Taipei’s acceptance of different cultures and ideas is its defining value, incorporating progressive Western ideals into Chinese society, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said in a speech at the European Parliament on Wednesday.
Addressing a gathering of more than 30 members of the European Parliament, Ko spoke of Taipei’s values, positioning the city in a landscape that is full of what he called “clashes of ideas and values.”
While Taipei might appear to be like any other Chinese society, it is quite different, because “we can accept different cultures,” Ko said.
He pointed to the 50,000 Muslims who gathered in Taipei during last year’s Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic post-Ramadan fast-breaking festival, as an impressive feat, especially as it occurred in a city and nation that are not Muslim.
Another example of Taipei’s — and by extension Taiwan’s — openness to different ways of life was the Taiwan LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Pride Parade in October last year, which attracted a record number of 123,000 participants, Ko said.
It was the largest parade of its kind in Asia, attracting more than 5,000 foreigners to Taiwan to celebrate the groundbreaking decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the nation, he said.
These different lifestyles and ideas can coexist peacefully in Taipei, because it is a city that accepts differences, he said.
“These are Taipei’s values; this is how Taipei incorporates progressive Western values into a Chinese society,” he said.
Instead of following in the footsteps of the US, China, or other nations, Taipei sticks to “our values and belief in democracy, freedom, diversity, openness, rule of law and sustainability,” which allows the city to flourish, he said.
Ko’s decision to mention “Taipei’s values” instead of “Taiwanese values” has drawn attention, as he last month engaged in a debate with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) over her remarks on Jan. 23 that the Taipei mayor should reaffirm his commitment to Taiwanese values to gain the support of Democratic Progressive Party members.
Ko, who has made several remarks regarded as friendly to China, later challenged Tsai on what she meant by Taiwanese values.
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
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung