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Emotions run high on Day 5 of EVA flight attendants’ strike
It''s Day 5 of EVA Airline''s flight attendants'' strike. The airline says more than 60% of its operations have been impacted by the strike, and losses stand at 580 million NT and counting. Meanwhile, talks between labor and management have collapsed. Today in a tearful news conference, EVA''s president Clay Sun vowed that he would never give in to union demands.If you think that you’re not suited for this job, then you should not tried to land such a job. Don’t say that you had been deceived by air hostesses traveling the world, checking in on Facebook, and posting glamorous photographs. All of you have at least graduated from college. If you can’t even understand this, then that education hasn’t done you much good.EVA’s president became visibly irate when speaking about the flight attendants’ strike. He said the airline would never give in to the union’s “unreasonable” demands.Clay SunEVA presidentOur company is opposed to this so-called independent director that the union wants to nominate, and we’re opposed to this anti-free rider clause. These conditions are absolutely unacceptable. I’ll say it three times. Absolutely unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable.At the press event, a member of EVA’s ground broke into tears and said she was exhausted from overwork.Ms. LinEVA ground staff For nearly 24 hours straight, we on the ground staff have been working. Flight attendants are not the only ones who work hard. Doesn’t the ground crew work hard too? Don’t we work hard? Don’t we have to raise a family as well? Where are our work rights? How is what you’re doing different from workplace bullying?At EVA, executives have put a plan in motion to end the strike. They have announced a new wave of recruitment. They’re also making it easier for strikers to abandon the picket line, by sending a legal proxy to get their ID back from the union. So far, the union has refused to surrender the ID.Lin Yu-chiaUnion representativeWe have not agreed to release the materials, because we have no way of verifying that their power of attorney was in fact signed by the employee.Clay SunEVA presidentIf even our notarized power of attorney is to be questioned, then I don’t know what guarantees are offered by the Republic of China’s laws to this so-called notarization system.According to the union, EVA executives have raised the specter of dismissal for employees who don’t return to work.Lin Yu-chiaUnion representativeThey’ve tried to put pressure on the members of my union. They’ve tried to threaten my members, saying things like, “If you don’t come back, I don’t know what will happen to you.”Clay SunEVA presidentThey have merely launched a strike. After the strike is over, they will still be our employees.EVA has suspended all bookings for flights through to June 30, and it will release its July flight schedule on Wednesday. There’s no end in sight for the strike, as both sides appear unwilling to retreat.
Taiwan’s ornamental shrimp industry is thriving due to innovation and quality
Can you believe that one tiny shrimp can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of NT dollars? In recent years, the popularity of ornamental shrimp has spread around the world. Taiwan is playing a leading role by producing six out of every 10 such shrimp. Tonight we visit a special research and development center where new shrimp varieties are being developed. Located inside the Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park is this facility operated by Su Yao-long. It is a research and development center where a broad variety of shrimp is being raised. The space contains thousands of tanks, making it one of the largest centers for crystal shrimp production in Taiwan.Su Yao-longCrystal Shrimp ProducerThey are very beautiful. Their beauty can be appreciated through the lens of a camera and when these pictures are posted online. When this crystal shrimp is enlarged to fit the whole screen, there is an incredible amount of detail and expression.39-year-old Su was a photographer for a number of print publications. His sensitivity for color and composition inspired him to enter this entirely new field. Su Yao-longCrystal Shrimp Producer You can see this type of shrimp in typical aquariums. At a price of around NT$50-60 they’re affordable. These crystal shrimp, which measure less than 1 centimeter in length, look almost identical, though their color and unique striations can lead to shockingly expensive prices.Su Yao-longCrystal Shrimp ProducerRed and white crystal shrimp are more valuable if the color is richer and if they have some special expressions. Prices could rise to NT$1,000-2,000.Crystal shrimp are typically red and white or black and white. Only through selective breeding and gene hybridization are these fine bands of color able to form. Su and his employees can instantly identify shrimp types, even in juveniles that are as tiny as half a centimeter.Ornamental crystal shrimp command a higher price if their color is richer and more intense, and if special shapes or lines appear on their shell. Prices can jump from NT$3,000 to NT$10,000 or more.Su Yao-longCrystal Shrimp ProducerAt the moment, our company’s greatest accomplishment in researching and developing crystal shrimp is this type called galaxy fishbone pinto shrimp.This black and white galaxy fishbone pinto shrimp took Su three years to research and develop. A first place winner in an international ornamental shrimp contest, it starts at NT$50,000.In the process of developing new varieties of shrimp there can be many failures. If unwanted shrimp are released into the environment, they can pose a big ecological concern.Jeng Ming-shiouAcademia Sinica Biodiversity CenterCultivation of (these shrimp) around the world has led to the introduction of alien species. At the beginning, people enjoy raising these shrimps, but when they get bored, they dump them into a river, which could alter ecological biodiversity.As for whether imported crystal shrimp will be classified as an invasive alien species that poses a threat to local ecology remains to be seen. This concern isn’t stopping businesses from developing new varieties to capture potential market share.In order to prepare shipments for the European market, employees at this aquaculture farm in Pingtung are busy at 7 in the morning.Wang Yeh-haoOrnamental Shrimp ProducerIf the shipment is intended for Europe, we usually include four pieces of ice. If it’s going to Japan, we put in just two.Wang Kuo-chung has 30 years of experience breeding and raising ornamental fish. His son, Wang Yeh-ho, took freshwater cherry shrimp commonly found in drainage ditches in the countryside and transformed them into colorful cherry shrimp.Wang Kuo-chung Ornamental Shrimp ProducerAnother company within this industry caught a black-shelled shrimp in the river and discovered this variety sometimes includes reddish variations. After we saw this, we were surprised that this black shrimp could contain a range of different genes for colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple.Wang transformed common freshwater cherry shrimp into a variety he calls "five element shrimp," with exports to Japan, Korea, Singapore and Europe. Wang says the market can further expand, particularly among women.Wang Kuo-chungOrnamental Shrimp ProducerWhy are women attracted to the ornamental shrimp market? It’s because they don’t like how larger ornamental fish give off an odor when they die and have to be disposed of. Older shrimps hide in the plants. When they die, they’re eaten by other shrimp in the middle of the night.In recent years, the outlook for the ornamental shrimp export market has become promising. In Kaohsiung and Pingtung alone last year there was an increase of 6,000 new crystal shrimp cultivation tanks. Experts worry that the constant pursuit of new varieties means breeders could introduce exotic types from abroad for hybridization, which could involve some risk to native shrimps.Jeng Ming-shiou...
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam blames Taiwan for suspension of controversial extradition bill
President Tsai Ing-wen and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu have both lashed out at Carrie Lam, after she unexpectedly brought Taiwan into the picture. The embattled chief executive said yesterday that work on the extradition bill had been put on hold because Taiwan had said it would never accept it. In response, Wu retorted on Twitter that blaming Taiwan was, quote "immoral, shameful and unacceptable," while President Tsai said Lam was making excuses for her failure to defend democracy. The Hong Kong government announced it would suspend an overhaul of the territory’s extradition law. In an unexpected move, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam also placed the blame on Taiwan during a press conference. Carrie LamHong Kong Chief Executive Actually, we were considering that Taiwan has openly and clearly stated on multiple occasions that they would absolutely never accept our request to handover Chan Tong-kai under the suggested arrangements from our Special Administrative Region government. So the urgency of passing this draft bill in this legislative year may no longer exist. I am hereby declaring that the Special Administrative Region government is suspending its work on amendments. Tsai Ing-wenPresidentAny leader or head of state has one important task, which is protecting the people’s democracy and freedom. I believe this is a leader’s most basic duty; it is also the most important one. If a leader does not have the resolve or ability to do this, then saying anything else is just an excuse. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu lambasted Lam on Twitter, saying there had been an assault on Hong Kong’s freedom and human rights and he felt “deeply upset.” He urged Lam to listen to the people and take full responsibility. Blaming Taiwan is “immoral, shameful and unacceptable,” he tweeted. The controversial bill has been suspended but not withdrawn and the people of Hong Kong say they are still dissatisfied. Lam’s press conference yesterday not only failed to calm the anger of the people of Hong Kong: It’s also triggered anger in the people of Taiwan.
Local entrepreneurs tout the benefits of eating gold
Gold is highly valued and in ancient times was even considered a type of Chinese medicine. Nowadays, people are experimenting with the nutritional benefits of gold, but what are the effects on the human body? From desserts to pharmaceuticals, we look at how gold plays in a role in the foods, beverages and medicines we consume. Opening the Compendium of Materia Medica, written by Ming dynasty Chinese medicine master Li Shizhen, you can find a detailed description of the use of gold to treat ailments. Wu Ming-chuChinese Medicine DoctorRaw gold has toxins that are removed through processing. Gold processed into gold leaf or foil can then be used as medicine. It can aid the spirit, harden bone marrow, and remove pathogens from the five internal organs.In ancient times, Chinese medicine doctors used gold as an expensive type of medicine. Nowadays, however, people are using gold as a food ingredient. Some fine dining restaurants feature gold leaf to lure in customers. “It’s so unusual because I have never had anything with gold leaf on top. It dissolves as it enters the mouth. The feeling was quite exciting.”Yu Jian-chungRestaurant OperatorWe use it to highlight the ingredients and make the dish more presentable.In recent years, some businesses have been putting gold into alcohol.Hsu Rui-chiDistillerThis is our gold brewing equipment. The clear liquid is the alcohol, and the fine pieces inside are the gold foil. This system allows us to mix the gold in quickly.Taking a closer look, we see the gold foil floating inside. Few people know the hard work behind production.Shih Hui-minBrewery StaffEach type of alcohol is a little different, so it has a different type of interaction with gold. We need to carefully control the gold volume, fermentation period, temperature and pressure.Many businesses use gold as a selling point, but few actually explain what effect gold has on the body. The Food and Drug Administration says regulations existed long ago governing the use of edible gold leaf.Wang Hui-yingFood and Drug AdministrationGold is often used for its decorative color and can be used for cakes, candy and chocolate in suitable amounts. We ask that gold for food use have a purity of over 90 percent, with a silver content below 7 percent and copper content below 4 percent.Yen Tzung-haiChang Gung Memorial HospitalIf you look at the chemical structure of pure gold, you will see that it has no toxins. What we fear most is that businesses aren’t clear and use gold compounds or gold chloride, which can cause skin inflammation, gastroenteritis or acute renal failure.The Ministry of Health and Welfare doesn’t have a limit on the use of gold as a pigment.Wang Hui-yingFood and Drug AdministrationFor decoration, you just need a little layer to cover the top, meaning it shouldn’t exceed proscribed volumes. For gold used as a food product, we will have to make another assessment. Most edible gold takes the form of gold leaf. Traditional gold leaf is made by hand.Tang Shang-wenNanogold ResearcherTraditional gold leaf can be pounded to 100 nanometers, but it’s difficult to control the thickness. It may be 110 or 150 nanometers, and there won’t be any uniformity.Tang Shang-wen has been researching gold for 30 years. He entered a printing company as one of his first jobs and became interested in gold after seeing a technique for stamping business cards with gold. He would later stumble into nanotechnology.Tang Shang-wenNanogold ResearcherFirst we take out the nanogold foil so we can hold it in our hands and lightly rotate it. Can you see the gold seem to disappear? Now we take a look at traditional gold foil. If we rub it, flecks start to come out. Because it was hammered to this thickness, it doesn’t have a molecular structure.Nanogold foil has 100 percent absorption and can be accurately measured. Its use in medicine could help increase Taiwan''s competitiveness in biotechnology.Chen Chia-nanNanogold ResearcherIt’s not labor-intensive and doesn’t require a large plant, but you need trained experts and a small team which can assist in the development of medicine and patent applications. If we are able to make these drugs, the technology can be transferred to international pharmaceutical companies.From medicinal uses in ancient times to nanotechnology today, the uses of gold are diverse and likely to increase in the future.
