According to Komas, a major newspaper in Indonesia, the Indonesian government has drawn up a contingency evacuation plan for its citizens in Taiwan. Indonesia is concerned about the situation in the Taiwan Strait because there are as many as 350,000 Indonesians in Taiwan. If war breaks out, then evacuating expatriates will be extremely complicated. The report quoted Director for Citizen Projection Judha Nugraha of Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who stated that in order to prepare for various possibilities, a contingency plan has been formulated in cooperation with the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that it will set up a Taipei Office in Milan to provide services to eight regions in northern Italy. According to MOFA, since EVA Air launched its Taipei-Milan route in October last year, the new Taipei Office in Milan can respond to the strong demand for business travel brought by direct flights, which can help multiply Taiwan-Italy economic and trade exchanges and can cooperate closely with the existing Taipei Representative Office in Italy.
Chief of the General Staff Chen Pao-yu, an Army general, will soon retire. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced that Admiral Mei Chia-shu, current commander of the Navy, will assume the vacant post. Lieutenant General Tang Hua, deputy chief of the general staff, will become commander of the Navy. General Wang Hsin-long, vice minister for armaments of the MND, will become strategic advisor to the Office of the President. General Hsu Yen-pu, commander of the Army, will assume the post of vice minister for armaments of the MND. Finally, Chung Shu-ming, current deputy commander of the Army, will become commander. The personnel changes will take effect on May 1, Chen is the first chief of the general staff to have extended his service and will step down at the end of the month.
Terry Gou, founder of Hon Hai Precision Industry Company (Foxconn), who is vying for the Kuomintang's (KMT) nomination for president in 2024, held a press conference. He started with singing the national anthem and reciting the will of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, founding father of the Republic of China. He called on KMT supporters and the Taiwanese society to give him 30 days to fully communicate with the public. Although he is a political novice, Gou stated that he can learn and is fully confident and determined about reform. Gou believes that Taiwan can get rid of the illusion of having to choose a side between the United States and China and forge a new middle road.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) provided its second quarter outlook in its Investor Conference. Due to the continuous adjustment of inventory by customers, it is estimated that the consolidated revenue in the second quarter will be between US$15.2 billion and US$16 billion, a quarterly decrease of about 6.7 percent. Due to poor overall economic conditions, TSMC was also forced to revise down its annual revenue forecast for the year, from a slight increase in the original estimate to an annual decrease of 1 percent to 6 percent. This is the first decline in revenue since 2009. During the Investor Conference, President C.C. Wei of TSMC confirmed that the 28nm fab will be deployed overseas instead of in Kaohsiung. They now plan to have the Kaohsiung fab handle advanced manufacturing under 3 nanometers. But due to need for re-equipment and planning, there is currently no specific timetable for mass production.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that export orders in March was US$46.58 billion, down 25.7 percent, the largest drop in more than 14 years and pulling seven consecutive "blacks." According to the latest economic forecast by the Chunghwa Institute for Economic Research, due to the impact of inflation, interest rate increases, geopolitics, and downside economic risks, Taiwan's annual economic growth rate estimate was revised down to 2.01 percent, barely passing the benchmark of 2 percent.
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) announced a major personnel adjustment of chief prosecutors nationwide. In response to the general elections next year, chief prosecutors of the special municipalities except for Taoyuan and Kaohsiung will be replaced. It was previously reported that some chief prosecutors would be dismissed from their positions due to dissatisfaction from high-level officials on their handling of various cases. Chen Hung-ta, a member of the National Policy Committee on Judicial Reform and a former chief prosecutor of the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, openly criticized that the MOJ abused its personnel power by arbitrarily appointing chief prosecutors. Chen asked the MOJ to exercise restraint.
Mayor Hou Yu-ih of New Taipei visited Singapore and met with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong. Huang is a fourth-generation leader of Singapore and could be the successor to incumbent Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The itinerary was not made public, and Huang took the initiative to publicize it on his Facebook page. According to Huang, the two sides exchanged perspectives on such issues as urban planning, sustainable development, and business innovation.