■ Identification \nIDs will have fingerprints \nNew national identification cards will contain anti-forgery features and a space reserved for the owner's fingerprint, despite activists' claims that such a requirement violates the cardholder's human rights. The Ministry of the Interior announced yesterday that the new ID cards will be designed using horizontal left-to-right Chinese writing, in accordance with legislation passed early last month mandating that all official documents and related paperwork should be changed to the horizontal left-to-right format from the current vertical right-to-left format, ministry officials said. The new ID cards will carry the cardholder's name, gender and address, as well as his or her parents' names and the name of his or her spouse. The card will not carry the cardholder's original domicile, as in the past, but only their place of birth. The cards will have 20 markers to discourage counterfeiting, including hidden lines, fluorescent paint and embossing, the officials said. The new IDs are expected to be circulated nationwide next year at the latest. \n■ Earthquake \nTremor jolts southeast \nAn earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted Taiwan yesterday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, officials said. The tremor struck at 8:09am, with an epicenter around 21km northeast of Taitung, the Seismology Center said. Its epicenter was 3.3km below the ground. \n■ Broadcasting \nTV companies to be donated \nTwo government-owned terrestrial television companies, Taiwan Television Enterprise Ltd (TTV), and Chinese Television System (CTS), will be donated to the Public Television Cultural Development Foundation, under a plan to be discussed by the Executive Yuan this week. The plan will be examined by a panel headed by Minister-without-Portfolio Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁). Under the plan worked out by the Government Information Office (GIO), TTV and CTS, of which most stocks were owned by the government, will be run by the foundation after some stock owned privately was bought by the GIO. In addition to the two terrestrial television companies, the All-Hakka Channel ran by the Council for Hakka Affairs and Taiwan Macroview TV, run by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, will also be donated and controlled by the foundation, according to the proposal. This idea has alarmed some opposition lawmakers. Legislator Pang Chien-kuo of the People First Party (PFP) criticized the proposal as a scheme by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to control all television outlets. However, journalists supported the proposal. \n■ Charity \nEden group helping Thais \nIn a bid to raise funds and materials for poor children in northern Thailand, the Eden Social Welfare Foundation has launched a campaign to collect second-hand clothes for the impoverished people in that region. The foundation also held a brassiere bazaar at Taipei's Hsinyi shopping district on Saturday to raise funds. The brassieres auctioned off at the bazaar were donated by several underwear manufacturers. A spokesman for the foundation said many residents in northern Thailand lead primitive lives. "We hope to raise funds to help improve their living conditions and health care," he said. People interested in donating used clothes or money can contact the foundation by phone (02-25784514, ext. 207) or donate cash to its postal account (19793932).
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under