Kaohsiung gets green rules
New buildings in Kaohsiung will soon have to meet green construction standards based on regulations that cleared Kaohsiung City Council on Monday. Huang Chih-ming, a Kaohsiung Public Works Bureau official, said the rules, which were the first green building standards passed by a local government, could be put into effect by July. They will apply to new commercial buildings more than 16 stories high, public buildings or factories costing more than NT$50 million (US$1.69 million) or buildings for public use of six-stories or over. Such buildings will be required to either put in solar power systems or cover 80 percent of their roofs with gardens, incorporate rain collection systems and include bicycle parking as well as installing showers in bathrooms. Existing buildings will be subject to the new rules if an application is made to change their purpose of use. Developers were largely positive about the plans, with one saying that “the government has good intentions.”
Businessman spy sentenced
Taiwanese businessman Lai Kun-chieh (賴坤玠) was sentenced to 17 months in prison on charges of spying for China, according to a ruling yesterday by the Taiwan High Court. Lai, 35, was found to have attempted to collect data for the Chinese government from a Taiwanese army officer, the court said. Lai was recruited by Li Xu (李旭), a deputy department chief in the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council, in February 2010 while Lai was working in China, the court said. When he returned to Taiwan, Lai approached a former schoolmate, an army officer surnamed Tsao (曹), in an attempt to gather missile technology intelligence. Lai was caught last year handing over a US$19,830 bribe to Tsao, who had tipped off his superiors.