Taiwan. According to
Countryaah.com, Taiwan-Mainland China relations became
increasingly cold after Tsai Ing-wen took office as
president in 2016. Tsai refused to publicly endorse the
agreement between her representatives as president, Ma
Ying-jeou, and Beijing, stating that there is only "one
China". Admittedly, this had been interpreted in different
ways in both countries, but Tsai's attitude aroused despite
the discontent of mainland China. Since the summer of 2016,
the Beijing regime had severed official contacts with Taibei
and countered Taiwan's participation in international
contexts. As a result, for the first time in eight years,
Taiwan was not allowed to participate as an observer at the
World Health Organization's (WHO) annual meeting in May. The
month after, Panama severed its diplomatic contacts with
Taiwan and instead began diplomatic relations with China.
In September, President Tsai announced that Lai Ching-te,
mayor of the city of Tainan, would replace Lin Chuan as the
country's prime minister. The government was otherwise left
unchanged on the most important items. In November,
democracy activist Lee Ming-che was sentenced to five years
in prison by a court in China. Lee disappeared in March
during a trip to China. Some time later the message came
that he had been arrested and suspected of overthrowing
activities. Lee had used social media to propagate democracy
and multi-party systems in China. President Tsai criticized
the verdict and demanded Lee's immediate release.
In December, Parliament passed a law to help the country
settle the human rights violations committed during Chiang
Kai-shek's tenure in power 1947-75.
In late 2000, for the first time, Taipei allowed trade
contacts between the islands of Qinmen and Matsu close to
China's coast and mainland. Although the islands are close
to major cities such as Xianmen, trade relations to date
have been indirect, and had gone via Hong Kong and Macau.
After more than 50 years of separation, Taiwan and China
celebrated the first direct relations between the two
countries at the beginning of 2001. Beijing preferred a
wider opening in relation to Taiwan to allow connections to
all points on the island from all points on the mainland.
The transport of goods between the two countries has
traditionally been via Hong Kong. It is an obstacle to the
continued growth of trade between the two countries.
2001 was a difficult year for the Taiwanese economy. Both
exports and imports fell as a result of the world economic
crisis. Unemployment rose to 5%, mainly due to the decline
in exports of high-tech goods to the United States. The same
year, Taiwan was admitted as the 144th member of the WTO.
At the December 2001 parliamentary elections, KMT lost
the majority - for the first time since 1949. KMT was unable
to withstand the process of democratization initiated by the
party's own leaders.
The Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan in March 2002 provoked
China, who regarded Tibet's spiritual leader as a messenger
of independence policy. The spokesman for the Taiwanese
government, Su Cheng-Ping, stated that the visit of the
Dalai Lama - the second - was merely aimed at enhancing the
spiritual spirit of the community and supporting traditional
In January 2002, President Chen transformed his
government in the economic sphere, and for the first time
went the post of finance minister to a woman: 53-year-old
Christine Tsung. Her job is to save the country from the
economic downturn, thus paving the way for reelection of the
president in 2004.
On March 30, 2002, an earthquake struck Taiwan and caused
several buildings to collapse in Taipei, where people fled
in panic into the streets. The quake was measured at 6.8 on
the Richter scale, and its epicenter was in Hualien, 180 km
east of the capital. At least 10 people were killed and
about 200 injured.
In May 2003, there was a sharp increase in the number of
pneumonia that had symptoms closely related to SARS. The
first SARS case was detected in Guangdong Province, China in
November 2002. Only in July did WHO remove Taiwan - as the
last country - from the list of countries affected by the