Why are Taiwan's faults always covered up by expats and the press?

Many years of living here and I always find myself puzzled why Taiwan always gets such good press from expats and reporters, even from people who have never been to Taiwan. Yes, the government’s Covid-19 response was great but that does not mean everything is sunshiny and wonderful.

We on forumosa have experienced this when some expats elsewhere mock us for being negative about Taiwan. It is as if those people never ever see or experience any of the problems in Taiwan like racism, discrimination, work politics, pollution or corruption.

The foreign press corps also never appear to report on anything negative.
The abuse of South East Asian migrant workers not to mention constant discrimination, has long been an open secret but none of these international agencies report on it.

The population decline is hardly covered which is probably good for the locals since its means exposing Taiwanese xenophobic attitudes towards foreigners and immigrants.

Environmental pollution and water shortages are also very serious problems for which causes cannot just be blamed on the weather. We just say terrible air on the weekend and last week in the north and that is almost certainly due to local industrial activity.

Almost all the top government officials like Tsai Ingwen, William Lai and Yotaka seem to spend a ton of time on social media posting comments and dog pictures on twitter and get praised for it. I think if officials in the countries we came from spent so much time doing the same thing, they would be blasted by the press.

So what are the reasons why Taiwan’s faults are always covered up?


Sorry but you seem to want to be negative about Taiwan for the sake of being negative, as if you resent the fact Taiwan is having a good couple of years. Sure there’s some nasty stuff going on too but there’s nasty stuff everywhere.


I’m guessing you had a bad day or bad week, I can dig up some of my own posts that read very similar to that. :sunglasses:

Issues in Taiwan are somewhat ignored like Taiwan itself.

There’s a lot of issues here , the problem is there are a lot of issues everywhere you look these days.

I agree on the horrendous air and water quality, but trying to get people to see what’s in front of their eyes or up their nose seems difficult when they are accustomed to it.


because they don’t have much interests in Taiwan.

it is mix of air from PRC, local activity, and wind.

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I think the fact that Taiwan is a small, scrappy underdog of a country makes a lot of people want to accentuate the positives and brush over the negatives.


I think Milker has it right…And the concept of face is just a nightmare when it comes to 'facing up ’ to the obvious negatives mentioned above.

Land and water use issues are a massive problem but again, many locals are very passive about this or afraid to confront what may often involve criminal elements. Many don’t even notice because they grew up in this environment . Many notice and don’t care because of poor values.
If I compare how a neighbourhood or village in my homeland looks after their area compared to Taiwan …Holy shit there’s a long way to go in Taiwan.


Nobody and nothing is perfect.

You live in Taiwan and you have pollution and traffic issues, but COVID response was and is world renown.

You live in the US or EU and there’s better air and (most) people abide by traffic laws, but COVID was not taken seriously until it was too late.

All these people do not realize that these high government officials hire social media managers to manage their accounts?


Look, there is enough misinformation and negative press -mostly about made up stuff- about Taiwan elsewhere…if anything at all. Too many people abroad think this is a dictatorship, it is part of China - and I mean actually governed by them CCP, etc. The positive press tries to balance the scales a bit.

I am more likely to see news about Taiwanese eating babies than donating masks and PPE.


And on balance there is also much more positive than negative. So if a newspaper abroad writes one of its rare stories about Taiwan, this is already for pure statistical reasons more likely to be positive than negative


Yeah overall most new news items are positive here, good point. The existing negative issues aren’t generally worsening a lot or very much local issues for local residents and maybe not even affecting everybody in Taiwan . They just don’t make good news copy .

As for the influencers, most of their viewership are Taiwanese they really mostly want to see positive stuff.


Taiwan has massive insecurities about its self image.
Only positives are allowed to be spoken of by westerners, as this gives the country face. You can even get rewarded for this, as many ‘taiwan no.1’ foreigners have figured out.

If foreigners say something negative, or do something which is perceived as disrespectful to the ‘friendly’ taiwanese -such as dumping a banana skin- they will react emotionally and be pretty pissed off. One streamer basically got ran out of the country.

This is where taiwan as a country is still immature, it’s not yet ready to receive praise while at the same time facing criticism, and its holding the country back, no doubt about it.


Foreign press has a bingo card with all the common “mistakes” and made up phrases that often plague publications about Taiwan abroad. It’s a hoot.

Worth mentioning that this is a relatively recent phenomenon. Not long ago most stories about Taiwan in the international press were framed through a “what’s the latest thing Taiwan has done to anger China” lens by reporters stationed in Beijing or Hong Kong. Thankfully this is something that’s begun to change in the past few years.


What’s the point of knocking where you live? If you are in a position to change things, then there might be a point.

Or just move. Clearly there are better places to live in Taiwan.

Just eat :pineapple: and :honeybee: :laughing:

How dare you!

Well, there’s Thailand I guess.

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Thailand is in Taiwan?

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Same same but better food.

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And nightlife.

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