The Best of the “Best of 2020” Lists

Feature photo from the Office of the President

aka “Taiwan #1”

All year long, we enjoy showcasing the best and most promising of Taiwanese America (and Taiwan). It has been our proud mission to highlight the amazing stories and people of our community. During this most challenging year in the midst of a global pandemic, inspirational stories have kept our spirits up. Now, with the year’s end in sight, the annual superlatives lists have started popping up, and we’ve taken note. During the past couple of months, what started out as a simple list to remind ourselves what to share with you soon became a longer list of Top 10’s, Top 20’s, and Best of 2020 articles. It’s been a lovely thing seeing that so many mainstream sites and publications have been recognizing notables from our Taiwanese American community, too. So instead of creating our own list, we share with you some of the lists that have caught our attention. Take a look, click through, and share this list of lists with your friends and family!

We get a warm fuzzy feeling when our Taiwanese American author friends finally get the recognition they deserve. Still trying to figure out what to read when you hunker down during the winter season or what gift you’d like to send someone dear to your heart? Check out these works that have made some prominent lists:

Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang

Loveboat, Taipei –Audiobook by Abigail Hing Wen

A quick shout-out to a Taiwanese Canadian counterpart recognized for her fine book:

Two Trees Make a Forest by Jessica J. Lee

Are you less of a reader and more of a screen person? Well, we understand. Check out some of these memorable films by Taiwanese American and Taiwanese directors, which made some notable cuts.

TigerTail by Alan Yang

I Will Make You Mine by Lynn Chen

A Sun by Chung Mong-hong

IWeirDo by Liao Ming-yi

Eat Drink Man Woman by Ang Lee (1994)

And even more Taiwanese films from the 80’s and 90’s by the likes of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tsai Ming-liang, and Edward Yang:

It says something when Taiwanese Americans venture into all corners of the entertainment media world. After all, increasing our representation starts with exploring our roots, original storytelling, and challenging stereotypes–from script to stage to spotlight. We’re super proud of the reach these creatives have extended.

Two Horny Goats podcast by Roxy Shih and Priscilla Liang (aka Priska)

Chopin–a comedic screenplay–by Valiant Picture’s Vincent Lin

Jolin Tsai, Jay Chou, rock band Mayday, and actor Eddie Peng make this inaugural list of Asia’s digital media darlings:

Who doesn’t love some good food? Basically, Taiwanese food anywhere and everywhere makes our Taiwan #1 lists anytime. Although it may be a novelty to folks unfamiliar to our culture and influences, we’re pleased when we get some mention at all… even if it’s for a ramen list or some fusion recipe. If someone learns about Taiwan, we’ll still drink to that! Cheers!

Eric Sze and Andy Chuang–co-founders of 886 Restaurant in NYC

Mom’s Dry Dan Dan Noodle & A-Sha Braised Beef Noodle Soup–sometimes you gotta go ramen when there’s nothing else…

Taiwanese Beef Noodle-inspired French Onion Soup


2020 was also the Year of the Rat. And we sat at home a lot listening to music.

Taiwanese Illustrator An Chen’s animated New Year GIF

Past and present, let’s not forget the influential Taiwanese who have helped shape Taiwan’s trajectory on the international stage. Moreover, during a year where democracy and freedom have come under scrutiny in light of a global pandemic, Taiwan definitely deserves accolades for the shining beacon and fine example it represents. We begin by paying respects to the father of Taiwan’s democracy who passed away in 2020–former president Lee Teng-hui.

President Lee Teng-hui (January 15, 1923 – July 30, 2020)

Huang Wei-xiang, CEO of Skills for U (nominated by the amazing digital minister of Taiwan, Audrey Tang)

Simon Lin, CEO of Wistron

President Tsai Ing-wen

So, fine. For some reason, Taiwan came in at #3 on a list of COVID-resilient countries. But for those of us who have been following Taiwan’s successes and strategies under the leadership of President Tsai, former Vice-president Dr. Chen Chien-jen, and Taiwan’s CDC, we know that Taiwan is the only place in the world right now that is normal. And, their COVID stats are beyond admirable. But, keep at it. Be excellent, and more will continue to notice.

Well, that’s it for now–the best of “the bests.” Did we miss any lists that you’ve come across? Let us know! Hopefully, we’ll see more friends and folks whom we’ve come to admire over the years. We know in time even more Taiwanese and Taiwanese Americans will continue being applauded on mainstream lists in acknowledgement of their work and impact.

See you on the other side in 2021!

Leave a Reply