The Maritime and Port Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications yesterday officially replaced the Customs Administration to become the agency in charge of all of the nation’s lighthouses and navigation aids.
To mark the transition of management, the two agencies yesterday jointly unveiled a new lighthouse plaque at the solar energy-powered Keelung lighthouse.
Located in Keelung Port, the 11m-tall brick lighthouse was built in 1900 and the lighting system has a nominal optical distance of 16 nautical miles (29.6km). The nation has a total of 34 lighthouses, 44 light posts and 14 radar beacons, including those in Taiwan proper as well as in the outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.
Maritime and Port Bureau Director-General Li Juel-der (黎瑞德) said the Customs Administration had since 1868 established an excellent system and traditions to manage the nation’s lighthouses.
The bureau will strive to maintain those legacies and seek to improve upon on them, he said.
Li also welcomed the employees from the Department of Marine Affairs, who previously managed the nation’s lighthouses at Customs Administration, to join the bureau.
Li said that the nation’s lighthouses were mostly buildings with long histories and were located in islands with diverse eco-environments.
Yuwongdao (漁翁島) Lighthouse in Penghu County, for example, has been in use since 1778. The granite lighthouse on Dongjudao (東莒島) in Lienchiang County (Matsu), on the other hand, was built in 1872 after the Qing Dynasty lost the opium war against the UK and was forced to open up ports along China’s east coast for trade.
Both lighthouses have been designated as national historical sites by the government, he said.
Li also mentioned the lighthouses in Sandiaojiao (三貂角) and Pengjia Islet (彭佳嶼), both of which were famous for their unique architecture.
According to the bureau, six lighthouses are open to the public — at Yuwengdao, Dongjudao, Cape San Diego, Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), Dongyin Island (東引島) and Greater Kaohsiung.
Customs Administration Deputy Director Tseng Ching-yen (曾清煙) said his agency started building lighthouses and other navigation aids in seaports when the Qing dynasty employed British consular official Robert Hart as China’s second inspector-general at the Imperial Maritime Custom Service.
From 1863 to 1911, Hart facilitated the construction of lighthouses and established systems for tax and postal services, he said.
Though the Japanese government managed to build more lighthouses in the colonial era from 1895 to 1945, most of them were severely damaged during World War II, he said.
He said that the Customs Administration took over the management of the lighthouses in 1946 and immediately began restoration work on all the buildings.
Tseng said the nation in 2007 started following the regulations on navigation aids set by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities, which ensured that the nation’s navigation safety standards are in synch with those of the international community.
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
CONTROVERSY: NHIA Director-General Lee Po-chang said an outcry over overseas Taiwanese not paying premiums, but having coverage, is pushing rule amendments Rules changes are being considered that would force Taiwanese who permanently live abroad to pay National Health Insurance (NHI) premiums for the period they were overseas before they can re-enroll in the system, National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) Director-General Lee Po-chang (李伯璋) yesterday said. The case of a married Taiwanese couple who lived in the US for about 30 years, but returned to Taiwan in April and tested positive for COVID-19 has again sparked public debate over why Taiwanese living abroad are allowed to use NHI resources, — although the couple’s expenses were not covered by the NHI. An often cited example
AN EXAMPLE: After attending a memorial service for Lee Teng-hui, Mori said the former president’s career reflected the importance of peace and democracy Using military force to resolve conflict is no longer workable in this new era, which requires peaceful discussion, former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori said yesterday before leaving Taipei. Mori made the remarks at a news conference in front of the EVA Sky Jet Center at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), after leading a delegation to attend the official memorial service for former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水). This was Mori’s second trip to mourn Lee; his last was on Aug. 9. Although he walked with a crutch, Mori, 83, chose to stand right in front of