German official honored
A former deputy director of the German Trade Office Taipei was awarded permanent resident status yesterday in honor of his long-term contributions to promoting use of renewable energy in Taiwan. Andreas Gursch received the Plum Blossom Alien Permanent Residence Certificate from Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) in Taipei. Gursch was given the honor for promoting information exchanges and investment in the areas of renewable energy and “green” buildings during his more than 10 years in Taiwan, according to the National Immigration Agency. Applicants for the Plum Blossom Card must have made special contributions to the nation, be foreign nationals with high-level professional and technical skills needed in the nation, or be immigrants who have invested more than NT$15 million (US$498,440) locally, the immigration agency said.
Mayday to open music fest
Rock band Mayday (五月天) are to open one of the nation’s biggest indie music festivals today, while pop music band Sodagreen (蘇打綠), who rose to fame as a frequent performer at the festival, are to perform in its grand finale this year. The annual Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival, which is held on Fulong Beach in New Taipei City (新北市), will feature an international lineup of artists from Russia, the US, Australia and Japan, as well as local indie bands. Ten local indie finalists will battle it out on Saturday for the Ho-Hai-Yan Indie Music Awards. The festival, organized by the New Taipei City Government, has been held on the beach every July since 2000.
Female population rising
Women will soon outnumber men in Taiwan for the first time ever, according to the latest Ministry of the Interior statistics. The male population stood at 11.68 million last month, while the female population was 11.67 million, information from the ministry showed. The ratio of females to males was 100 to 100.12 last month, down from 100 to 100.41 in the same month last year, the statistics showed. Department of Household Registration Director Hsieh Ai-ling (謝愛齡) said the Council for Economic Planning and Development has forecast that the ratio will soon be reversed, with females outnumbering males by 3,000 by the end of the year. The female population is expected to pull even with the male population in November, Hsieh said, and the trend is expected to continue for decades, with the female-male ratio hitting 100-93.1 in 2060. Hsieh attributed the change to the nation’s commitment to fighting gender discrimination and the longer life expectancy of women in Taiwan.
SEF sends China delegation
Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) yesterday led an education delegation to visit vocational schools in China’s Jiangxi and Anhui provinces in a bid to attract Chinese students to pursue higher vocational studies in Taiwan. The foundation said it is to visit colleges listed under China’s “211 Project,” a project launched in 1995 aimed at transforming selective colleges and universities into top-ranked global schools. Taiwanese schools currently admits degrees from 191 vocational schools in China. This year, the nation also began accepting applications from vocational students from China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces to pursue higher vocational studies. The foundation said the delegation will also visit Taiwanese businesses in China as part of their trip.