Sat, Mar 06, 2021
The US encourages Taiwan to invest in defense and obtain asymmetric defense capabilities, US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson said on Thursday. Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, made the remark in a videoconference on defense matters hosted by the American Enterprise Institute think tank. “China is positioned to achieve overmatch” in its military capability by 2026, he said. When Beijing is able to, it would “likely choose to forcibly change” the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, “and I would say the change in that status quo could be permanent,” he said. “China seeks a new world order, one with Chinese characteristics, as they often said, where Chinese national power is more important than international law,” he added. In response to questions, Davidson said that China has stepped up activities with military aircraft and warships around Taiwan, including intrusions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and coast guard vessels near the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台). It is crucial for the US to assist and encourage Taiwan to invest in national defense with an emphasis on obtaining defense capabilities and the means to deter an attack, in addition to arms sales and assisting Taiwan in making a strategy of deterrence a reality, he said. Meanwhile, writing in a document entitled “Memorandum for All Department of Defense Employees,” US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday named China as the “pacing challenge” to US national security. Highlighting challenges confronting the US, Austin said that department officials and employees must deal with the “proximate” hurdles stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and China. Other priorities for the department were to address advanced and persistent threats posed by Russia, North Korea and Iran, and by extremist groups in the Middle East, Africa, and south and central Asia; to modernize the department; and to tackle the climate crisis. “The department will prioritize China as our
China yesterday projected defense spending growth of 6.8 percent this year, while saying that it would deter any “separatist activity” from Taiwan, but remain committed to promoting cross-strait relations. Beijing has increased its military activity near Taiwan in the past few months, responding to what it calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington, the nation’s main international backer and arms supplier. At the opening of the annual Chinese National People’s Congress, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) said that Beijing stands by its “one China” principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China. China remains committed “to promoting the peaceful growth of relations across the Taiwan Strait and China’s reunification,” he told about 3,000 delegates at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. “We will remain highly vigilant against and resolutely deter any separatist activity seeking Taiwan independence,” Li said. “We will promote exchanges, cooperation and integrated development across the Taiwan Strait. Together we can shape a bright future of rejuvenation for our great nation,” he added. The Mainland Affairs Council in Taipei responded by urging China to begin “benign” interactions with it to gradually resolve disagreements through communications. The council said the government would continue to resolutely defend its sovereignty and Taiwan’s democracy and freedom, and that healthy and orderly exchanges were better than “enforced” pressure. Also at the conference, the Chinese Ministry of Finance said it would bolster the country’s defense spending 6.8 percent this year, the largest gain since 2019, amid tensions with the US and key neighbors. Military expenditure is expected to climb to 1.35 trillion yuan (US$208.03 billion) in the coming year, the ministry said. The figure compares with a projected rise of 1.8 percent in budgeted fiscal spending. A Bloomberg calculation of the latest defense budget number shows spending for this year would actually rise 6.9 percent. “We will provide stronger financial guarantees to vigorously support
SETTING AN EXAMPLE: If the public was hesitant in taking the AstraZeneca shot, the president and health minister would volunteer to demonstrate, Chen said Taiwan’s domestically developed COVID-19 vaccines could start mass production in July, but only if they successfully complete ongoing clinical trials, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. Speaking to reporters before a legislative hearing in Taipei, Chen said that Taiwanese vaccines could hopefully enter production in July at the earliest. Taiwan is making progress in its vaccine development, after Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗) and United Biomedical Inc (聯亞生技) were approved to enter the second phase of clinical trials in late December last year and January respectively. Medigen in January said it planned to recruit at least 3,700 participants for trials, while working with 11 hospitals, on its vaccine, MVC-COV1901, which was developed with the US National Institutes of Health. The company received NT$1.7 million (US$60,122) in government subsidies for its phase 1 trials and was to receive another NT$300 million for its phase 2 trials. United Biomedical in late January said it would recruit 3,850 volunteers for phase 2 trials of its vaccine candidate, UB-612, a multitope protein/peptide-based vaccine. Asked whether President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Chen would be among the first to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Chen said that if there is any public hesitancy, they would be willing to volunteer to demonstrate the safety of the vaccine to those concerned about side effects. However, Chen said he hoped that the vaccination program would proceed in accordance with the government’s priority list. The minister’s comments came after 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, purchased directly from the company, arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday. No new COVID-19 cases were reported yesterday. To date, Taiwan has recorded 960 cases of COVID-19, 844 of which have been classified as imported. Of the total, 928 people have recovered, nine have died, and 23 are in hospital, according to CECC statistics.
The Guam Visitors Bureau is to decouple its Taiwan business from China, by establishing a Taiwan marketing committee, with its budget for targeting Taiwanese tourists expected to double, Representative to Guam Felix Yen (嚴樹芬) said yesterday. Previously, the bureau grouped Taiwan, China and Hong Kong together under its “greater China” marketing committee, but a new committee is to manage business with Taiwan independently. The committee’s establishment is aimed at deepening bilateral relations in tourism, including medical tourism, as well as economic, cultural, educational and cultural exchanges, Yen said. For Guam, China and Hong Kong are unstable tourist sources, and it also imposes stricter visa requirements for their tourists, he added. With the new committee, the bureau is expected to pay more attention and resources to tourism with Taiwan, and its budget for mutual assistance projects would double, he said. In Guam, the number of Taiwanese tourists ranks No. 3 after Japanese and South Koreans, yet the average spending of Taiwanese, about US$300 per capita, is 15 percent higher than the other two groups, he said. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were four direct flights between Taiwan and Guam weekly, and Taiwanese could stay up to 45 days under a visa-waiver program, he said. Asked if the office would strive to make Guam part of Taiwan’s first partners to promote “travel bubbles,” Yen said the territory has started vaccinating its citizens, and if other countries or regions start to build travel bubbles with Taiwan, Guam would likely follow suit. The office would work harder to promote Guam’s tourism resources in coming exhibitions, hoping to attract more Taiwanese to visit the territory when the pandemic eases, Yen said. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam was reopened in July last year after its operation was suspended in 2017 due to budgetary and personnel assignment issues.