President Tsai arrives in Haiti, the second leg of her state tour
President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in Haiti after wrapping up the longest ever US transit for a Taiwanese president in history. Plans for Taiwan to lend Haiti NT$4.5 billion TD to upgrade its electric grid are stuck in the politically-troubled Caribbean nation''s parliament. However, Haitian President Jovenel Moise still effectively begged President Tsai for more money. He said to her face that relations between the two nations must, quote, "emphasize Taiwanese direct investment." President Tsai on Saturday left New York, ending a two-day stay, the longest-ever US transit for a Taiwanese president in history. She then arrived in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, one of Taiwan''s diplomatic allies, where she was personally welcomed by Haitian President Jovenel Moise. The pair watched Haiti''s ceremonial guard, while the highlight was the opening ceremony of an expo featuring products from Taiwanese Haiti-based business people. The political situation in Haiti is turbulent. Even though Taiwan has come up with cooperation plans that involve lending the Caribbean nation NT$4.5 billion to upgrade its electric grid, the plans have been unable to pass through Haitian parliament. Tsai Ing-wenPresidentAfter review and approval from the Haitian parliament, it will be possible to start construction. I believe that after the work is completed, it will bring a better life for the people of Haiti. This also symbolizes that cooperation between the nations of Taiwan and Haiti is moving towards a new milestone. Jovenel MoiseHaitian PresidentI personally want to make use of the opportunity presented by President Tsai''s visit to solemnly appeal to members of parliament to pass this plan. President Moise appealed to the people of Haiti with all his strength, while he was more than a little frank with President Tsai. Jovenel MoiseHaitian PresidentPresident Tsai, currently the new momentum in our country''s relations needs to emphasize Taiwanese direct investment in Haiti, particularly as Haiti enjoys an extremely important geostrategic position. There have been multiple reports in the past that Haiti might switch its diplomatic allegiance to China. This time Tsai has personally visited the nation to shore up ties in hopes that the Taiwan-Haitian friendship can be understood and stabilized through dialogue.
Hong Kong students protest outside city’s representative office in Taipei
As protests rocked Hong Kong, here in Taiwan, students from Hong Kong also took to the streets. More than a hundred protesters staged a sit-down demonstration outside Hong Kong''s representative office in Taipei. Hong Kong students called for their lawmakers to reject the extradition bill, which they fear would allow Beijing to tighten its grip on their city. More than a hundred Hong Kong students in Taiwan refused to attend class today, to protest an extradition bill that was being reviewed by Hong Kong lawmakers. Twenty-two Taiwanese NGOs turned out to support them.Hong Kong student in TaiwanWe absolutely won’t tolerate traitors to Hong Kong. We, the people of Hong Kong, absolutely will not allow the Communist government to trample on our basic freedoms and dignity.Lin Fei-fanSunflower Movement leaderToday''s Hong Kong is in fact today’s Taiwan. That’s because we both face China’s expanding authoritarian power. I have to say, Hong Kong’s government has already begun plotting to create a state of quasi-martial law and to limit the personal freedoms of Hong Kong’s people.Civic group representatives blasted Hong Kong’s leadership. They warned that Hong Kong was a warning to Taiwan ahead of the 2020 presidential election.Lin Fei-fanSunflower Movement leaderThere’s Mayor Han who says he doesn’t know, he doesn’t know what’s happening right now in Hong Kong. There’s Mayor Ko Wen-je, who says there is no need to exchange insults with China. Taiwan supporting the people of Hong Kong – is that “exchanging insults” with China?Yibee HuangCovenants Watch CEOI want to say this to all our presidential candidates: Please remember that the post you’re running for is the president of the Taiwanese people, not a chief executive under China.In support of the protesters overseas, Hong Kong students and Taiwanese NGO representatives stood together in Taipei to speak out against Chinese authoritarianism.
Chinese fighter jets circle Taiwan for the second time in two weeks
A fleet of around a dozen Chinese military aircraft yesterday morning flew over strategically important waterways near Taiwan and Japan, and proceeded to circle Taiwan. While the aircraft remained outside Taiwan''s air defense identification zone, fighter jets from both Taiwan and Japan scrambled to the air to conduct patrols. Taiwan''s Defense Ministe Feng Shih-kuan personally directed operations from the Heng Shan Military Command Center. DPP Lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng says he fears that in future such flyovers may become commonplace. Within the last two weeks, China has twice sent a fleet of military aircraft to fly around the perimeter of Taiwan. This time the fleet flew from north to south in a clockwise direction according to information released by the Ministry of National Defense. Voice of Chen Chung-chiMinistry of National Defense SpokesmanOur Minister Feng has gone to the Heng Shan Military Command Center and is personally directing operations with a full understanding of the situation. China’s fleet of over ten military aircraft included ones with electronic surveillance equipment. In addition to monitoring the nation’s airspace, Taiwan’s F16 and IDF fighter jets set off on patrols from eight bases across the island in response. Lo Chih-chengDPP LawmakerWe think that in future such (Chinese exercises ) may become routine. The target (of these exercises) is not necessarily Taiwan. China wants to break through the first island chain and second island chain. The intent behind this strategy is very clear. In order to strengthen the nation’s air defenses on the eastern side of Taiwan, (given that the jets are flying around the entire island), the Ministry of Defense has deployed Sky Bow II and Sky Bow III surface-air-air anti-ballistic missile systems.
Parts for over 1,000 domestically manufactured T91 rifles bought out by firearm sellers in...
An unprecedented collaboration between a state-owned gun maker and an American ammunition seller has ended in success, after the Taiwan government completed its first-ever sale of gun parts to an overseas commercial market. US consumers eagerly snapped up the US-assembled version of the T91 rifle, which is also proving popular in militaries overseas.These American gun enthusiasts are testing out the capabilities of the new Wolf A1 rifle. The rifle bears a striking resemblance to another gun manufactured in Taiwan. Last year, Wolf Performance Ammunition in the US made a deal with Taiwan’s 205th Arsenal to purchase gun barrels, bolts and handguards used in the domestically-made T91 rifle. Wolf assembles the parts in the US and sells the completed gun as the Wolf A1 for US$599 apiece. Song Yu-ningDefense AnalystOur locally made firearm products are considered pretty decent. They’re also not that expensive to make. After, American gun sellers will be able to turn a profit putting the parts together in the US and selling the completed guns to buyers over there. The T91 rifle debuted in 2002 and is in wide use by Taiwan’s military as well as by militaries in other countries including Jordan and Indonesia. Voice of Chen Chung-chiDefense Ministry SpokesmanWhen selling firearms or weapon technologies abroad, the Defense Ministry abides by laws called the “Regulations on Sales of Ministry of National Defense Produced Industry or Technology.” Profits from those sales flow directly into the national treasury. The Taiwanese military’s first-ever sale of firearms components to a non-governmental overseas buyer represents an important milestone for the domestic defense industry.
Fighter jets complete emergency landings on Changhua freeway in Han Kuang drill
The Han Kuang live-fire drills are underway and run until Friday. In today’s exercises, fighter jets descended on a stretch of freeway in Changhua County as they completed emergency landings. A crowd gathered to watch the fleet land and then take off on a road that’s half the size of a standard runway. This part of National Freeway No. 1 is one of five sections of freeway that fighter jets can use as an emergency runway if they lose access to an air base. completed perfect landings here on this strip of freeway in Changhua, before pulling to a stop for their next orders.The CH47 transport helicopter with a cargo of supplies entered the mock battle zone. Soldiers filled up the tanks of the combat aircraft and installed harpoon missiles and other weaponry.Fighter jets provided cover overhead, and the AH-1W Super Cobra and OH-58D were on high alert. On the ground, the troops readied anti-aircraft weaponry and Patriot missiles for enemy engagement.A range of fighter jets completed emergency take-offs on runways half the standard length. Twelve years after the last time drills were held at this Changhua runway, Taiwan’s F-16V made their first public appearance. It was a major milestone for military buffs, who staked out their spots as early as 3 a.m. to capture the moment on camera.Lin Yu-hsiangAirmanAs far as the current F-16V is concerned, its weapons interface has been upgraded from the specifications of the fleet originally purchased. That’s allowed the F-16V to successfully complete the tasks in its mission here in Changhua.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentAs we face major changes in the international situation, national security is coming up against increasingly complicated challenges. The ultimate goal of national defense is to protect the sovereignty of the nation and the social values of a liberal democracy. Today’s exercises will allow the Taiwanese people to see that the armed forces are absolutely capable of reaching this goal.The freeway strip in Changhua is one of five emergency runways that can be used in the event of air bases being destroyed in battle. One is on the Ping-E Highway. The others are on National Highway No. 1.
Tai Tzu-ying to decide on retirement ‘when the time comes’
Queen of Badminton Tai Tzu-ying has returned to Taiwan after winning two women’s singles championships back-to-back. Today she attended a press conference and told fans about her top goal for 2019. She also spoke about her plan to retire after the 2020 Olympics, which she had announced while competing overseas. Today she was less adamant about calling it quits after Tokyo, saying that she would decide when the time comes.The queen of badminton has returned to Taiwan with two more titles under her belt. Today she made an appearance at a press conference to promote a road race. She attracted a flock of journalists eager to snap an image of the World No. 1.Tai Tzu-yingBadminton playerThis year my priority is still the BWF World Championships. It’s because I’d like to get every title that I haven’t won. I’ll try my best to achieve that.Tai had previously been quoted as saying she would retire after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The news had touched off fevered debate among fans on international sporting forums. Today Tai said more on the matter.Tai Tzu-yingBadminton playerI might take a break for a while, because I’ve been going for nearly 10 years. I feel that there is still a very long time until then, so I’ll make my decision when the time comes.Also present at the event was tennis player Lu Yen-hsun, who is looking to make a comeback after shoulder surgery last year. He says he’s aiming to compete in the Tokyo Olympics at the age of 36. Today he had some words of encouragement for Tai, who is 24.Lu Yen-hsunTennis playerI believe that to some extent it’s just psychological exhaustion. I can only encourage her and say that although there is a lot of pressure to accrue more ranking points and to win championships, and even though there is the invisible pressure of everyone’s expectations, the most important thing is still whether she truly enjoys her time on the court.Although it is unknown what the future holds for Tai after Tokyo, it is clear she has her sights set on Olympic gold. In the meantime, badminton fans are eagerly hoping she’ll bring trophy after trophy back home.
Former House speaker Paul Ryan praises Taiwan at AIT banquet
Today the American Institute in Taiwan held a banquet celebrating 40 years of the Taiwan Relations Act. Present at the event was former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, who is visiting Taiwan for the first time. Ryan had high praise for Taiwan''s democracy, saying that the U.S. wants the rest of the world to be more like Taiwan. President Tsai Ing-wen, who also spoke at the event, thanked the U.S. for upholding its commitment to the TRA.Former House speaker Ryan is here in Taiwan with a delegation to celebrate the TRA’s 40th anniversary and to show affirmation of Taiwan’s values.Paul RyanFormer U.S. House of Representatives speakerWe want the rest of the world to be more like Taiwan. Taiwan actively uses its own experiences not only to help others but to help others help themselves. The world desperately needs more of Taiwan’s brand of leadership.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentThe TRA is more than just a policy. It’s a commitment of the values of freedom and democracy. And that commitment has defined the partnership between Taiwan and the U.S. and made us an indispensible force for good in the region and around the world.As the two sides celebrated their warming relationship, trouble was stirring across the strait. Taiwan’s military confirmed today that the PLA had dispatched jets once again in an act of provocation against Taiwan. Today President Tsai went off-script to address the incident.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentChina recently has increased its military activities in the region. In fact, just today the Chinese air force flew military aircraft over Miyako Strait and Bashi Strait, further challenging the stability in the Taiwan Strait and this part of the world.James F. MoriartyAIT chairmanIt damages the cross-strait relationship and it damages any attempts by China to win the hearts and minds of the Taiwan people.Amid escalating cross-strait tensions, Moriarty’s remarks are a welcome expression of U.S. support for Taiwan and a sign of deepening relations.
