Mon, Mar 14, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff Writer, with CNA

TRADE

Cross-strait cargo up 22.4%

The accumulated volume of container cargo shipped between Taiwan and China via direct cross-strait sea shipping routes increased to 1.91 million TEUs last year, according to the latest tallies from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. TEU is the abbreviation for twenty-foot equivalent unit, a measure used for capacity in container transportation. The new figure marks a 22.4 percent increase over the previous year, the tallies showed. Officials attributed the growth to the economic recovery from the global financial crisis. Air cargo shipments via direct cross-strait links also rose last year, with growth nearly doubling to 240,000 tonnes compared with the previous year. In December, 25,000 tonnes of cargo was transported directly across the Strait by air, representing a 48.3 percent growth compared with December of 2009.

CULTURE

U Theatre ready for NZ

Renowned dance troupe U Theatre was ready for its first performance in New Zealand as first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) arrived yesterday as the troupe’s honorary leader showed her support. U Theatre is scheduled to deliver four shows, titled Sound of the Ocean, as one of the featured groups at the biennial Auckland Arts Festival from tomorrow until Friday during the event’s final week. The troupe was invited to the festival by David Malacari, the event’s artistic director, four years ago in Hong Kong after Malacari saw U Theatre, the troupe’s founder and artistic director Liu Ruo-yu (劉若瑀) said. About a dozen dancers and technical staff arrived in Auckland on Thursday to prepare for the show, Liu said. Chow is scheduled to appear at U Theatre’s rehearsal and performances as well as visiting local schools for charity purposes during her stay until Friday.

ENTERTAINMENT

Super Junior draws fans

Thousands of fans of South Korean boy band Super Junior thronged Taipei Arena yesterday for the group’s final concert on its second tour in Taiwan. Lined up outside three hours before the afternoon show, many fans, mostly girls and young women, were carrying hand-made posters with Korean characters, glowsticks and other props for the concert. Some held a red rose folded in paper — distributed for free by one of the band members’ fan clubs — while waiting to watch their idols. The 11,000 seats available for each of the three concerts on the tour were sold out long before this weekend, in part because the pop band’s concerts are said to be like parties, with lots of interaction with fans.

TRANSPORTATION

Airlines seek dialects

Airline companies have been expressing interest in hiring flight attendants who can speak Chinese dialects to prepare for the opening of Taiwan’s borders to independent Chinese tourists. In a flight attendant recruitment session held by TransAsia Airways earlier this week, more candidates showed up to exhibit their ability to speak Chinese dialects rather than the more traditionally popular foreign languages of English and Japanese, according to the company. At present, Chinese tourists are only permitted to enter Taiwan as members of tour groups, with a cap of 4,000 tourists per day. While preferred dialects come mostly from prosperous cities along China’s coast, such as Cantonese and Shanghainese, the ability to speak dialects from inland regions could offer job candidates an extra advantage, because those areas have greater potential for tourist growth, the company said.

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