Tue, Sep 21, 2021
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a one-year-old infant and a woman in her 20s. The infant tested positive upon ending home isolation, with a high cycle threshold (CT) value in a polymerase chain reaction test, indicating a low viral load, he said. The woman was in France and the UK from May to July, and when she returned to Taiwan she tested negative twice while quarantined in a government facility, Chen said. She took an out-of-pocket test on Sunday in preparation to travel abroad and tested positive with a high CT value, he added. The woman told health officials that she tested positive for COVID-19 while studying abroad in September last year, but tested negative several times when she returned to Taiwan in March and July this year, and had received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in June, Taipei Department of Health Senior Executive Officer Ou Chia-ling (歐佳齡) said. The woman visited several public spaces in Taipei before testing positive on Sunday, including two department stores and a movie theater, which she visited on Saturday and Sunday, Ou said, adding that the facilities were closed yesterday for disinfection. A total of 493 people who visited the sites at about the same time received a text message informing them to monitor
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to continue practicing personal preventive measures against COVID-19 after large crowds gathered at tourist attractions on the first two days of the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend, raising concerns over the risk of infection. It is the first long weekend since a nationwide COVID-19 alert was downgraded to level 2, and images of scenic spots crowded with visitors were posted to Facebook and reported by local media. An image posted to a Facebook group showed visitors packed along a stretch of boardwalk in the Gaomei Wetlands (高美濕地) in Taichung on Sunday. The local police department estimated that about 3,500 visitors and about 1,200 vehicles were in the area that day, local Chinese-language media reported. The Taichung Agriculture Bureau yesterday said that only up to 691 visitors are normally allowed on the boardwalk during a level 2 alert, but visitors began flooding the trail from about 4pm and an electronic people counter malfunctioned. Crowd control in the scenic area was conducted manually yesterday and the police department dispatched officers to help control the flow of visitors, the bureau said. The self-management committee of Kenting Main Street (墾丁大街) in Pingtung County reported that the street, known for its night market, was visited by at least 8,000 people each night during the first two days of the holiday. The Pingtung County Government yesterday said it has asked the local police department and the committee to start implementing crowd control measures earlier, from 6:30pm, and to have more personnel reminding visitors to practice personal preventive measures. Asked about the issue, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, yesterday said: “Of course, everyone is inevitably worried about the crowded scenes.” He said COVID-19 restrictions are being gradually eased and newly reported cases are still considered under control, adding that the
EXPANDED COVERAGE: APRC holders, foreign spouses of Taiwanese citizens and foreign diplomats can apply for vouchers starting on Sunday, the agency said More than 155,000 foreign nationals, mainly Alien Permanent Resident Certificate (APRC) holders and foreign spouses of Taiwanese citizens, would be eligible to obtain the government’s Quintuple Stimulus Vouchers next month, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said yesterday. About 140,000 foreign spouses and 16,000 APRC holders in Taiwan are eligible to claim the NT$5,000 of vouchers that are to be issued to stimulate the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. Foreign diplomats based in Taiwan are also eligible to receive the vouchers, which are to be issued starting on Oct. 8 and would be valid until April 30 next year, the agency said. Registration to obtain the digital version of the vouchers would open tomorrow for Taiwanese citizens of all ages and eligible foreign nationals, it said. The vouchers would also be available as printed coupons and can be preordered on the Web site https://5000.gov.tw or at kiosks at major convenience stores, using the applicant’s National Health Insurance (NHI) card, starting on Sunday, the agency said. Eligible foreigners who have not yet obtained an NHI card can take their residency certificate to a post office to collect a printed version of the vouchers, starting on Oct. 8, it said. Foreign spouses, including those from China, whose residency documents are based on investment or employment, can call an NIA service station for help if they encounter any difficulty obtaining their vouchers, it said. Once informed, the NIA would register them in the system as spouses of Taiwanese citizens so they can claim their vouchers, it added. Questions about the stimulus voucher program can be directed to the agency through its hotline at 0800-024-111, which provides service in seven languages — Cambodian, Chinese, English, Indonesian, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese — the agency said. For Chinese-language services, two other hotlines are also available at 1988 and 1996, it said.
Warning of a potential new Cold War, the head of the UN implored China and the US to repair their “completely dysfunctional” relationship before problems between the two large and deeply influential countries spill over even further into the rest of the planet. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the comments in an Associated Press interview on Saturday ahead of this week’s annual UN gathering of world leaders — a convening blemished by COVID-19, climate concerns and contentiousness across the planet. Guterres said the world’s two major economic powers should be cooperating on climate, and negotiating more robustly on trade and technology, even given persisting political fissures about human rights, economics, online security and sovereignty in the South China Sea. “Unfortunately, today we only have confrontation,” Guterres said. “We need to re-establish a functional relationship between the two powers,” he said, calling that “essential to address the problems of vaccination, the problems of climate change and many other global challenges that cannot be solved without constructive relations within the international community and mainly among the superpowers.” Two years ago, Guterres warned global leaders of the risk of the world splitting in two, with the US and China creating rival internets, currency, trade, financial rules “and their own zero-sum geopolitical and military strategies.” He reiterated that warning, adding that two rival geopolitical and military strategies would pose “dangers” and divide the world. The foundering relationship must be repaired — and soon, he said. “We need to avoid at all cost a cold war that would be different from the past one, and probably more dangerous and more difficult to manage,” Guterres said. The so-called Cold War between the Soviet Union and its East bloc allies and the US and its Western allies began immediately after World War II and ended with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was
