‘Beyond Beauty’ still a hit
A month after Beyond Beauty: Taiwan From Above (看見台灣) first gave Taiwanese a new perspective on their nation, the documentary is continuing to post strong box office sales, surpassing the NT$110 million (US$3.72 million) mark over the weekend. Already the nation’s highest-grossing documentary, the film raked in an additional NT$9.06 million in Taipei alone between Friday and Sunday, distributor Activator Marketing Co said yesterday. That represented a 25 percent increase over the previous weekend, in which it was honored with the Golden Horse Award for Best Documentary. The distributor said that as of yesterday, the film had taken NT$115 million since it opened on Nov. 1, making it the 15th-highest-grossing film — either foreign or domestic — at the box office this year. Made over the course of three years, the 93-minute documentary provides a rare bird’s-eye view of Taiwan’s natural beauty, while stressing the importance of environmental protection.
Hau wants more flights
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday called on China to open more routes and increase the frequency of flights to Taipei to meet the strong demand for air travel across the Taiwan Strait. Such an expansion would also help lower ticket prices, and increase exchanges between Taipei and major Chinese cities, Hau said during a luncheon with China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘). Hau said that since direct air links were launched between Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, tickets for the route have been selling like hot cakes, with prices remaining high. He noted that occupancy rates of more than 90 percent were recorded when two low-cost Chinese air carriers, Spring Airlines and Juneyao Airlines, launched their inaugural flights to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday.
Nation bags 189 medals
Taiwan won big at this year’s Seoul International Invention Fair which concluded on Sunday, bagging a total of 189 medals and five special awards. Taiwan presented 222 inventions at the show, the most of any participating country and won 68 gold medals, 64 silver and 57 bronze. Inventors representing 31 countries presented a total of 704 creations at the show, which opened on Thursday last week. Several of the Taiwanese who showed their creativity in Seoul were from Chaoyang University of Technology. Its students won 11 medals (three gold, five silver and three bronze).
Itu Aba budget frozen
The Legislative Yuan’s Interior Committee decided yesterday to freeze the NT$200 million (US$6.75 million) budget for a new wharf and improvements to the runway on Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島), located in the disputed South China Sea, pending an environmental impact assessment. The funds are part of more than NT$1 billion requested by the Coast Guard Administration for infrastructure projects on Taiping, the largest of the Spratly Islands chain, which is claimed in whole or in part by several countries, but administered by Taiwan. Coast Guard Administration Minister Wang Jinn-wang (王進旺) said that once the wharf is completed, the island would be able to accommodate ships of up to 3,000 tonnes, facilitating maritime patrols and rescue operations in the nearby area.