Taiwan lawmakers warn over Hong Kong’s extradition plan
Hong Kong''s government has proposed an amendment that would allow the extradition of fugitives to Taiwan and China. The move comes as Taiwan prosecutors request the surrender of a Hong Kong youth suspected of killing his girlfriend while they were vacationing in Taiwan. If passed, the amendment would allow Hong Kong to send the suspect to Taiwan for trial. But some in Taiwan are wary of the proposed change. New Power Party lawmakers fear that the measure could be used to send Taiwanese nationals over to China for prosecution. Last year a teen suspected of killing his girlfriend in Taiwan fled to his native Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government is now seeking to amend its laws to allow extraditions in the absence of an extradition treaty. On the face of it, the amendment simply allows Hong Kong to consider such extradition requests on a case-by-case basis. But some fear the measure would let Hong Kong send Taiwanese citizens to China for trial.Hsu Yung-mingNPP lawmakerThe proposal basically treats Taiwan as part of the People''s Republic of China. People doing business or studying in Hong Kong could get extradited to China for remarks they made in Taiwan that infringe upon Chinese laws.Hong Kong''s government previously said that the new measure would not cover suspects in political cases. But the NPP says China could still get its hands on Taiwanese political targets, by accusing them of minor non-political offenses. NPP lawmakers urged Taiwan''s government to lodge a strong protest against the proposed amendment.Huang Ting-huiMainland Affairs CouncilThe Taiwan government absolutely will not accept any move aimed at destroying national sovereignty. So we hope that Hong Kong''s government will take the welfare of citizens of both sides as its foremost consideration.Figures from Hong Kong''s pro-democracy camp, including Eddie Chu, Edward Yiu and Joshua Wong, spoke out against the amendment at a press conference. They warned that if passed, the bill would deal a major blow to Taiwan''s democracy.
Inside North Korea: Relations With Russia and a Rare Glimpse of Their Joint Border
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un never completed plans to travel to Moscow for an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Despite the cancellation, there was still important symbolic meaning behind the young leader’s choice of Russia for his first overseas trip as head of state. FTV’s Anne Hu takes a closer look at the warm relations between the two states. The Tumen River stretches more than 500 kilometers, though only the last 15 kilometers before the mouth serves as a border between Russia and North Korea. Along this section are two coasts, two countries and two very different places.Su C. F.FTV ReporterOn my right is Russia. If you look further down to the right you can see North Korea’s Tumengang.Anne HuFTV News ChiefWe are at the North Korea-Russia border in the North Korean village of Chosal. Across the Tumen River is the Russian town of Khasan.Heading upstream from near the river mouth at the bank of the Tumen River at Chosal Village, we reach Tumengang neighborhood. There are close to 1,000 homes, each with gray roof tiles and blue window shutters.Tumengang Neighborhood GuideEverybody lives his or her own life. Doctors treat patients and teachers teach students.North Korean GuideThe first time I visited, my uncle was alone at home. I asked what he did. He said he managed, cleaned and served as a guide. As a youth I was curious, so I went to see the victory platform and use the binoculars.Farmers grow potatoes and corn along the border each year, but sowing of seeds will have to wait for rainy season. Life isn’t tense or busy like many other border towns, but the tranquility is broken each Tuesday and Friday when the Korea-Russia cross-border train arrives and undergoes customs inspections. Anne HuFTV News ChiefFrom Tumengang neighborhood you can see the Korea-Russia Bridge, which passes over the border. In the past, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il’s father, crossed this bridge by train.North Korea founder Kim Il-sung’s fear of flying led him to choose rail transit when visiting the Soviet Union. These journeys from Pyongyang to Moscow contributed to the close historical connection between the countries and paved the way for desperately needed assistance.When North Korea was still a colony of Japan during World War II, Kim Il-sung relied on the Soviet Union for support in his fight of resistance. The Soviet Union provided assistance again in 1945, when the Workers’ Party of North Korea was founded, and on Sept. 9, 1948, when Kim Il-sung founded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In the 1950s and 60s, support from the Soviet Union led North Korea to have a rate of industrial development that was second only to Japan in Asia. When the Soviet Union dissolved, this generosity abruptly ended. Desperate for support in the face of international sanctions, as North Korea began to drift away from the Soviet Union, it turned to China. While Russia is still North Korea’s third largest exporter, proportionally it is far behind China, which places first in terms of both exports and imports. The discrepancy is apparent by looking at flight schedules. There is one daily direct round trip flight between Pyongyang and Beijing and no regular direct flights between Pyongyang and Moscow. In terms of the most widely spoken foreign languages in North Korea, Russian trails English and Mandarin.Former StudentKim Il-sung UniversityOf course English is the official language of the world. But in our country, China and Russia are so nearby. So we must study English first, after that we need to study Chinese and Russian as a second foreign language.North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had chosen Russia as his first foreign state to visit since taking power. While the trip was later cancelled, it still carried important symbolic meaning. Recently, Russia has proposed building a railway that cut across North Korea from north to south and links to the Trans-Siberian Railway. This would provide easy transport of coal, iron, petroleum and natural gas. Early interest from North Korea points toward more opportunity for cooperation in the future.This is FTV’s Anne Hu, Su C. F. and Yeh Chun-hao with an exclusive report from China, North Korea and Russia.
China Airlines strikes enters third day with no end in sight
A strike by pilots at Taiwan''s flagship carrier China Airlines has dragged into its third day. So far the strike has resulted in 52 canceled flights and affected more than 10,000 passengers. Another 28 flights are expected to be canceled tomorrow. The Transportation Ministry said today that the carrier must shoulder its responsibilities and properly compensate travel agencies and travelers for their losses.Labor and management met yesterday for the first time since the strike began Friday. The carrier agreed to the union''s request to assign four pilots to any flight longer than 12 hours. But the two sides clashed on the number of crew for shorter flights. The union insisted on three pilots for flights exceeding seven hours, while the carrier would only grant three for flights exceeding eight hours.Li Hsin-yenPilots Union TaoyuanWe keep hoping that the company will rethink the issue of pilots'' fatigue. But they''re not budging, and that''s where we are stuck. Neither side is giving in.Hsieh Shih-chienChina Airlines CEOThey suddenly demanded that we add crew members, so now it''s a matter of readjusting the flights, flight routes and flight network. This is the part that''s still being negotiated.The strike entered its third day today, canceling 52 flights and affecting more than 10,000 travelers. Under pressure from the Transportation Ministry, China Airlines has come up with a compensation plan for passengers, promising no less than US$100 each per day.Wang Kwo-tsaiMOTC deputy ministerTravel agencies should be compensated based on their actual losses. As for individual passengers, the airline''s vice president mentioned today that the compensation won''t be lower than what was paid during the flight attendants'' strike, which was US$100 dollars a day.With no end in sight to the strike and mounting demands for compensation, China Airlines is certain to face more turbulence ahead.
Farmer brews coffee-like concoction from okra seeds
A Yunlin farmer has found an innovative use for okra. Kuo Chi-chang roasts then grinds seeds of the okra fruit then brews them to make a beverage similar to coffee. Okra can be blanched then dipped in soy sauce for a tasty snack. While this is a typical cooking method, an unusual technique involves using the okra plant as a substitute for coffee beans. The idea came to Taiwan from farmer Kuo Chi-chang. Disappointed at seeing okra classified as inferior if the fruits are too long or too short, last year when a cold spell affected his crops Kuo began searching for new ways of preparing the plant. Online, he saw that okra can serve as a coffee bean substitute. Kuo then experimented to find the best combination of drying, peeling, seed selection and roasting.Kuo Chi-changVegetable FarmerAfter an hour or so of low-temperature roasting, the seeds are grinded then ready to be made into coffee.Compared to regular coffee from this convenience store chain, apart from a lighter color and lack of caffeine, the okra drink is similar."I can't taste any flavor difference."Kuo also adds okra to starch then makes noodles and steamed buns. Dishes such as these increase demand for the crops he grows.
EVA flight attendants take to the streets ahead of strike vote results
Flight attendants of EVA Air are making steady progress toward launching a strike. Some 3,000 members of a flight attendants'' union have already cast their ballot in the EVA Air''s strike vote. The union says it''s confident the results will give EVA crew the legal right to a strike. Today hundreds of flight attendants took to the streets of Taipei to lodge their appeal for better working conditions and more sincerity from EVA''s executives. The results of EVA Air’s strike vote will be released this Friday. Ahead of the announcement, some 800 flight attendants took to the streets with their grievances.They said EVA’s management had not negotiated with them in good faith. There are three long-haul flights requiring long working hours, crew said. The Taipei-Beijing roundtrip flight leaves at 7:15 a.m. and returns at 6 p.m. Similarly, the Taipei-Tokyo and Taipei-Phnom Penh routes force crew to work nearly 12 hours in a row.Chu Chia-yunEVA Air crewThe long-haul flights are designed to push everyone to the brink of 12 hours. So when there is any delay, our work hours exceed the upper limit set by the Labor Standards Act. The company repeatedly challenges the limits set by law.Liao Yi-chinFlight attendants’ unionIn the two most recent rounds of negotiation, the company did not have a solution for moving forward on the union’s appeal. The union members were disappointed with the company. I’m absolutely confident that the vote will give us the right to strike.EVA Air said it had already improved crew conditions by capping work hours at 60 hours a month, and by making key adjustments to employee schedules. The company said it was unwilling to engage with union members who were emotional and irrational during negotiation.
Special Service Command Center hosts exercise to demonstrate protection for presidential candidates
With campaigning for the 2016 presidential election heating up, the Special Service Command Center under the National Security Bureau today held a military ceremony to mark the formation of a new security team for protecting presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Aside from showing off all kinds of weaponry and equipment, the new team also displayed dare-devil combat skills. And with Tsai Ing-wen being the leading presidential candidate, the group doubled its number of female bodyguards. During this exercise, secret service officers drive a car that comes to a quick stop. The security team fires shots and huddles around an officer standing in for the presidential candidate, forming a human shield, protecting him and shuttling him away from the scene. Gunfire can be heard everywhere as the Special Service Command Center holds this live shooting drill. Each exercise simulates likely scenarios for an attack on Taiwan’s president as officers cannot afford to be careless. In addition, they proudly display new equipment. There’s a blast from a gun but it shoots a net instead of a bullet. In addition, stun guns were put to use, which can immediately subdue criminals. The team of 220 specialists was selected from the ranks of the police and military. It will be responsible for the security of the three presidential candidates and their deputies. As there is a female presidential candidate, the numbers of female security guards has been doubled. Among them, a Taiwanese SWAT team member Jian Ling-chen will be Tsai Ing-wen’s personal bodyguard. Jian Ling-chenSWAT Team MemberThe goal of absolute security will become our standard duty. The display of combat skills and equipment today shows that Taiwan’s secret service is fully ready for any threat that may befall presidential candidates in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.
Finalized US defense bill heralds more Taiwan-US military exchange
As China continues its blockade of Taiwan in the international arena, the US Congress has reached a consensus on an annual defense authorization bill. The two houses of Congress reportedly agreed to strengthen Taiwan''s self-defense capabilities, including expanding arms sales and joint military exercises. There''s also a provision calling for senior-level military-to-military exchanges pursuant to the Taiwan Travel Act. President Tsai received foreign experts and scholars in the Presidential Office today, continuing the dialogue that began yesterday at the 2018 Asia-Pacific Security conference. She reiterated Taiwan’s stance and addressed China’s continued aggression.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentChina has been expanding its sphere of influence both militarily and diplomatically. Not only will this aggression alter the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and lead to contention, it also poses a serious threat to the security of the East Asian region.As China continues to dangle both carrot and stick in front of Taiwan, the US House and Senate have reached a deal on the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains provisions on Taiwan. Reports indicate that the finalized version keeps intact almost all the articles concerning Taiwan-US military exchanges that were prescribed in the Senate’s version. That means the bill recommends enhanced cooperation on Taiwan’s defense, arms sales to Taiwan, and high-level military exchanges as allowed by the Taiwan Travel Act, such as US participation in the Han Kuang military exercises.Tsai Shih-yingDPP lawmakerOnce the relevant issues of the two legislative houses come to light, the next phase will likely see coordination over inviting Taiwan to take part in RIMPAC.In the face of Chinese aggression, this development in the US Congress raises the question of whether Taiwan has a role in US President Trump’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy. Trump’s plan requires all participants to be autonomous states, and so visiting US experts advise Taiwan to act fast and voice its desire to participate in the alliance.