A protester was yesterday shot dead in Myanmar, in the latest round of bloodletting at demonstrations against a military coup, as the UN Security Council prepared to meet on the escalating crisis. Despite an increasingly brutal crackdown by the military authorities that has seen more than 50 people killed, protesters took to the streets again in towns around the country to denounce the Feb. 1 coup. The violence has brought condemnation from around the world, with the UN rights chief demanding the junta “stop murdering and jailing protesters,” and the Security Council was yesterday set to discuss the crisis. Despite the mounting international pressure, the generals have shown no signs of heeding calls for restraint. In Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, hundreds of engineers took to the streets, yelling: “Free our leader,” in reference to ousted Burmese State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, detained by the military since the first night of the coup. A 26-year-old man helping at barriers set up in the city to slow security forces died after being shot in the neck, medical officials said. The killing follows the deadliest day of the crackdown so far on Wednesday, when the UN said that at least 38 people were killed, as graphic images showed security forces firing into crowds and bloodied bodies being dragged away. There were also protests in the central town of Bago and the San Chaung district of the capital, Naypyidaw — a hotspot for rallies — where groups of demonstrators sang a song of defiance. In the country’s north, people have crossed the border into India to escape the crackdown. Indian police said that nine people had crossed the 1,600km frontier — three of whom were police officers who had refused to take part in putting down protests. The junta has sought to stop news of the crackdown, choking the Internet and banning Facebook,
SETTING THE TONE: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington would seek to collaborate with Beijing when it can, but would be ‘adversarial when it must be’ The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked US President Joe Biden’s administration after it issued interim guidance on strategic priorities, including reaffirming support for Taiwan. The 23-page Interim National Security Strategic Guidance report, published by the White House on Wednesday, said that the US would “support Taiwan, a leading democracy and a critical economic and security partner, in line with longstanding American commitments.” Since his inauguration in January, Biden’s administration has expressed robust support for Taiwan and said that the US’ security commitment to the nation was “rock solid,” ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said. Taiwan and the US share the same ideals and goals in defending freedom and democratic values, she said. The ministry will continue to work closely with the Biden administration to strengthen the Taiwan-US partnership on the basis of the nations’ longstanding friendship, Ou said. The document said that the most effective way for the US to outcompete China is to invest in its people, economy and democracy. “By bolstering and defending our unparalleled network of allies and partners, and by making smart defense investments, we will also deter Chinese aggression and counter threats to our collective security, prosperity and democratic way of life,” the report said. “When the Chinese government’s behavior directly threatens our interests and values, we will answer Beijing’s challenge,” it said, adding that the US would confront unfair and illegal trade practices, cybertheft and coercive economic practices that hurt American workers. The guidance also pointed to climate change, global health, arms control and nonproliferation as areas to seek China’s cooperation. Also on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave his first major address in office. Blinken promised that the Biden administration would prioritize diplomacy over military action, and build cooperation with the world on global challenges such as climate change and COVID-19. He vowed to champion the rights of Hong Kong and
BEARING FRUIT: Two former ministers of agriculture took their knowledge of Taiwanese-developed processes to China, a DPP legislator said The previous Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration helped export Taiwan’s agricultural know-how to China, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said yesterday. After China on Friday last week abruptly announced that starting from Monday it would suspend imports of pineapples from Taiwan, Chen on Tuesday said the ban was a result of the KMT working with China. Soon after the ban was announced, Chinese state-run media started promoting pineapples grown in Guangdong Province, including Taiwanese-developed golden diamond pineapples. At a news conference in Taipei yesterday, Chen said that the flow of farming and fruit production knowledge from Taiwan to China was facilitated by KMT officials, and had intensified during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration from 2008 to 2016. “During those years, many KMT officials frequently traveled to China for trade, helping China with new farming methods,” Chen said, describing KMT officials as “compradors.” Former ministers of agriculture Paul Sun (孫明賢) and Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) played key roles in helping China, Chen Ting-fei said. Sun headed the Council of Agriculture from 1992 to 1996, while Chen Bao-ji was in office from 2012 to 2016. Working with KMT politicians, the Chinese government started the Taiwan Farmers Pioneers Park (台灣農民創業園) program in 2005, which offered Taiwanese farmers low-interest loans, inexpensive land and other favorable terms to take their skills, seeds and knowledge to China, Chen Ting-fei said. Under Ma’s administration, the pioneer park expanded from four to 25 sites across 12 provinces, she said. Sun took Chen Bao-ji on numerous trips to visit the sites and provide consultation, she added. In addition to golden diamond pineapples developed by the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute in 1998, KMT figures have passed on other Taiwanese-cultivated and refined fruits to China, including mangoes, dragon fruits and black pearl wax apples, she said. Ma’s administration promoted closer agricultural ties with China, and his government took the
CIVILIAN EFFORT: Members of a temple in Nantou County have helped relocate two of the endangered cats found near chicken coops, the agriculture agency said Nine civilian patrols have been established in Nantou County to protect Taiwan’s endangered leopard cat population, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said in a statement yesterday. The patrols are part of a pilot program launched by the Endemic Species Research Institute in 2019, which offers government grants to residents in Nantou and Miaoli counties to engage in the protection of the local populations of the small wild cat, it said. Nationwide, there are about 300 to 500 leopard cats, the council said. The patrols work with local authorities on a range of conservation measures, such as reporting illegal traps, installing automatic cameras, cat-proofing poultry enclosures, and helping to catch and release leopard cats found on local farms, it said. Annual grants for civilian protection efforts range from NT$60,000 to NT$100,000, the council said. Nine patrols have been established in Nantou’s Jhongliao Township (中寮), and one of them, conducted by members of Yongsheng Temple (永盛宮) in Yongping Village (永平), in January helped relocate two leopard cats, the council said. Experts at the institute trapped the two cats near chicken coops in the area, and they were found to be in good health, the council said. The two — named Yong-ge (永哥) and Sheng-ge (盛哥) by patrol members — weighed 4.9kg and 4.6kg respectively, and were fitted with tracking collars as part of protection efforts, it said. Yong-ge was on Feb. 3 released back into the wild by the institute, and Sheng-ge was released by Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) on Feb. 24, while he was visiting the area to collect feedback on the program, the council said. Members of the patrol have helped the owners of the chicken coops set up protective fencing, and reinforce fencing at the coop where Sheng-ge was detected again on Sunday last week, it said. The program has helped raise awareness about
