Zoos agree to cooperate
Taipei Zoo and Japan’s Sapporo Maruyama Zoo signed a memorandum of cooperation yesterday to establish a partnership in several areas, including the exchange of animals. It is hoped that through the partnership, the zoos could work more closely to foster wildlife conservation awareness, implement educational programs and carry out research, Taipei Zoo spokesman Chang Chi-hua (張志華) said. The partnership will also serve practical purposes, as both zoos could improve the viability of their species through animal exchange programs, Chang said. The zoos plan to compile annual reports on their cooperation to ensure a continued relationship, Chang said. Taipei Zoo has similar agreements with zoos in South Korea, Vietnam and Germany.
OCAC fires two expatriates
The Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) recently fired two expatriates who were serving as honorary consultants due to their Chinese connections, council Minister Steven Chen (陳士魁) said yesterday. Chen told Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee that the extent and seriousness of the pair’s involvement with China had gone beyond permissible limits, which resulted in the council’s decision. Chiu had earlier expressed concern that a number of expatriates who hold honorary posts in the council had recently participated in activities to celebrate the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). However, Chen disputed Chiu’s contention that the number of expatriates joining the PRC’s national day celebrations was increasing, saying most had informed the council that they had to attend the activities as they have business connections with China
Yahoo event planned
The Taiwanese unit of Yahoo Inc announced yesterday that it will host a series of activities in Taiwan and Hong Kong to discuss digital marketing trends and Internet user behavior. The Yahoo North Asia Digital Week will run from Monday to Friday and is expected to attract up to 1,300 advertisers and marketing specialists from Taiwan and Hong Kong. It is aimed at finding ways to offer more personalized content and advertising on its Web site to retain young consumers. According to Erica Wang, the vice president of Yahoo Taiwan’s sales group, the Web portal has established a database of more than 11 million online users in Taiwan, or about 90 percent of all online users nationwide, which offers useful information for advertisers. For example, Taiwanese Internet users spend a combined 27.57 million minutes daily checking e-mails, close to the 26 million minutes they spend viewing online shopping Web sites, Wang said.
King calls for talks
Taiwan’s representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) on Wednesday called on Washington to open negotiations with Taipei on the signing of a bilateral investment agreement. The two countries have very close investment relations, with the US serving as Taiwan’s largest source of foreign investment, said King during a dinner with a Taiwanese delegation attending the SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit. The summit, slated for yesterday and today in Washington is the first of its kind hosted by the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration as part of efforts to attract investment and boost employment.
Quake aid given to Manila
The government donated US$100,000 to the Philippines on Wednesday to aid with disaster relief in the wake of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the central provinces of that nation earlier this month. The donation was handed over by Taiwanese officials in Manila to Philippines Secretary for Social Welfare and Development Corazon Soliman. She thanked Taiwan for its assistance and said the money would be used to buy emergency packs that each contain two weeks’ worth of food supplies and daily necessities. Representative to the Philippines Raymond Wang (王樂生) said the Philippine chapter of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation has also donated 3 million Philippine pesos (US$69,600) and 1,000 blankets to the residents of Bohol. The Taiwan Association of the Philippines has applied to the Council of Agriculture for 250 tonnes of rice, which will be sent to residents affected by the quake, Wang said.
MAC lauds health coverage
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Wednesday praised a new Chinese policy that allows Taiwanese undergraduate and graduate students there to enjoy the same medical insurance rights as Chinese students. The council said it is pleased with the insurance scheme, adding that Taiwan is also committed to pushing a similar policy for covering Chinese students in the National Health Insurance system. The council said it will continue to seek support from lawmakers for a speedy review of a proposed amendment that was sent to the legislature in October last year, in order to build a friendlier learning environment for Chinese students. According to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, Taiwanese students have been allowed to participate in basic medical insurance as of September.