Sun, Jan 03, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff Writer, with CNA

POLITICS

Ko approval rating at 69.3%

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) approval rating was at 69.3 percent last month, down 6.3 percentage points from August, Taipei’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission said on Friday. The commission’s survey, conducted about a year after Ko took office on Dec. 25, 2014, showed that 19.8 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the mayor’s performance. The approval rating remains above Ko’s own expectation of a 65 percent satisfaction rate, commission acting head Huang Ming-tsai (黃銘材) said. On specific policies, 78.9 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Taipei’s safety and security, and 58.8 percent were satisfied with traffic and transportation conditions, but only 36 percent were satisfied with elementary to high-school education in the city, the poll found. The poll had 1,007 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus-3.09 percentage points.

ENVIRONMENT

Tainan, Kaohsiung air poor

Most parts of Tainan and Kaohsiung have poor air quality, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday. As there is little wind, the Chiayi area, as well as the two southern municipalities, are being blanketed with unhealthy levels of PM2.5, the index for fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, the EPA said. The PM2.5 index for the Fuhsing area of Kaohsiung hit a hazardous level of 10 on the 10-tier scale, indicating PM2.5 concentrations of more than 70 micrograms per cubic meter, it added.

DIPLOMACY

Ad touts Taiwan’s role

The government on Friday placed an advertisement in a US newspaper to highlight the role played by Taiwan in the Asia-Pacific region and the peaceful purpose of Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島), the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) in the South China Sea. The full-page ad in the Washington Times says the Republic of China (ROC) is the only democracy in the ethnic Chinese world and plays the role of a peacemaker in the region, adding the ROC is also important to the US economy and to the global supply chain. The ad contains a photograph of Itu Aba, which Taiwan controls, and of a newly constructed lighthouse on the island, along with the peace initiative proposed by Taiwan for resolving South China Sea territorial disputes. Representative to the US Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) said the purpose of the ad was to tell people that Taiping Island is a naturally formed island that has a 12-nautical-mile (22km) zone of territorial waters and an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles.

EDUCATION

Cram-school survey released

The results of a survey released by the Ministry of Education showed that more than 50 percent of senior high-school students in Taiwan attend cram schools, in most cases to keep up with their regular schoolwork. According to the survey, 52.5 percent of respondents take extra courses at cram schools, as do 18.3 percent of vocational high-school students. Most of them attend the schools to brush up on their coursework and prepare themselves for college entrance exams, which determine which universities and which departments high-school seniors get into. Senior high-school students spend an average of NT$40,595 on cram schools a year, while vocational high-school students spend NT$23,813 a year, the survey found. The survey collected a total of 2,839 valid questionnaires from 87 schools.

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