UNTANGLED: Camp sites, which fall under the jurisdiction of several government agencies, should be governed by the education and transport ministries, attendants agreed Enforcement of new camping measures and a need to clarify overlapping governmental jurisdictions were among the recommendations made by tour operators and lawmakers on Thursday at a public hearing on domestic tourism at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. There are 1,985 camp sites nationwide, but only 166, or less than 10 percent, have been granted operating licenses by a local government agency, officials said, citing Ministry of Transportation and Communications data. Meanwhile, ministry surveys found that camp sites were in areas zoned for different uses, with some in areas approved for Boy and Girl Scout troops, at main tourism attractions, in national parks, national scenic areas, forest preserves, leisure farms and protected watershed areas. “Located in areas designated for various uses, the camp sites also fall under the jurisdiction of different government agencies, resulting in contrasting police enforcement and upholding of the law,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) said. Noting the rising popularity of mountain climbing and hiking amid the COVID-19 pandemic, DPP Legislator Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) said that the ministry has the responsibility to regulate camp sites. The hearing was attended by representatives of a camping industry alliance and campground operators, who said that new regulations are needed, as more than 70 percent of camp sites are in areas that have been designated by local governments as farmland, pastures and forestry preserves. Some sites lack basic amenities, they said, adding that they need infrastructure and facilities. One operator said he would like to apply for a license, but was unsure which agency to go to for the inspection and approval process. It was agreed at the hearing that the ministry, which oversees the Tourism Bureau, should have jurisdiction over all camp sites, except for those designated for educational uses, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education. Chen Ying-jung (陳盈蓉), head of
Prosecutors on Thursday asked the High Court to hand down a heavy sentence of more than one year for a woman accused of drugging and robbing three older people last year. The 67-year-old woman, surnamed Huang (黃), is appealing a guilty verdict by the Taipei District Court, prosecutors said. Huang was in February last year found guilty of drugging and robbing eight older men she had picked up in the city’s Wanhua District (萬華) in 2016 and 2017, prosecutors said. She had approached the men in public places, and convinced them to take her to their homes or took them to her home, where she secretly gave them drugs to make them lose consciousness so that she could rob them, a district court filing showed. She was sentenced to eight years and 10 months in jail on charges of robbery and theft, it showed. Huang appealed the verdict and the case is under review by the High Court, prosecutors said. However, prosecutors after the district court ruling found that Huang, who had formerly run a hotel in Hualien County, had previously served jail sentences for similar offenses, prosecutors said. After the verdict last year, she allegedly continued seeking out men and robbing them, prosecutors said. In the latest case, Huang allegedly stole NT$3,600 and an ID card from a man surnamed Hsieh (謝) who she had met near Taipei’s MRT Longshan Temple Station, they said. She allegedly took Hsieh to her residence, drugged and robbed him, and then left him on the side of a road while he was still unconscious, they said. On Nov. 1 last year, Huang allegedly also drugged and stole NT$500, a mobile phone and cigarettes from a man surnamed Hsu (許) at his home, prosecutors said. A week later, Huang allegedly approached a man surnamed Chen (陳), with the intention to drug and rob him,
Some termite species have a stronger-than-expected tolerance for salt water, Taiwanese and US researchers found in a study on the likelihood that the insects might have spread between continents on driftwood. Although termites can only fly a few kilometers, they are found on all continents and many island, raising the question of how they spread, Chiu Chun-i (邱俊禕), a postdoctoral researcher at National Chung Hsing University and coauthor of the study, said in a news release on Monday. The most widely accepted theory is that the insects spread on driftwood, but their tolerance for salty environments had not yet been tested, Chiu said. Working with researchers at Tzu Chi University and the University of Florida, Chiu tested how long 12 termite species could survive eating only paper soaked in saltwater. Seven of the species, which are found across Taiwan, died within less than six days, he said. However, five other species, which are also found on small islands and along coasts, survived longer, from 12 days to even months, Chiu said. Their mortality rate was similar to control groups that fed on paper soaked in fresh water, he said. The result strongly supports the theory that some termite species have spread around the globe on driftwood, while those species that are unable to withstand salty environments might have spread via land bridges or in wood products, he said. The study, titled “Termite salinity tolerance and potential for transoceanic dispersal through rafting,” was published in the journal Ecological Entomology in September last year.
Taiwan’s first-ever for-profit light festival organized by a local government last month netted a profit of NT$6.19 million (US$218,914) from the sale of 168,321 tickets, the Tainan City Government said in a news release on Monday. The second iteration of the Longci Light Festival closed after 66 days on Sunday last week, and the large number of visitors was proof that municipalities could charge a reasonable admittance fee to public events, the Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau said. The festival in Tainan’s least populated district of Longci (龍崎) featured 14 light installations. Charging entrance fees was an experiment to test whether for-profit public events are viable, bureau director Chen Yung-chieh (陳雍杰) said. Before the festival, the bureau had faced considerable criticism over the fees and whether it would be possible to attract a large number of visitors, but it sold 104,979 tickets at NT$50 apiece, or 70 percent of all available tickets, he said. Admission was free on the first three days of the festival. However this year the daily average visitor number was 2,600, compared with 4,000 daily visitors last year, Chen said. “To enhance the quality of the visitor experience,” it aimed to limit the number of visitors, which it achieved by charging a fee, he said. The bureau’s statistics showed that the district benefited economically from the festival, Chen said. Local farmers, street vendors and restaurants have reported a significant increase in customers during the festival, he added. “The popularity of the festival shows that people are increasingly accepting that they should pay to attend art and culture events,” Chen said. The next Longci Light Festival would open in December, the bureau said.
