Thu, Apr 24, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Transport minister touts book project to aid public debate

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) yesterday said that the nation should discuss the benefits and drawbacks of developing nuclear energy rationally if Taiwanese want to avoid paying high prices for electricity and conserve energy.

Yeh made the comments when the ministry announced that April 23 has been designated Bookcrossing Day. The date is also when the World Book and Copyright Day set by UNESCO is celebrated.

The ministry aims to establish 108 stops at which people can share the books they have read with others. These stops would be placed at railway stations, airports, post offices, national scenic areas and agencies under the ministry’s purview.

Yeh donated two books, The Soft Power of Taiwan (台灣軟實力) and The Big Disaster (大災變), for the book-sharing station that has already been erected inside the ministry building.

“Both authors are good friends of mine and their books have inspired me. I feel it is my duty to share the knowledge I have gained from these books with others,” Yeh said. “Taiwanese should face the challenges ahead with kindness and courage.”

Yeh said that what he learned from The Soft Power of Taiwan is that the nation has many strengths that enable it to compete with other countries. The book’s subject matter is particularly relevant since the nation is currently divided on issues regarding the cross-strait service trade agreement, he added.

Regarding the debate over whether the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City, should be finished, Yeh said that The Big Disaster could help readers better understand the environment.

“Without nuclear energy and a stable supply of renewable energy, the electricity rate would be much higher than it is now, as was the case in Germany,” Yeh said.

“If Taiwanese are willing to pay more for electricity, then they should push to abandon nuclear energy altogether. However, if people neither want to pay more for electricity nor want to limit the nation’s energy consumption, then we should discuss the pros and cons of atomic power if we are to continue developing nuclear energy in a rational manner,” he said.

The ministry should reconsider its position on the promotion of the electric vehicles if the nation decides to stop building the fourth nuclear power plant, the minister added.

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