Fingerprinting rule eased
Nearly 300,000 Chinese spouses of Taiwanese nationals will no longer have to be fingerprinted every time they enter Taiwan, once the data is already on record, the Ministry of the Interior said. About 297,000 Chinese spouses will be exempted from the repeat fingerprinting rule, after the ministry approved a revision to an act on fingerprinting and data recording for Chinese nationals. The change also applies to other Chinese citizens who are in Taiwan on special resident permits. The mandatory fingerprinting of Chinese nationals was introduced at the time because of the number of Chinese trying to enter Taiwan using false identification documents, the ministry said. However, the regulations have been revised since cross-strait exchanges and marriages have become more common, it said. Chinese visitors to Taiwan will still be fingerprinted at the airport if immigration officers have cause to question their identification, the ministry said, adding that plastic surgery has become more popular in recent years.
Chinese visits may rise 60%
An estimated 31,435 Chinese tourists will visit Taiwan during China’s National Day holiday, from tomorrow through Oct. 8, according to the Tourism Bureau. That would represent a rise of 60 percent from the 19,223 Chinese tourists who visited the country during the same period last year, bureau officials said. Arrivals are likely to peak on Monday, when 8,730 Chinese tourists are expected to enter the country, the bureau said, attributing the sharp rise to the increased number of flights between Taiwan and China, the streamlining of China’s application process for travel documents and the fact that the holiday is one day longer than it was last year.
London, Moscow targeted
Taiwan will set up cultural centers in London and Moscow to promote cultural exchanges with the regions in which the two cities are located, according to Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台). The Ministry of Culture chose London and Moscow because the two cities have a “radiation effect” in their respective regions, Lung said. In addition to Britain and Russia, Lung said her ministry would also foster cultural ties with their neighboring countries. Taiwan currently has three cultural centers abroad — in New York, Tokyo and Paris. Lung has said the Ministry of Culture, which was inaugurated in May, plans to set up eight more overseas cultural centers, which will bring the total to 11. The ministry said the launch date and details of what the two new centers will be tasked with have not yet been determined.
Chefs to attend competition
A large group of Taiwanese chefs will take part in a major culinary event in Germany next week, joining thousands of competitors from around the world. The 19-member team will leave on Oct. 2 to attend the International Exhibition of Culinary Art, group leader Yueh Chia-ching (岳家青) said. The Taiwanese team, comprising college students and professional chefs, will compete in the categories of fruit and vegetable carving, and baking, among others, Yueh said. “It is the first time that Taiwan is sending such a large group to the event,” he said, adding that they will give their best and try to win medals at the competition. The culinary competition, also known as the Culinary Olympics, is one of the biggest in the world, attracting 5,000 competitors from more than 50 countries this year, Yueh said.