ALSO STRATEGIC: The analyst said militarized public investment is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s economic vision to emphasize ‘internal circulation’ China’s soaring military spending amid a COVID-19 pandemic slump is a dual bid to stimulate the economy and obtain strategic capabilities, a defense analyst said after Beijing yesterday unveiled a 1.36 trillion yuan (US$210 billion) defense budget. According to China’s general budget for fiscal 2021, its defense spending is to grow by 6.8 percent, compared with 6.6 percent in the previous fiscal year. The military spending increase comes as China’s economy grew by just 2.3 percent last year, the lowest year-on-year economic gain in two decades. The perennial growth of China’s military budget is driven mainly by political and military needs, said Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), director of the Institute of National Defense and Strategic Research’s division of defense strategy and resources. The priorities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army this year include putting a third aircraft carrier to sea, construction of Type 075 helicopter dock vessels, and development of ice-breaking Type 096 ballistic submarines and Xian H-20 stealth bombers, Su said. The systems would help China tighten its grip on the first island chain and project military power to the second island chain in line with Beijing’s geostrategic and military goals, while also stimulating the economy, he said. Initiated soon after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) took office, militarized public capital investment is part of his economic vision to emphasize “internal circulation,” Su said. “Internal circulation” refers to the domestic cycle of production, distribution and consumption that supplements external trade. The budget shows that defense spending is part of Beijing’s answer to COVID-19 and the US-China trade dispute, which is taking a toll on the Chinese economy, Su said. For example, Xi’s naval expansion helps the shipbuilding industry survive when the pandemic is hurting shipbuilders around the world, in addition to hardening China’s sea lines of communication and enabling force projection, he said. China’s actual defense spending is likely to
The government should protect agricultural techniques and cultivars as “sensitive technology,” and punish people who export such technology abroad, Agricultural Bank of Taiwan chairman Wu Ming-ming (吳明敏) said yesterday. After China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend imports of pineapples from Taiwan from Monday, Chinese state-run media began promoting pineapples grown in Guangdong Province, including the Taiwanese-developed Golden Diamond type. Taiwan has precious semiconductor and agricultural techniques, but many of them are said to have been exported to China, Wu told a news conference in Taipei promoting pineapple exports. Wu called on the government to take action to protect newly developed fruit cultivars to prevent them from flowing to China and to help to promote local products. The plight of Taiwan’s pineapple growers is the result of an excessive reliance on China’s market, which accounts for more than 90 percent of exported pineapples, he said. However, prices are not necessarily good when the quantity is large, he said. Taiwan should not compete with other nations in terms of volume; instead, it should boost the image of local crops by promoting those with traceable certification logos, while diversifying export destinations, Wu said. The bank in 2019 established a platform to coordinate supply and demand for agricultural products, as many visitors and Taiwanese businesspeople would ask where to buy Taiwanese fruit, he said. The platform can be accessed at www.ansingo.com.tw. Through the platform, Taiwanese in Australia have ordered 2 tonnes of pineapples and in Canada more than 10 tonnes, Wu said, adding that Taiwanese in Vietnam, which does not import fresh pineapples from Taiwan, are seeking ways to import processed pineapple products. Taiwanese in New York are planning to invest in cooling logistics to enable the shipment of pineapples to the US, he said. More than 60 pineapple-related products are available on the platform, ranging from fresh and dried
A group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday sought a constitutional interpretation over the government’s move to nationalize irrigation associations. The Legislative Yuan in July last year passed the Act of Irrigation (農田水利法) that converted 17 irrigation associations nationwide into a government body. The Council of Agriculture in October last year inaugurated the Agency of Irrigation to oversee the associations, whose assets are valued at about NT$75.6 billion (US$2.67 billion). Prior to the enactment, KMT lawmakers had opposed the move by seeking a constitutional interpretation, basing claims on Article 40 of the Organic Regulations for Irrigation and Water Conservancy Associations (農田水利會組織通則); but the appeal on Aug. 28 last year was turned down by the Council of Grand Justices, which said that the lawmakers had failed to meet standards outlined in the Act on the Council of Grand Justices Reviewing Constitutional Interpretation Requests (司法院大法官審理案件法). In a second attempt yesterday, 38 KMT lawmakers tendered another request for the council to issue a constitutional interpretation of articles 23 and 34 of the Irrigation Act. The Irrigation Act contravenes freedom of association and amounts to government seizure of private property, the lawmakers said, adding that it harms Taiwan’s democratic governance. Based on the principle that laws should not be retroactive and the principle of legitimate expectation, associations should not be eliminated by a new law, the legislators said, citing the example of the Red Cross Society continuing to exist despite the abolishment of the Red Cross Society act in 2016. The associations should continue to exist and would simply fall under the jurisdiction of the Civil Associations Act (人民團體法) and the Civil Code, they said. The new act also contravenes the principles of legal reservation and proportionality, they said. The abolishment of associations must have a legal basis — which the government lacks — and such an action should only be taken
Judicial reform advocates yesterday launched a “National Judge Information Platform” to provide guidance and assist people who become part of a proposed lay judge system. The platform has compiled case documents gathered from district courts and would add feedback from participating lay judges to add to assessments by observers and legal practitioners, Judicial Reform Foundation chairman Lin Yung-sung (林永頌) said. “It is to help people now involved in the simulation court trials that the Judicial Yuan is running nationwide, preparing them for the official implementation of the lay judge system in two years,” Lin told a news conference in Taipei alongside Taiwan Jury Association director Chen Wei-shyang (陳為祥) and representatives from the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy and the Taiwan Labor Front. The legislature in July last year passed the National Judge Act (國民法官法), setting 2023 as the start of citizen participation as lay judges in criminal cases, with the bench to consist of six lay and three career judges. “We opposed the lay judge system while the changes were being discussed,” Lin said. “For genuine judicial reform, Taiwan needs a jury system, as they have in the US, Canada and most other leading democracies.” It was unfortunate that the Judicial Yuan led the drive to oppose the jury system and also rejected a recommendation for a “twin track” proposal, in which jury and lay judge systems would be tried for a few years before one would be adopted, he said. However, as the legislature has passed the act to adopt the lay judge system, the public has to go along with it, he said. The platform would prepare people to engage in the simulated court program as well as duty as lay judges, Lin said, adding that the program is vital, as most are not familiar with legal procedures and have no trial experience. Among the platform’s
