Taiwan. According to
Countryaah, Taiwan's Prime Minister Sean Chen resigned in
early February. He indicated health reasons, but there were
speculations that President Ma Yingjeou had fired him
because of the country's weak economic development. He was
succeeded by Deputy Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah. The entire
government then resigned, which is customary when the
country changes prime minister. On February 18, Jiang
Yi-huah and his government with several exchanged members
After 17 years of negotiations, Taiwan and Japan signed
an agreement in April that allows Taiwanese fishermen to
fish near the disputed uninhabited archipelago Senkaku (in
Chinese Diaoyu) in the East China Sea. China's foreign
ministry expressed concern that Japan signed a bilateral
agreement with Taiwan, which according to Beijing is a
Chinese breakaway republic. The reason for the conflict is
that there is oil and natural gas under the seabed around
The death of a Taiwanese fisherman in May led to a
diplomatic conflict between the governments of Taiwan and
the Philippines. The fisherman is shot to death by
Philippine Coast Guard in an area of the South China Sea
that both countries consider belongs to their area.
Philippine authorities stated that the Coast Guard had acted
in self-defense since the fisherman tried to hit the Coast
Guard's boat. The Taiwanese president demanded a formal
apology from the Government of the Philippines, compensation
to the fisherman's family and punishment of the guilty.
The Government of the Philippines submitted a formal
apology, but Taiwan refused to accept it. The Taiwan
government imposed a ban on new Filipino guest workers in
Taiwan and decided that those already in the country must go
home when their work permit expires. In addition, the Coast
Guard was sent out to protect Taiwanese fishing boats.
In August, Taiwan lifted the sanctions against the
Philippines since the Philippine government officially
apologized and provided the fisherman's family with
financial compensation. In addition, the Philippine
authorities admitted that the Coast Guard used excessive
force. The Government of the Philippines recommended that
the eight coast guards who admitted shooting should be
charged with murder.
Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu was forced to resign in July
after a conscript died after a punishment by his superiors.
The 24-year-old man died of heat stroke after being forced
to do hard exercises in the roasting sun as a punishment for
having brought his cellphone to the military base. Eighteen
senior soldiers were charged with the death toll, which also
triggered major demonstrations in the capital, Taibei.
The protests led in August to a law change that would
close military courts and prisons in January 2014. The 350
emergency cases that went on in military courts would be
transferred to ordinary courts and military prisoners would
be transferred to ordinary prisons.
After almost a week in the post, the new Defense
Minister, Andrew Yang, also resigned to plagiarized
newspaper text in an article he wrote six years earlier.
A quarrel over a nuclear vote led to tangibility among
MPs in August. The brawl concerned a vote on whether to hold
a referendum on building a fourth nuclear power plant in
Taiwan. The MPs boxed and poured water on each other before
being dispatched by guards. The government felt that the new
nuclear power plant was needed to avoid power outages.
Taiwan's main opposition party, the Democratic Progress
Party, is opposed to the new nuclear power plant for fear of
security. In March, over 200,000 people took part in an
In November, Gambia terminated diplomatic relations with
Taiwan after 18 years. According to the country's president
Yahya Jammeh, the cause was "national strategic interests".
It was speculated whether China's increased influence in
Africa was behind. After Gambia's departure, Taiwan was
recognized by 22 countries, including three in Africa.