Chinese delegation visits
China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Deputy Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中) began a trip to the nation’s center and south yesterday to study the agricultural and aquaculture sectors. Invited by the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) think tank the National Policy Foundation, Zheng arrived at Kaohsiung International Airport. The itinerary for Zheng and a delegation of five to eight members will be similar to when he visited last year, officials from the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), said, when Zheng traveled to Greater Taichung, Greater Kaohsiung and Greater Tainan and Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung counties.
Documentary wins US award
A documentary produced by the Public Television Service (PTS) has received a prestigious award in the US, it was learned yesterday. A Year in the Clouds was one of 15 works honored in the “People & Places” section in the Professional Non-fiction Division of the Fall CINE Golden Eagle Awards. The documentary depicts a year in the life of a group of Atayal Aborigines who live in the high mountain village of Smangus. Two decades ago, the tribe was among the poorest in the nation, but its chief, Icyeh Sulung, had a vision of great trees that would ensure the tribe’s survival. The tribe found a forest of Cypress trees that changed their lives. Interest from tourists turned Smangus into a thriving ecotourism center, but sudden wealth and outside pressures played havoc with the tribe’s unity. This was the fourth time that PTS has won the prestigious award. The three previous works honored were Mme. Chiang Kai-shek (2005), The Secret in the Satchel (2008) and Taipei 24h (2010).
Agency touts English sites
The Research, Development and Evaluation Commission on Friday launched a Facebook page to publicize government English-language Web sites and seek feedback. The commission said that after years of providing bilingual Web pages, the agency was seeking to make the service better known. It encouraged people to visit the government Web sites listed on its Facebook page and leave their comments. Those who do will be eligible for a lucky draw, with prizes ranging from brand name watches and an iPad2 to round-trip tickets to Los Angeles. The event will run through March 31. More information is available at www.i-taiwan.nat.gov.tw.
NTU team finds rare jade
A team of National Taiwan University (NTU) students has unearthed a rare jade core at the Puyuma Archaeological Site in eastern Taiwan, according to officials from the Taitung-based National Museum of Prehistory. Wang Ying (王潁), an anthropology student at NTU and a member of the team, and 26 other students had been participating in an archeology field study at the site in Taitung County organized by NTU and the museum, the officials said, adding the students also discovered a number of more common jade tubes. About 6,000 items of jadeware have been unearthed from the site over the years — however, jade cores are considered to be very rare, the museum’s assistant researcher Lee Kun-hsiu (李坤修) said. Used in jadeware production, a jade core is usually discarded after an item has been made, Lee said. However, no jadeware factories have been discovered in the area, and the archeological site is 100km away from the source of the jade, the researcher said.