Taiwan's Response to the Coronavirus: A Timeline of Major Events

June 29, 2020

by Franklin Xue

December 31, 2019: A leak by Chinese whistleblower Li Wenliang warning of a highly contagious virus is noticed by Taiwanese CDC deputy chief Lo Yi-chun on an internet bulletin board. On the same day, measures were implemented to inspect all passengers inbound on flights from Wuhan, China. (1)

January 21: The first confirmed case of coronavirus in Taiwan is reported to officials at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The carrier, a 55-year-old Taiwanese woman, was immediately placed in quarantine upon arrival at the airport. (2)

February 4: Taiwan’s foreign ministry announces that foreign travelers who have been in mainland China over the last 14 days will be barred from entering the island. Foreigners from Hong Kong and Macau are exempted and will still be able to enter. (3)

February 6: Restrictions are imposed on Hong Kong and Macau citizens, requiring travelers to undergo a 14-day quarantine after entering Taiwan. (4)

March 11: A group of 361 Taiwanese citizens repatriated from Wuhan arrive in Taiwan and immediately undergo a decontamination process overseen by the 33rd Chemical Warfare Group of the Taiwanese military. (5)

March 24: With 16 new cases announced, Taiwan’s total number of infected cases increases to 169. Travel controls are tightened as a suspension of transit airline passengers through Taiwan is announced to begin from March 24 to April 7. (6)

May 18: Despite lobbying efforts, Taiwan does not receive an invitation to a World Health Assembly meeting due to pressure from China. With only a reported 440 cases and 7 deaths, Taiwan claims that “to lock it out was to create a gap in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.” (7)

June 5: With only 443 total reported cases, Taiwan eases its social distancing restrictions, lifting the restrictions on number of people at public gatherings and removing social distancing seating arrangements. Masks are still asked to be worn. (8)

June 25: Taiwan eases its restrictions on transit passengers, allowing travelers to stay up to 8 hours at Taoyuan International Airport so long as they do not enter the island. Travelers from mainland China, however, are still barred. Chen Tsung-yen, deputy head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, also announces that foreign travelers would be able to enter Taiwan for non-tourism purposes starting June 29. A 14-day quarantine would be required upon arrival, but those traveling from specific low-risk locations may apply for a shorter quarantine period. (9)











The East Asia Center Newsletter Spring 2020

June 9, 2020

Japan's Response to the Coronavirus: A Timeline of Major Events

May 18, 2020

by Franklin Xue

Japan’s first case of a novel coronavirus was confirmed on January 16th 2020, with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare informing the World Health Organization that the affected had travelled to Wuhan, China. It was the second case of COVID-19 in Asia outside of China. (1)

On February 4th, Japanese authorities announced the quarantine of the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohoma due to confirmed cases in passengers on the vessel. Put under quarantine for two weeks, at least 705 people contracted the virus. On February 27th, Dr. Norio Ohmagari, director of the Disease Control and Prevention Center at the government’s National Center for Global Health and Medicine, admits quarantine measures aboard the Princess Diamond were not perfect. (2)

March 24th: Abe announces an agreement with the International Olympic Committee to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to 2021. (3)

On April 1st, prime minister Shinzo announces a government plan to distribute two reusable cloth face masks to every Japanese household, claiming the provision “will be helpful in responding to the rapidly increasing demand.” The announcement elicited a backlash online, with the public outrage and mockery of the provision indicating a belief that the measure would not effectively curb the spread of the virus. (4)

April 7th: Abe declares a month-long state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures in the face of a rise of cases. By that time, Japan had reached 3,906 confirmed cases, double the amount from the previous week. “The declaration will depend largely on voluntary compliance, and Mr. Abe emphasized that it was not a lockdown, and that public transit would continue. Prefectural governors can only request that people work from home and avoid going out.” (5)

April 16th: Abe expands the state of emergency nationwide, and announces plans for stimulus funds of 100,000 yen (approx. $930) each for Japanese citizens. (6)

