MOFA to hold strategy meet
More than 80 heads of diplomatic missions and representative offices will gather in Taipei this month to discuss the nation’s “flexible diplomacy” policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Four main strategies will be discussed — further developing the flexible diplomatic policy, enhancing Taiwan’s international image, strengthening risk management in handling diplomatic issues and improving service to the public. The envoys will also meet with businesspeople to gain a better understanding of the development paths and needs of different industries, the ministry said. The meeting, the largest of its kind since 1996, will be held on Aug. 16 at the Civil Service Development Institute in Taipei. Taiwan has diplomatic envoys in the 23 countries with which it has formal diplomatic ties and has representatives based at cultural or economic offices in scores of other countries.
Fire destroys shipyards
A massive fire destroyed two shipyards in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) early on Sunday, but no deaths or injuries were reported. The two yards — “Chang-fa” and “Chuan-hsing” — located next to the Aodi (澳底) fishing port, caught fire before dawn and more than 40 fire trucks and 104 firefighters were dispatched to control the blaze. The fire destroyed most of the two factories, part of their employees’ dormitories, one finished ship, one semi-finished ship and two dragon boats. Flammable materials in the shipyards such as gasoline and adhesives for fiberglass acted as accelerants, said one firefighter, who described the conflagration as “the biggest in Gongliao in 20 years.” The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Taiwanese win nine golds
Taiwanese students won nine gold medals at an international mathematics contest in Singapore on Sunday. The Seventh International Mathematics Contest drew third to ninth-grade participants from countries including China, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. The Taiwanese delegation, comprised of 109 students, gave a strong performance in the competition, in which roughly 40 percent of the questions were posed in English. Chien Chung-an (簡崇安) won the championship in the seventh-grade category. Chien’s grandmother, who traveled to Singapore with him, said she appreciated the efforts of his teachers and was very proud of him. After the award ceremony, the Taiwanese students performed a dance and a magic show. Representative to Singapore Vanessa Shih (史亞平) also congratulated the students at a celebration dinner. Taiwan won six golds at last year’s event.
Chefs going to competition
Fourteen Taiwanese chefs won a preliminary round in Taipei on Sunday of the 4th International Chinese Culinary Competition, ensuring them places in the September finals in New York, organizers said. The three-day Asia-Pacific preliminary at the Taipei World Trade Center centered on traditional dishes such as cuisine from Sichuan, Shandong and Guangdong provinces, the New York-based Chinese-language New Tang Dynasty TV station said. The finals will offer a great opportunity for outstanding Taiwanese chefs to get jobs overseas, the station said, adding that many Chinese restaurant owners in New York are expected to attend the competition to recruit chefs.