The 1,500-member panel that picks Hong Kong’s next leader would have only one opposition-leaning member, results showed yesterday from a tightly controlled selection process amid a crackdown on dissent in the territory, as police arrested three student members of one of Hong Kong’s last remaining pro-democracy organizations. On Sunday, select Hong Kong residents voted for members of the Election Committee that would choose the territory’s leader and nearly half of the legislature in the first polls following reforms aimed at ensuring that candidates are loyal to Beijing. Results were expected to be announced by midnight, but due to several delays they were only announced at 8am yesterday. Authorities said there were problems with the ballot verification papers, and that it was likely that officials were filling in paperwork incorrectly, causing the delays. The committee in December would select 40 of 90 lawmakers in the legislature, as well as elect Hong Kong’s leader during voting in March next year. The only opposition-leaning candidate was elected in the social welfare sector. Of the more than 400 candidates who were running for seats, just two were friendly to the opposition camp in Hong Kong, with the rest being pro-Beijing candidates. Separately, Hong Kong national security police arrested three members of the political organization Student Politicism on suspicion of conspiracy to incite subversion, Hong Kong National Security Department Senior Superintendent Li Kwai-wah (李桂華) said, citing their group’s recent activities including speeches, social media content, street booths and collecting snacks for prisoners. The trio, two men and one woman aged between 18 and 20, were the group’s convener Wong Yat-chin (王逸戰), permanent secretary Chan Chi-sum (陳枳森) and former spokesperson Chu Wai-ying (朱慧盈). Li said the group, founded in May last year, incited subversion of the state through their social media platforms and street booths. Examples he gave included urging residents not to use the
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan and China. “We cannot accept this,” Chen said, adding that his office had only received notice of China’s decision at 9am yesterday. Taiwan has told China that it would take the matter to the WTO if Beijing does not respond to Taipei’s request to resolve the issue under their existing bilateral framework before Thursday next week, he added. The council would earmark NT$1 billion (US$36.05 million) to help promote domestic sales of wax and custard apples, and expand their sales to other overseas markets, Chen said. Other measures would include extending the harvest time for the fruits, which usually begins in December, to enable farmers to sell them for a longer period, he added. The mealybug in question is present in many Asian countries, Chen said, adding that as they are usually found on the surface of fruits, a common practice by the importing country is to fumigate the fruit with methyl bromide, so the shipments can clear customs. During the first half of this year, China notified Taiwan about mealybugs found in 13 shipments of custard apples and six shipments of wax apples, but did not provide any scientific proof, Chen said, adding that there had been no reports of mealybugs in July and last
NEW REGULATIONS: People working at conventions and trade fairs must now provide a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination when entering the site The nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert has been extended for another two weeks to Oct. 4, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Since July 27, Taiwan has been on level 2 alert, which was to expire today, before the center announced a fourth extension. Under the alert, people must wear a mask when they are not at home, and the number of people attending indoor and outdoor gatherings is capped at 80 and 300 respectively, the center said. Social distancing rules would remain in place for businesses and public spaces, it said, adding that entertainment venues, such as dance halls, bars, clubs and KTV parlors, would not be allowed to open. The Ministry of Economic Affairs also announced a new set of rules for conventions and trade fairs, which require organizers to submit a disease prevention plan to local governments three weeks before the event is to be held. The rules require at least 60 percent of the people working at an event to have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, and all of them must provide a negative COVID-19 test or their vaccination record when entering the site, the center said. The ministry has been offering event organizers subsidies to help pay for their operations and employees’ salaries from July to this month, Bureau of Foreign Trade Director-General Cynthia Kiang (江文若) said. The center reported one local and 11 imported COVID-19 cases, as well as one death. The domestic case is a Taipei resident in her 60s. She tested negative for COVID-19 on Sept. 10, prior to being admitted to hospital, but her daughter, who planned to accompany her during her hospital stay, tested positive on Wednesday. The woman was tested again on Friday, and the result was positive, the center said. Two other people in the woman’s family tested positive for COVID-19 in May, as
NEW VENTURE: Apex Flight Academy has purchased two new planes and hopes to offer scenic tours over the east coast and nearby mountain ranges by year’s end A Taiwan-based flight academy has purchased two commuter aircraft from Europe with the aim of providing air tours over scenic mountain and ocean vistas over eastern Taiwan, the company founder told the Central News Agency yesterday. Wilson Kao (高健祐), founder and managing director of Apex Flight Academy, the nation’s only flight training school, said that two new Tecnam P2012 Travellers purchased from Italy are scheduled to arrive Taiwan this month or early next month. The company has applied to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) to carry passengers on flight tours. The aircraft are expected to receive airworthiness certificates from the CAA next month or in November, paving the way to officially launch tour packages before the end of this year, Kao said. Similar air tours in eastern Taiwan have previously only been offered by light-sport aircraft, he added. Kao said that local tour operators approached the academy last year and proposed the idea for a more large-scale air sightseeing tour. After studying their proposal, Apex decided to expand its business to include commercial air tours. Kao said that he believes it could become a popular option with domestic and international travelers for experiencing Taiwan’s unique beauty. The company is planning to offer guided tours, for a maximum of nine passengers, covering mountain ranges and the Hualien and Taitung coasts for 30 to 60 minutes per flight, Kao said. Apex is to make public more details of the air tour packages and costs after the airplanes receive certification from CAA, he added. Apex Flight Academy, based in eastern Taitung County, is a flight training organization that began in 2014. It is the first and only Taiwan CAA-certified flight-training organization.