April 27th: Tokyo reports its lowest daily level of new coronavirus cases in more than three weeks despite its relaxed measures (in comparison to the penalty-induced lockdown measures of other foreign nations) and a low level of less than 10,000 tests per day. Thus far, Japan has reported 13, 385 infections and 351 deaths nationwide. Following Abe’s announcement of a state of emergency, pedestrian numbers had fallen sharply in city centers. (7)

May 14th: Abe lifts the state of emergency imposed in 39 out of 47 prefectures, announcing that the nation’s rate of infection has decreased to one seventh of its peak. The state of emergency is still imposed in regions like Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido where new cases are still emerging daily. Abe expressed his hopes that the state of emergency could be lifted in the remaining regions by May 31st. (8)











Asian American Discrimination and the Coronavirus Pandemic

May 6, 2020

by Helen Lin

One of the underappreciated aspects of the covid-19 pandemic has been the increase in Asian American targeted hate crime and discrimination. Just from reported cases since early March 2020 there have been nearly 1500 reports of AAPI hate, 44% taking place at private businesses, and 69% targeted at women (from statistics in the links below). In states such as New York, there has even been a hotline set up solely for reporting on hate crimes directed against Asian American community members. Even our own Charlottesville community is not exempt from those statistics. Earlier in March, a female UVA student of Asian descent (who requested anonymity) had racial slurs screamed at her while she was on her way to meet a friend for lunch. Two other UVA students of Asian descent described having eggs hurled at them from a passing car while leaving the gym.

As the increase in hate crimes against the Asian American community has surged as the coronavirus pandemic continues in the US, Asian Americans are going through great lengths to ensure their own personal protection and safety. The spread of the COVID-19 has also led to an increase in gun sales, with anecdotal evidence indicating a large number of those in line to buy guns appeared to be of Asian descent. Other ways Asian Americans have been trying to assure their own safety include wearing GoPro cameras when in public, carrying pepper spray, and avoiding the public if possible. Asian American healthcare workers delivering services on the front lines are not exempt from this violence and hate. One nurse of Asian descent was spat on while giving medicine to a patient, an Asian doctor was cursed at while told to "go back to ****ing China", and other examples include parents refusing to let their children be attended to by nurses or doctors who looked Asian.

COVID-19 and the stigma surrounding the virus has had a profound impact on Asian Americans businesses even before states began implementing shutdown and isolation orders. Chinese restaurants specifically have suffered large losses in business and customers due to misconceptions regarding COVID-19. This has led to both temporary and permanent closings of Chinese restaurants across the country, even though restaurants have been so far considered an essential business. According to NBC News, Chinese restaurants saw a drop in customers as large as 80%, and this was prior to isolation and lockdown orders. Chinatowns across the country have also faced losses as people began to avoid visiting even before lockdown orders and curfews were implemented. It is important to note that while the most prominent losses have been faced by Chinatowns, many other Asian American communities have been negatively impacted as well.

To document these sad developments, the collection of links below provides further examples and evidence in support of the seriousness of this issue.

Asian American Discrimination And The Coronavirus Crisis 

Attacks on Asian Americans skyrocket to 100 per day during coronavirus pandemic

Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked: Chinese-Americans Fear for Their Safety

Asian-Americans have been conditioned to a certain kind of unspoken racism -- This pandemic has unmasked how vicious it really is

Acid attack on Chinese woman in Brooklyn

Burmese family suffers attack

Asian woman attacked on bus in NY

New York AG launches hotline to report coronavirus hate crimes, xenophobia against Asian Americans

Asians worldwide share examples of coronavirus-related xenophobia on social media

Statistics on reported AAPI hate crime

How to help struggling Asian American communities amid coronavirus pandemic

Center Events Suspended for Spring Semester

March 17, 2020

Due to the recent announcements from Governor Northam and University President James Ryan banning events over 100 people, and with public health in mind, the East Asia Center has suspended all events for the remainder of the spring semester. Thank you for your understanding, and interest in attending our events when conditions improve again.

