Taipei site to be developed
A prime site in downtown Taipei where the air force headquarters used to be will be used for the development of a commercial complex, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. An inter-agency meeting on Wednesday approved a plan drafted by the Council for Economic Planning and Development for the 7.15 hectare site on Renai Road to be developed into a multipurpose business complex. The “city within a city” project, which will include hotels, a shopping mall, plaza and green spaces, is expected to generate NT$90 billion (US$3 billion) to NT$100 billion worth of business and 10,000 jobs. Officials who attended Wednesday’s meeting also agreed that part of the profits from the project will be allocated to the ministry. The Air Force Command Headquarters relocated to Taipei’s Dazhi District (大直) in October last year.
Museum director to visit
Shan Jixiang (單霽翔), director of the Palace Museum in Beijing, is scheduled to arrive in Taipei on April 18 on a five-day visit. He will stay in Taipei for two days before visiting the National Palace Museum’s southern branch in Chiayi, and then traveling to Greater Kaohsiung and Kinmen. National Palace Museum Director Feng Ming-chu (馮明珠) visited China in late January and talked with Shan about cooperation between the two museums. One of the major purposes of her visit was to discuss a loan of artifacts from China for an exhibition that will be held at the Taipei museum later this year on the artistic tastes of Emperor Qianlong (乾隆, 1711 to 1799). Shan is expected to confirm the items that will be loaned for the exhibition during his trip. Since the two museums began promoting exchanges and cooperation a few years ago, the Beijing museum has loaned several exhibits to its Taipei counterpart, including objects for an exhibition on Emperor Yongzheng (雍正, 1678 to 1735) in 2009.
Greener worship urged
The public is urged to adopt greener approaches to ancestor worship during the Tomb Sweeping holiday, as the traditional practices often result in substantial pollution, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said. It said various alternatives are being offered to dissuade people from burning “ghost money” for ancestors during the festival. Burning 1kg of “ghost money” can generate approximately 1.5kg of carbon dioxide emissions, the EPA said. The public is therefore urged to use the online platforms established by local governments for ancestor worship and to burn “ghost checks” instead of “ghost cash,” the EPA said, adding that people are also encouraged to purchase rice and fruit as a substitute for “ghost money.”
Macedonia extends program
Macedonia has decided to continue its visa-free treatment for Republic of China citizens, which came into effect on Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. The move extends the visa-free privileges for ROC passport holders for another five years, the ministry said in a statement. Macedonia first began granting Taiwanese visa-free privileges on April 1 last year for a one-year period, the ministry said. The renewal will continue to make it more convenient for Taiwanese traveling to Macedonia for business or tourism, the ministry said, welcoming the Balkan country’s decision. Taiwanese now enjoy visa-free treatment or landing visas from 132 countries and territories, the ministry said.