Taiwan is to begin administering the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) COVID-19 vaccine to high-school students on Wednesday, and the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has advised that strenuous exercise be avoided for two weeks after innoculation. Recipients should watch for symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis — inflammation of the heart muscle and outer lining of the heart respectively — within 28 days of the BNT vaccination, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said on Sunday. Symptoms include pain, pressure or tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart, fainting and a lower tolerance for exercise, Chen said. People who experience such symptoms should seek prompt medical attention and tell doctors when they were vaccinated. Concerns over the side effects of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, such as the BNT vaccine, were raised after reports that some young adults developed heart problems after getting the jabs. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that the risk of myocarditis is 18.5 cases per 1 million second doses of the BNT vaccine in people aged 18 to 24, considered to be the group most at risk. The BNT vaccine is still the only COVID-19 vaccine that was demonstrated by phase 3 trials to be effective and safe for participants aged as young as 12. The BNT vaccine has been authorized for use in Taiwan for people aged 12 years or older. Taiwan is scheduled to begin administering the vaccine on Wednesday, with people aged 12 to 17 first in priority. Students at junior or senior high-schools have the choice of receiving the vaccine either at their school or a hospital. The health department in each municipality is to arrange vaccine clinics on school campuses for students. Those who opt not to take the vaccine at school can make other arrangements
One New Taipei City restaurant’s generous 12-year tradition of offering free meals to those in need was almost derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, until donors raised NT$200,000 to save it. Chen Chin-hsing (陳進興), owner of A-hsing Braised Pork Rice (阿興魯肉飯) in Jhonghe District (中和), began the practice in 2009 after enduring a period of hunger himself. As a young man, Chen put everything he had into a business that failed, leaving him destitute and without food to eat most days, he said. After getting back on his feet, Chen opened the restaurant and began offering free meals to help others in similarly dire straits. It was mostly the homeless and older people who lived alone who would come in for complimentary meals, he said. As the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, more people began coming in looking for a warm meal after seeing their incomes slashed, he added. The number skyrocketed when level 3 restrictions were implemented in May, Chen said. Where he would once feed 80 to 90 people for free each day, in addition to more than 200 customers, now the numbers are flipped, with only 80 to 90 customers for every 200 free meals, leaving the business without enough income to keep operating, he said. However, others took notice. Members of the public raised NT$100,000 to help Chen through this difficult time, with a matching donation promised by New Taipei City Councilor Yeh Yuan-chih (葉元之). Although the restaurant is in Jhonghe District, it has a “strong social impact,” with people coming from all over the city in search of a warm meal, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) councilor said. Chen also makes efforts to understand the hardships these people are facing, even going so far as to match people with organizations that are able to help, Yeh said. As an example, Chen recently matched people with
Pet shop owners are to be required to register transactions online to make the origin of animals more transparent and assist the authorities in preventing pet smuggling, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. The decision was made after the authorities on Aug. 21 put down 154 smuggled cats because they might have carried disease, posing a risk to the health of pets and livestock in Taiwan. Police later arrested a suspect surnamed Lin (林) who owns an animal breeding facility in Kaohsiung and is believed to be behind the smuggling attempt. Lin is being detained on suspicion of contravening the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases (動物傳染病防治條例). Existing laws require pet shop owners to register the origin of each pet they sell, as well as the buyer’s information, but they are not required to digitize the data, meaning they could choose to record the information on paper only, the COA said. This makes it difficult for authorities to conduct regular checks on pet sales and creates loopholes, COA official Chiang Wen-chuan (江文全) said. To prevent smuggling, Chiang said that the COA would require the roughly 2,000 pet shop operators in Taiwan to register transactions online, while increasing checks on the transactions. The online system is expected to be completed by the end of this year before it officially goes online early next year, Chiang said. The COA and lawmakers previously said they would increase penalties for animal smuggling. The Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) imposes fines of NT$40,000 to NT$200,000 to breeders or traders selling pets without permits, or trading such animals to a third party without microchipping the animals.
ADJUST BREATHING PATTERNS: Get back to your workouts gradually over three weeks, take breaks and change your mask every 30 minutes, trainers advised While exercising with a face mask on, it is best to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, and build up workout intensity incrementally over a three-week period, a trainer said on Saturday. Masks should also be changed every 30 minutes, as moisture becomes trapped inside the mask during a workout, Olympic badminton team coach Lo Yo-wei (羅友威) said. Masks have been required since the Central Epidemic Command Center raised the COVID-19 alert to level 3 in May. Despite masks being required indoors at public venues, some people remain unsure of how to safely wear them during exercise, Lo said. “More moisture enters your nasal cavity during exercise, so you need to adjust your pace and intensity. If not, you could become anaerobic or start to hyperventilate,” he said. It is also advised to rest more between sets when doing resistance exercises, and to take a short break between exercising different muscle groups, he said. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth can increase the respiratory exchange ratio, Lo said, adding that breathing in such a manner requires practice at first. “If you’re playing ball sports, it is harder to focus on your breathing, so in that case you may need more time to adjust,” he said. A period of two to three weeks might be required for someone who exercises two to three times per week to adjust their breathing pattern, he said. Meanwhile, weight trainer Lu Yu-wen (盧裕文) said that those returning to the gym after an extended absence should start with lighter weights to adjust. “When you’ve been stuck indoors for a long time, your body adapts to that sedentary lifestyle, and your body strength naturally declines,” he said. “Many people overestimate themselves when returning to the gym and they find themselves injured.”
CONCRETE STEPS URGED: Promoting fruits whose imports are banned by China and offering aid to farmers are only temporary remedies, the NPP said, urging a policy shift The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday threw its support behind the government’s decision to settle agricultural disputes with China through the WTO mechanism, after Beijing on Sunday suspended wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to alleged pest concerns. “Beijing chose to announce the import ban during the Mid-Autumn Festival long weekend and the timing of the thinly veiled threat showed China’s malicious intent. We severely condemn Beijing for the move and believe that cross-strait agricultural disputes should be settled through the WTO mechanism,” the party said in a statement. When Beijing barred pineapple imports from Taiwan in March, the NPP said it warned the government that wax apples and custard apples could be next, and that it should prepare in advance by diversifying the exports of agricultural products. The government did not respond to its appeal, the party said. Taiwan became the 144th member of the WTO in 2002 under the title of “Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu,” the NPP said, adding that Taiwan and China have an equal footing in the organization. The Chinese government should follow WTO standards and procedures to inspect Taiwanese agricultural products, rather than unilaterally banning fruit imports from Taiwan without submitting any scientific evidence, the party said. The WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures stipulates that “members shall ensure that their sanitary and phytosanitary measures do not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate between members where identical or similar conditions prevail, including between their own territory and that of other members,” the NPP said. The measures “shall not be applied in a manner which would constitute a disguised restriction on international trade,” the party said, citing the agreement. The agreement also requires members to “take into account the objective of minimizing negative trade effects when determining the appropriate level of sanitary
