Wang joins Cincinnati Reds
Wang Chien-ming (王建民) clinched a deal this week with the Cincinnati Reds that will see him play in the US minor leagues with an invitation to the spring training session for the major leagues, his agent said yesterday. Octagon, the firm representing Wang, said in a news release that the 33-year-old right-hander agreed to the deal with the hope of returning to the majors. Under the contract, Wang will receive a monthly salary of US$15,000, which would increase to an annual US$1.25 million if he is called up to the majors. His total pay could hit US$3 million if he meets the conditions for bonuses. Major league spring training usually begins in the middle of February. Octagon media relations Taiwan representative Chris Chang (張家銘) said Wang was not very concerned about his salary or on which team he would play. “What counts most [to him] is a chance to return to the major leagues,” Chang said.
A-mei throws free concert
Taiwanese pop superstar Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹), also known as A-mei, will hold a concert in Taipei on Sunday to show her support for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan. “No slogans, no posters that night. I want to use music to give people who are pursuing respect and true love the courage to continue,” A-mei wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. “I want to cheer for every single heart that is defending true love.” The concert is scheduled to start at 6pm at Huashan 1914 Creative Park. “No tickets needed. Free admission with love,” the pop diva said. Internet users have responded enthusiastically to the news of the concert.
China travel still normal
Local travel agents yesterday said that travel to China did not seem to have been affected by reports confirming the world’s first case of human infection of the H10N8 avian flu strain earlier this week. Travel Agent Association of Taiwan secretary-general Roget Hsu (許高慶) said travel agents have not had significant inquiries about health risks associated with travel to China. However, Hsu added that he did not know whether the flu might have a long-term impact on travel across the Taiwan Strait, because the situation was still developing. The nation’s Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday issued a Level 2 travel alert for the Chinese province of Jiangxi after a 73-year-old woman died from H10N8 infection on Dec. 6. The Mainland Affairs Council also issued a yellow travel alert for the province.
Work agreement expected
Taiwan and Hungary are expected to sign a working holiday agreement in the near future, said Zhang Ming-zhong (張銘忠), director-general of European affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two nations are planning to allow 100 young adults from the other nation to visit and work in the countries every year, he said. Citizens aged 18 to 35 who are proficient in English will be eligible to participate in the working holiday program once the reciprocal agreement is signed, he added. Once Hungary finishes its final administrative procedure on reviewing the agreement, the two sides can sign the agreement, Zhang said, adding that the agreement could be concluded early next year. Taiwan has working holiday agreements with four European countries — Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the UK — as well as similar arrangements with Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.