Special Korean Film Mini-Series in Celebration of Bong Joon Ho's Oscar Awards

February 29, 2020

"First Love" Showing at Violet Crown Cinema with Introduction by Miyabi Goto

February 18, 2020

"The Chinese Cosmopolitan City" opens February 14, at the Elmaleh Gallery, Campbell Hall

February 13, 2020

The Chinese Cosmopolitan City 
UVA Architecture China Program Exhibition
February 10 - March 13
Elmaleh Gallery, Campbell Hall

Gallery Talk and Opening: Friday, February 14, 5pm

After three decades of rapid development, Chinese urbanization seems to have entered into a new phase, which is characterized by cosmopolitanism. While earlier examples of world cities in Asia such as Hong Kong and Singapore are illuminating, Chinese cities offer unique experiences as they engage with this profound transformation from social and cultural conditions not foregrounded in colonialism. The 2019 UVA Architecture China Program investigated this new stage of Chinese urbanization, particularly in the context of increasing infrastructural integration of the world ambitiously planned by China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The program focused on influential factors of urban change: the flows of labor, goods, and innovations which resulted in Chinese cities adapting its spaces to new realities. Faculty and students examined the instruments and institutions of the world system, and studied the spatial modifications in the Chinese city that anticipate a new era of urbanization not marked by quantitative increase but by a cultural change. These are presented as documentations of urban change, analyses of architectural developments, and understandings of cultural encounters in the context of global trade.

For more information see the School of Architecture site.


"Laughing on the Roof" A Talk by Dr. Amy Langenberg, February 3 at 4:00pm, in Wilson 142

January 31, 2020

Autonomy limited: Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and the U.S. | January 31 at the Miller Center

January 31, 2020

For more than six months, widespread protests calling for greater autonomy and democracy have swept over Hong Kong. In early January, Taiwan will hold its quadrennial presidential and legislative elections. These developments reflect the emergence and consolidation of distinctive local identities in both Hong Kong and Taiwan—identities rooted not in ethnicity, since both places are predominantly Han Chinese, but in social and political values and political and economic systems that have become markedly different from those on mainland China.
In light of this, China is attempting to increase its control over Hong Kong and to push for unification with Taiwan. It is claiming that its economic and governance models are just as legitimate and often more effective than those associated with the West. In response, the United States is increasing its interest in the success of Taiwan’s democratic institutions and market economy, and in the preservation of autonomy and freedom in Hong Kong, even as its own domestic institutions are coming under stress. Join us for an assessment of how these facts have become central to the growing competition between the United States and China.


Friday, January 31, 2020
11:00AM - 12:15PM (EST)


The Miller Center
2201 Old Ivy Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22903


Evan Feigenbaum headshot

Evan Feigenbaum

Feigenbaum is the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the Miller Center and vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he oversees Carnegie's research in Washington, Beijing, and New Delhi. From 2001 to 2009, he served at the U.S. State Department as deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia (2007–2009), deputy assistant secretary of state for Central Asia (2006–2007), member of the policy planning staff with principal responsibility for East Asia and the Pacific (2001–2006), and an adviser on China to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, with whom he worked closely in the development of the U.S.-China senior dialogue.


Syaru Shirley Lin headshot

Syaru Shirley Lin

Syaru Shirley Lin, Compton Visiting Professor in World Politics at the Miller Center, teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University in Beijing and National Chengchi University in Taipei. Her book, Taiwan’s China Dilemma, on the impact of the evolution of Taiwanese national identity on cross-Strait economic policy, was published by Stanford University Press in 2016 and in Chinese in 2019. Lin is currently working on the high-income trap in East Asia. Her commentaries frequently appear in both English and Chinese media. Previously, she was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where she led the firm’s private equity and venture capital efforts in Asia.


Harry Harding headshot

Harry Harding (moderator)

Harry Harding, faculty senior fellow, is a specialist on Asia and U.S.-Asian relations. His major publications include Organizing China: The Problem of Bureaucracy, 1949-1966China’s Second Revolution: Reform after MaoA Fragile Relationship: The United States and China since 1972; and the chapter on the Cultural Revolution in the Cambridge History of China. Currently a University Professor and professor of public policy, Harding is also adjunct chair professor in the College of Social Science at National Chengchi University in Taipei, where he holds a Yushan Scholarship, the highest honor awarded by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. Harding served as the founding dean of UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy between 2009 and 2014.