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday recalled the lifelong struggles of author and “Taiwanese revolutionary leader” Su Beng (史明), who advocated for Taiwanese nationalism, at the opening ceremony of a museum dedicated to Su in New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang District (新莊). Tsai was accompanied by Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) and Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) at the opening of the Su Beng Museum. The ceremony coincided with the second anniversary of Su’s passing at the age of 100. Tsai thanked the people who helped create the museum, saying that it would help more Taiwanese learn about Su, and encourage them to reflect on Taiwan and the international situation. Exhibits at the museum feature Su’s belongings, including handwritten manuscripts, published papers and personal items, which officials said are an important heritage for the nation, as he had been exiled for more than four decades due to his efforts to overthrow the authoritarian Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime. Tsai said she counts herself lucky to have personally met Su in his later years, adding: “I very much cherish my brief encounter with him; it was a moving experience for me.” Tsai said that during their meeting she carefully listened to Su’s every word, but sometimes could not fully grasp what he meant. “He mostly spoke in Hoklo [commonly known as Taiwanese], sometimes switching to Japanese and English. Then thinking that I might not understand, he also spoke in Mandarin Chinese,” Tsai said. “I was quite aware of his feeling of urgency and the earnest seriousness that he wanted to remind me of important issues,” she said. “I could feel that he had great expectations, with a great passion and an optimistic outlook for Taiwan’s future.” During the ceremony, Tsai also commented on China’s decision to ban imports of wax apples and custard apples from Taiwan. “Our government
Total trade value at the nation’s free-trade zones is expected to top NT$1 trillion (US$36 billion) this year thanks to rising prices of components associated with chips, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said last week. The nation has seven free-trade zones in the ports of Keelung, Suao, Taipei, Taichung, Anping and Kaohsiung, and at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Since the ministry began administering the free-trade zones in 2009, trade value at the zones has been growing at an average rate of 18 percent annually, Department of Aviation and Navigation Deputy Director-General Han Chen-hua (韓振華) told a news conference. Trade volume has also been growing at about 16 percent annually, he said. Trade value at the zones from January to July totaled NT$679.8 billion, up 38.5 percent from the same period last year. “Trade value last year and in 2019 was about NT$900 billion. Should trade value continue to grow at the current rate, it could potentially surpass NT$1 trillion, which would be a historic high,” Han said, adding that the performance is remarkable given that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted global supply chains, and led to labor and container shortages. Trade value was mainly generated by the free-trade zone at the airport which houses electronic component manufacturers, the department said. The airport free-trade zone generated trade value of NT$484.1 billion from January to July, as robust demand for computer chips led to overall price increases in electronic components, it said. The re-exportation of components used in the auto industry and petrochemical products also rose in the free-trade zones near the seaports, with trade value totaling NT$195.8 billion between January and July, department data showed. New infrastructure would be built at the free-trade zones in view of new business opportunities created by changes to global supply chains, the department said. Farglory
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts, mainly in Switzerland, as well as in accounts owned by his family in banks in about a dozen countries and territories, Ministry of Justice officials have said. Leus was likewise accused of money laundering and made a donation of ￡500,000 to the foundation. His conviction was overturned. Prince Charles “met at least nine times” with William Bortrick, the alleged fixer at the heart of the claims, who is said to have received thousands of pounds to secure an honor for a Saudi Arabian billionaire and brokered a personal thank you letter from Charles to a Russian donor, the Sunday Times reported. The Russian banker reportedly received two invitations to private events at Charles’ royal residences in Scotland, allegedly secured by Bortrick. They were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about the donor’s past. In the summer last year, Charles, 72, and Bortrick, 48, met at the Castle of Mey, the late queen mother’s former home in Caithness, the newspaper reported. Weeks before the meeting, Bortrick had brokered a six-figure donation to the charity from Leus in exchange for a meeting with the prince, the newspaper reported. He received a ￡5,000 cut of the donation for “expenses,” it reported. A spokesperson for Bruno Wang, who
RECOVERY: The value of projects has risen from last year’s autumn sales season, as developers were idle for the past four months due to a COVID-19 outbreak The value of presale and new housing projects in the six special municipalities is nearly NT$600 billion (US$21.63 billion) for this autumn sales season, as developers are regaining confidence because the COVID-19 situation has improved, the online housing unit of Addcn Technology Co Ltd (數字科技) said in a report last week. Including projects in Hsinchu City, the total amounts to NT$572.1 billion, a 5.4 percent increase from last year, as developers believe it is time to do business after sitting idle for the past four months, when COVID-19 disease prevention measures dampened buying interest, newhouse.591.com (591新建案) said. The autumn sales season, from Tuesday next week through next month, is a critical gauge of the new housing market’s health in the second half of the year, the online broker said. The potential sales volume in Taipei has more than doubled to NT$192.9 billion for this season on expectations that luxury houses in central locations might gain the attention of global investors in search of assets that can stand up to inflation. That explained why major developers such as Cathay Real Estate Development Co (國泰建設), Yuanlih Group (元利建設) and Ruentex Development Co (潤泰新) have all joined the arena, the report said. In particular, Taipei’s second-tier Tatung District (大同) is home to town-making and urban renewal projects that could generate handsome revenues for an extended period, it said. The value of new housing projects in New Taipei City increased 8.2 percent to NT$178.64 billion year-on-year, as rezoned areas in Tucheng (土城), Sindian (新店), Banciao (板橋) and Tamsui (淡水) districts continue to attract property development funds, the report said, adding that small apartments featuring two to four bedrooms dominate the market there. New housing projects in Taoyuan increased 11.5 percent to NT$95.99 billion, with Cingpu District (青埔) accounting for 50 percent of the total value, because builders are seeking to appeal
Rakuten International Commercial Bank Co (樂天國際商銀) on Friday announced that it would offer a relatively high interest rate of 2 percent for its fixed-term deposit accounts if clients deposit more than NT$20,000 at the Web-only bank, in a bid to enhance its competitive position in the Internet banking market. The annual interest rate of 2 percent would apply to three categories of monthly fixed-term deposits — NT$20,000, NT$50,000 and NT$100,000 — but the deposit rate would only be calculated once, when the deposits mature after one month, so the annual rate would be equivalent to a monthly rate of 0.167 percent, the bank said in a statement. After the fixed-term deposits mature, they would automatically become demand deposits and clients could then decide how to deal with them themselves, Rakuten Bank said. Although the deposit interest rate of 2 percent would not apply to deposits with a maturity term of more than one month, the rate is still four times the interest rate of 0.5 percent that Rakuten Bank provides for demand deposits, the bank said. Most local banks offer even lower interest rates for demand deposits, such as Bank of Taiwan (台灣銀行) and Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行), which offer 0.1 percent, and Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank (台北富邦銀行) with 0.05 percent, the banks’ data showed. “It is a safe option for customers who have a low-risk appetite or who do not invest and want to pursue stable returns,” Rakuten Bank said. The monthly fixed-term deposit program marked Rakuten Bank’s latest effort to attract clients after it provided an annual deposit interest rate of 1 percent for deposits with a one-year maturity.
