Ten crew members of three Taiwanese fishing boats set foot on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) in the South China Sea yesterday, saying that they were excited to see the island up close.
The boats left Pingtung County on Wednesday last week for the island to highlight the nation’s sovereignty and that it is in fact an “island” under international law after an international tribunal ruled on July 12 that it was legally a “rock.”
The boats docked on Monday night and, after requesting permission from the commander stationed on Itu Aba, the fishermen were allowed access to the port yesterday.
They were forbidden from venturing onto the rest of the island, as it is a restricted military base, said Chen Fu-sheng (陳富盛), captain of the Pingtung-based Man Sheng Chi No. 8, one of the three boats that made the trip.
“Since we have traveled to Taiping Island, we feel like we should set foot on its land or we will have regrets,” Chen said in a telephone interview. “I saw the stone tablet that former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took a photo with. There are coconut and papaya trees on the island.”
Chen said he believes Itu Aba is an island because it has trees, fresh water, chickens and cows.
He said his crew filled up bottles of fresh water to bring back to Taiwan for reporters who were unable to make the journey.
The three boats departed for Taiwan at about 11am after being replenished with fresh water and cartons of canned pork and beef.
While no Taiwanese reporters made the journey, a crew from Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV were on a fourth fishing boat that was not allowed to dock. It dropped anchor in waters off the island.
During their brief stay, two of the fishermen visited a medical center to be treated for toothache and a skin infection.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”