East Asia Center Faculty Forum February 7

January 17, 2020

The East Asia Center Spring 2020 faculty forum will be held February 7, with presentations by Howard Epstein (Professor of Environmental Sciences and Department Chair) and Philip Potter (Associate Professor of Politics and Public Policy and Director of the National Security Policy Center). Professor Epstein will speak on the "Environment of the Tibetan Plateau," with Professor Potter sharing thoughts on "China's War on Terror." Please join us in Monroe 116, from 3:15 - 5:00pm, with reception following.

“History, Identities, and the 2020 Taiwan Elections” January 15

January 13, 2020

“History, Identities, and the 2020 Taiwan Elections”

Evan Dawley, Goucher College

Gilmer Hall 141

January 15 (Wednesday) 3:30 - 5 pm


Free and open to the public

Part of the Via Asia Forum capstone seminar


Evan Dawley is Associate Professor of History at Goucher College, and he previously worked in the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State. His first book, Becoming Taiwanese: Ethnogenesis in a Colonial City, 1880s-1950s, was published in 2019 by the Harvard Asia Center Press.

Geometries of Polity Workshop -- January 8-11 in Brooks Hall

January 8, 2020


Exploring Cosmological Orders Over the History of China and the South Pacific

All Sessions are in the 2nd Floor Conference Room, Brooks Hall

Coffee and Tea will be available for morning and afternoon sessions.


8 (Wednesday)


A SYNTHESIS BEFORE THE FACT: Geometries, Ecologies and Histories Across the Indo-Pacific

Preliminary comments for


Exploring Cosmological Orders Over the History of China and the South Pacific

Frederick H. Damon

Department of Anthropology

University of Virginia



Kenneth Dean

Raffles Professor of Humanities, FASS, NUS

Professor and Head, Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore,

Research Cluster Leader, Religion and Globalisation, Asia Research Institute, NUS

EMBODYING THE HEAVENS: Cosmological Order and Materiality in Polynesia

M. Jordan Love

Academic Curator,

The Fralin Museum of Art & McIntire Department of Art

University of Virginia


9 (Thursday)



Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann

CNRS, France – MPIWG, Germany



PRAYING FOR RAIN: Heaven, Nature, and the People

Cong (Ellen) Zhang

Department of History

University of Virginia


FROM THE MOUNTAIN TO THE SEA: The Temple Organization of Regional Relations from Southeastern China

Michael Rowlands

Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Material Culture & Co-Director of Centre for Research in the Dynamics of Civilisation, UCL.


QUANZHOU: Territorial cults, Officialdom, Jianghu (rivers-lakes), and Shanlin (mountains-forests)

Wang Mingming

Professor of Anthropology,

Peking University


10 (Friday)




Jianxiong Ma

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology



Kenneth Dean

Raffles Professor of Humanities, FASS, NUS

Professor and Head, Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore,

Research Cluster Leader, Religion and Globalisation, Asia Research Institute, NUS



Linus Digim’Rina

The University Of Papua New Guinea.




THE GUANDI CULT IN LHASA: Cosmo-politics at the Qing-Tibetan interface

Fan Zhang 张帆

Department of Sociology, Peking University


SACRED SEAS: Histories of Origin and Settlement from Timor-Leste

Susanna Barnes

Faculty Member in Archaeology & Anthropology

University of Saskatchewan

PATTERN, KNOWLEDGE, AND COSMOLOGY: Managing Melanesian and Chinese life-worlds

Graeme Were

University of Bristol

"Garden as Cosmos: The Transformation of Flower and Plant Painting in Late Ming Dynasty China" by Kathleen M. Ryor

November 21, 2019

"Assessment of China's Belt & Road Initiative" Website Launched

November 15, 2019

As China consolidates its emerging position as a world power, the major dynamics of this process involves China’s projection of its influence in investments and other geostrategic interests into surrounding regions from Africa through South and Southeast Asia and into Central Asia. The “Complementing and Competing Visions of China’s Belt and Road Initiative” conference held in spring 2019 at the University of Virginia brought these collaborative and competing interests into focus by exploring China’s means and objectives, contrasting them with perspectives from surrounding regions. The dialogues that began at the conference stimulated the formation of a number of collaborative working groups across schools to address the following topics: Pan-area Study of BRI, Historical Antecedents of BRI, Data Collections and Environmental Issues, Global Smart Cities, and Global Ethics and Governance.

