Video exposer offered prize
Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) yesterday urged an Internet user named XDite, who discovered President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had pre-recorded at least two of his weekly video addresses, to come forward and receive a prize — a Japanese detective novel — as a reward for his “keen observation.” XDite, who does not want to be publicly identified, has asked an outspoken pan-green supporter, Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如), to pick up the prize instead. But Wang said he hoped “XDite” would appear in person “so the Presidential Office could better understand his or her views.” The Presidential Office said Ma’s weekly online video program, which debuted on Saturday, would provide two-way Internet communication between Ma and the public. XDite’s “discovery,” however, has sparked debate among Web users about whether Ma was misusing the videos by recording them in advance.
Ma meets Japanese author
President Ma told global strategist Kenichi Ohmae yesterday that they share a common view on the importance of the Chinese market and that this perspective is manifested in his administration’s cross-strait policies. In a meeting with the Japanese business consultant at the Presidential Office, Ma said his administration had adopted measures to improve relations with China after an eight-year lag in participation in the booming economic activities across the Taiwan Strait. Ohmae, the author of The Mind of the Strategist and The End of the Nation State, told Ma that China’s economic development had entered a new stage last year, with rising labor costs and reduced exports, which he said could affect Taiwan’s economy. Cautioning Taiwan about the developments, Ohmae suggested Taiwanese businesspeople take advantage of China’s strong domestic demand by applying their specialties in marketing there.
Boats donated to Gambia
Taiwan’s donation of four navy patrol boats to Gambia is a good example of cooperation with diplomatic allies, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrew Hsia (夏立言) said yesterday. Hsia said he visited Gambia at the end of last month to attend a ceremony hosted by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, at which four retired Taiwan-made navy patrol boats were formally donated to the African country. “President Jammeh was very pleased with the donation, as Gambia finally obtained patrol boats for its navy,” said Hsia, explaining that the patrol vessels would help monitor illegal activities along the Gambian coastline. Taiwan will also help train Gambian personnel to operate and maintain the vessels, Hsieh said. He said Taiwan had also launched a four-year agricultural program this year to help the African country increase its food production and self-sufficiency, particularly in rice production.
Cooking demo planned
The International Food Cultural Exchange has invited the public to a Japanese cuisine cooking demonstration in Taipei by Takuro Kamobayashi, Japan’s Interchange Association’s master chef on July 31. Kamobayashi is expected to teach two dishes — oyako don and green tea mochi. The event will be held on the third floor of Eslite Bookstore in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) from 3:30pm to 5pm. The cooking demonstration is free, the organizer said, adding that the seats were limited and would be available on a first come, first served basis.