Chiang sues Chen over 228
A grandson of the late dictator Chiang Kai-shek (將介石) yesterday sued President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for libel after Chen called Chiang the main culprit in the 1947 massacre of thousands of Taiwanese. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) filed the libel suit with the Taipei District Court. He demanded compensation of US$1 and a newspaper apology from Chen. "President Chen's arbitrary conclusion concerning the 228 Incident can only deepen ethnic division. I ask him to hold a public debate with me," Chiang told reporters. "If the debate shows that Chiang Kai-shek was not the main culprit, Chen must apologize to the whole nation and clear Chiang Kai-shek's name," Chiang said. Chen did not immediately respond to Chiang's libel suit.
Biofuel project expanded
The government has decided to increase the amount of land allocated for biofuel crops -- soybean, rape, sunflower and sweet potato -- from 1,721 hectares last year to 4,550 hectares this year, the Council of Agriculture said yesterday. Council officials said that 3,280 hectares would be used for soybean cultivation, 1,240 hectares for planting sunflowers and 30 hectares for raising sweet potatoes on a trial basis. Soybeans, rape seed and sunflowers can be turned into ethanol used in biodiesel, while sweet potatoes will be used to supply the ethanol to be blended with gasoline during manufacturing trials. The government started its "biofuel development project" two years ago to reduce reliance on imported fuels. A recent report from the Ministry of Economic Affairs said that 98.22 percent of energy supplies used last year was imported. Officials said that as some 220,000 hectares of farmland is left fallow every year, the COA had decided to utilize this land to produce biofuel-related raw materials, for which demand is increasing.
Save tree frog project starts
The Taipei City Government and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Taiwan are inviting the public to donate used ink or printer cartridges to raise funds that will be used in reviving the city's shrinking wetlands and secure the survival rate of the Taipei tree frog. HP will donate NT$10 to NT$50 to the Chi Sing Eco-Conservation Foundation, a civic group dedicated to environmental protection, for every used ink or printer cartridge sent to companies such as Tsann Kuan Group (燦坤), Yungchin Real Estate Agency (永慶房屋) and Arcoa Corp (全虹通信) this and next month. Funds raised will be used to grow plants in mountainous areas around the city to revive the habitat of Taipei tree frogs, said Chou Ching-an (周慶安), a division chief at Taipei City's Department of Economic Development. Chou said that Taipei tree frogs could still be found in Four Beast Mountain (四獸山) and Yangmingshan National Park.
African summit to be held
The summit between the presidents of Taiwan and its African allies will not be held in Africa as originally planned but in Taiwan, Foreign Minister James Huang (黃志芳) said on Monday. The Taiwan-African Allies Summit was meant to take place at the end of last year, but it was postponed. Huang said that the summit could be held in Taiwan in the near future since facilities in Taiwan are more suitable for organizing such an event. The government would make a final decision on the summit after discussing the details of the summit with its African allies, he said.
New rules bring long lines
Long lines were reported at the international airports in Taipei and Kaohsiung yesterday as new security rules for carry-on baggage took effect. The new rules bar passengers from carrying containers holding more than 100ml of liquid, gel or spray in their carry-on bags on international flights, and the containers under that limit must must be placed in a see-through plastic bag and checked by security officials before boarding. Aviation police were providing the regulation 24cm by 17cm plastic bags to passengers yesterday, one per person. At Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the police quickly ran through their supply of 20,000 bags. The situation at the airport was orderly, although some passengers complained about the long wait, saying that extra staff should have been assigned to help implement the new measures. Before entering controlled areas, passengers had to dump any proscribed containers and so many were seen rushing to gulp down the hot or cold beverages they had just purchased.
Taipei HSR station opens
The Taiwan High Speed Rail will finally commence full operation with the opening of the Taipei station today, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) announced yesterday. Operation on the section between Taipei and Banciao had been delayed because of electrical and other problems. The THSRC said it expected tens of thousands of passengers to throng the Taipei station today and tomorrow, and advised passengers to double check the train schedule. While there have been ticketing problems, the THSRC said it would allow passengers to book tickets via telephone.
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an
BILINGUAL NATION 2030: Those interested can apply online, while recruitment would continue until all of the positions are filled, the Ministry of Education said The recruitment of foreign English teachers for elementary and junior-high schools would be expanded in the 2022-2023 school year as part of Taiwan’s efforts to become a bilingual country, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday. In a statement, the ministry said that it has since 2004 hired 81 foreign nationals per year to teach English in 16 smaller counties and cities to build a better English-learning environment for students. However, for the 2022-2023 school year, the number of foreign English teachers recruited would increase to 531, with some of them to be posted to Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan
Taiwan’s 5G service would not interfere with civil aviation, as there is a broad guard frequency band between the two systems, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. The 5G system’s possible risks to flight safety came under scrutiny after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week warned that 5G services in the C-band spectrum might interfere with radio altimeters on certain types of aircraft, which could prevent a plane from stopping on the runway after landing. Pilots use radio altimeters when landing under low-visibility. Major US carriers last week also said that 5G service plans offered by AT&T and Verizon