Taiwan opts out of book fair
Taiwan decided yesterday not to take part in the Seoul International Book Fair 2008 a Taipei-based exhibitor said. Taiwan had registered with organizers of the Seoul International Book Fair 2008 to participate under the name “Taiwan” in the event scheduled for Wednesday to May 18 in the South Korean capital, said Lin Tsai-chueh (林載爵), chairman of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation. However, event organizers recently notified the foundation that Taiwan would have to participate under the name “Chinese Taipei,” Lin said. Since in the past the country has participated in many international book fairs under the name “Taiwan,” the Taipei Book Fair Foundation, which won an open bid to sponsor Taiwan’s participation in Seoul, decided to boycott the event, Lin said.
‘Sky Dragon’ lives again
The Air Force announced yesterday that its “Sky Dragon” exercise has been resumed, 20 years after it was merged as part of the annual Han Kuang military exercise. “Those involved in the exercise have to stand by for irregular and continuous orders from their commander so we can assess how well pilots are able to react and stop the enemy from the off,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Major General Liu Chen-wu (劉震武). Liu made his remarks while briefing the legislature’s Diplomacy and National Defense Committee yesterday morning. He said that the latest Sky Dragon exercise was carried out in November. It was a three-day exercise without any pre-warning for the pilots. All the nation’s major jetfighters participated in a simulation of joint warfare between different aircraft. Liu also said that the Air Force has purchased simulators for its Mirage-2000-5s, F-16A Falcons and IDFs so pilots would be able to practice round-the-clock while enabling the Air Force to save on gas and maintenance expenses. “A simulator is the safest way to train our pilots,” Liu said. “We don’t have to worry about accidents or mishaps.”
Northeast coast hosts race
More than 1,000 cyclists will compete in a 58-km race along a scenic route on the country’s northeast coast tomorrow. The race, organized by the National Cycling Club. The cyclists will set off at 8am from the Northeast and Ilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration and ride along a highway passing the Fulong beach resort, Longmen campsite, Yenliao beach, the old gold mining town of Jinguashi (金瓜石) and the mountain village of Jiufen (九份) in Taipei County before finishing the race at its starting point. Organizers said the event is part of efforts to increase public awareness of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Chen Mei-kang (陳梅岡), director of the Northeast and Ilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration, expressed hope that the event would showcase the beautiful scenery of Taiwan’s northeast coast.
Opera troupe bound for US
A Taiwanese folk opera troupe based in Sinjhuang (新莊), Taipei County, has been invited to perform at the 15th annual Asian American Heritage Festival in California tomorrow. The troupe will present a traditional Chinese folklore play about the love story between a cowherd and a girl weaver to entertain the 2,000 people expected at the festival, which will take place at the Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church. Also invited to perform at the festival are the 46-member Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra and a 35-member women’s fire prevention promotion team from Changhua County.