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.
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.
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.
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.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which