In January, Taiwan signed an agreement with the United States for the purchase of, among other things, air defense robots and helicopters for $ 6.5 billion. The arms purchase agreement had been delayed for several years due to political opposition in both countries. China criticized the settlement. Despite this, the two arch-rivals continued to grow closer to Taiwan and China. In May, official tourist offices were opened in each capital.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 1,189,000,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||2.90%|
|GDP per capita||$ 50,500|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||1.5%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||0.50%|
|Investment volume||18.7% of GDP|
|National debt||35.70% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||468,100,000,000 USD|
After lengthy negotiations, a trade agreement with China was also signed in June. The agreement, which was described as historical, meant, among other things, reduced duties on a total of around 800 goods and services. The majority, over 500, applied to exports from Taiwan to the mainland, worth nearly US $ 14 billion over three years. According to President Ma Ying-jeou, this should provide a much-needed boost to growth and increase the chances of entering into free trade agreements with other countries. The opposition feared that the agreement threatens to make Taiwan financially dependent on China and accused President Ma of pursuing policies aimed at reunification. The agreement was approved by Parliament and entered into force in September.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Taiwan has the population of 23.78 million. The voters also seemed to approve of the closer relations. That conclusion drew political observers who saw the mayor’s election in November as a value gauge on Mas’s policy. The ruling party of Guomindang won in three of the country’s five largest cities, including Taibei.
Former President Chen Shuibian was repeatedly denied his request during the year pending release of the pending judgment against him. Chen and his wife Wu Shu-jen had both been sentenced to life in prison for corruption. In June, the sentence was reduced to 20 years in prison, and the fines they were sentenced to pay were also reduced. Chen denied the allegations, claiming they were politically motivated. He again appealed the verdict.
Justice Minister Wang Ching-feng resigned in March in protest of plans to carry out the death penalty for the first time in just over four years. In May, four violent criminals were executed. Another 40 or so sentenced to death were sent to Taiwanese prison.