Sat, Sep 08, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

POLITICS

Inhofe replaces McCain

US Senator Jim Inhofe, cochair of the US Senate’s Taiwan Caucus, on Thursday was named chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, replacing John McCain, who passed away from brain cancer on Aug. 25. Inhofe, a veteran, is a staunch supporter of US-Taiwan relations. In March, he and US Senator John Cornyn penned a joint letter to US President Donald Trump, urging the administration to support Taiwan’s procurement of F-35 fighter jets to boost its national defense capabilities. Inhofe wrote the letter after a visit to Taiwan in February, during which he met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to seek more opportunities for cooperation between the two nations. Following his new appointment, Inhofe tweeted that he was looking forward to working with the committee to ensure that the US military is ready to defend the US, as it faces “new and unprecedented threats different from anything we’ve seen before.”

TRAVEL

Driver’s license deal inked

The nation has signed a reciprocal driver’s license agreement with Rhode Island, the 28th US state to ink such a deal with Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Under the agreement, licensed drivers from Taiwan and Rhode Island can apply to obtain a license in each other’s territory without having to take road or written tests. Taiwan is the first foreign government with which Rhode Island has signed such an agreement, the ministry said in a statement. The arrangement will make life easier and more convenient for Taiwanese citizens living, working or studying in Rhode Island, it said. The agreement was signed on Thursday by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston and Rhode Island’s Division of Motor Vehicles, the ministry said.

VEHICLES

Gas motorcycle ban on track

The government is committed to banning the sale of gasoline-powered motorcycles by 2035 as part of efforts to help combat air pollution, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said in a statement on Tuesday, urging all agencies to work together to help curb air pollution and promote renewable energy. The government is to offer technical assistance to existing domestic motorcycle manufacturers in transitioning from conventional bikes to smart electric scooters, as well as assistance in the development of highly efficient electric vehicle batteries, he said. The government will also push to expand the availability of battery charging stations across the nation, including the provision of more parking spaces for eco-friendly scooters, he said. Statistics provided by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed that there were 13.76 million registered scooters in Taiwan as of the end of December last year. In the first seven months of this year, the number of electric scooters sold numbered 37,000, the statistics show.

HOUSING

Home ownership at 85%

A survey released yesterday by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed that 84.83 percent of Taiwanese owned homes last year, down 0.53 percentage points from a year earlier. Taiwanese tend to buy property as a way of keeping their wealth, the agency said, adding that it is unlikely to change any time soon. The poll also showed that 8.04 percent of households lived in rented homes, while 2.68 percent lived in a home borrowed from a different source or homes assigned by their companies or the government, the survey showed.

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