‘Commons Daily’ shuts down
The Chinese-language newspaper Commons Daily yesterday announced it is terminating publication because of management disputes. On Sunday, the computers at the 60-year-old newspaper’s headquarters in Kaohsiung were taken by an unidentified person, making it impossible for staff to publish the newspaper. The paper’s deputy editor-in-chief, Chang Hung-kuang (張弘光), reported the incident to police. The management dispute was rumored to be between Eastern Multimedia Group’s Tsai Hao (蔡豪) and Wang Shih-chun (王世均). However, both issued statements saying they were not involved in the management of the Commons Daily, causing much confusion for the paper’s staff.
Tourism office opens in PRC
Taiwan yesterday officially inaugurated its tourism office in Beijing — the first semiofficial agency set up by Taiwan in China. The office is formally known as the Beijing office of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA), with its principal mission promoting tourism in Taiwan among Chinese citizens. Tourism Bureau Director-General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍), who serves as chairwoman of TSTA, presided over the inauguration ceremony. Also attending were Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉), director of China’s National Tourism Administration, and Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中), executive deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office. Shao is also president of the Cross-Strait Tourism Association (CSTA), the TSTA’s Chinese counterpart. The Taipei office of the CSTA will be opened Friday.
Fuel surcharge approved
The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has approved a request by Taiwanese carriers to increase fuel surcharges on international routes to help them offset an increase in aviation fuel prices. The new measures, to take effect on tickets issued from May 17, will see the surcharge raised to US$20 from US$17.50 per passenger for short-haul flights and to US$52 from US$45.50 for long-haul flights. The increase came after state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan, announced on Monday it would raise the price of aviation fuel to US$103.18 per barrel, prompting local carriers flying international routes to petition the CAA for an increase in the surcharge. This is the first time Taiwan’s airlines have increased surcharges since Dec. 15. Meanwhile, China Airlines and EVA Airways Corp, the country’s biggest carriers, will from next Tuesday raise the surcharges on flights between Taiwan and Hong Kong by US$1 to US$11.80 based on Hong Kong’s adjustment mechanism.
New ship line to begin
A Chinese passenger cargo ship will sail directly from Xiamen to Kaohsiung for the first time next week, opening a new transportation route for people traveling between China and southern Taiwan. The Hong Kong-registered Cosco Star, which will make its maiden voyage between Xiamen and Kaohsiung on Monday, expects to launch regularly scheduled services between the two cities once a week, the Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau said on Monday. The cruise ship, which can carry more than 600 passengers, already sails regularly between Xiamen in Fujian Province and Taichung and Keelung. More than 100,000 Fujian residents are expected to visit Taiwan this year, the Tourism Bureau said. The Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau and the Xiamen Port Authority will also sign a letter of intent on that day to enhance cooperation, officials said.
‘VIRUS DIPLOMACY’: The nation’s expertise in handling COVID-19 was among the reasons that it should not be excluded from the WHO, the European Parliament said The European Parliament this week passed resolutions that support Taiwan’s bid to participate in the WHO and its intention to negotiate a trade pact with Taiwan. During its plenary session from Monday to Thursday, the parliament approved resolutions on the foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and the EU’s trade policy, parts of which were viewed as friendly toward Taiwan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement yesterday, the ministry welcomed the passage of the resolutions and thanked the parliament for its support for Taiwan. In the first resolution, the parliament cited Beijing’s increasing threats to Taiwan, the crackdown on
The gig began with a nun chanting on stage, but suddenly erupted into a wall of noise unleashed by distorted guitars and screamed sutras — the unique sound of Taiwan’s first Buddhist death metal band. The nation has a vibrant metal scene, but few outfits are quite as eye-catching as Dharma (達摩樂隊), a band that aims to deliver enlightenment via the medium of throaty eight-string guitars and guttural roars. Dressed in robes — black, of course — they use traditional Sanskrit sutras as lyrics, but everything else screams death metal, from bloody face paint on stage to growled vocals, relentless riffs and
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority