Thu, Oct 06, 2022
Any Chinese incursion into Taiwan’s airspace would be considered a “first strike,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday. Chiu made the remarks at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee in Taipei. The Ministry of National Defense has been taking such incursions more seriously, following a spate of close flights by Chinese warplanes and drones, Chiu said. Asked whether the “first strike” definition would extend to any kind of Chinese aircraft, he said “yes,” without elaborating what the response would be. “In the past, we said we will not be the first to strike, which meant we will not strike without them firing artillery shells or missiles, et cetera, first,” Chiu said. “But now the definition has obviously changed, as China has been using new equipment such as drones. So we have adjusted and will view any crossing of aircraft or vessels as a first strike.” Beijing launched live-fire drills around Taiwan and fired ballistic missiles following a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August. The exercises show that Beijing seeks to unilaterally change the “status quo” across the Taiwan Strait, Chiu said, citing Chinese incursions beyond the median line of the Strait. The tacit agreement between Taipei and Beijing regarding the median line has been undone forever, Chiu said. The median line only existed because both sides tacitly agreed to its existence, but any such agreement has been unilaterally overturned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Chiu said in response to Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng’s (羅致政) question whether the line still exists. However, the Taiwanese military still patrols and trains only east of the line, he added. “This principle has not changed; we have not backed down from maintaining the line,” Chiu said, adding that the military would act if its “red lines”
The US and its allies could break a Chinese blockade of Taiwan, US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Samuel Paparo said. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy has “the number of vessels and the capability at sea to execute a blockade,” he told a news conference marking US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s visit to Hawaii on Saturday, Nikkei Asia reported. “The question that follows is: ‘Do the allies have the capability to break that blockade?’ And the answer to that is a resounding yes,” he said. The US military alone could defeat a Chinese blockade with its volume of firepower and “superiority in key domains,” he said, likely referring to nuclear submarines and other undersea forces. However, an unnamed US official told Nikkei that Beijing could use means other than naval forces to effectively blockade Taiwan. Citing Beijing’s military exercises in August, the official said China fired 11 ballistic missiles into designated exercise areas in the waters off the ports of Taipei and Kaohsiung, causing disruptions to maritime and air traffic. “That’s a pretty significant impact on normal activities,” the official said, underscoring the missile threat to Taiwan’s aerial and marine lines of communication. “You could essentially blockade Taiwan’s access, through the repeated imposition of these kinds of closure areas, legally, safely and in a way that would be extraordinarily difficult, either for Taiwan or the US, to challenge and to counter,” they said. A senior Taiwanese official was cited by Nikkei as saying that the nation would not bow to Beijing’s pressure. “The Chinese pressure campaign, coercion campaign, has proven to be counterproductive,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “These coercive measures not only strengthen our people’s determination, our will, to defend our own democracy, but also rally international support to Taiwan,” they said.
Taiwan and the US are to expand the scope of their joint military training “in ways we have never seen before,” US-Taiwan Business Council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers said on Tuesday. Hammond-Chambers made the remarks on the final day of the annual US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference in Richmond, Virginia, when asked about the progress made at this year’s event. “We’re going to see significant and substantive changes to the way in which the United States and Taiwan train, ways we just have not seen before,” he said. Taiwan and the US have an ongoing F-16 jet pilot training program, and the scope of bilateral military training would soon be largely expanded, Hammond-Chambers said. “I’m talking about with the US Navy, I’m talking about with the US Army and I’m also talking interoperability. And that’s all going to roll out,” he said. Asked whether Washington is on board with expanding and increasing training cooperation with Taiwan, he said: “100 percent.” US and NATO forces have been training with their Ukrainian counterparts since 2014, Hammond-Chambers said. “That’s obviously had a significant impact on how the Ukrainian forces have performed, but also the ability, for the two sides, to communicate,” he said. That is why Taiwan and the US would soon expand their training programs, as much more “substantive training” in the Taiwan-US relationship is needed, he said. “And that’s going to happen. We’re not quite sure how it’s going to look, but as time progresses, we’re going to see far more communication and training between the two sides. And that’s a great development,” he added. Hammond-Chambers did not offer a timetable on when expanded military training would begin, saying only that it would begin sometime next year, once the US Congress approves the necessary funding. Even as joint training programs might be ramped up, Taiwan has been facing problems obtaining the weapons it has