Taiwanese gaming monitor stops bullet, still works
A Taiwanese gaming monitor has catapulted to fame for its unexpected bullet-blocking abilities. Two days ago, a stray bullet fired into a California gamer''s home was stopped dead in its tracks by an MSI gaming monitor. Later the gamer gave a shout-out to the monitor''s Taiwanese manufacturer. He said he wanted to keep the screen, since it was still in perfect working order. Eric GanGamerThis is one of the marks left by the bullet. The bullet came from here through the wall and hit my monitor. Even after being shot, it works just like new.An unknown shooter had fired shots at Eric''s residence. One of the bullets hit the back of his trusty monitor.Eric GanGamerAfter the investigation, police found that this wasn''t a targeted attack. At the time there were people partying on the street. In the haze of it all, my house was accidentally shot up. Nobody was hurt so I''m really thankful to MSI.It''s a remarkable story. Many are now curious about what this bulletproof screen is made of.Lin Li-weiMSI marketing managerThe display is on the front. Behind it there are several layers of protection -there''s a galvanized steel plate that prevents rusting. Our screens are curved so it''s important that their structures are sturdy. The bullet actually didn''t go through. It just got stuck here.MSI marketing executiveWe wanted to give him a new monitor in exchange but he said he wanted to keep the old one so he could set up a dual monitor, because the screen didn''t actually break. We had hoped that he would send it back to us to put it in a display. It''s priceless now. Bullet stopping isn''t on the standard list of features for a gaming monitor. One ordinary-looking monitor was in the right place at the right time to prove itself as extraordinary.
ITRI develops new device to detect and measure pesticide residues on agricultural products
A new device developed by local researchers promises to let consumers detect and identify the type and concentration of common pesticides found on agricultural products. Taiwan''s Industrial Technology Research Institute, or ITRI, is behind the technology, which uses wavelength detection and analysis to tell the user if the residues on their fruits and vegetables are within safe levels.This new device developed by ITRI works in conjunction with a smartphone app to let users measure the level of pesticide residues found on fruits and vegetables.Voice of Chu Chun-hsunITRI Smart Microsystems Technology CenterWhen it detects pesticide residue, it will show up here at the bottom (of the screen). We can also detect a change in concentration.The instrument integrates multi-wavelength detection technology with a database of wavelengths for common pesticides compiled by the development team. This way, changes in the wavelength reading can be correlated with a specific type of pesticide.Lin Ching-yuanITRI Smart Microsystems Technology CenterRegulations state pesticides are harmful to humans at (or above) concentrations of 10 ppm. Our system can currently detect concentrations as low as 0.5 ppm.The pesticide detection equipment may go into mass production, allowing more consumers to feel at ease when consuming fruits and vegetables.
China slams Japan for including “Taiwan” in the name of its de facto embassy
China’s foreign ministry has lashed out at Japan’s decision to change the name of its de facto embassy in Taiwan and is urging Tokyo to abide by the one China principle.Tokyo’s office in Taiwan had been called the “Interchange Association, Japan” but starting Sunday its title will be changed to the “Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association,” a name implying that Taiwan is a country. Starting on January 1, the institution managing bilateral ties between Taiwan and Japan will be known as the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, signifying that Japan is willing to handle its relations with Taiwan on a “country-to-country basis.” This has touched a raw nerve with China. Hua Chin-yingChinese Foreign Ministry SpokesmanWe express our strong dissatisfaction over the negative measures adopted by Japan in relation to the Taiwan issue. China urges Japan to adhere to the principles set forth in the Japan-China Joint Communique and honor the promises it has made to China, uphold the ‘one China’ principle and refrain from sending false signals to Taiwan and the international community, thereby causing new problems to China-Japan relations.Eleanor WangMinistry of Foreign Affairs SpokeswomanThe position of our foreign ministry is that we will do what we need to do. So now we will focus on how we can strengthen exchanges between Taiwan and Japan and then let the meaning of our institutions be fully reflected in their names. Japan’s decision to change the de facto embassy’s name is a major indicator of increasingly warning ties and represents a diplomatic breakthrough for Taiwan. It is still undecided, though, if Taiwan will change the name of its de facto embassy in Japan to substitute the word “Taipei” in the title to “Taiwan.” Hsu Ching-hsiungJapan specialist, Tamkang UniversityWe should not only change the name to Taiwan Representative Office, but also formally become a nation. We must stand up and create our own country. This is the only way for Taiwanese people to have dignity. Taiwan’s de facto embassies abroad use the wording “Taipei” to describe themselves not only in Japan, but also in every other country in the world that is not a diplomatic ally of Taiwan. Polls from Taiwan Thinktank have found that 66 percent of the public supports changing the wording of the names of de facto embassies from Taipei to Taiwan, reflecting hopes that the government will address the situation.
A pair of US Navy F-18 fighter jets makes emergency landing in Tainan
A pair of F-18 fighter jets landed at a Tainan Air Force Base at 1:20 this afternoon, the first time American piloted jets landed in Taiwan since the severing of official ties. The landing came after one of the jets experienced engine trouble. Both F-18 Hornet fighter jets belong to the US Navy. After landing on the ground, they were led into a repair hangar. People were quite surprised to see these jets make a landing at a Tainan Air Force base.Mark ZimmerAIT SpokesmanOur two F-18 jets were on a routine flight when a mechanical problem was encountered, (leading) to a precautionary landing in Tainan.The American Institute in Taiwan confirmed the landing of two fighter jets which had taken off from a base in Okinawa. At 1:20 this afternoon, one engine on the jet providing escort duties experienced mechanical trouble. After a call was placed to the Civil Aeronautics Administration, a Taiwan piloted F-16 provided safe escort to the Tainan Air Force base. The most sensitive aspect of this operation was that these F-18s were providing safe escort and protection for the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft, which is able to gather and jam enemy electronic communication. Erich ShihMilitary Expert A few days ago China was conducting exercises near the Bashi Channel, so the (US) might have been collecting information about these missions.Both Taiwanese and US authorities deny any involvement in carrying out electronic warfare. However, China’s rapid escalation of military might means any US military movement in the area is certain to draw attention.
Chinese tourists stopped at airport for taking away too many stones
Aside for an affinity for milk powder, Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan also seem to want stones from Taiwan's beaches. But picking up a load of stones is not allowed, as a Chinese couple heading home found out yesterday morning. They were stopped at the airport with 5 kilos of stones collected at Chishingtan (七星潭) Beach in Hualien and had to give them up. An X-ray machine detected the 5 kilos of stones after the Chinese couple checked in their bags. When airport workers pulled them aside, they fumed, insistent that the stones were not prohibited goods. But Tourism Bureau staffers then intervened and got the couple to leave after explaining Taiwan's regulations. In fact, guides often remind Chinese tourists not to pick up stones in Taiwan, but the message doesn't always get through.Airport
Hong Kong students plea for Taiwan to grant asylum
Hong Kongers in Taiwan are pleading with President Tsai Ing-wen to grant them asylum. At a press conference in Taipei today, a Hong Kong activist said Taiwan was the only hope for political dissidents facing the prospect of extradition to China. A Hong Kong student at Chinese Culture University urged Tsai to provide a long-term haven for Hong Kongers currently living in Taiwan. As a strike unfolded in Hong Kong on June 12, more than a hundred Hong Kong students held a protest in Taipei''s Xinyi District. One commanding presence at the vanguard was this student in a cream bowler hat.She is Ho Wing-tung. She arrived in Taiwan four years ago and is now a senior at Chinese Culture University. After the extradition controversy erupted, she quickly mobilized Hong Kong students in Taiwan against the bill.Ho Wing-tungHong Kong student in TaiwanFor opposing the extradition bill and condemning the use of violence by Hong Kong''s government, I am really thankful to President Tsai Ing-wen. I hope that President Tsai will be able to provide us with asylum.Over the past few days, not a few Hong Kongers have flown in to Taiwan with appeals for a refugee program. Their actions could make them the first targets of the Chinese Communist Party once the extradition law is passed.Tony Chung Hong Kong studentIf we are not able to come to Taiwan, would not be able to avoid the danger of being sent to China.Wayne ChanHong Kong Students Independence UnionThe Hong Kong police, the Hong Kong government, it''s actually - it''s rotten. It''s been infiltrated to the core by the CCP. As the Hong Kong government tries to force the bill through, Hong Kongers are speaking up to prevent further encroachment on their democracy.
Researchers and engineers collaborate in project to reintroduce fireflies to Taipei
Environmental and light pollution made fireflies a rare sight in Taipei many years ago, but city authorities last year embarked on a plan to reintroduce them in three parks across the city. Bringing back fireflies to Taipei was easier said than done, however, as the bugs need a suitable habitat with proper food sources. The sensitive issue of light pollution has also been a big sticking point. Here’s a look at what Taipei’s ecological park project has achieved to date. The tiny points of light occasionally poking out of the darkness are just what these two men are looking for tonight – fireflies. They plan to take the fireflies they collect here in the suburbs of Taipei and reintroduce them to new habitats within the city itself.Wang Yi-jieh is concentrating on a pipette while feeding a recently caught firefly. He is the student of professor Yang Ping-shih, whose nickname is the “NTU Godfather of Fireflies.” Wang explains that fireflies are carnivorous insects which breed in water.Voice of Wang Yi-jieh NTU Entomology Dept.Fireflies are actually a type of insect that is prone to killing others of its kind. It’s easy for fireflies which are smaller or trying to shed their skin to be eaten by bigger ones.Today, Wang is moving firefly larvae from the laboratory into their new home in nature.A group of kids are on hand at Rongxing Park to help out. They first let a bit of pond water into the paper cups to help the firefly larvae adapt to the water temperature, then slowly pour the contents into the pond. The operation ends in success.The nonprofit organization Society of Wilderness began construction of Rongxing Park’s ecological pond in January 2015, marking the first step in reintroducing fireflies back to Taipei. Similar projects in Daan Forest Park and Muzha Park followed soon afterward.Huang Li-yuanTaipei City Parks and Street Lights OfficeFireflies are a symbol of this city, and an important indicator of whether we take the issue of ecological integrity seriously. Experts have suggested that we, the Taipei City government, start our repopulation efforts in these three locations because the likelihood of success is greater.In the past, fireflies were found throughout the Taipei Basin, but light pollution and environmental contamination contributed to the disappearance of the insects’ habitat and a sudden decline in their population. Yang Ping-shih NTU Entomology Dept. Professor Today there are isolated remnants of firefly populations in Four Beasts Mountain and in the other hills surrounding Taipei. Because of Taipei’s development, firefly habitats disappeared, so where did they go? They’ve shrunk down to only the areas around the mountains now.To welcome fireflies back to Taipei, volunteers have been working diligently to renovate and maintain the ponds, so that the small insects can once again illuminate dark city nights.Ho Chien-rungNantou Endemic Species Research InstituteFireflies use their light to communicate, and especially to fulfill their mission of finding a mate and reproducing. The females light up when near the ground, and when a male sees the female’s light while flying around they will descend almost as in free fall and land next to the female.During firefly breeding season in April and May, Rongxing Park has undergone special preparations to make it a better environment for the bugs. Voice of Liu Ching-ying Society of Wilderness VolunteerSo as not to affect the safety of pedestrians, the park shut off 12 lamps specifically in a bid to help us promote firefly breeding. We’ve taken other steps to limit light, such as painting this bathroom window black.Bringing fireflies back to Daan Forest Park, the biggest park in metropolitan Taipei, represented an even more difficult task. High-rises surrounding the park create severe light pollution, and workers faced the challenge of preparing proper water and food sources, including snails, a favorite of fireflies.Wu Chia-hsiungNTU Entomology Dept.In the middle we’re making a small reservoir to collect rainwater, and after it’s done it will be used as a backup for the ecological pond.With the water conditions under control and the snails breeding properly, the job of creating a firefly habit in the heart of the city still has to overcome another sensitive problem – that of light pollution.To address the problem of light pollution in Daan Forest Park, Wu Chia-hsiung worked with researchers from local lighting company Everlight in a search for a solution.In the open areas near the ecological pond in Daan Forest Park, removing streetlamps could affect public safety, so the firefly repopulation team instead switched the light bulbs in the lamps to a type which was designed specifically not to disturb the fireflies. Liang Chia-haoEverlight Lighting CompanyWe’re not bugs, so when we wanted to switch to a firefly-friendly lamp, we needed to have people go out a...