BEST REFERRAL: Eastern Media International Corp chairman Gary Wang said that the firm partnered with Formosa International Hotels Corp because he is a loyal customer Eastern Media International Corp (EMG, 東森國際) yesterday signed a management contract with Formosa International Hotels Corp (FIH, 晶華國際酒店集團) to open a hotel under the Silks X brand that could start operations in 2025. The e-commerce and home shopping operator is to build the hotel in a mixed-use complex near the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport MRT line’s Linkou Station with a budget of NT$1 billion (US$35.37 million), EMG chairman Gary Wang (王令麟) told a news conference. The hotel of 200 guest rooms would occupy the 26th to 33rd floors of a complex under construction, which would also house movie theaters, retail stores, banquet facilities and office space for the group’s beauty and direct sales arms, Wang said. EMG owns e-commerce platform ETMall (東森購物), Hong Kong-listed Natural Beauty Bio-Technology Ltd (自然美), and warehouses at the Taichung and Kaohsiung harbors for the storage of agricultural products. It also has a business that imports grain and consumer electronic products. Wang said that he aims to turn the complex into a local version of Cannes, France, with the assistance of the adjacent Mitsui Outlet Park (三井) and Sanlih Entertainment Television (三立), which is developing a mixed-use complex in the neighborhood. EMG is to pour NT$12 billion into building the complex, which could attract 10 million visitors and generate more than NT$8 billion in revenue per year, Wang said. “You cannot find hotels in Cannes or Hollywood that generate losses,” Wang said. “There will more likely be a shortage of rooms after the complex’s construction.” The Silks X hotel is not the first time that EMG has ventured into the hospitality business, as the group owns unprofitable resort properties, one in Yilan and another in Taoyuan. However, EMG plans to leave them idle for the moment, Wang said, adding that real-estate properties in good locations tend to increase in value over time. Wang said that
RECRUITMENT: The latest hiring drive — for fabs in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan — aims to catch up with growth in the company and new technology development Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday unveiled a plan to hire 9,000 people this year in the latest round of recruitment as the chipmaker races to boost capacity to alleviate a chip crunch and safeguard its technology advantage. TSMC’s talent recruitment this year might be the most ambitious in its history, while last year’s drive of 8,000 added recruits doubled the 4,000 new hires that it averaged over the preceding few years. The latest drive — for fabs in Hsinchu, Taichung and Tainan — aims to catch up with growth in the company and new technology development, the Hsinchu-based chipmaker said. The annual hiring campaign was launched amid shortages of a variety of chips, especially auto chips. In January, the company revised its five-year revenue forecast to growth of 10 to 15 percent from a previous estimate of 5 to 10 percent, which it attributed primarily to stronger-than-expected demand for applications using high-performance computing and 5G smartphones. TSMC in January said that it plans an annual capital expenditure of US$25 billion to US$28 billion (US$884.14 million to US$990.24 million), mostly to develop and manufacture advanced 3-nanometer, 5-nanometer and 7-nanometer chips. The recruitment plan would bring the chipmaker’s overall headcount to more than 60,000 employees, up from 51,297 at the end of 2019. TSMC hosted a recruitment event at National Taiwan University yesterday, the first in a series of hiring activities to take place at local universities this month and next. The company expects about 3,000 students to sign up for job interviews, and said that next month it would begin accepting applications to a new internship program.
Largan Precision Co (大立光), the nation’s biggest supplier of camera lenses, has settled a lengthy litigation battle with smaller rival Ability Opto-Electronics Technology Co (先進光電), according to statements that the companies filed with the Taiwanese Stock Exchange yesterday. “We have signed a confidential settlement agreement,” Largan said in its statement. “Per the agreement, we will withdraw all litigation against Ability.” Details of the settlement are not to be disclosed to protect the privacy of individuals involved, the Taichung-based firm added. In 2012 and 2013, Largan sued Ability for allegedly stealing trade secrets. In 2017, the Intellectual Property Court ruled in Largan’s favor, ordering Ability to pay NT$1.52 billion (US$53.76 million at the current exchange rate) in compensation. The court’s ruling was upheld on Jan. 28. Largan hotly pursued the litigation, even requesting the court for the provisional seizure of Ability property on Tuesday last week. In 2013, Chinese-language magazine Business reported that Largan saw defending its “more than 500” pieces of intellectual property as key to maintaining its position as No. 1 in Taiwan’s opto-electronics market. Four engineers left Largan for positions at Ability and started filing patents related to production automation that Largan alleged infringed on its intellectual property, leading to the lawsuit. Over the years, Largan has also sued Samsung Electronics Co, Newmax Technology Co (新鉅科) and HP Inc for patent infringement. Largan settled out of court with all parties, except for HP. News of the settlement caused the price of Ability shares to jump 10 percent, the maximum daily increase, to NT$42.15. The price of Largan shares initially dipped NT$65 before recovering and ending the trading day at NT$3,360, slightly lower than the opening price of NT$3,375. Separately, Largan yesterday posted consolidated revenue of NT$3.21 billion for last month, down 12.44 percent from NT$3.67 billion in February last year. That represented a monthly decline of 30 percent from NT$4.61 billion
The Coast Guard Administration on Monday conducted the first of two drills for the quarter on the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙島). The drills are a routine exercise, but come at a time of increased Chinese military activity near Taiwan. The Ministry of National Defense last year began stationing marines on Pratas Island and Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島), following reports in May that China was planning drills off Hainan meant to simulate capture of Pratas Island. Attention was again drawn to the Pratas Islands after a routine charter flight taking supplies there on Oct. 15 last year was turned back by Hong Kong air traffic controllers as it approached the territory’s flight information region. Hong Kong said it stopped the aircraft because of “dangerous activities” in the area. That sparked speculation that it was a precursor of more actions aimed at cutting off Taiwan’s access to the islands. Maintaining sovereignty over the Pratas and Itu Aba islands is important for Taiwan, as this allows the Taiwanese navy to project its operational space. It is also important because of the implications of capturing those islands for Taiwan’s ability to protect the rest of its territory. The US has in recent months reiterated its support for Taiwan, with several US officials admonishing Beijing for pressuring Taiwan, and declaring their continued commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act. That commitment might include US military support in the event of an attack by China on Taiwan proper, or Lienchiang, Kinmen or Penghu counties. However, China might feel it is less likely that the US military would get involved if it were to attack the Pratas Islands or Itu Aba, as neither has a civilian population. Beijing might take over either of the two as a means of testing US resolve. Taiwan must not