PROMISING TRIAL RESULTS: When using the intravenous push method it takes only 30 seconds to administer the firm’s medication for HIV patients, as opposed to 15 minutes TaiMed Biologics Inc (中裕新藥) plans to apply within a month to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for permission to license its Trogarzo “by intravenous push” treatment, as the company’s phase 3 clinical trial showed promising results, it said in a filing with the Taipei Exchange on Sunday. On March 1, 2019, the HIV/AIDS drug developer began its last stage of human testing in the US to observe whether Trogarzo by intravenous push could produce the same effect as its Trogarzo “by intravenous infusion” treatment, which has already been launched. Trogarzo by intravenous infusion needs to be diluted with saline solution and administration of the medication takes 15 minutes, while Trogarzo by intravenous push can be given to patients undiluted and takes only 30 seconds to administer, the company said. Twenty-two people who were infected with HIV-1, but were in a stable condition and had already taken Trogarzo by intravenous infusion for at least three months, participated in the phase 3 trial, TaiMed said in the filing. Participants initially took Trogarzo by intravenous infusion once every two weeks, but later took Trogarzo by intravenous push, also once every two weeks, the company said. They did not report any severe adverse reactions, but some had mild or medium adverse reactions, it said. The concentration of Trogarzo declined at similar rates in participants treated using the intravenous infusion and intravenous push methods, indicating that the different administration routes did not affect the rate of the drugs’ absorption, TaiMed said. The different methods of administration did not lead to a change in participants’ viral loads, and no one reported viral loads of more than than 1,000 copies per milliliter twice consecutively, it said. Meanwhile, no participants developed anti-Trogarzo antibodies, TaiMed said. “Overall, the test results have reached our objectives. We will apply for a biologics license,” TaiMed said. “It is
Taiwan has been eager to hatch its own unicorns to join the ranks of global US$1billion companies. However, this is not happening. Gogoro Inc and Appier Group Inc, two local start-ups with the best potential to become home-grown unicorns, have pursued overseas initial public offerings (IPO) to raise funds for expansion. To provide easier access to the local capital market, the Taiwan Stock Exchange and Taipei Exchange in July launched two new share trading platforms — the Taiwan Innovation Board and the Pioneer Stock Board — for start-ups to trade their shares. The new boards are proving unappealing to local start-ups amid rigid regulation and a smaller market scale, setting back Taiwan’s efforts to develop unicorns. Electric scooter maker and battery swapping system provider Gogoro last week announced its IPO on the NASDAQ. With a valuation of US$2.35 billion, Gogoro is to become the latest local start-up joining the unicorn club. The Taoyuan-based company is set to list its shares in the US via a merger with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Poema Global Holdings Corp in the first quarter of next year. Gogoro is to add US$550 million to its balance sheet together with a private investment in public equity, a huge and unthinkable venture for locally listed companies. Six months ago, Appier, an artificial intelligence software developer, raised ￥29.8 billion (US$272 million) by debuting its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers market, aiming to cater to its Japanese customers. A major reason Appier and Gogoro forwent the local stock exchange and opted for Tokyo and New York to launch IPOs was the low valuation local investors give to start-ups, given their poor financial performance in the budding stage. Making money is not the priority of such firms, and they barely generate any revenue even upon IPO launches. Local investors are mostly conservative
Local media reported earlier this month that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) criticized President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for referring to China as a “neighboring country,” saying that this is no different from a “two-state” model and that it amounts to changing the cross-strait “status quo.” I find it quite impossible to understand why civilized Taiwan continues to tolerate the existence of such a deceitful group that believes its own lies. The relationship between Taiwan and China is the relationship between two countries, and neither has any jurisdiction over the other — this is the undeniable “status quo.” Those who believe in the “one China” principle are incapable of accepting this “status quo” because they have been brainwashed. What is the so-called “one China” principle? China’s “one China” says that “Taiwan is part of China.” This is a false statement aimed at legitimizing China’s idea of annexing Taiwan. The KMT’s “one China” says that “the Republic of China (ROC) is China.” That is nothing but a daydream. Unfortunately, this kind of “one China” statement is having a huge negative impact on the international community, including my home country, Japan. For example, when most Japanese media and people talk about China and the US, they say “China and the US,” but when they talk about China and Taiwan, they say “the [Chinese] mainland and Taiwan.” No one seems to think that “mainland” is wrong, which only goes to show that the average Japanese thinks that the relationship between Taiwan and China is a domestic relationship. For this reason, I have for many years requested that the Japanese media stop using “mainland” to refer to Taiwan. I am not sure if it is this campaign that has borne fruit, but I have rarely seen this word used in recent years. However, one media outlet still insists on using
When John Kerry was announced as the US special presidential envoy for climate by the administration of US President Joe Biden, he said that his cause would not be subordinated to any of the other critical issues in US-China relations, nor would it be used to trade off another area of concern. In a March speech, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US’ relationship with China “will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be.” However, Beijing rejected the idea of compartmentalization. Lu Xiang (呂祥) of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said: “US officials would be too naive if they believe China will accept dialogue and cooperation with no basis for equality and mutual respect.” Kerry later learned that China meant what it said, and the Biden administration might have to eat his words. He traveled to Tianjin in northeastern China, which now seems to be the designated holding place for US supplicants seeking meetings with Chinese counterparts. Kerry asked to meet with Chinese Special Envoy on Climate Change Xie Zhenhua (解振華). However, although Kerry flew almost 24,000km for the meeting, it never took place in person. Instead, Xie spoke with him by video link from Beijing, a call that just as easily could have been handled by Kerry in Washington. China did not say the unorthodox arrangement was related to COVID-19 concerns, and it is widely seen as a diplomatic snub, perhaps as payback because the Biden administration shunted off the first high-level diplomatic meeting with Blinken and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to Anchorage, Alaska, instead of Washington. Xie did have a face-to-face meeting in Beijing with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in July, where he advised her that US-China relations were in a state of “deadlock”
