Taiwan severs ties with Dominica
March 30, 2004: Taiwan breaks off diplomatic ties with the Commonwealth of Dominica as the latter switches recognition to China. During the two-decade period of ties, Taiwan sent technical missions to help the island nation with its agricultural and aquaculture industries.
People First Party is born
March 31, 2000: James Soong (宋楚瑜) establishes the People First Party (PFP, 親民黨) and becomes its chairman after his failed bid to become Taiwan’s president. In 1999, Soong left the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) after losing the presidential nomination to then-vice president Lien Chan (連戰) and ran as an independent in the 2000 presidential elections.
In its early years, the PFP maintained a close but tense relationship with the KMT because the two parties competed for the same voters — with many Taiwan observers believing that Soong split pan-blue voters, thus handing Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) the 2000 election. However, the party’s influence shrank as its seats in the Legislative Yuan dwindled from 46 of 225 in 2001 to 3 out of 113 in 2012.
‘Mini three links’ extends to Penghu
March 31, 2007: The Mainland Affairs Council (大陸委員會) announces that residents of Taiwan’s outlying island of Penghu are allowed to cross the Taiwan Strait via Kinmen County or Matsu County starting the next day. Chinese tourists can visit Penghu using the same route. Cross-strait travel, known as the “small three links” (小三通), was established in January 2001. It opened the door for unrestricted travel between Kinmen, Matsu and Xiamen in China’s Fujian Province.
Taiwan’s first nuclear power plant beings operations
March 30, 1978: Taiwan’s first nuclear power plant, located in Shihmen District (石門), begins operation with a capacity of 636,000 kilowatts.
In July 2013, typhoon Soulik caused a trip in the generator and turbine of the power plant’s Unit 2, which was shut down for immediate repairs. In August, the power plant’s operator, state-run Taiwan Power Co, received a correction order from the Control Yuan because radioactive water was leaking from two spent fuel pools. In February of this year, news reports pointed to the possibility of the plant’s early shut down due to a lack of waste storage capacity. The plant is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2019.
Tourists killed in China
March 31, 1994: Twenty-four Taiwanese tourists and eight Chinese boat crew and guides are murdered during a robbery on a cruise of Qiandao Lake (千島湖) in China’s Zhejiang Province.
The Chinese government reportedly blocked information regarding its investigation, which triggered a public backlash in Taiwan. Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was president at the time, publicly called the Communist Party of China a bandit regime. Three suspects were found responsible for the crime and were sentenced to death.
Senior officers killed in military helicopter crash
April 3, 2007: An army UH-1H helicopter crashes during an air surveillance drill in a remote mountain region in what is today’s Greater Kaohsiung, killing all eight army officers onboard, most of them senior officers, including Brigade Chief Colonel Chen Min-tung (陳銘同).
Investigations later concluded human error to be the cause of the crash. The army later announced that chief officers and their deputies would no longer be allowed to travel in the same vehicle or aircraft at the same time.
Distinguished painter passes away
April2, 1983: Noted painter, collector and forger Chang Dai-chien (張大千) dies in Taipei at the age of 85. Considered one of the greatest Chinese artists of the 20th century, Chang’s Chinese landscape paintings enjoyed the same critical and commercial acclaim as his modern impressionist and expressionist works.
Trained in China and Japan, Chang left China in 1949 amid civil war. He traveled to various countries including Argentina, Brazil and the US. The meeting between Chang and Pablo Picasso in 1956 was viewed as a summit between masters of Eastern and Western art. Chang settled in Taipei in 1978. After his death, Chang’s home in Shilin District was donated to the National Palace Museum and has been preserved as a memorial.
Taiwan-made film pockets Japanese film award
March 30, 2013: Director Fu Tien-yu’s (傅天余) The Happy Life of Debbie (黛比的幸福生活) wins top honors at Japan’s Okinawa International Movie Festival. The film follows the life of an Indonesian woman, who leaves her hometown to start a new life with a Taiwanese veteran in Yunlin County. The award comes with a cash prize of 1 million yen (about NT$290,000).
March 31, 2013: Taiwan’s table tennis team finishes second in the men’s division at the World Team Classic (世界團體桌球經典賽) in Guangzhou, China. The main highlight of the contest comes in the second match of the final contest when Chen Chien-an (陳建安) defeats China’s Olympic gold medalist Zhang Jike (張繼科).
Chen Wang-shi (陳罔市) doesn’t know where to go if she is forced to move. The 78-year-old Chen is an active “sea woman” (海女) in Taiwan’s easternmost fishing village of Makang (馬崗) in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). When the waves are calm, she ventures out to forage for algae, oysters and other edible marine morsels. She lives alone in the village, as her children have moved to the cities for work, returning for weekends and festivals. “I cannot get used to living in Taipei, and I feel very uncomfortable if I don’t go out to the ocean to forage. I
Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 They called him the “No Problem Doctor” (沒關係醫生) because that’s what he always told his patients when they couldn’t pay up. Operating the only clinic in Changhua County’s Pusin Township (埔心) during the 1950s, Hsu Tsai-chih (許再枝) knew that life was difficult in his remote hometown. “They barely had enough to survive, so it was pointless to chase after them for the money,” an 81-year-old Hsu told the United Daily News in 2002. “I just went with the flow, some offered to pay me back years later but I had already forgotten
A widely criticized peer-reviewed study that measured the attractiveness of women with endometriosis has been retracted from the medical journal Fertility and Sterility. The study, “Attractiveness of women with rectovaginal endometriosis: a case-control study,” was first published in 2013 and has been defended by the authors and the journal in the intervening years despite heavy criticism from doctors, other researchers and people with endometriosis for its ethical concerns and dubious justifications, with one advocate calling the study “heartbreaking” and “disgusting.” The study’s conclusion was: “Women with rectovaginal endometriosis were judged to be more attractive than those in the two control groups.
Back in the 1950s, the lifeguards of Bondi Beach, Sydney, were not only charged with rescuing surfers and scanning for sharks. In their role as “beach inspectors” they were also responsible for ensuring that swimsuits conformed to New South Wales state regulations. At least 7.6cm of fabric was required over the thigh, no navels were to be exposed and shoulder straps had to be “sturdy.” One of the best-known beach inspectors was Aubrey Laidlaw, who had already laid down the law when the first bikini debuted on the beach in 1946. By the turn of the 1960s, the “Bikini Wars” were