Taiwan's three biggest pension funds lost nearly US$12 billion in 2022, prompting fears for their long-term survival especially as the country becomes an increasingly aged society. COVID-19 deaths in Taiwan have hit a six-month high, delaying the expected relaxation of the national indoor mask mandate. And Taiwan's military has been closely watching the battlefield performance of weapons systems supplied to Ukraine by the U.S., as Taiwan seeks to optimize its asymmetric warfare capabilities in preparation for a potential future conflict with China. Also: - The price of new homes in Taipei rose over 15% last year, prompting plans for a "tenancy right" program that could help secure housing for younger generations. - A local think tank says Taiwan's highly polluting and export-oriented petrochemical industry has low added value; that's as the government seeks to pivot to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. - Ahead of the upcoming Lantern Festival, TaiwanPlus meets "national living treasure" Hsiao Tsai-kan, a 97-year-old master maker of decorative lanterns.