Please visit for information on the upcoming workshop on November 15, 2019, and to RSVP to attend there.

Join East Asia Center for a Teaching Tea Ceremony at Morven Farms Japanese House and Gardens

November 8, 2019

Ellen Bayard Weedon Lecture on the Arts of Asia -- Elena Pakhoutova, Curator of Himalayan Art, Rubin Museum of Art

October 9, 2019

Ellen Bayard Weedon Lecture on the Arts of Asia

Visual Narratives in Himalayan Art: Let me Tell You a Story, In Two Versions

Please feel free to join us for the first of two Ellen Bayard Weedon lectures on the Arts of Asia, held on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 6:00pm, in the UVA School of Architecture, Campbell Hall 153.

This event is FREE and open to the public!

Elena Pakhoutova (Ph.D. in Asian Art History from the University of Virginia) is Curator of Himalayan Art at the Rubin Museum of Art. Her background in Tibetan Buddhist studies informs her interdisciplinary approach to art history. Her research explores dialogues in the visual traditions of Inner Asia, art and ritual, art production and patronage, text and image, and narrative in Tibetan visual culture. Among her other interests are cross-cultural exchange, material culture, and contemporary Tibetan art. 

At the Rubin Museum, her thematic exhibitions introduced and contextualized Tibetan, Himalayan, and Nepalese art. These include “Gateway to Himalayan Art,” “Once Upon Many Times: Legends and Myths in Himalayan Art,” “Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies,” “The Second Buddha: Master of Time,” and co-curated exhibitions “Nepalese Seasons: Rain and Ritual” and “The All-Knowing Buddha: A Secret Guide.” Her cross-cultural exhibitions “Count Your Blessings: The Art of Prayer Beads in Asia” and co-curated “Illuminated: The Art of Sacred Books” presented Himalayan artistic expressions as part of the universal material and ritual culture. Her most recent exhibition “The Power of Intention: Reinventing the (Prayer) Wheel” brings together traditional and contemporary works of art and deconstructs core Buddhist concepts with contemporary new media, immersive, and impermanent media art.

Her talk “Let me tell you a story, in two versions,” will focus on visual narratives in Himalayan art. 

On Happiness Road Showing Thursday, October 24 in New Cabell Hall Language Commons

October 8, 2019

East Asia Center Faculty Forum September 20

September 9, 2019

East Asia Center Fall Reception September 13

September 3, 2019

East Asia Center 2019 Spring Newsletter

August 26, 2019

Our spring newsletter features a message from our director, Dorothy Wong, as well as a variety of updates about faculty and graduate students publications and activities. Make sure to take a look!

"Asian Art from the Permanent and Select Private Collections" Exhibition at the Fralin Museum (until Nov. 10, 2019)

August 22, 2019

The Fralin Museum of Art’s permanent collection encompasses a wide range of cultures and periods. Over the Museum’s history, particular strengths have grown in the collections of East and South Asian paintings. This exhibition, drawn primarily from the permanent collection with select loans from private collections, is curated by Professors Dorothy Wong and Daniel Ehnbom to illustrate the breadth of the holdings in these areas. On view will be works from China, Japan, and India ranging from the sixteenth to twenty-first centuries.

"Complementing & Competing Visions of China's Belt & Road Initiative" Conference March 2019

February 15, 2019

The East Asia Center with host the conference, Complementing and Competing Visions of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, on March 2, 2019 (Saturday).

