Despite the central government's decision to make Tongyong Pinyin the official system for the Roman-ization of street signs, Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday remained firm in his stand that the Taipei City Government would continue using Hanyu Pinyin as its Romanization standard. \nOn Thursday, a consensus to use Tongyong Pinyin was reached between various ministries and local governments at a meeting held by the Ministry of Education, the ministry which had officially approved the system last month. \n"The consensus reached [by various government agencies on Thursday] to use Tongyong Pinyin does not have any bearing on us, so the Taipei City Government will keep on using Hanyu Pinyin," Ma yesterday told an audience at the opening ceremony of the Guo Yuan-yi Pastry Museum. \nUsing the name of the museum as an example, as well as that of the National Palace Museum and all museums around the world, "which all use Hanyu Pinyin," Ma reiterated that Hanyu Pinyin is the international trend for the Romanization of Mandarin Chinese. \nWu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), the Taipei City government's spokesman, told the Taipei Times yesterday that, "since a conclusion that was made during that meeting stated that it is not compulsory for all cities and counties to use Tongyong Pinyin, we [Taipei City] will keep using the Hanyu Pinyin System, which is more user-friendly to the vast number of expatriates in town." \nAs an alternative solution, Kang Tsung-hu (康宗虎), deputy director of the city's Bureau of Education, added that the city would also consider the possibility of using both Hanyu and Tongyong Pinyin for the city's place names and road signs. \nThursday's meeting was attended by representatives from various government agencies, such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and a number of local governments. Measures drafted during the meeting will be sent to the Cabinet for review. \nOne of these draft measures calls for authorities to instruct the National Central Library to develop a computerized Romanization system for the conversion of Chinese characters into Tongyong by the end of this year. \nThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs would also work to amend the relevant laws and to have people's passport names Romanized according to Tongyong Pinyin by next June at the earliest. \nThe Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Government Information Office would coordinate seminars for Taiwan's expatriates to familiarize them with the Tongyong Pinyin system. These two bodies will also promote the use of the system to firms so that the companies can use it on their products.
The Hualien District Prosecutors’ Office has listed six people as suspects in a judicial investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the Taroko Express No. 408 train slammed into a crane truck that had slid onto the tracks near the entrance of Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The office also summoned six officials at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien Engineering Section for questioning about alleged illegal business operations and unsafe work conditions by Yi Hsiang Industry Co and Tung Hsin Construction Co, the two
SUPPORTING DEMOCRACY IN ASIA: Twitter aims to ‘play a unique role in enabling the public conversation around important social movements,’ the US company said Twitter has thrown its support behind the “Milk Tea Alliance” of democracy movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, defying China at a time when Beijing is punishing Western companies for commenting on what it considers internal matters. The social media company yesterday prominently displayed flags of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar and Thailand while unveiling an emoji to support democracy advocates in places that have in the past few years seen historic protests and share a love for the beverage. The emoji will automatically show up when users post the #MilkTeaAlliance hashtag, which was posted been 11 million times
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
TEMPERED EXPECTATIONS: Although analysts welcomed the updated guidance from Washington, Taipei should push back on ‘unnecessary’ restrictions, they said New US guidelines expanding official contacts with Taiwan might be a positive step, but Taipei should still try to break down limits on bilateral interactions that stem from Washington’s “one China” policy, foreign affairs analysts said on Saturday. On Friday, the US Department of State announced that it had issued new guidelines to “liberalize” government contacts with Taiwan, which it said were designed to “encourage engagement ... that reflects our deepening unofficial relationship.” Although not made public, the guidelines would reportedly allow US officials to meet with their Taiwanese counterparts in US federal buildings and at Taiwanese representative offices in the US,