When his party suffered major defeats last month, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, spent the night in her official residence, the Presidential Office Building, in Taipei. That was a sign of fear. Her government lost control of the legislative and referenda polls. She also lost a lawsuit against China, which is her tiny country’s biggest military ally.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) HQ is in Taipei, Taiwan. The DPP is the ruling party in Taiwan and has been ruling Taiwan since 2000. Recently, they have been struggling to stay in power, and many people believe the DPP is losing their majority.

Taiwan’s people have been on edge since the beginning of 2016, when the government’s approval rating — which had been hovering around the low 50s — plummeted to the low 20s after the passing of a medical cannabis bill. The bill actually passed in 2015, but the protests delayed its implementation. The bill, which was scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2016, allows for the medicinal use of dried cannabis flowers and CBD oil for patients suffering from a wide range of conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and chronic pain. These conditions are broadly called “intractable diseases,” and they are not currently eligible for prescription medications.. Read more about where is taiwan and let us know what you think.

TAIPEI – Taiwan and its leader, Tsai Ing-wen, last year, as the island struggled with the coronavirus, developed its economy and received strong support from Washington. President Tsai now faces three setbacks that threaten to undermine her popularity under increasing pressure from China: a terrible drought, ongoing power outages, and the worst recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Taiwan. The last few days, the excitement has subsided a bit. It’s raining again, and more vaccines are coming. Nevertheless, the confluence of crises presents a rare opportunity for the Kuomintang, or Nationalist Party, which is working to regain prominence and advocate rapprochement with Beijing. word-image-5705

Covid-19 patient in Taipei last month. There is an upsurge of disease in Taiwan.

Photo: Annabelle Cheah/Zuma Press The popularity of Ms Tsai, who defeated the Kuomintang last year for a second presidential term, has fallen below 50 per cent for the first time since her re-election, according to a poll by a former member of her party. These crises have tarnished her image as a pragmatic and competent technocrat and complicated her efforts to maintain the fragile status quo with an increasingly assertive Beijing, which has never governed the island democratically but claims it as part of Chinese territory. Although Tsai cannot run for re-election, the crisis undermines the political chances of her Democratic Progressive Party. Popularity and elections are not our priority right now. The issue is people’s health, said a spokeswoman for Taiwan’s presidential office, adding that the government was aware of the criticism and was open to it. word-image-5706

Boats on a lake in Nantou during the drought in Taiwan.

Photo: Annabelle Cheah/Reuters. In the case of Covid, the Taiwanese leader was partly a victim of its own success. More than two and a half weeks of triple-digit daily temperature increases have brought the total number of sick people on the island to 10,956, including 224 deaths. These are relatively small numbers, but still notable for a population where fewer than 1,200 cases had been reported to that point, thanks to a rapid response to last year’s initial outbreak. The current outbreak certainly has implications for the government because people now have very high expectations, said Ho Ming-sho, professor of sociology at National Taiwan University, referring to the fact that the island managed to contain the pandemic for most of the year last year. The island lags far behind other developed Asian countries in terms of vaccination: Up to 4. By June, about 2.8 percent of the island’s 24 million people had received their first vaccination. This is partly due to slow supply, but also to the fact that many Taiwanese did not feel an urgent need to vaccinate until after the disease had reappeared. A new outbreak attributed to crew members of a flight in late April has raised fears that Taiwan’s health care system will soon be overloaded. word-image-5707

Taiwan suffered a power outage in May.

Photo: Ann Wang/Reuters On the 26th. In May, the director of Taiwan’s main medical facility, National Taiwan University Hospital, posted a request for additional resources on his personal Facebook page, stating that the hospital’s intensive care unit beds were already overcrowded. The next day, the Taipei Medical Association warned that the island’s medical capacity was overstretched. If this is not a collapse of the health care system, what is a collapse? the union said in a statement. Beijing agreed to provide Taiwan with vaccines, but the island’s health minister rejected the offer, saying the Taiwanese would not dare use them. Meanwhile, the Kuomintang has criticized the Tsai government for requiring imported vaccines to be documented directly from the factory, which it says discourages companies and religious groups from donating vaccines purchased on the free market. Why is the government always looking for excuses to refuse vaccines and finding thousands of reasons to block the many channels for purchasing vaccines? KMT chairman Johnny Chung said last week. word-image-5708

A nurse administers the Covid 19 vaccine in Taipei. Taiwan lags behind other developed Asian countries in immunization.

Photo: Ann Wang/Reuters The KMT has stated that it puts the interests of the people first. Fan Chow, a political commentator and author of numerous books on Taiwan-China relations, said the party appeared to be using the pandemic to win votes in the upcoming election. According to Mr Chang, the responsibility to hold the government to account lies with the opposition party. As a political party, our goal of saving lives obviously takes precedence over political considerations, he said in a written comment to The Wall Street Journal. Government spokeswoman Tsai dismissed the KMT’s criticism of the vaccines. A plane carrying 1.24 million doses of vaccine from Japan landed in Taipei on Friday. Minister of Health of Taiwan Chen Shi Chun said earlier this week that the plan for one million vaccinations a week will take effect when the 20 million vaccines purchased arrive on the island at the end of June. The Taiwanese government has also placed a pre-order for 10 million locally produced vaccines, which Tsai said could be available as early as July.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

How do you think the Taiwanese government will deal with these mistakes? Join the discussion below. Meanwhile, the epidemic continues to spread, despite social protection measures. The number of new cases reported daily has recently risen back above 400, after falling to 300 earlier this week. Pandemic pressure overlaps with other tests. Taiwan’s worst drought in half a century has crippled the island’s semiconductor industry, a key driver of economic growth, and contributed to massive power outages in Taipei and other major cities. Although recent rains have eased the drought and Friday’s downpour turned roads in central Taipei into rivers, there are still traffic jams in parts of the island. These failures show that the government overlooked risks when designing Taiwan’s electricity system, said Hung Sung-han, an environmental activist turned MP for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. He said Taiwan generally relies on hydropower to offload during periods of high demand for electricity. Taiwan Power Co. a state-owned company, blamed human error and maintenance schedules for the outage. The DPP has been in power for more than five years – plenty of time to put its house in order, but has not done so, said Ho of National Taiwan University, referring to long-standing governance problems at state-owned enterprises. Another example, he said, is the island’s rail operator, the Taiwan Railways Authority, which was sued for the deadliest train derailment in decades that killed 50 people in April – following a similar derailment in 2018 that killed 18 passengers and injured 187. A spokeswoman for Ms Tsai said state-owned enterprises needed to be reformed and that they were working on that… People will eventually see the changes that are gradually taking place. Although Tsai is not standing for re-election, her popularity will play a role in the August referendum, which includes a vote on pork imports that could complicate negotiations on a trade deal with the United States. She presented the vote as important in resisting China’s economic compulsions. Until these problems are resolved, public satisfaction with the DFS will continue to decline, said Ting Jen-Fang, professor of political science at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. Email Joy Wang at [email protected] Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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