Groups lobby for dolphin
Environmentalists yesterday called for a proposal to expand a liquefied natural gas terminal in the port of Taichung to be reconsidered, saying that the project would jeopardize the critically endangered Taiwanese humpback dolphin. The proposal, made by Taiwan International Ports Co and Taiwan Power Co, entered a second-phase environmental impact assessment (EIA) on July 20 and construction is to begin if it makes it through the EIA process. The Taiwanese humpback dolphin was listed as “endangered” in May by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a scientific agency, and fewer than 70 of the marine mammals still exist, a statement by local environmental groups said. “Taiwan should make rehabilitation plans to keep the Taiwanese humpback dolphin safe from extinction,” the Alliance for the Protection of Taiwanese Humpback Dolphin and Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan, said in the statement.
AIT director lands in Taiwan
Brent Christensen, the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT) new director, on Saturday arrived in Taipei to assume his post. Upon his arrival, Christensen said that he was very happy to be back in Taiwan, adding that he looks forward to continuing to develop the many areas of US-Taiwan cooperation. In a video posted on Facebook on Friday by the AIT, Christensen said that he was very glad to have been stationed in Taiwan twice before in his diplomatic career. His first overseas post was with the AIT and 20 years later he was again stationed at AIT as its deputy director from 2012 to 2015, Christensen said, describing his return as “fate.”
Taiwan claims 18 medals
Taiwan collected a total of 18 medals, including 10 golds, at the Gay Games, which concluded in Paris on Saturday. Veteran gay rights campaigner Chi Chia-wei (祁家威), the honorary team leader for Taiwan, said that the achievements, which also included five silver and three bronze medals, were better than expected. Taiwan has a chance to bid to host the Games in 2026, he said, with the vote to take place at the annual general meeting of the Federation of Gay Games in 2021. Chi said that he hopes another Asian country would have the chance to host the Games after Hong Kong hosts them in 2022. About 10,317 people from 91 countries took part in the 10th Gay Games this year. Athletes competed in 36 sports. Taiwan was represented by 25 people, including 18 athletes competing in seven disciplines.
Students take on learning gap
A non-profit founded by Taiwanese studying in the US has been trying to raise awareness about the education gap between Taiwan’s urban and rural areas, and to have more people teach children in rural areas. Twenty-year-old Ko Han-wen (柯涵文), cofounder of Students for Taiwanese Educational Progress (STEP), yesterday said that she noticed the education gap between cities and rural areas during high school. Working with the Boyo Social Welfare Foundation, STEP last year held a winter camp at Tong-Fu Elementary School in Nantou County’s Sinyi Township (信義) and last month held a summer camp at the same location. Ko said the group chose to hold the camps at the same location to show the emphasis that STEP places on continuity in education and to continue to support the same group of children.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under