Week in Review

1)

One of the top stories this past week was that the legislature completed a preliminary review of a draft bill that would pave the way for a massive infrastructure project in Taiwan. That was despite scuffles between ruling and opposition party lawmakers.

The government is planning to spend up to NT$890 billion (US$29.6 billion) on the project over eight years. It will focus on infrastructure in five areas: green energy, water management, the rail network, digital development, and urban and rural development.

However, the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) says the project is tantamount to pork-barrel spending, with Taiwan slated to elect mayors and county chiefs at the end of next year, and hold a presidential election in 2020. A number of civic groups have also questioned the economic benefits and the environmental impact of the projects.

The ruling and opposition camps have one month to negotiate the 11 articles of the draft bill.

2)

Also this past week, Premier Lin Chuan took to Facebook to reflect on President Tsai Ing-wen's first year in office. Tsai took office on May 20, 2016, and Lin became premier on the same day.

In a post on Saturday, Lin recalled the beginning of the Tsai administration a year ago and his time as Premier. He said that in addition to discussing policy, he has also traveled around Taiwan and listened to views from all sides. He said that government policies face obstacles but expressed confidence in the government's ability to solve problems.

Lin thanked lawmakers for their support of the Tsai administration's infrastructure plans, which the Cabinet introduced in late March. He said the plans aim to stimulate the economy, speed up Taiwan's industrial transformation, and increase Taiwan's competitiveness.

3)

And finally this past week, Taiwan was assessing the fallout from the global cyber attack that occurred on May 12, affecting some 200,000 computers around the world.

The Cabinet says that 226 government computers were affected by the WannaCry ransomware attack in Taiwan. It's thought that most of the computers were used for administrative purposes and that important data was not affected.

Source: Radio Taiwan International