‘INSANE ASYLUM’: The annexation laws are not worth the paper they are written on, a Kyiv official said, while the EU announced a new round of sanctions against Russia Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed laws formally absorbing four Ukrainian regions into Russia, even as its military struggles to control the territory that was illegally annexed. The documents finalizing the annexation, carried out in defiance of international law, were published on a Russian government Web site yesterday morning. Earlier this week, both houses of the Russian parliament ratified treaties making the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions part of Russia. That followed Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” in the four regions, which Ukraine and the West have rejected as a sham. The EU has agreed a new round of sanctions against Russia after Moscow’s annexation of the regions, the Czech presidency of the bloc said yesterday. The latest package — the eighth since Russia’s invasion in February — is going through a final approval procedure which, if no objections emerge, would be published and come into effect today, the Czech EU ambassador said on Twitter. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy responded to the annexation by announcing a fast-track application to join NATO and formally ruling out talks with Russia. Zelenskiy’s decree, released on Tuesday, declares that holding negotiations with Putin has become impossible after his decision to take over the four regions of Ukraine. The head of Zelenskiy’s office, Andriy Yermak, wrote on his Telegram channel shortly after Putin signed the annexation that “the worthless decisions of the terrorist country are not worth the paper they are signed on.” “A collective insane asylum can continue to live in a fictional world,” he added. On the ground, Moscow’s war in Ukraine has entered a new, more dangerous phase. Russia faces mounting setbacks, with Ukrainian forces retaking more land in the east and south — the very regions Moscow has pushed to annex. The borders of the territories Russia is claiming still remain unclear, but the Kremlin has vowed to defend Russia’s
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was yesterday awarded to a trio of chemists from the US and Denmark who laid the foundation for a more functional form of chemistry. Americans Carolyn Bertozzi and Barry Sharpless, together with Denmark’s Morten Meldal, were honored “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry,” the jury said. The award marks the second Nobel for 81-year-old Sharpless, who won the chemistry Nobel in 2001. Only four other people have achieved the feat, including Polish-born Frenchwoman Marie Curie. Click chemistry “is an elegant and efficient chemical reaction that is now in widespread use,” the jury said in a statement. “Among many other uses, it is utilized in the development of pharmaceuticals, for mapping DNA and creating materials that are more fit for purpose,” it added. “This year’s Prize in Chemistry deals with not overcomplicating matters, instead working with what is easy and simple,” Johan Aqvist, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said in the statement. The trio are to share the Nobel award sum of 10 million Swedish kronor (US$911,504) and would receive the prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament. Sharpless, a professor at Scripps Research in California, “started the ball rolling” and “coined the concept of click chemistry” in about 2000, the jury said. “Shortly afterward, Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless — independently of each other — presented what is now the crown jewel of click chemistry: the copper catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition,” the jury said. Meldal, 68, is a professor of chemistry at the University of Copenhagen. Bertozzi, who is a professor at Stanford University in the US, then took it to “a new level.” “She developed click reactions that work inside living organisms. Her
‘IRRESPONSIBLE’: Condemning the weapons test, Taiwan said that Pyongyang’s action breached UN Security Council regulations and undermines regional peace and stability North Korea yesterday conducted its longest-ever weapons test — a nuclear-capable ballistic missile that flew over Japan and could reach the US Pacific territory of Guam and beyond, forcing the Japanese government to issue evacuation alerts and halt trains. The South Korean and US militaries responded by launching fighter jets that fired weapons at a target off South Korea’s west coast in a show of strength against North Korea. In Taipei, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that Taiwan is concerned by and strongly condemns “yet another irresponsible action” by North Korea, which contravenes UN Security Council prohibitions and undermines regional peace and stability. Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) called Japan’s top envoy to Taiwan Hiroyasu Izumi early yesterday to convey the government’s and public’s support for Tokyo, Ou said. As an important member of the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan is willing to work with the international community on related measures and cooperate with like-minded countries to ensure regional peace and security, including on the Korean Peninsula, Ou said. The missile launch was North Korea’s most provocative weapons demonstration this year, as it pushes to develop a fully fledged nuclear arsenal capable of threatening the US mainland and its allies with the goal of wresting concessions from those countries, some experts say. Condemning the North’s “dangerous and reckless” action to launch what it described as a “long-range ballistic missile” over Japan, US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement: “The United States will continue its efforts to limit [North Korea’s] ability to advance its prohibited ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs, including with allies and UN partners.” South Korea and Japan earlier said the missile had an intermediate or longer range. The launch is the fifth round of weapons tests by North Korea in the past 10
