Gao Xingjian arrives
Chinese-born Nobel Laureate for Literature Gao Xingjian (高行健) arrived in Taiwan with his wife yesterday and said he was impressed with Taiwanese culture and people’s enthusiasm every time he visited the country. Gao will be a chair professor at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei for two weeks, during which he will attend a Mandarin Chinese performance of one of his plays — Nocturnal Wanderer — by students of the school’s Graduate Institute of Performing Arts. The Nobel laureate will deliver a speech tomorrow and attend a seminar on Wednesday at the school, which will be recorded and posted on the school’s open courseware Web site.
Tropical storm to bring rain
Parts of the country will see rainy weather continuing until tomorrow, in areas affected by the outer cloud bands of a tropical storm, the Central Weather Bureau forecast yesterday. Tropical Storm Mawar will not directly impact the nation, but will bring intermittent rains to the north and east and afternoon rain to mountainous areas in central and southern parts of the country, the bureau said. The tropical storm is located 590km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), moving north-northeast, it said. The bureau forecast the weather would become more stable from Wednesday to Saturday, with only the eastern part of the country seeing rain. Beginning on Wednesday, temperatures could reach 31oC to 33oC, it added.
US force moves welcomed
The military welcomed the US’ recent commitment to shift a greater number of warships to the Asia-Pacific region over the next few years, a defense official said yesterday. “The Ministry of National Defense welcomes any measure conducive to peace and stability in the region,” ministry spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said in response to remarks made by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at an annual security forum in Singapore on Saturday. Panetta said the Pentagon would “reposture” its naval forces from a roughly 50/50 split between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans to a 60/40 split favoring the Pacific by 2020 as part of the new US strategy to strengthen its presence in the region. Panetta’s speech at the three-day “Shangri-La Dialogue,” attended by senior civilian and military leaders from about 30 Asia-Pacific countries, provided details on the new US defense strategy in Asia announced by US President Barack Obama in January.
Nantou sets up tea co-op
Tea farmers and traders in Nantou County, the nation’s top tea production area, established the first county-level tea cooperative yesterday in an effort to promote tea products. Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who attended the inauguration, expressed his hope that the Nantou Tea Marketing Cooperative would further benefit local farmers and maintain long-term development of agriculture in the county. The cooperative, which aims to be a platform between farmers and customers, has categorized Nantou-grown tea into five grades: tea grown at an altitude of 2,000m, 1,700m, 1,400m, 1,000m, and 600m, cooperative chairman Lin Wen-tsan (林文燦) said. Lin said the higher the tea is grown, the higher its price usually is. Meanwhile, in order to ensure customers are able to identify authentic Nantou tea, the cooperative, farmers and tea traders have set up a tea museum at Zhushan Industrial Park in the county to promote and sell the tea, Lin said.