Environmentalists yesterday asked the public to save coastal wetlands in Changhua County by purchasing land to prevent it from being sold to a petrochemical company to build oil refineries.
The Kuo-kuang Petrochemical Technology Corp (KPTC), a subsidiary of CPC Taiwan Corp, plans to build refineries on coastal wetland in Dacheng Township (大城), Changhua County, near the mouth of Jhuoshuei River (濁水溪).
The plan has sparked controversy, with many residents — especially oyster farmers — worried that a petrochemical plant would bring pollution and destroy the oyster farming industry.
Environmentalists worry that the planned refineries would be disastrous for the diverse wetland ecology — notably critically endangered pink dolphins.
Opponents of the petrochemical plant want to block the plan by purchasing the most sensitive 200 hectares of the 4,000 hectares that the KPTC would like to buy.
“According to the National Property Administration, the current value of the land in the area is only NT$100 [US$3] per square meter, so why don’t we put our money together to purchase 200 hectares of the most sensitive land?” Taiwan Environmental Protection Union Changhua Division director Tsai Chia-yang (蔡嘉陽) said.
Tsai said they are calling on the public to purchase a share of the land for NT$119 each.
Since the group started the campaign on April 11, more than 22,000 people have written letters of intent to express their willingness to purchase more than 850,000 of land.
“We will file an application for charitable trust by the end of the month,” Tsai told a press conference yesterday. “I’m not sure if it will be approved, but if it is turned down, it will be turning down the will of tens of thousands of people.”
Changhua-based poet Wu Sheng (吳晟) accused the government and KPTC of “covering up their hearts” when making the decision to set up oil refineries on the wetlands.
“It’s not just about saving the endangered pink dolphins, [refineries] will also destroy a farming and fishing culture passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years,” Wu said.
“Big corporations and government keep tricking us with a bunch of numbers — they tell us about increases in GDP, employment and economic prosperity the oil refineries would bring — but they never tell us what we would lose,” he said. “And let me tell you, what we would lose would be much more than what we gain, so we don’t want this kind of GDP growth.”
Diane Wilson, author of the book An Unreasonable Woman, who started a campaign against Formosa Plastics Oil refineries along her native gulf coast in Texas, also shared her personal experience of the environmental catastrophe oil refineries can bring, and said she would stand in solidarity with Taiwanese who are against the planned KTPC refineries in Changhua.
Taiwanese actress Big S, also known as Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛), and Chinese restaurateur Wang Xiaofei (汪小菲) officially announced their divorce yesterday, stating the decision was cordial and that they would be raising their two children together. The statement came by proxy through the couple’s legal counsel, filed by both Wang and Hsu. Hsu and Wang thanked fans for their love and support, with the couple saying that fate had blessed them with a time of happiness, and that they were grateful for their time together. They said that while they walked hand-in-hand as husband and wife, they would continue a cordial relationship as
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the
CCP IDEOLOGY: MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng said the CCP’s consolidation around one leader would shrink the space for economic and private endeavors Beijing plans to intensify its unification campaign, a Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official said yesterday in an assessment of statements by Chinese leaders, while stressing the importance of consensus among Taiwanese. At a conference on Chinese development and security prospects in the Taiwan Strait, MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) noted key developments in Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rhetoric. Much attention has been given to the sixth plenum of the CCP Central Committee, which on Nov. 11 issued the party’s third-ever “historical resolution,” paving the way for Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to retain power through next year’s leadership reshuffle, Chiu said. According
MONITORED BY JETS: Chinese aircraft included Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, suggesting that China refueled its short-range jets during flight The air force scrambled again yesterday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Ministry of National Defense said, the latest increase in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the nation, often in the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). Over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1, when China marked its national day, Taiwan said that nearly 150 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft entered its ADIZ, not territorial