Date: 30 January 2020
By: Filip Noubel
Cross-Strait relations present in all aspects of life in Taiwan
Though Taiwan is separated from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) by the 180 km wide Taiwan Strait and has so far confirmed only 8 cases of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus infection, the two countries maintain close economic, labor, academic, tourism relations that explain why large numbers of people travel across the Taiwan Strait extensively on a daily basis.
An estimated one to two million Taiwanese citizens live in mainland China, where they work, study, or accompany their families. Taiwanese employees mostly work in Taiwanese companies and factories that have invested in China or are employed by Chinese and foreign companies. An estimated 12,000 young Taiwanese also choose China as their third most popular destination to study after the US and Australia, and benefit from special advantages to study in China. In 2019, the PRC was Taiwan’s top trade partner, representing almost 30 percent of Taiwanese exports.
Taiwan hosts close to 10,000 mainland students on its soil. On January 29, the Taiwanese Ministry of Education authorities announced a temporary ban on exchanges for PRC students and trainees.