Taiwan’s Unique Approach: Enlisting Retired Leaders

Published Date: November 16, 2023, Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Taiwan will join a meeting in San Francisco this week called the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum. This is a special chance for Taiwan, a self-governing island with 23 million people and a strong high-tech economy. Normally, China, which is not a fan of Taiwan, doesn’t let Taiwan be part of these kinds of meetings. So, it’s a bit unusual and important for Taiwan.

Taiwan is going to be part of a group called APEC. The person representing Taiwan is not a government leader, but a regular person who is good at business. This is because China prefers it that way, thinking that everyone in the group should be there for business, not as representatives of their countries.

The one representing Taiwan this time is Morris Chang, who is 92 years old and started a big company called Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. He’s like the boss of the industry that makes Taiwan famous for making high-tech stuff like phones and other electronic devices.

Taiwan has been part of APEC since 1991, but it goes by the name “Chinese Taipei.” It joined just two years after APEC started, and the same year as China and Hong Kong.

Taiwan is sending people who used to be in charge (like retired ministers and industry leaders) to important meetings. These people have good connections with the government, but they don’t currently have an official role. This is because if Taiwan sent someone currently in office, it might make China upset and lead to protests.

Even though they’re not sending current officials, Taiwan will still be represented at the meetings. The Minister of Finance, Chuang Tsui-yun, will be at a meeting led by the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen. Two other ministers will be at meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari is an accomplished author with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. His passion for storytelling and commitment to journalistic excellence have been the driving forces behind his successful writing career. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the art of storytelling, Yuval has consistently delivered compelling narratives that captivate readers from all walks of life.