While everyone is angrily discussing China’s suspension of Taiwanese pineapple imports, Beijing yesterday started reviewing its 14th five-year plan at the meetings of the National People’s Congress and the National People’s Political Consultative Conference. It is worth noting that China’s industrial development strategies in the five-year-period from this year to 2025 would deeply affect Taiwanese and cross-strait economic and trade structures. Given its need for domestic development and the US technology ban, Chinese industrial development can be expected to adopt three main strategies. The first would be to delay and wait for change. On Dec. 7 last year, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) made a five-point proposal calling for China-US relations to “embrace a new start after all the difficulties.” On Lunar New Year’s Eve, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) emphasized during a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden that the China-US confrontation would spell disaster for both as well as the rest of the world. These remarks reveal Beijing’s adjustments in response to the new situation, as China makes an all-out effort to reverse bilateral relations after former US president Donald Trump left office. Strategically, the Chinese side hopes to first resume dialogue, followed by a resumption of cooperation with the US, the concrete goal being to delay or reduce the US’ technology ban and export controls. The next strategy would be to break the deadlock indirectly. While actively rebuilding China-US relations, it would establish cooperation with the EU, Japanese and even Taiwanese businesses to indirectly obtain the advanced technologies affected by the US ban. The final strategy would be to promote independent industrial development. The Chinese leadership has seen that the US technology ban has exposed the nation’s manufacturing and technology industries’ overreliance on foreign technology, and that its core component parts, key raw materials and critical production
Taiwan’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing plants have for the past few months been struggling to keep up with demand, as they are already operating at full capacity — with demand expected to increase further. Amid these bullish expectations, policymakers should think about what they need to do to ensure that the semiconductor industry can continue to grow. One boost to the industry would be to repurpose the area around the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant — the Longmen plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) — as a central hub for semiconductor manufacturing, the “Longmen Science and Technology Park.” There are several good reasons for doing so: First, the Longmen area has adequate water and electricity. The greatest drawback of Taiwan’s “semiconductor corridor” — which stretches from the Hsinchu Science Park to the Central Taiwan Science Park and on to the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) — is that it is situated along the leeward side of the Central Mountain Range, where there is dry weather. Semiconductor manufacturing requires vast amounts of water, but reservoir supplies are often threatened during the dry season. For example, in the past few years, dry weather has led to low water levels and shortages at Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫), Baoshan Reservoir (寶山水庫) and Baoshan Second Reservoir (寶二水庫), which supply the Hsinchu park; Mingde Reservoir (明德水庫) and Liyu Lake Reservoir (鯉魚潭水庫), which supply the central Taiwan park; and Zengwen Reservoir (曾文水庫), Wushantou Reservoir (烏山頭水庫) and Nanhua Reservoir (南化水庫), which supply the Lujhu park. However, the Longmen park would be on the windward side of the Central Mountain Range, where there is copious rainfall. In particular, northeasterly monsoon winds bring the area heavy rainfall when western Taiwan is in the middle of a dry season. The Longmen area is only 8km from Feitsui Reservoir (翡翠水庫) and its tributaries, which include
LATE JEOPARDY: Hernani pulled one back for Parma to make it a nervous final 20 minutes for the league leaders, but Inter held on to claim all three points Alexis Sanchez on Thursday struck twice in the second half for his first brace in the Inter jersey as his side moved six points clear at the top of Serie A with a 2-1 win over Parma. Romelu Lukaku had a role in both the goals by his former Manchester United teammate to give Antonio Conte’s side a sixth consecutive league win. Inter pulled clear of second-placed AC Milan, who were held 1-1 against Udinese on Wednesday, with reigning champions Juventus a further four points adrift with a game in hand. “The improvement over last year is obvious, but there are 13 games left and in Serie A each is a battle,” Conte said. Chile international Sanchez started up front in place of Lautaro Martinez to lead the Inter attack alongside Lukaku. “I think I’m a very democratic coach, in the sense that I don’t give anything to anyone,” said Conte, who led Inter to second place in Serie A in his first season in charge. “There is a team and the individual comes later. [Sanchez] is in the best condition we’ve ever seen him, and now Romelu and Lautaro know that Sanchez is right behind them, too. I’m happy because my kids are showing great application and resilience.” Both sides had their chances in the first half at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma. Christian Eriksen missed the chance to tap in for Inter in front of an open goal after half an hour following good work from Achraf Hakimi. Parma goalkeeper Luigi Sepe denied Lukaku and the Belgian nodded just wide off an Ivan Perisic cross just before halftime. At the other end of the pitch, Samir Handanovic did well to keep out a close-range Jasmin Kurtic header, with Dennis Man also nodding wide. Sanchez struck for the second consecutive league game nine minutes after halftime. Lukaku chested down
Mason Mount on Thursday fired Chelsea into fourth place in the English Premier League, as the midfielder’s superb strike clinched a 1-0 win against troubled Liverpool, while Everton boosted their top-four bid with a 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion. Mount’s first-half goal was enough to see off lackluster Liverpool and extend Chelsea’s impressive renaissance under new coach Thomas Tuchel. Chelsea are unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January. The Blues sit one point clear of fifth-placed Everton, who have a game in hand on the west London side. “It was a very good team performance. It was a six-point game because the others lose,” Tuchel said. “We played with courage, had excellent moments with the ball, and never lost the attitude and desire. The race is on. We can never rest and never celebrate. There is no time.” While Chelsea are on the up, injury-hit Liverpool crashed to a fifth successive home defeat for the first time in their illustrious history, leaving the spluttering champions without a win at Anfield since before Christmas. Juergen Klopp’s team are languishing in seventh place, four points behind Chelsea after losing five of their past six league matches. “It is a massive blow,” Klopp said. “It is not about Anfield or whatever, it is in general, too often. In the decisive moments we have to improve. We have to show our quality in these moments and we don’t do that often enough.” After Chelsea’s Timo Werner was denied by the narrowest of offside decisions, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane missed a sitter. Chelsea took the lead in the 42nd minute when N’Golo Kante launched a pass toward Mount and the England midfielder cut in from the left, leaving Fabinho trailing in his wake, before curling a superb finish into the bottom corner. Liverpool did not have an effort