STILL NO WIN: Juve could only draw 1-1 with AC Milan and are 18th with just two points from four games, with only Cagliari and US Salernitana 1919 propping them up Juventus on Sunday were left struggling in the unlikely surroundings of Serie A’s bottom three after a 1-1 draw with AC Milan kept them searching for a first league win this season. Alvaro Morata’s fourth-minute goal gave Juventus the lead, but Ante Rebic headed in a 76th-minute equalizer as Milan ended the weekend in second place on goal-difference behind city rivals Inter, who crushed Bologna 6-1 on Saturday. Milan could have won the match in the dying moments, but Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny pulled off a brilliant point-blank save to deny Pierre Kalulu. Juventus, still reeling from the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, are 18th with just two points from four games, with only Cagliari and US Salernitana 1919 propping them up. Coach Massimiliano Allegri had harsh words for some of his stars. “You have to be determined, to bring home the tackle, keep focused. This is part of the general growth process of some players,” Allegri said. “I will admit that I made mistakes on the substitutions, I got it wrong. I should have put more defensive players on, and put the 1-0 lead under lock and key, so I take responsibility for that.” Milan, missing both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud, dropped their first league points of the season, but they will be relieved not to have lost back-to-back games having gone down to Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League last week. Spain international Morata temporarily allowed Juventus fans to forget about Ronaldo when he sped away from Theo Hernandez before coolly slotting the ball past Mike Maignan. Milan only threatened through three long-range attempts from Sandro Tonali in the first half, but Croatian winger Rebic preserved Milan’s unbeaten league start by heading in a Tonali corner with 14 minutes left. “We came here to win the game,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli told DAZN. “Juventus did
Taiwan’s women’s tug-of-war team on Sunday finished fourth in the closed competition of the World Outdoor Championships in Spain, earning a berth at next year’s World Games. The 12-member team, which won the open club championship in the women’s under-540kg category on Friday last week, competed on Sunday against nine other teams for the closed competition title in the same weight category. In the competition, held by the Tug of War International Federation (TWIF), five teams, including fourth-placed Taiwan, qualified to compete in next year’s World Games in Birmingham, Alabama. Chinese Taipei Tug of War Association secretary-general Cho Yao-peng said that the team achieved its goal of gaining a place in next year’s Games in the US and performed as expected, if not better, taking into consideration the COVID-19 restrictions in Taiwan and the strength of the other nine teams that competed in the Basque Country. “Our athletes weren’t able to practice for two months,” he said, “It was difficult for them to get back their grip on the ropes.” Prior to the competition, Cho had said that while Taiwan had won two previous TWIF championships, the main goal this year was to qualify for next year’s World Games, rather than seeking a third consecutive win. In the preliminary round, Taiwan finished second with 22 points, behind Sweden with 27. During those matches, Taiwan won against the Czech Republic, South Africa, Israel, England, the Basque Country, Germany and the Netherlands, and they tied with Switzerland and lost to Sweden. In the finals, Taiwan lost to Switzerland, as well as to the Netherlands, finishing fourth. The other four teams that qualified for a berth at next year’s Games were Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands and the Basque Country.
Defending champion Filippo Ganna of Italy on Sunday shattered home fans’ hopes of a 1-2 for their riders and retained the men’s time trial title to secure back-to-back gold medals at the Road World Championships. On the opening day of the week-long event in Belgium, Ganna won with a small margin of just over 5 seconds to beat Wout van Aert for the second year running. Remco Evenepoel, another Belgian rider, claimed the bronze medal, 43.34 seconds behind Ganna. The flat course taking competitors through the cycling-mad Flanders region did not feature any technical difficulty and was perfectly suited to Ganna, a pure specialist of the race against the clock. As the defending champion, Ganna was the last down the starting ramp. The Italian rider was behind Van Aert at both intermediate checks on the 43.3km course between the seaside resort of Knokke-Heist and the picturesque city of Brugge, but produced a perfectly paced effort throughout to prevail. Ganna won in 47 minutes, 47.83 seconds at an impressive average speed of 54kph. “I think in one week, my condition [improved] really well. After the short camp at altitude, I did the European Championships, but the legs didn’t spin very well,” said Ganna, who finished runner-up behind Stefan Kung in the European Championships time trial earlier this month. “I didn’t know if I could arrive at the World Championships with good sensations and good shape, but today when I woke up, I had a good feeling in my legs and in my head I just dreamed to win again today,” he said. Olympic champion Primoz Roglic sat out the time trial, while Tokyo silver medalist Tom Dumoulin was absent due to a wrist injury.
Chelsea on Sunday powered to the top of the English Premier League with an impressive 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur, while David de Gea saved a stoppage-time penalty to preserve Manchester United’s 2-1 victory at West Ham United after Jesse Lingard returned to haunt his old club. On an emotional day in north London, Chelsea and Tottenham paid tribute to their former striker Jimmy Greaves, who died on Sunday aged 81. In a moving tribute, several former Spurs greats, including Greaves’ old teammate Martin Chivers, lined up on the touchline to join both teams and the 62,000 crowd in a minute’s applause. It was Chelsea who showed the predatory instincts that made Greaves Tottenham’s record scorer with 266 goals in 379 appearances between 1961 and 1970. Greaves started his career with a prolific spell at Chelsea and netted 44 times in 57 appearances for England, featuring in their 1966 World Cup-winning squad. He would have admired the ruthless way Chelsea killed off their London rivals. Thiago Silva put Chelsea ahead with a 49th-minute header, before N’Golo Kante netted with a long-range effort that deflected off Eric Dier eight minutes later. Kante’s first club goal since December 2019 was followed by Antonio Rudiger’s fine low finish in stoppage-time. Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten side sit top of the league after winning four of their first five games, while Tottenham have suffered two successive top-flight defeats. Chelsea have only conceded one league goal so far this season, despite a tricky fixture list that featured trips to Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal. “I was absolutely not happy with the first 45 minutes,” Tuchel said. “I had the feeling we wanted to impress by pure skills. In derbies like this it is not always about just skills. It is about aggression and winning duels. We spoke clearly about it at halftime. In the second half it was
