Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Jan 13, 2016 - Page 5


Electronic visas launched

An electronic visa application system was launched yesterday that is to be available to citizens of 27 countries during the first stage of the system’s implementation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The facility is aimed at promoting tourism by streamlining visa application procedures, the ministry said. In the first stage, travelers from the designated countries would only be allowed to apply for electronic visas for the purposes of business travel, tourism, short visits to relatives and participation in international conferences, it said. The 27 nations include Turkey, Macedonia and Brunei and 21 of Taiwan’s 22 diplomatic allies (excluding the Holy See), the ministry said, adding that the other three countries on the list are Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, which offer Taiwan visa-waiver treatment.


Taoyuan touts festival

A national lantern competition being held as part of this year’s Taiwan Lantern Festival has drawn more than 800 entries, according to the Taoyuan City Government. The festival is to take place in the plaza in front of Taoyuan high-speed railway station from Feb. 22 to March 6. Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said this would be the first time in its 27-year history that the Taiwan Lantern Festival is to take place in Taoyuan. He said the festival would feature six main areas: the Smart Technology Lantern Area, the Fairytale Kingdom Lantern Area, the Taoyuan Story Lantern Corridor, the Diverse Exchange Lantern Area, the New Peach Blossom Spring Lantern Area and the Religious Prayer Lantern Area. The festival is traditionally held around the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, or 14 days after the Lunar New Year.