Kaohsiung successfully harvests new variety of jujube
Many people have eaten candied jujube, but few have tried a new variety called Kaohsiung 11 "Honey" jujube. It is described as literally bursting with flavor. Farmers hope to take advantage of its rarity and taste to market it as a high-end export product. Here we see a large jujube held in a person's hand. As soon as a bite is taken, a crisp sound is heard and the juice explodes into the mouth.Described as a new variety of exploding jujube, the Kaohsiung 11 "Honey" jujube was developed by the Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station. Success by farmers who test planted it means the fruit can enter the market for the first time this year.Tseng Wen-taiFarmerNow that this type of fruit is starting to enter harvest, we need to carefully manage it. The new variety of juju
26-year-old Horret Wu wins honor for Taiwanese magicians in international competition
In July of this year, 26-year-old Horret Wu became the first Taiwanese to win a top prize at the World Championship of Magic. Wu is also the first Asian to achieve such honor. While he’s now enjoying the spotlight and spoils that come with this honor, there’s no denying the fact that many magicians in Taiwan struggle in their chosen profession. We now look at what it takes to survive in this unique field of performing arts. Horret Wu is seen here displaying oversized poker cards. They seem to magically shrink in his hands. The audience claps enthusiastically for this magic trick.In 2015, Horret Wu performed this trick at the FISM World Championship of Magic in the close-up card magic competition. His creativity and innovation won him the champion title in this category. Wu’s initial exposure to magic came when he purchased magic props as a junior high school student.Horret WuMagicianIn high school, we had a reunion of junior high school mates. Talent performances were sort of mandatory at the event. So I thought I would do some magic. For this show, I went back and chose some props which I bought in junior high school and did some poker tricks. My magic tricks amazed everyone and the reception was very good. Wu soon fell in love with magic and wanted to bring magic to more people. He began to study magic tricks from the Internet and DVDs. He became deeply in love with card magic and would sometimes spend the whole day in his room practicing card tricks. But his mother didn’t support his decision to pursue this field in the beginning.Chen Tung-chingWu’s MotherI wanted him to pursue a legitimate career, as magic is just a sideline. This means that you can always be a happy magician during your leisure time. You can feel free and don’t have to do things under pressure. I’d prefer him that way because at the time I never thought he would become a world champion.In 2014, Horret Wu was crowned champion by the Taiwan Magic Association, qualifying him to compete in South Korea’s FISM Asia Competition in Inchoen, where he won second place. This victory allowed him to qualify for the 2015 FISM magic competition which is held every three years and is widely considered by many to be the “Olympics of Magic.” In the close-up card magic competition he debuted this trick involving large poker cards, enabling him to become the first Asian to win this competition. Horret WuMagicianEverybody says magicians need sleight of hand skills and big hands to pull off tricks. I wanted to break this myth so I used large poker cards. That meant I couldn’t hide anything and had to rely purely on magic.Wu’s win in the international competition was not about prize money because there was none. The only thing he got was the respect from the international magic scene. As far as Wu is concerned, performing well in the competition was a sort of certification exam. Here in Taiwan, his win definitely has a big impact.Horret WuMagicianIn terms of Taiwanese magicians, I think they will have more confidence and begin to believe that they have an opportunity to move forward to the next level. Before, they probably were never able to think that they could progress to the level of an international competition and win these awards.For a long time, magic shows in Taiwan have an awkward position as some considered magic a warm-up segment for commercial shows and not a true performance art. Unfortunately, these magic shows weren’t able to achieve large scale commercial success and magic shows in Taiwan didn’t benefit from a supportive environment. This comes despite the fact that magicians such as Huang Po-han were frequently invited overseas to perform.Huang Po-hanMagicianMany cruises, casinos and hotels abroad employ magicians and people are willing to spend money to buy tickets to see magic shows. But most magic performances in Taiwan are commercial shows such as end of year parties. People spend their time eating rather than watching the show, and the quality of the show is not that good. Aside from Horret Wu, who is very much a professional magician, many magicians in Taiwan make a living by performing in commercial shows. For example, one magician named Joker adds comedic elements to entertain his audience.Joker has been in the magic profession for the past 29 years. During the 2008 global financial crisis, many companies canceled their end-of-year parties, hurting his income and almost forcing him to quit the profession. JokerMagician The magic industry is very strange. It’s sort of like the entertainment industry. Out of 100 people about 20 will make money and others will need to think of other ways to earn money. However, these 20 will make a lot of money, so the public may feel that doing magic is a good way to earn a living when in fact that’s not the case. Real life concerns have interrupted the dreams of many Taiwanese magicians who still hop...
Terry Gou enters ring for KMT presidential nomination
Terry Gou, the head of Hon Hai Precision Industry, has declared that he will compete for the KMT’s presidential nomination. The billionaire said today that the Goddess Matsu had come to him in a dream and encouraged him to run. Currently, he isn’t eligible to represent the KMT as a presidential candidate. However, the party looks intent on clearing a path for him to succeed. Today the KMT awarded a certificate of honor to Gou in recognition of his steadfast support. Soon after, Gou announced his bid for the KMT’s presidential nomination.Terry GouHon Hai chairmanI am willing to participate in the primary. I am not willing to be drafted – I will never accept a draft. If I win the primary, I will represent the KMT in the 2020 election. KMT officials reportedly plan to pass a special provision in next Wednesday’s Central Standing Committee, one that would allow members with an honorary citation to stand for election on behalf of the party.Terry GouHon Hai chairmanSecuring peace, stability, the economy, and the future. These eight words are my beliefs and my values.Sheen Ching-jingCore Pacific Group chairmanAt his age and at this point in his career, it takes quite a lot of courage for him to be willing to make this leap. I am very worried. Chairman Gou is making too great of a sacrifice.Gou’s net worth stands at nearly NT$300 billion. If the KMT nominates him to run, he would need to declare his personal assets, as well as those of his spouse and all unmarried children. If elected president, he would need to move all the assets into a trust. Traveling abroad would require authorization and would become much harder than it is for him today.
Opportunities for learning as Muslim population of Taiwan grows
Last Sunday we were introduced to Nouf, a travel blogger who led a group from the Middle East around Taiwan. Some businesses here are starting to cater to Muslim consumers, who may be locals, immigrants, or visitors. But many in Taiwan still see Islamic cultures as mysterious and unfamiliar. Tonight we''ll look inside the daily lives of Muslims in Taiwan, and explore how these different cultures can be bridged. Here''s part two of our Sunday special report.Chen Kai-ticomes from Indonesia. She’s making one of her homeland’s classic family dishes, telurbalado, or eggs with chilli sauce. After some efforts in the kitchen, an array of tempting dishes appear on the table – but none contain pork, because all Kai-ti’s family, including her Taiwanese husband and children, believe in Islam.Chen Chia-yaoHusband of Chen Kai-tiI used to be Taoist. Because of meeting my wife, I converted to Islam.Chen Kai-tiIndonesian immigrantMuslims have to marry someone of the same faith.Kai-ti’s husband acknowledges that at first it was not easy to convert from Taoism to Islam. But now, like every other practising Muslim, he prays on the allotted hour every day, five times a day.Chen Chia-yaoHusband of Chen Kai-tiIn Taiwan, you could say there exists a kind of veil of mystery over Islam. We didn’t know it well enough. It was only because I met my wife, and then joined Islam, and started going to the mosque, that I gradually got to understand their Islamic laws.The main religions of Taiwan are Taoism and Buddhism. So although there are now 260,000 Indonesians living in Taiwan, mostly either students, workers, or spouses of Taiwanese citizens, most Taiwanese people have quite a limited idea about Indonesian culture and religion. But from a business standpoint, it would be foolish to ignore the chance to cater to the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.Ma Hsiao-chiFormer imam of Taipei Grand MosqueThe government wants to pursue its New Southbound Policy. In Southeast Asia, the vast majority, more than two- out of five-hundred-million people are Muslim. If you want to do business with them, or even befriend them, on every level, in every industry, you will come across Islamic culture.This biotechnology firm based in Hsinchuset its sights on the Muslim market in 2017. It has already established a presence in Malaysia and Indonesia, which has helped its overall performance grow by somewhere between 5% and 10%. Their success in cornering the market is thanks to the great effort they put into understanding Muslim consumers.Richard TuBiotech firm executiveLots of collagen or extract of animal placenta may come from pigs, for example, it might be collagen extracted from pig skin. So because followers of Islam are not so keen on that, we can’t use it, we can’t use any of the ingredients made from pigs.But as Taiwan is not a Muslim country, it takes more than just a ‘Halal’ label to get a good enough grasp of Islamic culture to corner the market.This is Taipei Grand Mosque. Every Friday Muslims come here for a weekly congregational prayer.Ma Hsiao-chiFormer imam of Taipei Grand MosqueFriday is the day we gather to pray together. It’s called “Jumu''ah”. Jumu''ah is the greatest favor given by Allah, the most graced day in the whole week. In Islamic countries, Friday is the day of rest: if you want to travel or even do business, you might have to watch out, you might not be able to find anybody on Friday, because they take Fridays off.Muslims must perform a ritual purification before prayer – and there’s quite an art to it. You wash various body parts considered unclean, such as the soles of the feet, and you should only touch your body with your left hand, not your right.Ma Hsiao-chiFormer imam of Taipei Grand MosqueThere are also rules about the left and right hands. When you take someone’s hand, or a business card, use your right hand. You don’t need your left hand for picking things up, giving gifts, handing over business cards, or eating.Islamic cultures have very specific rules of etiquette, which if not properly understood, can make it easy to cause offense, or even trigger conflict.Ma Hsiao-chiFormer imam of Taipei Grand MosqueYou can use the Western logic, and say “You Muslims are backward, don’t come in, you’re scary”. Then you make it very hard to do business in this area, you’ve closed that door.With the growing numbers of overseas students and migrant workers, not to mention international marriages, in Taiwan, there are more and more people wearing headscarves on the streets. Only with mutual understanding can people from different backgrounds cultivate mutual respect.In December, a Halal market was held in Daan Forest Park in Taipei, attracting many to try a taste of Islamic culture.HouTsung-yuMember of the publicI think – to be honest I really don’t understand Islam, even though I took some classes on Arabic culture. But really in our d...
What makes Taiwan’s foreign workers flee?
A group of Vietnamese tourists made headlines at the end of last year, after all but one of its 153 members vanished during their trip. Their disappearance was not an isolated case. In last year alone, some 500 people had entered Taiwan as tourists, only to deliberately overstay their visas. Today, in our Sunday special report, follow our camera as we find out why they ran and where they went. Nothing seems out of the ordinary as travelers with suitcases wait outside a hotel. But this big group of people is getting ready to run. In late 2018, 152 of these 153 "tourists" went missing, becoming the largest group to do so in Taiwan''s history. The Vietnamese nationals entered Taiwan as tourists, all the while intending to stay past their visas.Li Chi-yuen Tourism and hospitality professorIn 2018, a total of 500 people in tour groups ran off. That figure includes this latest group. Before these 152 people fled, 348 tourists had done so. This means that with nearly every single tour group that came before, one or two people had slipped away.In order to attract more tourists from Southeast Asia, the Taiwanese government had launched a program that simplified tourist visa processing for several Southeast Asian countries. Tourism experts believe that this program was a step in the right direction, but that the requirements for obtaining visas were too lax.Li Chi-yuenTourism and hospitality professorTour groups with overstaying members tend to share distinguishing characteristics. First, it tends to be the first trip abroad for most of the members. They likely had newly issued passports. And this was a very large group. So wouldn''t it behoove you to pay close attention?When travelers vanish after entering on a tourist visa, police can do nothing while their tourist visas are still valid. Afterward the visa expires, overstayers can face fines of NT$2,000 to NT$10,000. So far the fines have not proven to be an effective deterrent.Huang Kao-chiehEmployment services groupAll workers from Southeast Asia know that in Taiwan there are no consequences for getting caught, so why not run for it? Even on social media, they openly say that Taiwan is the perfect place to run away.Phony tourists aside, the whereabouts of some 52,000 foreign workers is also unknown. These workers came to Taiwan legally to pursue employment. Why have they run away, and where do they go?Over four years ago, Ah-hsiung entered Taiwan legally on a work visa. He worked at a factory for a monthly salary of NT$10,000. Amid an economic slowdown, his employer stopped paying overtime, meaning that Ah-hsiung could not get extra pay. On the suggestion of his compatriots, he decided to run away.Ah-hsiungRunaway foreign workerAfter I fled, I worked in industrial areas. I worked on buildings everywhere. I worked eight hours every day. Sometimes my boss would have some urgent projects that required overtime work. Now on average I make NT$30,000 a month.Foreign workers who want to work in Taiwan legally must first pay brokerage fees in their home countries. Ah-hsiung himself entered Taiwan with US$6,000 of debt. In comparison, fees for entering Taiwan on a tourist visa and working illegally are cheap, costing between US$1,000 and US$2,000.Chen Hsiu-lienTaiwan International Workers'' AssociationOf course these workers want to lower the cost of leaving their country, because their end goal is to make money. Secondly, the system does not allow foreign workers to change employers freely. So if, as a worker, you have problems with your employer and you haven''t yet fully paid your brokerage fee or settled your debt, and on top of that you are not making any money, what would you do? You might decide to run away.Agencies claim that high brokerage fees are not completely to blame for runaway workers.Huang Kao-chiehEmployment services groupBrokerage fees are not the main cause for escaping. That''s an erroneous assumption. Over half of the workers that run away are caretakers, you know what I mean? They pay a brokerage fee of US$1,000 but they still run away. It''s the lowest fee.Many workers flee in hopes of finding better-paying jobs. But after running away, many end up realizing that the promises of higher wages were all lies.Ah-hsiangVietnamese caretakerFor example, there are many employers that will offer you a salary of NT$40,000. But after you pack your bags and move there, they tell you it''s not that much. They then pay us the same wages that we had earned when working legally. We make the same amount of money for harder work.Where do all these runaways end up?Chen Hsiu-lienTaiwan International Workers'' AssociationAs far as I know, construction, agriculture and caretaking are the sectors where escapees end up. These are three of our biggest industries, but Taiwan hasn''t been able to meet their labor needs.Scholars say labor shortages are widespread and not limite...