‘READY TO RISE’: The 42-year-old is betting that his rags-to-riches story will win him the top job, but his anti-gay remarks and support for Duterte’s drug war complicates matters Philippine boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has launched his presidential bid with vows to tackle poverty and corruption as he seeks to win over voters with his rags-to-riches story. “The time is now — we are ready to rise to the challenge of leadership,” Pacquiao — currently a senator — said on Sunday, as he accepted the nomination of a rival faction in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruling party. The eight-division world champion and national hero made the announcement weeks after losing what could be his last professional fight, against Cuban Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao, who entered politics in 2010 as a congressman before being elected to the Philippine Senate, has long been expected to make a tilt for the country’s highest office. The 42-year-old is deeply admired by many in the nation for his generosity after hauling himself out of poverty to become one of the world’s greatest and wealthiest boxers. However, his support for Duterte’s deadly drug war, and previous comments describing gay couples as “worse than animals,” have earned the high-school dropout plenty of detractors. “For those asking what are my qualifications, have you ever experienced hunger?” Pacquiao asked the national assembly held by the anti-Duterte faction of PDP-Laban. “Have you ever experienced having nothing to eat, to borrow money from your neighbors or to wait for leftovers at a food stall? The Manny Pacquiao that is in front of you was molded by poverty,” he said. Pacquiao’s star power in a country famed for its celebrity-obsessed politics would put him in a strong position in the presidential race next year, but it would not guarantee victory. Reaction to his announcement has been mixed, with some questioning the boxer’s suitability for the presidency. “Seriously, Manny? You’re an inspiration in boxing but I can’t compromise to let you run my country,” one Twitter user wrote. A public
The North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said a new US alliance in the Indo-Pacific and Washington’s recent submarine contract with Australia could trigger a “nuclear arms race” in the region. The US last week announced a new three-way security pact with Australia and the UK, as part of a strategic partnership under which US nuclear submarines would be supplied to Canberra. “These are extremely undesirable and dangerous acts which will upset the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region and trigger off a chain of nuclear arms race,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted a ministry official as saying. “This shows that the US is the chief culprit toppling the international nuclear non-proliferation system,” the official added. Nuclear-armed North Korea fired two missiles into the sea on Wednesday, with Seoul successfully test-firing a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) hours later, becoming only the seventh country in the world with the technology. South Korea’s test is a strategic advance for Seoul. It has been strengthening its military capabilities to counter the threat posed by the North, which is under international sanctions for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. However, in a separate statement carried by the KCNA yesterday, the head of North Korea’s Academy of National Defense Science called Seoul’s newly developed SLBM a “clumsy piece of work” lacking key technology. “The homegrown SLBM unveiled by South Korea will not be able to serve as an effective means of attack at war,” he said. The spate of missile tests and bumper defense deals in the Pacific have highlighted a regional arms race that is intensifying as a China-US rivalry grows. “It is quite natural that neighboring countries, including China, condemned these actions as irresponsible ones of destroying the peace and stability of the region,” the North Korean foreign ministry official said. US President Joe Biden’s new Australia-US-UK defense
Choosing a full-fledged confrontation with the US due to the loss of a megacontract for submarines for Australia, France is making a risky bet and other nations are not rushing to its defense. After Australia renounced its deal for conventional submarines in favor of US nuclear-powered ones, France took the extraordinary step of pulling its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra for consultations. Bertrand Badie, an international relations professor at the Sciences Po institute in Paris, said France had put itself in a position where it can only appear to be backing down or losing face once its ambassador returns to the US, its historic ally. “When you get into a crisis like this, you better know where the exit is,” he said. Australia said it decided that nuclear submarines were a better choice to ensure its maritime edge as it announced a new three-way alliance with the US and the UK widely seen as aimed at China — whose rise has been the overriding priority of US President Joe Biden’s administration. French President Emmanuel Macron, who has stayed subdued publicly, is set to speak to Biden in the coming days. However, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian has used language rarely used among friendly nations, alleging “lying” and “duplicity,” and saying France was “stabbed in the back” by Australia. He so far has no meeting scheduled on the sidelines of this week’s UN General Assembly in New York with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, himself a French speaker known for his love of Europe. With a contract worth A$50 billion (US$36.2 billion) on its signing in 2016, the French anger might show the country’s powerful defense industry that political leaders are pressing their case. However, the diplomatic impact is less certain, with France appearing isolated at the start of the General Assembly. Fellow EU power Germany, which
While departing yet again from the look of Primetime Emmys of yore, Sunday’s presentation of television’s highest honors gave little overt appearance of being constrained by a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. So much so, that the night’s first presenter, comic actor-writer Seth Rogen, joked that the site of hundreds of attendees assembled unmasked in an enclosed space, with no obvious sign of social distancing, made him uncomfortable even though vaccinations were mandated. “Let me start by saying there are way too many of us in this little room. What are we doing?” Rogen, resplendent in a bright orange sport jacket, nervously dead-panned within the first few minutes of the show. “We’re in a hermetically sealed tent right now. I would not have come to this.” From the opening hip-hop song-and-dance number, Just a Friend, performed as a vibrant sing-along led by the show’s host, Cedric the Entertainer, organizers sought to project entertainment value and glitz despite lingering public health and travel restrictions. Show producers sought in media interviews beforehand to assure viewers that the 73rd annual Emmys would, indeed, be conducted safely, even as they worked to render the show with the look of a glamorous, star-studded dinner party. Although attendees’ faces were uncovered while on camera, it was masks up during commercial breaks — a routine many screen performers have become accustomed to as they returned to work on production sets in the midst of the pandemic. The telecast even played COVID-19 safety for laughs, as when comedian and presenter Ken Jeong was shown being denied admission by a security officer because he lacked sufficient proof of vaccination. ‘WE’RE ALL VAXED’ “Dude, I didn’t get four booster shots to present remotely,” Jeong insisted to a security guard during the gag, before announcing Saturday Night Live as the winner for best variety sketch series. According to producers,
