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.
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.
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.
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.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu