Snow falls on Yushan
The nation’s highest peak, Yushan (玉山), yesterday received its first snowfall this winter, with the arrival of northeasterly winds which brought abundant moisture, the Central Weather Bureau said. The temperature on Yushan dropped to about 0°C yesterday morning, before rain and snow began to fall at 11:25am, followed by sleet and more snow at noon, the bureau said.
New Year schedule unveiled
The Taipei MRT system is to run continuously for 42 hours from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 to provide a travel option for people celebrating the New Year, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp said on Thursday. The MRT is to start operating at 6am on New Year’s Eve and continue until midnight on New Year’s Day, with the exception of Xiaobitan and Xinbeitou MRT stations, the company said. In addition, from 5pm on Dec. 31, all trains running on the Red Line from Tamsui and Beitou are to continue to Xiangshan MRT Station, as it is a popular spot for viewing the Taipei 101 New Year fireworks. Bicycles are to be allowed on the MRT from 10am to 4pm on Dec. 31, while YouBike bicycle rental services are to be suspended in control areas near Taipei City Hall after 5pm, the company said. Services on the Maokong Gondola are also to be extended for New Year’s Eve, with the last carriage departing at 2am on Jan. 1.
Pan video goes viral
A video of Pingtung County Commissioner Pan Men-an (潘孟安) eating a banana taken from a bunch of bananas taped to a wall with duct tape has gone viral on social media. The Democratic Progressive Party politician was copying a similar stunt that swept international media last week, when David Datuna ate a banana displayed at Miami’s Art Basel that had just been sold by Perrotin, an international art gallery, for US$120,000. In the video the commissioner said that his bunch of bananas grown in Pingtung was bigger and more impressive than the Miami version, and that it was also a valuable piece of art. Pan took a banana from the bunch and ate it, saying: “Not only can they be admired [as a work of art], they are also delicious.” The video posted on Thursday had garnered more than 500 comments and been shared by more than 600 users on Facebook.
China’s allure waning
China remained the No. 1 destination for Taiwanese heading overseas to work last year, although the number dropped to its lowest level since 2008, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said. Last year, 404,000 Taiwanese were working in China (including Hong Kong and Macau), accounting for 54.9 percent of all Taiwanese working overseas, government data showed. The number is the lowest since 2008 and marks the fifth consecutive annual fall, the agency said. The previous year, 405,000 Taiwanese were working in China. The agency attributed the continued decline to the US-China trade dispute, which compelled many Taiwanese firms based in China to return to avoid punitive US tariffs. The cost of running a business in China has significantly increased over the past several years due to gradual salary increases and stricter environmental protection laws, the agency said. Overall, 737,000 Taiwanese were working overseas last year, an increase of 1,000 from the previous year, it said. The second-largest destination was Southeast Asian nations (112,000, or 15.2 percent), followed by the US (95,000, or 12.9 percent), it added.
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