Hundreds of local teenagers audition for shot at contract with South Korean talent agencies
The rise of Taiwan-born singer Chou Tzu-yu as a pop star in South Korea has encouraged South Korean talent agencies to come to Taiwan to look for their next big star. We reported previously about an agency partnering with a university for auditions, this time a New Taipei City high school has joined forces with two talent agencies, and over 300 students at the audition did all they could for a shot at a contract. These girls are going all-out on stage to impress the judges, who represent famous South Korean talent agencies looking for the stars of the future.After their performances, the judges asked the girls to take off their makeup and stand in a row for closer inspection. Many of the girls are hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow Taiwanese Chou Tzu-yu, who was recruited to join South Korean band “TWICE” and went on to make over NT$100 million for her agency in the first year after her debut. Now two other talent agencies from South Korea have come to Taiwan to look for talented prospects. Lin Chien-yuJuang Jing Vocational High School StudentIf I were selected to develop my career abroad, it would be a great opportunity.Aside from singing and dancing, successful candidates are expected to be confident, natural and command attention. The head of the local school that collaborated with the Korean agencies on the audition observed that the casting directors have their own individual preferences.Lin Shu-gueiJuang Jing Vocational High School PrincipalSome like boys with androgynous or feminine features, and girls with all different kinds of features.After the first audition in New Taipei’s Juang Jing Vocational High School, the Korean talent agencies will hold a two-day nationwide audition, in the hopes of finding the next Chou Tzu-yu.
Local sculptor transforms old elevator cables into artwork outside Taipei 101
“Infinite life” is a 3.6-meter-tall sculpture in front of the Taipei 101 building. It was created by local sculptor Kang Mu-xiang, who made the work from discarded elevator cables. He found a creative and ingenious way to bring new life to materials that would be otherwise have been discarded as scrap. Follow our report as we learn more about this artist and his extraordinary gift for creating art from non-traditional materials in an uplifting and inspiring way. Taipei 101 is the world’s fifth-tallest building. In front of it sits the public artwork ‘Infinite Life”. Each day the artwork attracts visitors, who draw near so they can take in its metal aura. This work was created by white-haired local sculptor Kang Mu-xiang.Kang Mu-xiang SculptorI am very moved because this work needs people to interact with it. It needs people to appreciate it, touch it, love it, or hold it. I once saw a pregnant woman who was standing next to one of my works from the “Life”series and I thought she was communicating with the work.Kang Mu-xiang is a native of Miaoli’s Tunghsiao where he grew up in a big family that produced traditional handicrafts. At the age of 25 he went to Miaoli’s Sanyi ,which is Taiwan’s largest woodcarving arts center, to become a wood carver. However, he soon gave this up to follow his own path.Kang Mu-xiang SculptorI was 30 years old and I wanted to give up woodcarving because I knew that my predecessors including my elder brother who were involved in traditional (wood carving) didn’t leave behind any works of value. I knew that I could not just keep copying pieces like they came from a mold. I needed to find a creative way to pursue art, as I wanted to become an artist.In 2002, Taiwan was hit by a large number of successive typhoons which knocked down thousand-year-old trees that were washed all the way down to the coast. Kang arrived at Guishan Island and was one of the first artists working with driftwood created by this disaster.Kang Mu-xiang SculptorI can only hope for what I might salvage today and what I may run into tomorrow. For example, I may find some camphor wood today and perhaps I may see cypress tomorrow.Kang lived in solitude on Guishan Island to gain inspiration for his new "Life Series," which includes a primal image of a mother holding her young infant.Later, Kang would turn to bronze and stainless steel sculpture to express the same vitality.In 2012, the world’s tallest environmental skyscraper was planning to replace the cables for its high-speed elevators, which led to a chance opportunity for Kang. Christina Sung Taipei 101 ChairwomanWe were advised to sell to the cables to a recycling center but we didn’t really feel like we wanted to part with them, so we decided to keep them and see if they might have some use later on. I happened to meet Kang Mu-xiang who is one of our tenants. He is a very passionate Taiwanese artist, and when we saw his wood carvings we asked him if he had any interest in turning these cables into artwork. When Kang first viewed the cables, he felt as if he was experiencing a dialogue between dream and reality.Kang Mu-xiang SculptorAt that time, I saw these used cables and began to think of my parents. I remember when I was a child my mother would wear a straw hat and my father would carry straw baskets on his shoulder. I hoped to turn these cables into an important work of art. Hsu Rong-chiang ArchitectIf you bend the cable it snaps back. The cable is just so stiff, so I asked him how he planned to work with it. And secondly, I asked him what he was planning to make. Kang Mu-xiang SculptorI wanted to use my strength and my methods to pull create these lines. Hsu Rong-chiang said I was crazy and this was not going to work.While Hsu was not optimistic, Kang decided to go ahead. He actively sought ways to clean the grease off the cables and as well as different ways to bend them.Hsu Rong-chiang ArchitectLater, he came to me with a poster which contained an art work that was also wound with steel cable. When I saw it I was a bit startled and then I thought, what didn’t seem possible Kang was going to make happen. Kang Mu-xiangSculptorTo support these wires, I first made an actual size model from Styrofoam and wound the cables around it. Afterwards, I melted away the Styrofoam by setting it on fire, but the sculpture had nothing to support it and became unstable. With no way to allow the work to keep its shape long-term, Kang’s effort was for all practical purposes a failure. However, the problem inspired an architect friend, Hsu Rong-chiang, who came up with a new idea. He used a computer to calculate weight-bearing points of support, and create an interior frame from pieces of stainless steel. The innovation gave the project new life. Kang Mu-xiang SculptorThe hardest part was working with these hard materials, as the cables had to be heated upwards of a thous...
Conservationist balances needs of farmers and endangered leopard cats
In Miaoli County a conservationist is helping lead an effort to restore leopard cat populations. Among the biggest steps she has made is encouraging farmers to use environmentally friendly practices as a way of ensuring safe habitats and food sources for the endangered species. To see a leopard cat in the wild, you typically need to visit a special conservation area. It helps to have a guide.Chen Mei-ting has taken a special interest in wild cats. After graduating from university with a history degree, she soon switched gears and began studying wildlife conservation in graduate school.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistWhen I began graduate studies in wildlife conservation, Taiwan only had two species of wild cats. One was the Formosan clouded leopard and the other was the leopard cat. No one had seen the clouded leopard in a long time, so I decided to study the leopard cat.The leopard cat is adaptable to different environments and can pass through areas covered in gravel or cement. But it prefers to stay where people are rarely seen. It may travel along dirt roads and is difficult to spot.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistThe leopard cat typically avoids the daytime and moves about from dusk to dawn. Its night vision and sense of smell are much better than ours. When it senses people, its immediate instinct is to hide, so it can be difficult to spot a leopard cat.The leopard cat’s nocturnal nature and alertness mean surveillance cameras are typically needed to capture its image.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistWhen doing our research, we look for feces. This tells us what type of animals are in the area and lets us know what the animals ate.Leopard cat feces indicate popular routes that the animals travel upon. If one is fortunate enough to collect fresh feces, it tells researchers about leopard cat DNA.In the past, when leopard cats were caught in traps or poisoned, they were often delivered to Chen. She would rehabilitate the animals then release them back into the wild, but not until she had recorded their vital details and affixed them with radio transmitters. Even with this tracking equipment, leopard cats continued to be elusive.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistUsing a radio transmitter to track the cats can tell us how many meters away they are, but they’re still difficult to locate.The leopard cat is quite active, making it hard for Chen to trace them even when using a radio transmitter. Sometimes, when she returns to a place where she released a leopard cat, they may appear when they hear her call. Unfortunately, one leopard cat which responded to her call has since disappeared. Chen did find the remote transmitter, leading her to fear that this leopard cat was captured.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistEvery time one disappears, I feel like giving up. But my friends encourage me to continue because there are too few people doing this wildlife research.To encourage locals to join the conservation effort, Chen taught farmers about the benefits. This even led to the creation of “leopard cat rice.”Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistWhat is “leopard cat rice?” It is rice that has been cultivated in an environmentally friendly way. Only this type of rice qualifies for the special leopard cat rice designation.No toxins are used in cultivating this rice to ensure that the mice and rabbits that eat it are healthy. These animals are an important food source for the leopard cat. Chen invited an organic agriculture promotion foundation to teach local farmers about toxin-free rice cultivation. But the transition to organic farming wasn’t always as smooth as anticipated.Hsu Hsin-kaiCommunity Re-development DirectorOf course there have been challenges. First many elders laughed at us and said we wouldn’t be able to achieve a harvest.Su Mu-rongOrganic Foundation DirectorBefore they sprayed weed killer. This isn’t too difficult to change, but if we don’t spray anymore, the weeds have to be pulled by hand. The farmers said it was difficult and tiring. Sometimes they felt so fatigued that they sought treatment.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistThis led me to think of how good some people are. I can’t just speak from the position of the wildlife. I also need to think about these farmers. And I want to clarify that there hasn’t been any conflict. We are trying to find a balance point.Farmers willing to pursue organic farming hope that leopard cat rice will not only help this endangered animal but also win over consumers. It’s a win-win situation that can balance the environment and local communities. It may also save the leopard cat from extinction.
Tsai Ing-wen wins DPP primary poll by wide margin
The DPP''s primary poll results are out. President Tsai Ing-wen will be representing the DPP in next year''s presidential elections, after beating challenger Lai Ching-te by 8.2 percentage points. According to these results, both DPP candidates would come out ahead in a presidential race with KMT primary candidate Han Kuo-yu and independent prospect Ko Wen-je.Cho Jung-taiDPP chairmanWhat we can announce is that comrade Tsai Ing-wen has won this presidential primary.The primary results are out, and President Tsai has won the DPP nomination. The polls, which were conducted by five different polling companies, show Tsai beating her KMT and independent opposition by a wide margin. Tsai had an average support rate of 35.6%, well over Han''s 24.5% and Ko''s 22.7%. Her challenger Lai also won in a three-way race, squeaking by Ko by just 0.1 percentage points. But in the end, it came down to Tsai versus Lai, and with a lead of more than 8 percentage points, Tsai emerged as the face of the DPP in 2020.Cho Jung-taiDPP party chairmanPerhaps this was meant to be … We see the people of Hong Kong show such courage as they fight for this generation of Hong Kongers, as they exercise their rights and take action to achieve their vision. We see that they are doing this so that the next generation of Hong Kongers won''t have to carry that burden. Likewise, on this day, after 86 days, we have produced a candidate for the 2020 presidential election.The primary poll indicates that a DPP candidate could defeat both a KMT candidate and an independent in 2020. But some observers say that the internal divisions that emerged in the primary could hurt the DPP on Election Day.Cho Jung-taiDPP chairmanOf course, it''s our hope that the two candidates and especially their supporters will humbly face the will of the people. We have launched efforts to consolidate the party base after the primary, and I will carry out this work immediately.The DPP chairman said the next step was to repair cracks created during the primary, so that the DPP can come together to hold onto the Presidential Office in 2020.
