Wed, Dec 10, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

NATIONAL DEFENSE

MND defends frigate sale

US arms sales to Taiwan play an important role in Taiwan’s defense due to the military threat from China, Ministry of National Defense (MND) spokesperson Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said yesterday in response to protests by China against a US bill for the sale of military frigates to Taiwan. In line with the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) and the “six assurances,” US arms sales to Taiwan help maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, Lo said. The goal of the weapons procurement is to bolster Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, not to engage in a military buildup race against China, he said. Luo said Beijing has not renounced the use of force against Taiwan, adding that US arms sales to Taiwan are important and necessary. China on Sunday urged the US to block the bill, saying that arms sales to Taiwan interfere with China’s internal affairs and that China is firmly opposed to the bill. China’s protest came after the US Senate approved a bill last week authorizing the sale of four Perry-class frigates to Taiwan, a transfer expected to enhance Taiwan’s defensive capability by replacing its aging fleet of Knox-class frigates.

HEALTH

Smoking rate falls

The smoking rate for adults in Taiwan dropped to 18 percent last year — the lowest level since 1990 — Health Promotion Administration Director-General Chiou Shu-ti (邱淑媞) said yesterday. The smoking rate for adults in 1990 was 32.5 percent, Chiou said, attributing the drop in ensuing years to measures taken by the government to encourage smokers to quit tobacco usage since the enforcement of the Tobacco Hazards Prevention Act (菸害防制法) in 1997. Over the past two decades, regulations have been revised to make them tighter on smoking in public places, while tobacco taxes have been raised as part of the efforts to discourage people from smoking, Chiou said. Anti-smoking campaigns on college campuses have borne fruit, the administration said, citing official statistics that show the smoking rate among high-school students dropped from 14.1 percent in 2012 to 11.9 percent last year. The peak was at 15.2 percent in 2005, the data showed. The statistics also showed that the smoking rate among junior-high school students stood at 5.2 percent last year, lower than the 6.7 percent recorded the previous year. The highest level of 8 percent was registered in 2010.

REAL ESTATE

Property sales to hit low

Real-estate transactions in Taipei and neighboring New Taipei City could fall to their lowest point in 23 years amid lingering concerns that the government plans to come up with measures to cap the local property market, Yung Ching Realty Group (永慶房屋) said yesterday. Yung Ching, one of Taiwan’s largest property sales agencies, said that the Nov. 29 elections served as an significant influence in cautious sentiment amid perceived political uncertainty. According to Yung Ching’s statistics, transactions of homes, shops and offices in Taipei for the first 11 months of the year fell 19.6 percent from a year earlier to end at 28,968 units. In New Taipei City, transactions of residential and commercial properties for the 11-month period dropped 24.6 percent from a year ago to 54,974 units, the data showed. Huang Shu-wei (黃舒衛), manager of Yung Ching’s market research center, said that based on sales data for the 11 months, real-estate transactions might reach a total of just 32,000 units in Taipei and 60,000 units in New Taipei City, the lowest levels since 2001.

This story has been viewed 2353 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top