Name placement irrelevant
I would like to comment on the recent claim by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) that the placement of the name Chinese Taipei before or after an agency name — specifically, the Civil Aeronautics Administration — affects its meaning.
Chinese Taipei is widely recognized internationally as an alternative appellation for the Republic of China, regardless of where it is placed in a noun construction. In fact, it is exceedingly common for it to be placed before the name of an agency or organization, as in the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Chinese Taipei Food and Drug Administration and Chinese Taipei Basketball Association.
Grammatically, placement of Chinese Taipei before or after the name of the organization does not affect its interpretation. The Chinese Taipei Civil Aeronautics Administration is the same as the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Chinese Taipei. The placement is merely a stylistic variation: the US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration is the same as the Federal Aviation Administration, US Department of Transportation.
Therefore, to accept the invitation to attend the International Civil Aviation Organization’s upcoming assembly under the name Chinese Taipei Civil Aeronautics Administration does not denigrate Taiwan’s political status. It is no different from attending under the appellation Civil Aeronautics Administration, Chinese Taipei.
Stop cruel experiments
I am writing to ask the Council of Agriculture to halt plans to give rabies to beagle puppies. The proposed experiments are cruel and unnecessary. Rabies research can and should be conducted without harming animals.
If the experiments go forward, these unfortunate animals will have to endure the severe effects of the rabies virus, which include anxiety, confusion, painful muscle spasms, paralysis and death. Instead, the council should be working to determine whether current rabies vaccines are protective against this strain of the virus.
Non-animal laboratory procedures can address this issue quickly without killing any animals. Please end plans for these cruel experiments on puppies.
Biodiversity in Taiwan
The Taipei Times recently covered two biodiversity-related stories (“Bird-spotters’ flight of fancy,” Sept. 19, page 12; “TEIA lists nine coastal areas ‘worth public protection,’” Sept. 19, page 2).
I would like to draw attention to two projects that also aim to protect biodiversity in Taiwan. First, a research project by the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute (TESRI), National Taiwan University and Taipei Medical University recently determined the most important areas for bird protection in Taiwan, similar to TEIA’s effort. Besides emphasizing the importance of the already existing protected areas, it also highlighted the importance of the unprotected northeastern Nanao mountainous region for biodiversity protection.
Another project (crisisoflife.net) by this group and a Taiwan-based German reporter has the more general aim of highlighting the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems for the well-being of people and warns of the imminent danger of widespread species extinction (“Book review: The world’s rarest birds,” Sept. 19, page 11).
People should remember that the extinction of species is irreversible — species and ecosystems will never come back (“One crisis that can’t be ignored any longer,” Nov. 29, 2009, page 8). Therefore, protecting biodiversity is not about ideology, but about a very practical question of survival and quality of life (“Overfishing sharks harms coral reef ecosystem: study,” Sept. 22, page 5).
We are all part of the web of life — if we harm it, we ultimately harm ourselves.