Taiwan condemns China’s warplane incursion
Two Chinese jets crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, in what Taiwan’s government condemns as an “intentional, provocative, and reckless” act by Beijing. The two warplanes crossed the center line Sunday morning and flew into Taiwan’s airspace. Taiwan scrambled jets to intercept the PLA aircraft, which returned to their side of the line after repeated warnings and a 15-minute standoff. Defense analysts say this Chinese incursion is the first of its kind in years. The president appointed four generals in a ceremony on Monday, a day after China sent two fighter jets across the Taiwan Strait’s median line in an act of provocation. Today President Tsai denounced China’s actions.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentThis is open provocation that threatens regional security and stability. I hereby not only lodge a strong protest, but also solemnly remind Beijing to abstain from intentional provocation.Joseph WuForeign ministerIt was an intentional action, it was a provocative action, and it was a reckless action. We strongly condemn it. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had immediately informed our regional partners.This is the first time since 2011 that Chinese fighter jets crossed the line and moved down the boundary’s east side. Taiwan’s military had erred on the side of caution, scrambling three types of fighter jets including the Mirage 2000. The air-defense missile squad at Penghu also launched battle preparations. China’s incursion was carried out with two J-11 jets, the backbone of the PLA’s Air Force.Peter SuDefense analystThey are first-rate fighter jets with a long range. If we see it from that angle, their intent to target the U.S. will come into clearer focus. Recently China has faced many domestic economic problems, including the impact of the trade war. The EU has also taken a more hard-line stance against Beijing. So the first possibility here is that they are seeking to shift the focus.President Tsai has condemned China’s actions. She asked China to stop acting in ways that endanger regional peace and stability, and to not become an “international troublemaker.”
Taiwan’s anthem and flag song make breakthroughs abroad
Taiwan’s national anthem is rarely heard overseas. Sometimes even Taiwan’s flag song is deliberately omitted from sporting events. Recently in South Korea, a group of Taiwanese dancers were able to win back airtime for Taiwan’s flag song, thanks to help from local supporters.With Taiwan’s national anthem playing over a loudspeaker, a Taiwanese freighter slowly enters the Port of Hamburg in Germany.For many years, the Port of Hamburg has maintained its custom of playing the national anthem of any ship entering its waters. The port’s command center plays the anthem of the country that the ship is registered to, which in this case signifies Taiwan’s recognition as a country. Elsewhere, too, Taiwanese have had support overseas as they tried to get their anthem heard.The dance troupe Charm Belly Dance recently participated in the IDO Korea World Dance Cup, winning three golds, one silver, and a bronze. Two years prior, Taiwan’s national anthem had deliberately not been played during the competition’s awards ceremony. Taiwan’s dancers came prepared this year. Erin KuoDance troupe leaderThe competition staff told us dancers that they hadn’t received our national anthem. One of our members is an old hand. She dashed to the break room and grabbed a CD that had the flag song on it. When we went onstage singing with the national flag, our flag song was playing and we looked at each other and felt a bit teary-eyed.Despite China laying on constant pressure, the people of Taiwan are, step by step, working hard to earn international acceptance and a seat at the world table.
New Trends in Fashion in North Korea But Same Old Problems Remain
While the North Korean government is known for clamping down on virtually all facets of life, it has not been able to completely stop the tides of change. At times it even encourages change, such as when it founded an all-female music group that has indirectly let the women of North Korea know that high heels and mini-skirts are acceptable. Some things have not changed, however, whether it’s the water shortages during dry season or frequent, crippling power cuts. For years Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il lorded over North Korea. One change afoot is the joint placement of their statues. This makes it easier for people to pay tribute, a custom universally observed on wedding days and the arrival of tourists in new cities.On May 1, nearly 10,000 workers gathered in Kim Il-sung Square for a Labor Day performance. North Korea excels at such mass movements and engages in them frequently. Its demonstration of the power of collective force is a thing of beauty.Ascent of the third generation Kim dynasty leader, Kim Jong-un, has coincided with policies that advocate better livelihood and entertainment. One example is the Moranbong Band. The band has grown quickly in the three years since its founding, and this year even reached the status of national band. Concerts rebroadcasts can be seen in restaurants and hotels and on airplanes.High-heeled footwear has become popular among North Korean women. Bright styles can be seen on the streets of Rason, Chongjin and Pyongyang.Kim Eun SimPyongyang GuideHigh-heeled shoes are very attractive, so we wear them in formal and public settings.Another change is the rise of smartphones. Typically, these are domestically branded Arirang or Pyongyang phones used for playing games, going online or reading news. Of course these phones can only access North Korea’s official networks.Urban renewal underway in Pyongyang is leading to the demolition of low-rise buildings in favor of high-rises. Buildings 30 to 40 stories high can be completed within as little as one year.Anne HuFTV News DirectorNorth Korea provides a home to people in designated occupations and to those who make important contributions to the nation. These two brown buildings are dormitories for professors of Kim Il Sung University. The blue building across the street is a dormitory for employees of the central broadcasting station.News anchor and national icon Ri Chun-hee lives here. With her furniture and furnishings provided by the government, she enjoys greater luxury than the average citizen.Hwang CheolPyongyang GuideResidents of this buildings all work for the central broadcasting station. Included among them is Ri Chun-hee, a famous news anchor who reports on major stories. Her furnishings are especially beautiful.Under Kim Jong-un’s orders, pink, green and blue buildings along the banks of the Taedong River have been completed. Since they will house professors of the Kim Chaek University of Technology, the residential block they will form is being called “scientists’ row.”With rainy season yet to arrive, water levels in the Taedong and Potong rivers are low. A resulting lack of hydroelectricity has led to blackouts.Kim Eun SimPyongyang GuideOur country is facing severe power shortages.Sacrifices are being made all around. As citizens collect water, goldfish at train stations have seen aquarium levels cut in half. During normal working hours and after midnight, power is cut to residential buildings. The bright lights that used to illuminate Changjon community are no more. When midnight arrives, it becomes another anonymous part of the sea of black that bathes Pyongyang city. North Koreans have responded to these setbacks by installing solar panels. We don’t hear the people complain. Unlike selfishness common in other countries, they seek to help the nation overcome challenges. They save electricity wherever possible, and thank the government for providing the utilities it can at rates that are close to nil.The darkness ends with the arrival of dawn as the people prepare to work on the country’s behalf for another day.This is FTV’s Anne Hu, C. F. Su and Chun-hao Yeh with an exclusive report from North Korea.
Daughter of American diplomat attends local Taiwanese school
American diplomats stationed in Taiwan frequently choose to send their children to the Taipei American School. But the AIT’s Economic Section Chief Joshua Cartin is an exception. He sent his daughter, whose Chinese name is Tian Ge, to a Taiwanese primary school. Now she can not only speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, but she is also familiar with the history of Taiwan. Tian Ge, who is playing the guitar and singing Taiwanese songs, could not speak a word of Chinese when she came to Taiwan three years ago. Her father, an American diplomat, placed her in Xinsheng Elementary School. Tian Ge Daughter of AIT OfficialSometimes when I don’t understand, I ask the student next to me. Once in class it all felt like a daze. There is also a lot of pressure to study. I spend over one-and-a-half hours doing homework every day. Joshua M. CartinEconomic Section Chief, AITBeing stationed in Taiwan is a fantastic opportunity for children to learn Mandarin Chinese in a Taiwanese educational environment. The first six months are more difficult and this was the case for our family. Over the past three years, Tian Ge has not only leant Chinese, but Taiwanese history has become one of her strengths. Joshua Cartin is very satisfied with his decision. Even though Tian Ge will return to the US with her family in July, Taiwan-US relations will remain rooted in her childhood.
President Tsai attends public event at New York’s Taiwan representative office
President Tsai Ing-wen has arrived in New York to start off her 12-day U.S. tour. Her first order of business was a welcome banquet at Taiwan’s representative office in New York. Her visit was hailed as a breakthrough, marking the first time a Taiwanese president takes part in a public event at a representative office in the U.S. After a 15-hour flight, President Tsai touched down in New York. She was greeted on the tarmac by American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty.Then the president set off to check into her hotel. She encountered an enthusiastic crowd of Taiwanese Americans. There were Chinese Americans who came out in support as well.Some Chinese Americans were there in protest, calling out for unification. The dueling camps in the crowd nearly came to blows.Tsai took a question on whether she would push for Taiwan independence if she won reelection.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentWe would continue to seek out opportunities for international participation and to strengthen our relations with our diplomatic allies.The first order of business in New York was stop at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. She met with the United Nations ambassadors of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentTaiwan has not and will never be intimidated. The challenges we face only serve to strengthen our resolve to engage with the international community.Her welcome banquet was hosted at New York’s Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. Her visit marked the first time a Taiwanese president joined a public event hosted at a representative office.
Taiwanese envious of South Korea’s minimum wage hike
Taiwan''s minimum hourly wage will rise to NT$140 next year, but many are comparing Taiwan''s economy unfavourably with those of other East Asian countries. South Korea''s minimum wage for hourly work will rise to the equivalent of about NT$210 in 2018 -- 50% more than in Taiwan. Economists blame a lack of investment and an unstemmed brain drain for Taiwan''s ongoing culture of low pay.Ms. Wu is a casual worker in this Luwei shop, where she prepares the ingredients before opening time. The news that Korea’s minimum wage for casual workers will rise by 16.4% next year, to about NT$210, elicits a sigh of envy. She says that even if you work hard in Taiwan, you can’t amass any savings.Ms. WuCasual WorkerThat’s so high! A student working part-time in Taiwan can maybe earn, if you work really hard, altogether maybe a bit over NT$20,000 a month. After you’vepaid all your rent and bills, you can’t save anything.Incomes in Taiwan are much lower than in South Korea. The income per capita is also far from that of other East Asian regions like Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Economists are predicting Korea’s income per capita could be US$30,000 next year, and its GDP growth 3%. But multiple Taiwanese analysts say that Taiwan’s GDP growth will do well to stay above 2%.Liang Kuo-yuanYuanta-Polaris Research InstituteWe can see an extremely serious brain drain at the moment. Manufacturing is returning to the US now. Lots of countries are trying to entice their skilled workers to come home. Things are changing: businesses are not going to continue outsourcing all their production to other countries. Taiwan needs to recognize this fact.Some economists say that if the government wants to raise the nation’s low wages, it needs to attract foreign investment and stem the brain drain. They say GDP growth of 2% is nothing to be complacent about.
Signs of prosperity emerge in Pyongyang's fashionable corners
The arrival of the Kim Jong-un era in North Korea has coincided with measures to improve people's livelihood. From entertainment to fashion, North Korea is gradually entering the 21st century. On this Pyongyang summer night, the colorful lights of the Changjon Apartment Complex overshadow the moon and the stars overhead. Changjon is more than a city landmark. It embodies the start of a new urban trend. At the beginning of 2013, a year after the complex opened, North Korea's first 24-hour cafe debuted in Pyongyang. When evening arrives so do families who come to share a meal and young adults enjoying a date. There are foreign exchange students and groups of female friends dressed fashionably in luxury wear, here to chat and enjoy western fare. Anne HuFTV News ChiefIt costs 450 North Korean
Taiwan Lottery jackpot grows to record NT$3 billion
The next jackpot for Taiwan Lottery will be NT$3 billion. The record amount has many people dreaming of becoming a billionaire. Taiwan Lottery has seen no winners for the past 29 drawings, leading the jackpot to grow to an astounding NT$3 billion. It’s already reached a historical high with the bigger jackpot attracting even more interest from those eager to get rich quick.Many hope the God of Wealth will use this opportunity to provide them with good fortune. Seniors show little hesitation when it comes to buying lottery tickets and office workers are being creative by pooling their money together and then carefully selecting numbers to win.Even seemingly easy numbers picked on Monday resulted in no winners for a 29th consecutive drawing. The higher jackpot means many are now lining up to purchase an opportunity to become the next billionaire, leading to good business at many lottery ticket outlets. Hsing Chi-fanLottery Outlet OperatorMany people have never purchased a lottery ticket before but they are coming. Even some foreigners are taking their chances.Lotto fever is expected to increase as the next drawing takes place on Thursday.
Miaoli County residents say Taiwan High Speed Rail noise is causing insomnia and mental di...