DEFENSE BUILDUP: Taipei aims to bolster information sharing with allies, build up its war reserves and protect key infrastructure, a vice defense minister said Deputy Minister of National Defense Wang Shin-lung (王信龍) on Monday called for global efforts to contain Chinese security threats, including through joint military exercises, a strategic communication platform and the sharing of drone signals. In his keynote address at the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference, Wang, who is leading a delegation of defense officials to the annual event in Richmond, Virginia, said the Russian invasion of Ukraine would likely significantly decrease Moscow’s security threat to the region. However, China has continued its expansion and is bound to seriously affect regional and global security, Wang said. He called on a global democratic alliance to remain on high alert to China’s rise and cooperate in strategically containing the expansion of the Chinese Communist Party. To beef up Taiwan’s defenses, Wang proposed three major strategies: strengthening information sharing with allies, building up war reserves and better protecting key communications infrastructure. In terms of military cooperation with the US, Wang said that Taipei hopes to establish an “intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance” sharing mechanism with Washington and enhance routine high-level official dialogue. Following his speech, Wang told Taiwanese reporters that his delegation had “productive” meetings with the US side during the conference held from Saturday to yesterday. “In the closed-door meetings, we have had candid exchanges concerning the obstacles and possible risks we are facing in terms of US arms sales, while the US side pledged it would do its best in helping Taiwan to solve these problems,” Wang said. He also said Taipei and Washington have reached a consensus concerning the Taiwanese military’s buildup of its asymmetric warfare capability. The most important task at hand for Taiwan is to make the most of every dollar it spends on its defense needs, he said. “How we make the best use of our limited defense budget in a timely fashion to boost Taiwan’s defense capabilities in the coming
BA.5 WAVE AT PEAK? The numbers of daily cases are plateauing, but a renewed increase cannot be ruled out, the Central Epidemic Command Center said People aged 18 to 49 are from Tuesday eligible to receive Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 54,874 new local cases, the highest daily caseload since a wave of the Omicron BA.5 subvariant of SARS-CoV-2 began. Booster doses of the Omicron-adapted vaccine should be administered at least 12 weeks after a previous COVID-19 vaccination, which includes the last dose of the primary series, the additional dose to the primary series for immunocompromised people or the first boster dose, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝) said. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously decided to expand the vaccine’s eligibility to younger people, as the BA.5 surge is plateauing, with infection rates among younger people higher than the average rate, Wang said. There are about 9.3 million people aged 18 to 49 in Taiwan, 1.5 million of whom recently had COVID-19, resulting in 6.8 million more people being eligible, Wang said. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said 54,874 new local cases, 55 imported cases and 48 deaths were confirmed yesterday. The local caseload was 13.3 percent higher than on Wednesday last week, he said. It was the highest caseload in 106 days, since 56,339 local cases were reported on June 21, Wang said. Fluctuations in the number of daily cases shows that the wave is plateauing, but a renewed increase cannot be ruled out, he said CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said 220 new moderate or severe cases were confirmed yesterday, including a premature newborn with severe symptoms, who tested positive one day after birth. The boy was born on Wednesday last week, weighing less than 1.5kg, four days after his mother tested positive, he said. He was admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), where he was put on a ventilator after
Wearing masks should only be required on public transportation and at crowded venues, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. In his weekly online live broadcast on the COVID-19 pandemic, Chen said the virus is becoming endemic around the world and Taiwan should bring its policies in line with other countries, despite its success in curbing earlier outbreaks of COVID-19 and slowing its spread. He said there should be an orderly transformation from a pandemic to an endemic phase to ensure that society can restore its normal operations. However, as respiratory viruses spread faster between October and February, Taiwan should first adopt a “semi-endemic” disease prevention model that includes four aspects, Chen said. First, the focus should be on the “surveillance” of moderate and severe cases and deaths, instead of daily new cases, he said. Second, Taiwan should focus on “vaccination and antiviral medication,” with expanded eligibility for bivalent COVID-19 vaccines to all adults — a policy the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) later yesterday announced would be implemented from Tuesday — and a campaign to promote flu vaccinations to increase overall immunity, he said. COVID-19 cases aged 50 or older and those with underlying health conditions should be eligible for antivirals, as long as a physician deems the drugs suitable for them, to reduce the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, he said. Third, Taiwan should focus on “home isolation,” with a shortened three-day isolation mandate for people who are younger than 65 and have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Chen said, citing a study that found that 95 percent of people had an “extremely low” viral load three days after the onset of symptoms. As for people who live in the same household as a confirmed case, Chen said that those who have received