Li Zhanguo’s two children, aged eight and four, don’t have their own smartphones, but like millions of other Chinese children, they are no strangers to online gaming. “If my children get their hands on our mobile phones or an iPad, and if we don’t closely monitor their screen time, they can play online games for as long as three to four hours each time,” he said. Not anymore. Like many other parents, Li is happy with new restrictions imposed on online game companies that took effect early this month. They limit children to just three hours weekly of online games time — an hour between 8pm and 9pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday most weeks. The restrictions are a tightening of rules set in 2019 that banned children from gaming overnight and limited them to 90 minutes game time most weekdays. The 90-minute restrictions, however, did not allay authorities’ concerns over addiction to online gaming. Experts say it’s unclear if such policies can help prevent addiction to online games, since children might just get engrossed in social media. Ultimately, it’s up to parents to nurture good habits and set screen time limits. The new rules are part of a campaign to prevent kids from spending too much time on entertainment the communist authorities consider unhealthy. That also includes what officials call the “irrational fan culture” of worshipping celebrities. GAMING ADDICTION The restrictions reflect growing concern over gaming addiction among children. One state media outlet has called online games “spiritual opium,” in an allusion to past eras when addiction to the drug was widespread in China. “Adolescents are the future of the motherland, and protecting the physical and mental health of minors is related to the vital interests of masses, and in cultivating newcomers in the era of national rejuvenation,” the Press and Publications Administration said in a statement issued along
Late last week the commentariat was stirred by a TVBS poll published on Thursday showing that pro-China dinosaur, college professor and fringe presidential contender Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) was leading establishment dinosaur Eric Chu (朱立倫) 30.6 percent to 27.5 percent in a poll of Chinese National Party (KMT) members. Current KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), considered “youthful” at nearly 50, trailed with a dismal 12.8 percent. TVBS is generally regarded as pro-KMT and so would have little reason to diddle the numbers, which show that Chu, the fair-haired boy of the party’s elites, has been in a slide since the beginning of last month, while Chang suddenly doubled his standing to leap past Chu. Polls are often used by voters to register disapproval and signal candidates. Once they get to the ballot box, they return to the reassuring arms of the establishment candidate. FAR RIGHTISTS RULE Chang, a far-right deep blue Mainlander — people who fled to Taiwan with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) following its defeat in the Chinese Civil War — who advised far rightist Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) during her calamitous presidential campaign before the 2016 election, said in 2017 that he would never permit the KMT to become a Taiwanese KMT party. This attitude appeals to the deep blue senior citizens who now form the bulk of party members and internal voters of the KMT. It is wildly out of touch with mainstream opinion. Even Beijing knows that. Since the 2005 chairmanship election the KMT has been trapped by its far-right internal party electorate, which keeps putting forward rightists like Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Hung and Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). Ma, at least, knew how to grit his teeth and spit “I am Taiwanese” through them. Han possessed a thin veneer of populist appeal laid over his far-right pro-China views. Hung, a purist
A: Wow, look at this piece, it’s wonderful! B: Yes, it’s a very interesting composition, with a woman facing down and a deer looking out from inside her head. The antlers are fantastic. A: Look at the flowers around her, and the moon and stars in the background, the whole thing has such a dreamlike quality to it, and yet it’s also so life-like. B: Yes, the fur on the deer is so realistic. Is this a painting? A: No! This is a print, so I suppose it was engraved. B: How intriguing. How would this have been engraved? I don’t understand. Look, the artist is over there. Let’s go and ask her! A: 哇，你看這件作品，好美喔！ B: 嗯，這構圖好特別，一個女孩低著頭，一隻鹿從她的腦子裡探出頭來，那鹿角真漂亮。 A: 你看旁邊的花，還有背景的月亮和星星，整個就是很夢幻的感覺，可是又栩栩如生。 B: 對呀，這隻鹿的毛也太逼真了吧？這是用畫的嗎？ A: 不是啦！這是版畫耶！所以應該是用刻的。 B: 好奇妙喔，這是怎麼刻出來的啊？我沒辦法理解。欸你看，藝術家在那裡耶！我們去問她！ (Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱) Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
Boys start growing facial hair after entering adolescence, and they usually start shaving to look more smart and tidy. The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration put a post on its “TFDA safe use of cosmetics” Facebook page explaining things to bear in mind when buying shaving products, along with the correct way to shave. Five pointers for buying shaving products Point 1: Choose products that are properly labeled. Point 2: Try the product out on your skin first, and if you experience any inflammation, cuts or abrasions, do not use it. Point 3: Use the product correctly in accordance with the instructions for use. Point 4: Keep the product package and instructions for ease of reference. Point 5: If you experience any allergic reaction such as redness and swelling after use, you should immediately stop using it and promptly seek medical attention. Four steps for shaving Step 1: Wash your skin: Start by cleaning away any grime or grease off your face to clear the way for a smooth shave. Step 2: Apply a wet compress: Use a hot towel as a wet compress for around 30 to 60 seconds on the area to be shaved. Point 3: Start shaving: Start from your cheeks, then shave your sideburns and neck with a gentle, slow action. When doing this you can apply some shaving liquid, shaving cream or shaving foam for an even smoother shave. Step 4: Protect your skin: Wash and dry the shaved area and apply an appropriate amount of shaving products to keep your skin from getting dry and rough, so as to make your next shave clean and comfortable, as well as keeping your skin moisturized. Is it true that the more you shave your beard, the coarser it gets? The Food and Drug Administration says that the thickness of a hair depends on the size of the pore it
We should do something more cultural to celebrate it (1/5) 我們應該要做點有氣質的事（一） A: What am I going to do? It’s Mid-Autumn Festival, and I’ve been so busy I forgot to prepare anything for the BBQ! B: Who says you need to have a BBQ on Mid-Autumn Festival? That was just a marketing ploy dreamt up by a BBQ sauce producer 30 years ago. Moon viewing, eating moon cakes and pomelos are the traditional ways of celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival. A: Yeah, I’ve always wondered why loads of people set off rockets on Mid-Autumn Festival. If the Jade Hare or Chang-e really did live on the moon, they would long ago have hopped off in fright. B: Well, if you think about it, with the cool autumn breeze and the full moon in the sky, Mid-Autumn Festival should have more of a literary feeling, and we should do something more cultural to celebrate it. A: You mean like composing poetry? I don’t think I’m quite up to that, but I do know there’s an exhibition in an art gallery nearby. Fancy taking a look? B: Now that is a splendid idea. A: 怎麼辦，中秋節到了，我忙到忘記準備烤肉材料了！ B: 誰說中秋節一定要烤肉的？這也不過是三十年前烤肉醬廠商搞出來的名堂。賞月、吃月餅和柚子，才是過中秋真正的傳統吧！ A: 對呀，我也搞不懂為什麼中秋節一大堆人都在放沖天炮。如果月亮上有月兔和嫦娥，也早就被嚇跑了吧！ B: 其實想想看，秋高氣爽、明月皎潔，中秋節應該是很有氣質的節日。過中秋我們應該要做點有氣質的事才對。 A: 吟詩作對嗎？這我沒辦法。不過附近的藝廊有個展覽，我們去看看怎麼樣？ B: 你這真是冰雪聰明的好主意 ！ （Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times / 台北時報林俐凱） Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
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