Residents of Miaoli’s County’s Tongsiao Township’s Chengbei Village are upset by the lack of soundproofing measures undertaken by the Taiwan High Speed Rail. Residents complain passing trains are so loud it is causing them to suffer from long-term insomnia and mental health disorders. Recently, the EPA decided the railway should pay compensation of NT$8.33mn to residents living nearby. However, the high speed rail is challenging this judgment and has filed a suit with the Miaoli District Court.The sound of this passing high speed rail train is causing many residents to complain.As the train exits the tunnel there is a booming sound which is in excess of 80 dB. What’s worse is this kilometer long bridge doesn’t have any soundproofing walls, which may be a factor behind the noise complaints emanating from Chengbei Village. Chan Chun-wangChenbei Village ChiefThis area is a basin and the sound may resonate and cause an echo.As many elderly and children go to bed early, they are disturbed by trains that pass after 11pm each evening. This has led many to develop insomnia and mental disorders. Chengbei ResidentIt’s so loud that I cannot sleep. I even get up and walk around in the middle of the night as many people have almost gone mad here. From the start of the high speed rail in 2007, some 200 residents of Chengbei have complained about noise and vibrations caused by passing trains, launching a petition years ago asking for NT$42 million in damages. Last month, the EPA ruled the high speed rail must compensate residents a total of NT$8.33 million.The decision is being disputed by the high speed rail who says noise caused by passing trains only measures 70 dB and is within the 80db standards required by class 2 control areas. For this reason, the railway didn’t install soundproof walls and the reason why it will appeal the ruling in a local district court.
Airline competition heats up as EVA takes delivery of first Boeing 787 Dreamliner
A new round in the battle of the airlines is about to begin. This year, 14 Airbus A350s ordered by China Airlines will be delivered to Taiwan. Meanwhile, EVA Air is starting to build a fleet of 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Today EVA took delivery of its very first Dreamliner in the US state of South Carolina.EVA Air has extended its partnership with Boeing to add the 787 Dreamliner to its fleet, setting a new aeronautics milestone.Steve LinEVA Air Chairman Our fleet has to grow. The new 787 uses new technology. This plan was made to meet the needs of company expansion.The Dreamliner’s cabin has two sections, 26 business-class seats and 278 seats in economy. All the seats are larger than the typical layout, and the windows can be dimmed for five different levels of light. What’s more, compared with Boeing older models, the 787 is more fuel-efficient. Yin Piao-yuanEVA Air aviation management officerMost of our flights from the US’ west coast to Taiwan require 130 tons of fuel in the winter. The 787 only needs around 100 tons. The cabin of the 787 also has lower air pressure compared to the conventional models and contains a bit more oxygen, so passengers won’t be easily fatigued on long hauls.Eva’s first 787 will start service in November, initially on the Taipei-Hong Kong route. Meanwhile, China Airlines’ newly purchased Airbus A350s will all be delivered this year, touching off a fresh round in the battle for Taiwan’s most advanced fleet.
‘Journey of Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability’: President Tsai embarks on Caribbean t...
President Tsai Ing-wen has set off on a 12-day state visit that will take her to four Caribbean allies. She will transit in New York and Denver. Today, prior to takeoff, the president said her mission would be to clearly convey the values that Taiwan stands for: freedom, democracy, and sustainability. Before leaving, she invited her friends on Line to partake in a mission of their own. She shook hands with ambassadors one by one before setting off on her “Journey of Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability.”Tsai Ing-wenPresidentDemocracy, freedom, and sustainability. These are the Taiwan values that we want to share with our friends around the world. Taiwan will resolutely defend democracy. Our hard-won democracy is now facing threats from and infiltration by external forces. Democratic nations worldwide are facing these challenges together.On this trip, the president is joined by her office’s secretary-general Chen Chu and Vice Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang. Before boarding, she turned to wave to the press. On the plane, she hit record on her phone and sent out a message on her official Line account.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentDuring this journey, I have a mission to entrust to you all. Please reply now with the words “time-sensitive mission” and I will provide instructions.Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to invite three Line friends to add the president’s official account. The prize for completing the challenge is a badge for your profile. Once added, Tsai’s account will be a firsthand source of news on her diplomatic activities. Over the next 12 days, voters will be kept up-to-date with dispatches from abroad.
Speculation on which of Taiwan’s remaining 19 allies will be next to break diplomatic ties
After the Dominican Republic abruptly severed its 77-year-old ties with Taiwan, many are now asking which of Taiwan''s remaining allies might be the next to protect their relations with China. Despite particular scrutiny over the relationship with Haiti, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says officials are more concerned about the status of ties with Honduras, the Vatican, and Burkina Faso.A sad sight: Taiwan’s flag being lowered at the embassy in the Dominican Republic, after the two nations severed diplomatic ties. The day before the relationship ended, President Tsai Ing-wen hosted a visit from Antonio Rodrigue, the Foreign Minister of Haiti – some see the alliance with Haiti as the next one in danger.Joseph Wu (May 1)Foreign MinisterThe Foreign Minister of Haiti has been in Taiwan over the last few days. The purpose of his visit was to arrange a visit to Taiwan by their President, JovenelMoise. So, in light of this, I don’t think there is any crisis in our diplomatic relationship with Haiti. Presently, what we see is, apart from the situation with the Dominican Republic which was rather out of the ordinary, what we see at the moment with our other diplomatic allies is that relations seem to be stable.Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says there is nothing to worry about in relation to Haiti. But the ministry admits it is keeping a beady eye on Honduras, the Vatican, and Burkina Faso, all of whom have been getting increasingly chummy with China lately.Wang Ting-YuDPP LegislatorI don’t think Haiti will break ties, because the Haitian president is just about to visit. Right now in Latin America, it’s true there is another country with a warning light flashing over it, which means we need to pay close attention. I believe our team on the frontlines in the Foreign Ministry, and senior national security personnel, are doing all they can to consolidate these ties.Legislator Wang Ting-yu also revealed that the Foreign Ministry has at least two nations lined up as potential candidates for establishing diplomatic relations. But when the stakes surrounding national security and regional politics are so high, they will consider Taiwan’s interests carefully before making any hasty moves.
US tentatively approves arms sale to Taiwan ahead of Tsai’s Caribbean tour
U.S. state department officials have approved an arms package for Taiwan, which includes a badly needed update to its fleet of battle tanks. Congress has 30 days to reject the sale but is unlikely to do so. Today Taiwan’s Presidential Office thanked the U.S. for deal, which is in defiance of sharp Chinese opposition. Beijing has also expressed its anger over President Tsai’s upcoming tour of Caribbean allies. The president heads out Thursday, with plans to stop over four nights in two U.S. cities.This gold-painted ceramic vase is emblazoned with Formosan black bears. President Tsai will bring it on her state tour and present it to the governor-general of St. Kitts and Nevis. This piece of lacquer ware will be gifted to the prime minister.Lu Guan-zhongArtistWe can see that the color is a deep red, which represents the enthusiasm of our people and the kindness in our hearts.For the governor-general of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there’s a ceramic piece featuring the lively Taiwanese macaque. This water buffalo sculpture will also follow the president abroad, to be presented to the prime minister of St. Lucia.Rolando LeeArtistThis piece embodies the spirit of striding proudly ahead, in courageous pursuit of one’s ideals. We hope that we and our allies can unite and stride forward together.During her tour of four Caribbean nations, the president will transit in the U.S., spending two nights each way. It will be the longest stopover on U.S. soil by a Taiwanese president. Ahead of the start of her tour, the U.S. Department of State approved the sale of 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks to Taiwan, in an arms package worth more than US$2 billion.Xavier ChangPresidential spokesmanThis year marks the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. At the important juncture of the 40th anniversary, the U.S. government has decided to honor its commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances through concrete action. The government of Taiwan expresses its heartfelt gratitude.Washington said the arms sale was founded on the Taiwan Relations Act, saying it would improve Taiwan’s defense capabilities and promote regional stability.
Right-to-die lobby group launched in memory of veteran anchor Fu Da-ren
When well-known Taiwanese sports anchor Fu Da-ren went to Switzerland last year to end his life, he brought the issue of voluntary euthanasia in to sharp public focus. Today activists said they''ve formed an association to push for legalizing assisted suicide in Taiwan. The group is led by Fu''s son, who said his father''s dying wish was for Taiwanese to have the right to die with dignity. In front of a camera, the long-time TV anchor signs off for the last time. He was suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer and had traveled to Switzerland to end his life.His son Fu Chun-hao, seen here kissing his father, is leading a renewed campaign for assisted dying in Taiwan.Fu Chun-haoFu Da-ren’s sonWe should do everything in our power to fulfill his dying wish.Today activists formed a pro-euthanasia lobby group. Fu’s son is the group’s first chairman, and he says he’s committed to making his father’s final wish come true. As proponents and opponents dig in for a long debate over euthanasia, medical professionals are also taking the issue seriously.Chiang ShengPhysicianThis is a form of freedom. It is a kind of human right. The U.S. state of Oregon has had the right to die for over 10 years and the right has never been misused. Assisted suicide has been carried out in the Netherlands for 30 years. Not a single doctor has been penalized for physician-assisted suicide. Calls have emerged for Taiwanese society to tackle the issue head-on and for the government to enact a euthanasia law. Proponents argue that suffering patients should have the right to end their life with physician support and to leave the world with dignity.
Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly promote ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ in Taiwan
The stars of the latest Marvel superheroes movie, ''Ant-Man and the Wasp'', are in Taiwan to promote the film, and today delighted fans with stories of their exploits around Taipei. Paul Rudd claims to have fallen in love with Dihua Street, while Evangeline Lilly tried out her Taiwanese on the audience. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, or Ant-Man and the Wasp, met the press in Taipei this morning, and wasted no time showing off not only their Mandarin, but also a little Taiwanese.Paul RuddActor(From one to 100, how happy are you to finally be here in Taipei?) Well, I have to go above 100. I have to say 150. How do you say 150?Here for three days, Ant-man and the Wasp are the first Marvel superheroes to promote their own film in Taiwan. Their first day was spent sightseeing, and it sounds like they had a blast.Evangeline LillyActor I had traditional Taiwanese ice cream. I had pork floss flavor. I had wasabi flavor. I had chili flavour. I had curry flavour. (Just to let you know, that is nothing traditional about Taiwan ice cream. They completely lied to you)Paul Rudd was amazed by Taipei’s Dihua Street shopping area, promising to try and get the historic spot into one of Ant-Man’s future stories. The actors were presented with blown sugar likenesses of their onscreen personas.Rudd chomped off Ant-Man’s arm with one bite, drawing a laugh from the audience. It’s rare for two Hollywood celebrities to visit Taiwan. Tomorrow night, fans will flock to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall for a red carpet meet-and-greet with the stars.
Typhoon Trami emerges, expected to bring rain to Taiwan as early as Friday
A new typhoon has formed. Although Typhoon Trami is currently classed as a moderate typhoon and is more than 1000 kilometers from Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau forecasts it could gather in strength to become a severe typhoon on Tuesday, when it can be better determined if it will hit Taiwan. Temperatures in the morning in Taitung broke the 36 degree mark, but starting in the afternoon, a northeasterly wind gathered in strength. It began to rain in parts of eastern and northern Taiwan. Later, Typhoon Trami is expected to impact Taiwan on Friday at the earliest,Chen Chien-anCWB forecasterIt looks as if there will be relatively obvious signs of rain in Taiwan''s northern and eastern regions tomorrow. Some areas may see eruptions of heavy rainfall. In the coming week, there is likely to be intermittent rainfall in the northern and northeastern regions. By Tuesday, Typhoon Trami will be in the vicinity of the Ryukyu Islands and this will be the crucial time for determining if it will hit Taiwan. Chen Chien-anCWB forecasterA Pacific high pressure system will renew in strength and Trami will renew its acceleration. After this, it will move comparatively westwards, in a north-westerly direction. If that happens, it will have a comparatively greater influence on Taiwan. After Trami emerged on Friday evening, in less than 36 hours it had already become a moderate typhoon. The Central Weather Bureau estimates that in the next 72 hours there is a chance it could become a strong typhoon. Chen Chien-anCWB forecasterRegardless of whether it''s the influence of a direct impact or peripheral winds, currently it seems that at least Trami will bring sustained rainfall to areas in the central and northern regions, along with the eastern seaboard. In any case, starting on Friday, Typhoon Trami will affect Taiwan for at least three days. With the mid-Autumn festival over, it will be necessary to step up preparations for possible natural disasters.