Team heads to Honduras
After a month-long search for three representatives to be sent to Honduras to inspect projects in the region, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) yesterday announced that Kung Kuo-wei (宮國威), a teacher familiar with Latin American affairs, Lin Shih-yin (林詩音), an employee at Taiwan Fertilization Co and Wu Chia-yin (吳佳音), a media representative, had been chosen out of 149 applicants. The group, headed by author Wu Dan-ru (吳淡如), left on a 10-day trip to Honduras yesterday. ICDF secretary-general Chen Cheng-chung (陳正忠) said that this marked the first time for a civic group to assess an ICDF project. Chen hoped that through the group's trip, the public would understand the importance of development assistance abroad.
Officials warn on smuggling
Quarantine officials warned the public yesterday not to smuggle animals and plants from China into Taiwan and urged people to refuse to purchase a product if its origin cannot be determined, as reinforced measures were taken to prevent infectious diseases from being brought into the country. The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine under the Council of Agriculture recently killed 20 dogs smuggled from China in an effort to prevent rabies from entering Taiwan, bureau officials said. Rabies is endemic in China but Taiwan is rabies-free. According to bureau statistics, a total of 96 dogs smuggled from China had been seized up to the end of this month. The bureau also called on people to inform officials of animal and plant smuggling activity by calling a telephone hot line at 0800-039-131.
Official proposes exchange
Chinese National Tourism Administration Director Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉) yesterday proposed that Taipei's National Palace Museum enhance its exchanges with Beijing's Palace Museum to attract more Chinese tourists. Shao, who arrived in Taiwan the day earlier as the head of a 66-member delegation, made the proposal during a visit to the National Palace Museum, where a wealth of precious Chinese antiquities are displayed. Shao later visited Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the holiday flower market in Taipei, located under the Chienkuo overpass. Shao was invited by the Taiwan Visitors Association to visit Taiwan in his capacity as president of the Chinese National Travel Association. Beijing announced earlier this year that it will allow more Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan and it is widely believed that Shao's visit is aimed at paving the way for this policy.
Train tests to 300kph
A test train on the high-speed railway achieved 300kph, the highest test speed so far, over a distance of around 25km yesterday, the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp (THSRC) announced in a press release yesterday. The test took place on the Kueijen (歸仁) village section of the railway in Tainan County. THSRC officials said the tests are done mainly to check the trains' acceleration and braking systems, and their integration with the track, machinery and electronics system. When the new 345km railway is inaugurated, a trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung will take less than 90 minutes. The high-speed railway will form the backbone of western Taiwan's transport network and will connect eight metropolitan areas between the nation's two largest cities.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
CHANGING IT UP: With Bopomofo rarely used outside of Taiwan, the lawmaker said that Romanization would help the government in its internationalization efforts Tainan City Councilor Lee Chi-wei (李啟維) yesterday called for the use of Romanized spellings to make Taiwanese dialects and languages internationally recognizable. Speaking at a news conference in Tainan to mark International Mother Language Day, Lee said the use of zhuyin fuhao (注音符號, Mandarin phonetic symbols commonly known as Bopomofo) made it difficult to promote interest in, or recognition of, the nation’s dialects and languages, as the system is not commonly used outside of Taiwan. “The legislature has already passed the Development of National Languages Act (國家語言發展法), but under the current circumstances that act is like a candle in the wind,” he
CULTURAL CAPITAL: Taiwanese can act as ambassadors while teaching in the US, by exchanging views with their colleagues and friends, one Mandarin teacher said Most US students take Chinese classes because they want to know more about China, but Taiwanese teachers can make a change with more flexible pedagogic approaches and cultural exchanges, two local teachers said. Since the US last year canceled its Fulbright programs with China and Hong Kong, Taiwan has been granted a larger quota of scholarships, including the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Fulbright Program, which is funded by the US Department of State and comanaged in Taiwan by the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange. American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen last month encouraged Taiwan to fill the gap left by the closures
CHINESE AGGRESSION: The bill seeks to empower Taiwan by calling for a free-trade pact and authorizing the US president to use military force to defend Taiwan US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced in the US Congress the Taiwan invasion prevention act, aiming to boost Taiwan’s ability to resist Chinese aggression. While the bill was introduced last year by Scott and former US representative Ted Yoho, it was not listed onto the formal agenda in the run-up to the US presidential election in November last year. “We can’t sit back and let Communist China continue to threaten our democratic ally Taiwan,” Scott, a Republican, wrote on Twitter, urging US President Joe Biden and other Democractic senators to “take a stand for democracy” and