Australia yesterday thrashed New Zealand by 50 runs in a low-scoring fourth Twenty20 international in Wellington to level the series at 2-2. The result sets up a winner-takes-all blockbuster in the final match at the same venue tomorrow, with Australia in red-hot form after struggling early in the series. Australia scored 156-6 in their 20 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat. In reply, New Zealand were all out for 106 after 18.5 overs. Captain Aaron Finch anchored the tourists’ innings with a gritty 79, making him Australia’s most prolific T20 international run scorer on 2,310, ahead of David Warner’s 2,265. Finch chiseled out his 14th T20 half-century off 55 balls, before cutting loose with four sixes in the final over, in which Kyle Jamieson conceded 26 runs, but he struggled for partners as the Black Caps pinned back Australia’s batters with accurate bowling and a steady flow of wickets. Despite his man-of-the-match batting performance, Finch singled out his bowlers for praise, saying they were outstanding on a wicket that did not play as expected. “I thought we adapted really well, it was a really polished performance with the ball,” Finch said. Paceman Kyle Richardson ended with the best figures of 3-19, but spinners Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell all contributed with two wickets each. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers, claiming 3-32. The Black Caps made a slow start, with openers Martin Guptill and Tim Seifert managing just one boundary between them in the opening three overs on a spin-friendly wicket. Guptill departed cheaply for 7, but it was only the beginning of New Zealand’s woes, as they lost a further six wickets for 30 runs. The collapse effectively ended the contest, despite some tail-end resistance from Jamieson, who top-scored for the Black Caps with 30. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was frustrated
Rishabh Pant yesterday launched a spectacular late assault in his flamboyant 101 to put India in charge of the fourth and final Test against England in Ahmedabad. Ben Stokes led England’s lion-hearted bowling effort in the first two sessions, but Pant’s century-plus partnership with Washington Sundar tilted the game in favor of the hosts, who finished the second on 294-7. Sundar was batting on 60 at stumps and Axar Patel was on 11, with India 89 ahead after being 121-5 at one stage. “We were on the back foot after losing those wickets, but the partnership between Pant and Washington was very important,” India opener Rohit Sharma said. “It got us to where we wanted, put us in the driver’s seat. Right now we have 90-odd lead, which is fantastic. I just hope Axar and Washington can carry the same intent tomorrow as well and put us in a good position.” Having posted a below-par 205, England could not afford to let India get off to a flying start and their bowlers responded brilliantly after the hosts resumed the day on 24-1. James Anderson bowled a tight line, while Stokes, who battled an upset stomach on Thursday and still top-scored with 55, was relentlessly hostile. Left-arm spinner Jack Leach earned the breakthrough, trapping the obdurate Cheteshwar Pujara leg before wicket for 17. Stokes bent his back to generate awkward bounce and one such delivery fetched him the prize wicket of Virat Kohli. The India captain could merely nick the rising delivery behind to be dismissed for an eight-ball duck. Rohit, who made 49, was smacked on his helmet by another such delivery from Stokes. The all-rounder returned after the lunch break to deny Rohit his half-century and Leach sent back Ravichandran Ashwin to peg back India. Pant began cautiously, but accelerated spectacularly, especially after England took the second new ball. The left-hander
VETTING: The proposed change could bar opposition figures from running in Hong Kong’s legislature, which a Chinese official said must be governed by ‘patriots’ A largely pro-Beijing committee that elects Hong Kong’s leader would also choose a large part of the legislature, a top Chinese official announced yesterday as part of a major revamp that would increase central government control over Hong Kong politics. The changes are part of a draft decision submitted on the opening day of the weeklong meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s ceremonial legislature, which will all but certainly endorse it. The Election Committee would participate in the nomination of candidates for Hong Kong’s legislature and also elect “a relatively large share” of its members, NPC Standing Committee vice chairman Wang Chen (王晨) said. He did not say how many legislators would be chosen by the committee. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said it would be 30 seats in an expanded 90-seat legislature. The committee selected up to 10 members in earlier versions of Hong Kong’s legislature, but has not done so since the 2000 election. Wang added that the size, composition and selection of the 1,200-member committee would also be adjusted, and Hong Kong’s leader would continue to be elected by the committee. Currently, half of Hong Kong’s now 70-member Legislative Council is directly elected by voters. The other half is elected by professional or special interest groups from sectors such as insurance, engineering and agriculture. With the largely pro-Beijing committee nominating all candidates for the legislature, opposition figures could be barred from running in elections. The draft changes came after Xia Baolong (夏寶龍), director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing, said that Hong Kong must be governed only by “patriots.” In his speech, Wang said that “clear loopholes and shortcomings” in Hong Kong’s electoral system had allowed “anti-China” forces to undermine the overall stability in Hong Kong and jeopardize national sovereignty, security and
The WHO has scrapped plans for a team that visited Wuhan, China, to probe the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic to issue an interim report, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported late on Thursday. The WHO team returned from its visit there last month, saying it had no clear finding on the genesis of the virus, amid tensions between the US and China on what caused the once-in-a century global health crisis. The US responded by saying it had “deep concerns” about what the team learned and it pressed Beijing for more information. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Feb. 12 said that a preliminary report with a summary of the team’s findings would be issued soon thereafter, and a full report in a matter of weeks. However, now the plan is to scrap the interim report, the WSJ said, quoting Peter Ben Embarek, the scientist who led the team. Instead, the team is to publish the full and final report, with a summary of its findings, the newspaper said, quoting a WHO spokesman. This broader report “will be published in coming weeks and will include key findings,” it quoted the spokesman as saying. “By definition a summary report does not have all the details,” Ben Embarek was quoted as saying. “So since there [is] so much interest in this report, a summary only would not satisfy the curiosity of the readers.” US Department of State spokesman Ned Price on Thursday urged China to share what it knows from the earliest days of the pandemic. “It is about learning and doing, being positioned to do everything we can to protect ourselves, the American people, and the international community against pandemic threats going forward,” Price told a briefing. “That’s why we need this understanding. That’s why we need this transparency from the Chinese government.”
