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Taiwan picks 'shortage' as character of the year 2023

'Egg,' 'scam' finished in 2nd, 3rd place

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Taoyuan City Mayor Simon Chang is the sponsor of the winning character of the year 2023. 

Taoyuan City Mayor Simon Chang is the sponsor of the winning character of the year 2023.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese character meaning “shortage” (que, 缺) won the accolade for character of the year 2023 in Taiwan, reports said Thursday (Dec. 7).

The country struggled with different types of shortages during the year, commentators said. There were egg shortages leading to a controversial egg import policy, labor shortages with business leaders calling for more migrant workers, and power shortages, per UDN.

A total of 58 different characters were nominated for the honor of character of the year, and “shortage” came first with 8,565 votes. The proposal was the work of Taoyuan City Mayor Simon Chang (張善政), who reportedly added that what the public in Taiwan lacked most, was a sense of security due to the occurrence of major disasters, including fires.

The character for “egg” (dan, 蛋) received 6,433 votes, followed by “scam” (zha, 詐) in third place with 4,662 votes. The event has been organized for 16 years by the CTBC Foundation for Arts and Culture in cooperation with UDN. Between Nov. 10 and Dec. 5, 65,043 people took part in the vote.