James Chater

James Chater is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Taiwan.

The curious censorship of Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland

Fortunes shift quickly in Chinese cyberspace. On March 1, Chloé Zhao, the Beijing-born film director, was the ‘pride of China’, according to the Chinese Communist Party’s The Global Times. Zhao had just won the best director Golden Globe for her film Nomadland, becoming the first Asian woman in history to win the award, and only

Is China undermining Taiwan’s vaccine rollout?

Taiwan’s pandemic restrictions have been so successful that the country has had fewer than 1,000 cases with just nine deaths. Like other Asian countries, Taiwan achieved this feat through strict border closures and rigorous track and tracing. And yet Taiwan’s government knows that a Covid jab is the only way to avoid prolonged international isolation

Isolation nation: how Australia is dealing with its pandemic

At 6.20 p.m. on Friday evening, Scarborough Beach, an oceanside suburb of Perth, looked like it always does: families picnicked on grassy dunes overlooking the Indian Ocean, queues were forming outside bars lining the shore, and inside restaurants, groups chatted casually over cold beers. Given the bustle, it’s hard to believe a city-wide lockdown ended

Can Taiwan pull off its China gamble?

When Alex Azar, the US health secretary, arrived in Taipei on Sunday, he became the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan since the United States began diplomatic recognition of Beijing in 1979. In both Washington and Taipei, the significance of the visit has been rightly emphasised. Still, the visit has not been met with unequivocal

Taiwan’s balancing act is becoming ever more precarious

After a landslide victory in January’s election, Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen was re-inaugurated on Wednesday at a scaled-down ceremony in Taipei. As ever, Taiwan’s relationship with China was the central issue of the election. This year, though, a greater sense of urgency surrounded the vote, primarily because of the instability in Hong Kong.  Now, polling day feels like

Why Taiwan blames Britain for their second wave of infections

Since the first outbreak of coronavirus, Taiwan has been seen as an unlikely source of stability. Over 400,000 Taiwanese live and work on the Chinese mainland and, due to diplomatic tensions with Beijing, Taiwan is not a member of the World Health Organisation. Despite this, as infections began to rise in Japan and then exploded in