NO FUKUSHIMA LINK: A study found that the decay of the radioactive particles, found at low concentrations at 200m to 400m deep, suggested they were from 1958 to 1962 Cold War-era nuclear weapons tests caused a 1,000-times higher cesium-137 concentration in the Kuroshio Current than wastewater leakage from Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant following a March 2011 core meltdown, a Taiwanese study published last month in the Marine Pollution Bulletin showed. The heavily radioactive particles were for the first time detected in the current at depths from 200m to 400m, said lead author Arthur Chen (陳鎮東), a research chair professor in National Sun Yat-sen University’s Department of Oceanography. Chen, who last month became a fellow at the American Geophysical Union, conducted the research from 2018 to last year in collaboration with the Radiation Monitoring Center, National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Ocean University. However, the study did not find any cesium-134 produced in the Fukushima disaster, while cesium-137, which has a longer half-life of 30.2 years, was found in concentrations below the level that can cause harm, he said. Cesium from the core meltdown that was released into the Pacific Ocean was mostly transported by currents to waters off the US west coast, he said. However, a small amount of cesium might have been captured by the Kuroshio Current, which flows to off Taiwan’s east coast and then back to the maritime environs of Japan, he said. Cesium-137 was detected in samples taken from the current and it is speculated that the substance could appear off northeastern Taiwan, where waters from the deep sea rise to less than 20m below the surface, posing a contamination risk to algae and other maritime life, he said. This means fish caught in these waters might contain a higher concentration of cesium-137, which might affect human health, he said. The level of isotopic decay in the samples suggest that the vast majority of cesium residues found near Taiwan’s coast originates from 1958 to 1962, and not the nuclear disaster in
A Hsinchu County-based retired conductor has found a new type of band to lead, to the growing delight of picture-taking visitors. Chen Jung-sheng (陳榮昇), founder of the Taoyuan Symphonic Band, returned to Jhubei City’s (竹北) Aikou Borough (隘口) after passing the baton on to his daughter two years ago. Passionate about beautifying his surroundings, Chen created an entire band of metal stick figures on an embankment across the street from his house on Tiding Street. Nestled between two staircases painted like piano keys with a water line stretching across the river nearby, more than 40 figures sit at attention, “watching” the conductor’s stand. Each is holding a real wind instrument, flutes and clarinets populating the front with French horns and saxophones behind, tubas fanning the side and trumpets bringing up the rear. The striking ensemble catches the attention of many passersby, including county councilors who have taken photographs posing as its enthusiastic conductor. Chen received many honors in his nearly 20 years at the Taoyuan Symphonic Band, including an invitation to conduct ensembles at a presidential inauguration and the National Indigenous Games, as well as a 1,000-member band for the opening ceremony of the first National Games. His long career took him all over Taiwan and the world, including Malaysia, China and South Korea, but retirement has led him back to his Jhubei roots. The endeavor began as a humble effort to tidy up his overgrown home and the opposite embankment with the help of his brothers. Although the view from the top of the meandering river’s embankment on the setting sun was stunning, Chen felt there was something missing. A request on Facebook for unwanted instruments met with an enthusiastic response from friends and local bands. For the figures, he demonstrated the poses for a hired metalworker to replicate, then arranged them in familiar arcs. Chen invited passersby to sit beneath
The Supreme Court yesterday handed down final sentences to nine individuals in a case involving the killing of a police officer by a mob outside a Taipei nightclub in 2014, including eight-year jail sentences for the couple identified as the instigators of the incident. The decision was handed down after the court rejected an appeal filed by nine defendants, including Tseng Wei-hao (曾威豪) and his wife, Liu Hsing-tung (劉芯彤), who were charged with inciting the mob to attack a police officer. The seven others were also sentenced to jail terms of between seven years and 10 years, six months, the ruling said. On Sept. 14, 2014, as Tseng and Liu were leaving the nightclub, they became embroiled in an argument with security personnel. The couple and an associate, Hsiao Jui-hung (蕭叡鴻), an alleged member of the Bamboo Union, subsequently solicited the help of friends who gathered outside the nightclub. A police officer, Hsueh Chen-kuo (薛貞國), was dispatched to the scene, where he was attacked by Tseng, Liu and about 60 others, ultimately beating him to death. Of the 73 individuals involved in the case, 64 were given final sentences by a lower court, while nine others, including Tseng and Liu, were remanded and tried by the High Court in 2019. On Dec. 28, 2017, the High Court handed down heavier sentences of 10 years in jail for Tseng and nine years for Liu in the second trial of the case. The High Court in May last year ruled that as Tseng and Liu reached a financial settlement with Hsueh’s family, their sentences were reduced to eight years, while the other seven received sentences between seven years and 10 years, six months.