Zhang Zhan’s (張展) footage of bedridden patients lining a hospital corridor in Wuhan gave a rare, unvarnished glimpse from China’s COVID-19 ground zero in the first months of the pandemic. The video was one of many that helped land the citizen journalist and former lawyer in jail, where she has been severely weakened by a hunger strike to protest her treatment. In another clip, Zhang calmly faces down a security officer who accosts her and orders her to stop filming. “It’s my right to monitor the government,” she said, as the man attempted to snatch away her phone. Zhang has become “symbolic” of the quest to uncover what happened in China at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, her lawyer said. However, sharing her amateur footage with the wider community came at a high price for the 37-year-old. She was detained in May last year and seven months later, sentenced to four years in jail for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Her real crime, however, seems to have been publishing a narrative of the pandemic that China does not want to be told. Beijing’s version extols the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party in the health crisis, while glossing over the fear, confusion and criticism over early handling of the issue. Zhang decided to travel to Wuhan from Shanghai in February last year, after an online post by a Wuhan resident motivated her to find out the truth behind the outbreak. “He said he felt like he was left there to die, I was very touched by what he wrote,” Zhang said in a documentary about her by an anonymous filmmaker, posted on the Web site China Change. By then, officials had put the bustling transport hub under an unprecedented lockdown as they scrambled to contain the mysterious new virus that soon became known as
Michael E Mann is one of the world’s most influential climate scientists. He rose to prominence in 1999 as the co-author of the “hockey-stick graph,” which showed the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial age. This was the clearest evidence anyone had provided of the link between human emissions and global warming. This made him a target. He and other scientists have been subject to “climategate” e-mail hacking, personal abuse and online trolling. In his new book, The New Climate War, he argues the tide may finally be turning in a hopeful direction. The Guardian: You are a battle-scarred veteran of many climate campaigns. What’s new about the climate war? Michael Man: For more than two decades I was in the crosshairs of climate change deniers, fossil fuel industry groups and those advocating for them — conservative politicians and media outlets. This was part of a larger effort to discredit the science of climate change that is arguably the most well-funded, most organized PR campaign in history. Now we finally have reached the point where it is not credible to deny climate change because people can see it playing out in real time in front of their eyes. But the “inactivists,” as I call them, haven’t given up; they have simply shifted from hard denial to a new array of tactics that I describe in the book as the new climate war. TG: Who is the enemy in the new climate war? MM: It is fossil fuel interests, climate change deniers, conservative media tycoons, working together with petrostate actors like Saudi Arabia and Russia. I call this the coalition of the unwilling. If you had to find a single face that represents both the old and new climate war it would be Rupert Murdoch. Climate change is an issue the Murdoch press has dissembled
Taiwan is a crowded country. The average home is small. Farmers tend fields which, by North American standards, are tiny. At the same time, the pace of life is fast. Rushing from A to B, it’s easy to miss some of Taiwan’s smaller attractions. None of the three manmade curiosities described in this article justifies going hours out of your way, but if you’re passing nearby, you won’t regret stopping to take a look at any of them. SHALU’S NOSTALGIC PAINTINGS Shalu’s Nostalgic Paintings (沙鹿懷舊彩繪), also known as Meiren Borough Painted Village (美仁里彩繪村), is a set of colorful artworks depicting Taiwan as it was a half century ago. Images in Shalu District (沙鹿), an old neighborhood approximately 17km northwest of downtown Taichung, celebrate iconic Taiwanese brands like Uni-President’s (統一) Minced Pork Flavor Instant Noodles and HeySong’s (黑松) soft drinks. There are also two-dimensional recreations of a traditional fruit stand and a shop selling ladies’ fashions. These nicely-executed backdrops, not to mention the lifelike cats that had been painted on walls, proved so appealing to Instagrammers in 2018 and 2019 that many residents grew heartily sick of the crowds and the litter they left behind. Since then, property-owners have covered up some of the murals. If you do visit, you mightn’t see everything you were expecting to. Even though this attraction isn’t as popular as it used to be, visiting on a weekday is still preferable. The fewer the people, the better the photos you’ll get. The walking distance from Shalu TRA Railway Station is less than 500m. At Kuang Tien General Hospital (光田綜合醫院), you’ll need to cross Shatian Road (沙田), which every morning is the venue for a busy traditional market. The Nostalgic Paintings are on Sinping Lane (新平巷), which runs east-west between Shatian Road and Siping Street (四平). If you plan to
Yuto Naganuma looks silently as the cold sea breeze sweeps over the crumbling walls of the school where his little brother was lost in Japan’s devastating 2011 tsunami. Ten years on, Naganuma and others like him form a generation whose young lives were shaped by what is known in Japan as the triple disaster: a powerful earthquake that sparked a terrifying tsunami and the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The children of the tsunami lost family, homes, schools and entire communities, and for some the experience sparked a drive to work in disaster awareness, or help children like them who have lived with tragedy. Even a decade on, the devastation Naganuma suffered is raw. “I lost my family, my community. Things that built who I am. I felt the tsunami carved away half of my body,” he said outside the Okawa Elementary School in northeast Japan, where his eight-year-old brother was killed. He was among 74 children and 10 school staff killed in one of the worst tragedies of the disaster that left around 18,500 people dead or missing, swept away after staff failed to evacuate to higher ground. Naganuma was just 16 at the time, but blamed himself for the loss. Two days before the 9.0 magnitude quake struck, he felt a major 7.3 tremor on a local beach, which he saw later as a missed warning. “I feel maybe my brother did not have to die. Had I warned people in the community, maybe they didn’t have to die,” he said as he gazed at gutted classrooms. His grandmother and great-grandmother were also killed in the tsunami, as they waited for his brother’s school bus. “I am filled with regret,” he said. “I let the day come without taking any action.” ‘LIVING BETWEEN DISASTERS’ In the years after, Naganuma focused on leading a normal life, but he struggled with survivor’s
B: Where are we meeting the rest of the hiking group? A: The guide will pick us up in Kaohsiung and drive us to the trailhead. There’ll be five of us going. We’re thinking of hiring a car. B: Good idea. If we split the car rental fee between us it will end up much cheaper than five HSR return tickets. And we can leave a change of clothes in the car for after the hike. A: My friend has volunteered to drive. She has one request, though. B: What’s that? A: That we all have a shower before we get in the car for the return trip back to Taipei. B: 我們跟其他隊友要在哪裡集合啊？ A: 嚮導會去高雄接我們，然後載我們到山口。我們有五個人，想說要不要來租一輛車。 B: 好點子。如果我們平攤租車費，就會比高鐵來回票便宜得多。而且我們還可以把換洗衣物放在車上，下山以後可以穿。 A: 我朋友自告奮勇說她可以開車，不過有一個條件。 B: 什麼條件？ A: 到台北的回程，我們都要洗過澡才能上車。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
You like the great outdoors, don’t you? (4/5) 你不是很熱衷戶外活動嗎？（四） A: I don’t think the hike is going to be too challenging, but we might be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, so be sure to take a sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a chapstick for the lips. B: Of course, and plenty of water. I assume we can get fresh water at the peak, but I will pack at least three liters. I don’t want to dehydrate. A: It’s also important to keep your energy levels up. The guide recommends we bring snacks, sandwiches, fruit and chocolate for the trail. B: I have to be careful with my knees. I’ll be wearing some knee sleeves for support. I think I’ll also take a couple of hiking sticks. A: 我想這山路應該不會太難走，可是我們可能會在太陽底下好長一段時間，所以記得要帶遮陽帽、太陽眼鏡，還有護脣膏。 B: 當然，還要帶很多水。山頂應該會有乾淨的水，可是我還是會帶至少三公升的水，因為我才不想要脫水咧。 A: 保持體力也是很重要的。嚮導建議我們帶零食、三明治、水果和巧克力，可以在路上吃。 B: 我的膝蓋有點問題，得要小心點。我會穿護膝來增加支撐力。我應該也會帶兩支登山杖。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
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