President Tsai Ing-wen and the Democratic Progressive Party won the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections in a landslide. The worsening of cross-Strait relations and the further shrinking of Taiwan’s international space helped Tsai win, giving her the chance to portray herself as a defender of Taiwanese de facto sovereignty.

Taiwan’s economy grew robustly by 3.0% in 2019 and is projected to have grown 2.5% in the pandemic year of 2020. Inflation levels and volatility have been low, exports increased, and imports remained relatively stable. Taiwan recorded solid trade surpluses and a low unemployment rate of 3.68% in late 2020.

The country’s effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic dominated most of the government policy in 2020 and is widely lauded as a success story. The Legislative Yuan passed the COVID-19 Special Act and a special budget to finance pandemic relief, which limited severe economic and social costs of the pandemic.

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