights: Taiwan has long been a hub for LGBT activism. Even its annual gay pride parade is the largest in the region. The Taiwanese LGBTQ community has now been campaigning for years to have similar and equal marriage rights as heterosexual couples. The move marks a huge victory for the community’s struggle and rights.
  • Significance: With even president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen campaigning for a platform of marriage equality, and the historic judgement that followed, this places Taiwan at the vanguard of Asia’s rapidly growing gay rights movement.
  • Importance: It is a good start and major step towards true equality and ending discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Geographical Facts: Taiwan

  • It is officially called as Republic of China (ROC) and is a self-governing island nation in East Asia.
  • States Neighbouring Taiwan: The Philippines in south, People’s Republic of China (PRC) in West, Japan in northeast.
  • It is in western Pacific Ocean and lies about 160 km off the coast of southeastern China (SCS).