Sample story based on Taiwan president's tweets

Taiwan outlines new trade push

TAIPEI, May 25 - Taiwan will seek to boost its two-way trade and investment with Southeast Asian countries among others, President Tsai Ing-wen said Thursday, hoping to trim reliance on the mainland's economy.
Tsai, in a series of tweets, said her "New Southbound policy" also would ease immigration rules and cut visa red tape for visitors from many countries, as she tries to pump new life into an economy hard-hit by friction with Beijing.

"I'm aiming to boost Taiwan's bilateral trade and investment, particularly with Southeast Asian countries," she said.

Beijing and Taipei have been at odds for much of the nearly seven decades since the end of China’s civil war in 1949, when the defeated nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government fled across the Taiwan Strait. Beijing views Taiwan as a wayward province that must be united with the mainland, by force if neccessary.

Tsai’s predecessor as president, Ma Ying-jeou of the KMT, sought to deepen economic cooperation with the mainland. The policy  proved unpopular in his second term and helped propel Tsai’s Democratic People’s Party (DPP) to power in landslide presidential and Legislative Yuan races last year.

Since Tsai was elected president a year ago, the number of tourists from the mainland has dropped by 27 percent. Meantime, tourism from Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines grew by an average of 30 percent while visitors from Japan and Korea grew by 16 and 34 percent respectively, according to statistics from Taiwan’s tourism bureau.

Currently, trade with China constitutes more than 20 percent of Taiwan’s total trade. The $100 billion-plus in cross-Strait trade is nearly double that of Taiwan’s second largest trading partner, the United States, leaving the island nation heavily reliant on the Chinese economy.

"As part of our outreach, Taiwan will  step up humanitarian aid, volunteer work and donations to help cope with  crises abroad," Tsai tweeted. She did not give details of the new push to tighten Taiwan's ties with regional neighbors.

Last modified: Thursday, 25 May 2017, 11:33 AM