Tsai rejects opinion piece
The office of former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday disputed an opinion piece by presidential confidant Chen Chang-ven (陳長文), published by the Chinese-language China Times, saying that Chen “did not get the facts right” in his comparison of Tsai and incoming Mainland Affairs Council minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦). In the opinion piece, Chen defended President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) appointment of Wang, 43, as the top China policy-maker and said that criticism which claimed Wang was too young for the job and was appointed simply by virtue of his relationship with Ma was dumbfounded and irrational. Citing Tsai as an example, Chen said that the inexperienced Tsai was 44 years old when she was appointed MAC chairperson in 2000 and “had accomplished nothing during her tenure.” Most criticism against Wang came from the pan-blue camp, not the DPP, and was targeted at Wang’s expertise, not his age,” Tsai’s spokesperson Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福) said in a press release. Tsai had more than a dozen years of experience on international negotiations — a crucial skill for a China policymaker — under her belt when she was named MAC chair in 2000, which set her aside from Wang, Hung said.
Award winner writes poem
Nepalese writer Jhamak Ghimire, who was born with cerebral palsy and writes and paints with her feet, wrote a poem on Sunday to express her love for Taiwan before she departed for home. “I feel Taiwan’s love with an open heart,” Ghimire wrote before boarding for her plane at Taoyuan International Airport. She also wrote that although she has “an unknown journey that lies ahead,” she will face it with the love she has received. Ghimire was in Taiwan to receive the Fervent Global Love of Life Medal that honored her perseverance in her battle against the disease. The award was issued by the Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation. She also received medical check-ups at Landseed Hospital in Taoyuan during her stay in Taiwan. Ghimire took 10 boxes of second-hand jackets with her that will be distributed to underprivileged children in Nepal on behalf of foundation founder Chou Chin-hua (周進華).
Hong Kong attracts tourists
More than 27,000 Taiwanese submitted online pre-arrival registration details to visit Hong Kong in the first two weeks since the online service became available earlier this month, according to the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong government. In order to attract more Taiwanese tourists, the Hong Kong Tourism Bureau has cooperated with air carriers and travel agencies in formulating a program to allow Taiwanese to visit Hong Kong as independent travelers with competitive prices. It was reported on Sunday that Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang (曾俊華) could explore the possibility of reciprocal tax immunity for sea carriers with Taiwan during his visit to Taipei on Monday. John Leung (梁志仁), director of the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei said Tsang would visit Taipei in his capacity as the honorary chairperson of the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council to attend a conference of the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council today. Leung said Hong Kong is more than willing to negotiate with Taiwan on a free trade agreement but this issue is not on Tsang’s agenda of talks with Taiwan.