Sat, Oct 22, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA


Illegal homes hit record high

As of the end of August, there were 660,694 illegal structures in the nation, a record-high, according to government statistics released yesterday. The number accounted for 8 percent of the 8.25 million residential properties, the Construction and Planning Agency said. The latest figure represents an increase of more than 20 percent from the 546,000 illegal structures reported in 2011, the agency said. New Taipei City has the highest number of illegal structures, with 206,691, or 13.6 percent of properties, the agency said. Kaohsiung was second with 122,148 illegal structures. Of the four remaining special municipalities, Taipei had 85,104, Taichung 70,894, Taoyuan 54,506 and Tainan 26,888. Safety issues concerning illegal structures have drawn widespread attention since a residential building with five illegally added floors caught fire in Hsinchu in December last year, leaving two people dead. To address the problem, the agency has drafted an amendment to the Building Act (建築法) that would impose a fine of up to NT$500,000 on homeowners who fail to have illegal structures demolished within a designated period of time.


World stamp show opens

Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday called stamps the “business cards” of nations at the opening of this year’s World Stamp Championship Exhibition in Taipei yesterday, saying stamps allow nations to showcase their soft power in a colorful way. Stamps offer “a square inch of beauty” and the opportunity for each nation to flaunt its cultural and soft power through rich images of its natural environment, historical heritage, folk art, and political and economic achievements, Chen said. Held in Taiwan for the first time, the exhibition features 2,450 philately items from exhibitors from 80 nations. The exhibition is to run until Wednesday next week at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1.


Ten Chinese ships seized

Kinmen coast guard officers have raided Chinese vessels crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait in the waters between Kinmen and China, seizing 10 Chinese ships since the beginning of the month. The administration said it began the crackdown after it checked sea and radar data and found that Chinese ships had been frequently sailing near the median line. In one incident, they found a Chinese fishing boat operating 0.2 nautical miles off Fuhsing islet (復興嶼) on Wednesday night and sent cutters to seize the boat and took the four crew members to Kinmen. The coast guard said it would clamp down on Chinese fishing boats crossing the median line and impose steep fines to protect fishing resources. The coast guard has this month caught 34 crew members aboard nine fishing boats and six people aboard a sand-dredging vessel.


Gaming shotguns seized

The Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday said that 194 shotguns circulating in the military gaming market have been seized, with four suspects arrested for selling them. The suspects are to be charged with violating the Statue Governing the Control Over Guns, Ammunition, Knives and Weapons (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), the office said, adding that the guns — the APS CAM870 model — were illegally imported from Hong Kong. While survival game players usually use airsoft guns, which are less powerful, they could have accidentally bought the shotguns, which prosecutors said could be lethal.

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