Flights to Ningxia to start
Direct flights will begin on Tuesday between Taiwan and Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northern China, said Yang Ruey-tzhong (楊瑞宗), head of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association’s (TSTA) Beijing Office. The flights will be operated by Taiwan’s Far Eastern Air Transport and the Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines. Yang said the new service would help Taiwan attract travelers from Ningxia, home to 2.1 million Hui people, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group. The TSTA says Ningxia has more than 6.3 million people, 30 percent of whom are Muslims. Just 1,986 people from Ningxia traveled to Taiwan in the first three months of this year. Yang said Taiwan has a Muslim-friendly environment, with six mosques and 31 restaurants that are halal certified.
Water shortage not over
Days of heavy rain last week helped ease the nation’s water shortage, but officials said yesterday that a dry weather pattern could lie ahead. A series of cold fronts brought weekly precipitation ranging from 50mm to 100mm nationwide. Reservoirs in central Taiwan recorded the most significant increases in water levels, the Water Resources Agency (WRA) said. While water supplies for Greater Taichung, as well as for Hsinchu, Miaoli, Changhua and Nantou counties could remain stable through the end of June thanks to the recent rain, the situation in northern and southern Taiwan could remain tight, since drier weather is expected, the Central Weather Bureau said. WRA Deputy Director-General Tien Chiao-ling (田巧玲) said the agency would not rule out further cloud seeding until the plum rain season starts in the middle of next month.
Lantern on display in LA
The main lantern of the 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival went on display at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday. The lantern, which is based on the theme “Soaring Dragon Brings Prosperity,” was part of the annual Taiwan Day event at the stadium that has been co-hosted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau since 2009. Tourism Bureau Director-General David Hsieh (謝謂君) threw the first pitch in Tuesday’s game between the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. Hsieh said he hoped that the lantern, which drew great attention at the Lantern Festival in Hsinchu two months ago, wouldgive Taiwan greater visibility in the world. The lantern will remain on display outside the stadium for a month to show baseball fans the beauty of Taiwan, the bureau said.
Beijing museum chief visits
Beijing Palace Museum director Shan Jixiang (單霽翔) arrived in Taipei yesterday as part of an exchange between the museum and the National Palace Museum. Shan said he would outline a cooperation plan for the two museums for this year and the next three years during his five-day visit. Shan is scheduled to attend a meeting about “The Artistic Taste of Emperor Qianlong,” an exhibition on the life of one of the longest-ruling emperors of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which is scheduled to open in October at the National Palace Museum. Shan will also visit Chiayi, Greater Kaohsiung and Kinmen. National Palace Museum Director Feng Ming-chu (馮明珠) and Shan will discuss plans to jointly catalog the 600 books compiled during Qianlong’s reign. The National Palace Museum has more than 300 of the books, while the Beijing museum has the rest, Feng said.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor