Targeting scooters no answer
In your story about motorcycle parking fees, the student surnamed Cheng is right to cast doubt on the city government's sincerity in curbing congestion by charging scooter drivers parking fees ("Motorcycle parking fees to be enforced in Taipei," Dec. 24, page 2), but wrong when he says that scooter drivers are a minority. It is obvious to any road user that scooters at least equal if not outnumber cars on city streets, and yet all traffic laws and regulations are unfairly designed to suit the real minority -- car drivers.
Congestion is not caused by scooters, but by those people who automatically assume that they absolutely must take with them on their journey from home to office a sofa, two armchairs, a fitted carpet, an air conditioning unit, at least four ashtrays, a stereo system, and possibly even a color TV, karaoke machine and drinks cabinet. Everything but the kitchen sink.
If the city government was sincere in its efforts to reduce congestion, it would legislate to reduce the number of selfish car owners, promote scooter driving as an environmentally sound and cost-efficient way to move around the city, and carry out a cull of the reckless, inconsiderate, dishonest and usually criminal taxi drivers. Targeting scooters is not the answer. After all, imagine if every scooter driver in the city took the bus or started driving a car. That would really be congestion.
Support Ma's recycling plan
I would like to applaud Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on his plan to collect and compost food waste. When I lived in Taipei I was distressed by what I thought was the local population's complete disregard for their environment. However, Ma's progressive and necessary plan will place Taipei firmly in the forefront of environmentally-friendly waste management not only in Asia but in the entire world.
My colleagues and I have been lobbying our municipal government here in Toronto to do the same for years. A considerable body of evidence supports the need for both pay-as-you-throw and composting programs, especially in congested urban areas lacking landfill space, and the two will complement each other nicely.
I urge your readers to fully support this plan as it is green, economical, and will also lead to technological progress.
Taiwan must choose carefully
Well put, Bode (Letters, Dec. 23, page 8). As he says, it is not "China" per se who is pointing almost 500 missiles at Taiwan. Neither are the 1.3 billion Chinese the enemies of Taiwan. Not even many of the PLA soldiers, who are only-born sons in the family, due to China's one child policy, and who will die if "China" invades Taiwan.
It is those Communist dictators who are the source of this evil. The only benefit "China" will gain from this atrocity is a firmer Communist grip on the power to reign over Chinese people. Much like the old Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) achieving the same goal of ruling over Taiwanese people by claiming its aim was "retaking the mainland." The only thing these dictators understand and respect is power. The only way to deter these thugs from starting a war is to let them know that, if they start shooting missiles, hundreds if not thousands of deterrent missiles will rain on their heads.
The public is normally complacent and forgetful, in Taiwan and elsewhere, because they have "more important things" to do, such as making a living, and rightfully so. Remember, former US President George Bush failed to win re-election only a few month after the first Gulf War.
It is the leaders who should worry about these things, and prepare the public for them. The public only have the task of choosing the right leader, to know whom they should trust. That makes the next presidential election more important. The electorate must realize the importance of whom they choose.
In choosing the right leader, Taiwanese -- who are lucky enough to have the freedom to choose for themselves -- will be choosing for Chinese too, who are not as lucky.
China took advantage of the vacuum left behind when US carriers stayed out of the western Pacific Ocean due to COVID-19 outbreaks on several US Navy warships. The Chinese government is solidifying its hold on artificial islands in the South China Sea by moving in missiles and surveillance equipment, and formalizing its occupation by creating two municipal districts in the region under Hainan Island’s Sansha — Xisha District on Woody Island (Yongxing Island, 永興島) to administer the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) and Nansha District on Fiery Cross Reef (Yongshu Reef, 永暑島) to administer the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) —
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) yesterday wrapped up its annual party conference-cum-national decision-making forums in Beijing: the National People’s Congress (NPC) and National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), known colloquially as the “two meetings.” They are normally tightly choreographed affairs, designed to project an image of stability and unassailable strength, but several events leading up this month’s sessions provided strong indications that all is not well in the state of Denmark. The first sign of major discontent came in March, at the height of the COVID-19 crisis in China, when an article by real-estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang
French firm DCI-DESCO in April won a bid to upgrade Taiwan’s Lafayette frigates, which has strained ties between China and France. In 1991, France sold Taiwan six Lafayette frigates and in 1992 sold it 60 Mirage 2000 fighter jets. To prevent arms sales between the nations, China negotiated an agreement with France and in 1994 in a joint statement, France promised that there would be no future arms sales to Taiwan. From China’s point of view, the DCI-DESCO deal constitutes a breach of the agreement, but the French stance is that it is not selling Taiwan new weapons, but instead providing a
Chung Yuan ChristiaN University is clearly in bed with the People’s Republic of China. This can be the only explanation why the school’s authorities have done their utmost to shield a student, who lodged a complaint against an associate professor, and then used thuggish tactics to compel the teacher to issue two separate apologies to China. The original complaint, filed by an unnamed Chinese student, was for remarks by associate professor Chao Ming-wei (招名威) during a class on the origin of COVID-19. A second complaint was filed by the same student after Chao, during an apology, stated that he was a