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John Eastwood: Talks About the Legal Changes in Taiwan Over the Past 20 Years Ep 195

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

John Eastwood is a partner at the law firm Eiger. He was previously interviewed for Talking Taiwan in 2012 and we’ve invited John back on to Talking Taiwan to talk about some of the changes he’s seen in Taiwan from a legal perspective, in the 20 years that he has resided in Taiwan.

We touched upon how Taiwan’s WTO accession improved the protection of intellectual property rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, migrant worker rights, and laws that should be reformed like the Parade an Assembly law.

This episode of Talking Taiwan has been sponsored by NATWA, the North America Taiwanese Women’s Association.

NATWA was founded in 1988, and its mission is:


  1. to evoke a sense of self-esteem and enhance women’s dignity,
  2. to oppose gender discrimination and promote gender equality,
  3. to fully develop women’s potential and encourage their participation in public affairs,
  4. to contribute to the advancement of human rights and democratic development in Taiwan,
  5. to reach out and work with women’s organizations worldwide to promote peace for all.


To learn more about NATWA visit their website:


Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • What brought John to Taiwan
  • John was a journalist before becoming a lawyer
  • John spent time in China as a visiting scholar
  • Eiger has branches in both Taipei and Shanghai
  • John’s experience with COVID-19 in Taiwan
  • What John has been up to since his last interview for Talking Taiwan in 2012
  • John’s involvement with the Democratic National Convention and Democrats Abroad
  • How John feels its important for people to understand the situation and what’s going on in Taiwan
  • Taiwan’s health restrictions in things like pork imports
  • The early days of COVID in Taiwan
  • How mask wearing is perceived in Taiwan
  • How Taiwan has changed from a legal standpoint with respect to intellectual property in the last 20 years, since John has lived in Taiwan
  • How Taiwan’s WTO accession improved the protection of intellectual property rights
  • Human rights issues in Taiwan that could be improved include: LGBTQIA+ adoption and reproductive rights,
  • How manufacturing of counterfeit goods has moved to China
  • How people in Taiwan often call on the police to resolve domestic disputes
  • How public insult laws in Taiwan need to be reformed
  • Misuse of the public insult law and how it can be used against foreigners
  • How the police in Taiwan are often used to harass people
  • How the police in Taiwan don’t necessarily stop people from pursuing frivolous cases
  • The Assembly and Parade Law
  • How migrant workers in Taiwan have been mistreated
  • Other issues in need of legal reform like abortion


Related Links:


John Eastwood:


European Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan:


Judicial Yuan of Taiwan:


US report slams Taiwan’s pork, beef restriction (an article from the Taipei Times):


Taiwan chipmakers keep workers ‘imprisoned’ in factories to keep up with global pandemic demand (an article from The Telegraph):


Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade (an article from CNN):


Roe v. Wade Overturned, Ending 50 Years of Abortion Protections (an article from WebMD):


Joyce Teng: The Struggles Facing Couples of Same Sex Marriage in Taiwan (Episode 193):


Lost Episodes | John Eastwood (Episode 194):

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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