As China consolidates its emerging position as a world power, the major dynamics of this process involves China’s projection of its influence in investments and other geostrategic interests into surrounding regions from Africa through South and Southeast Asia and into Central Asia. This conference brings these collaborative and competing interests into focus by exploring China’s means and objectives, contrasting them with perspectives from surrounding regions. The dialectical format will bring out balanced and comprehensive perspectives of use to policy-makers and scholars in coming to terms with the emergent new world order of the twenty-first century.

This event is free and open to the public, funded by grants from the East Asia Center and the Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation.

UVA Symposium on Korea September 28th, 2018

September 27, 2018

The Candlelight Revolution and the Prospects for Peace on the Korean Peninsula

U.S. President Donald Trump met with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un on June 12, 2018, in Singapore. It was the first summit meeting between the leaders of the United States of America (USA) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). They signed a joint statement, agreeing on several issues including security guarantees for North Korea, new peaceful relations, and reaffirmation of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It was a remarkable turn of events over a short period of time. For comparison, in 2017, Pyongyang conducted ICBM tests and an alleged “hydrogen bomb” test, declared the completion of a strategic nuclear force, and even threatened to annihilate the United States.

Why the sudden change? Three leading experts on Korea -- Professor Paik, Nak-chung from Korea, Professor Philip Zelikow from University of Virginia, and Professor Jae-Jung Suh from Japan -- delivered presentations to shed lights on the question at the inaugural UVA Symposium on Korea, held in the Harrison Auditorium on September 28th, 2018. The conference was well attended by students, faculty members, and the general public who showed a great deal of enthusiasm.

Professor Paik explained in his keynote speech that the ‘candlelight revolution’, which began with massive nationwide demonstrations of 2016-17, eventually brought down the Park Geun Hye government, and ushered in the new presidency of MOON Jae In.  Calling itself the candlelight government, Moon’s administration is the chief driving force in the whole process of the great changes occurring in the Korean peninsula. Professor Paik further argued that, after the Panmunjom Declaration by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un in April 2018, the June 12 US-North Korea summit in Singapore, and the September Pyongyang Declaration at the third and latest summit meeting between the two Korean leaders, the movement for peace in the Korean peninsula has acquired an irreversible momentum. Prof. Zelikow offered an American perspective on how diplomacy with North Korea can work. He observed that a one-track devotion to ending the nuclear program will force all other important issues to queue up behind it. In contrast, he argued, a multi-track process would actually do more to ease progress on denuclearization, as well as multiple other fronts. Prof. Suh stated that the possibility of peace was created by the North’s new leadership that initiated the transition from the military-first politics to the economy-first strategy, symbolized by LEDs lighting skyscrapers in Pyongyang. The possibility was turned into a virtuous cycle of diplomacy and peace after the candlelight demonstrations in the South helped install the Moon Jae In administration that prioritized peace over confrontation. He argued that the United States has a historic choice to make between continuing the past of confrontation and nuclear weapons and opening the future of peace and denuclearization.

In the subsequent panel discussion session, chaired by Prof. Youngju Ryu from University of Michigan, the three speakers agreed that politicians and policy makers should rise above politics and come up with a coherent strategy for peace and denuclearization in Korea. And it takes a well-informed, activated citizenry to force the leaders to seize this opportunity to bring everlasting peace to the Korean peninsula.

This symposium was generously sponsored by the East Asia Center, the Pavilion Seminars Program, the Department of Politics, the Department of Physics, and the UVA Korea Society.

Prof. Paik's article on the subject, published in The Asia-Pacific Journal, can be found here





Professor Paik, Nak-chung delivering his keynote speech, ‘Candlelight Revolution, South Korean Democracy, and Changes in the Peninsula.’



Professor John Owen of Department of Politics, who was a co-organizer of the symposium, introducing Professor Youngju Ryu from University of Michigan who chaired the panel discussion session. Sitting are three panelists, Jae-Jung Suh, Philip Zelikow, and Paik, Nak-chung (from left).



Professor Paik, Nak-chung, and Professor Seung-Hun Lee of Department of Physics, who was a co-organizer of the symposium with students of his Pavilion Seminar class, Science & Politics.

Fall Nelson Lectures on Southeast Asia Announced

August 28, 2018