‘IMMEDIATE ACTION’: A St Vincent and the Grenadines envoy said Taiwan has made significant contributions to the world’s peace and stability, and should be in the UN Ten of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies on Tuesday sent a joint letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in support of the nation’s call to be included in the organization. In the letter, the allies called on the UN to take immediate action to address the unjustified exclusion of Taiwan’s 23.5 million people from the UN system. It also urged the UN to immediately rectify its discriminatory policy against Taiwanese passport holders, and ensure that Taiwan can participate in meetings, mechanisms and activities related to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The letter was signed by Belize, Eswatini, Haiti, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Tuvalu. The letter was sent by Inga Rhonda King, permanent representative of St Vincent and the Grenadines to the UN, Carlos Fuller, Belize’s permanent representative to the UN, and Thamie Dlamini, Eswatini’s permanent representative to the UN. Taiwan has made significant contributions to the world’s peace and stability, and should not be excluded from the UN system, King said. The voices of the 23 million people of Taiwan cannot be heard by the UN directly, which is why its diplomatic allies have to relay their voices to the international organization, Fuller said. Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and other like-minded countries stand in solidarity with Taiwan, hoping it can play a more active role in the international community, Dlamini said. Meanwhile, four allies sent separate letters to Guterres for the same purpose, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. They were Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay and Haiti, it said. The Vatican was the only one of the 14 states that recognize Taipei that did not speak up for Taiwan during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly or send a letter supporting Taiwan’s call to be included in the UN system. Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in Europe, the
‘RELIABLE INDICATORS’: The former CIA analyst said activity preceding a potential invasion would include production of munitions, a mobilization and a blood drive There would be clear indications if Beijing were planning to attack Taiwan due to the scale of the preparations required, most of which have not yet been observed, a former CIA analyst said on Monday. As cross-strait tensions rise, US analysts have been floating a few impending dates for a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan, ranging from 2027 to as soon as Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election. However, John Culver, a former analyst and manager of East Asian security, economic and foreign policy at the CIA, said that a full Chinese mobilization would leave “reliable indications” that conflict was coming. Preparations “almost certainly would not be subtle, at least to the US intelligence community, and probably not to Taiwan and other Western observers,” Culver wrote for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank. At least a year before an invasion, production of key munitions would need to ramp up, considering their widespread use in modern warfare, Culver said. Beijing would also take “visible steps” to protect its economy and military beyond its current limited efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and counter US financial pressure, he wrote. Shorter-term measures would include stronger cross-border capital controls, rapid repatriation of assets abroad, stockpiling supplies, suspending key exports and more, he said. If a 2024 attack were planned, Beijing would already be psychologically preparing its citizens for austerity and casualties, but no such measures have been observed, Culver said. “It seems plausible, therefore, that if the American intelligence community saw some of that happening, they would right now be releasing that information publicly, just as they did almost four months before Russia invaded Ukraine. They would not just be leaking it to one news outlet,” he wrote. Within the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, a comprehensive stop loss would be implemented six to 12 months in advance of a conflict, followed by a halt to
Taiwan has been taking monthly inventories of critical supplies such as food and fuel in case of a conflict with China, a government official said yesterday. China mounted war games around the nation in August following a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that included firing missiles and steps to mount a blockade. Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺) said it is already codified in law to maintain energy stockpiles, which Taiwan Power Co and CPC Corp, Taiwan do. “With respect to a possible military conflict, we do have preparations for food and for energy, and critical supplies, including manufacturing supplies. We have a system, we do inventory every month,” Chen said. “We want to ensure we have a certain period of stockpiles in Taiwan, including food, including critical supplies, minerals, chemicals and energy of course,” he added. Taiwan’s power mix is made up of liquefied natural gas (LNG), coal, nuclear and renewables, the latter of which the government is trying to scale up, Chen said. “We remain very comfortable with respect to these possible energy security issues,” Chen added. Taiwan aims to generate more electricity from LNG in the shift away from coal-powered and nuclear plants, and is building a massive new LNG terminal. Speaking separately at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, where she was taking lawmakers’ questions, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said that meetings have been taking place to discuss increasing LNG storage capacity. “Certainly when it comes to LNG storage, we have previously already had cross-department discussions on this,” Wang said. Those talks also involved whether to use Taiwan-flagged tankers to import LNG, she said.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday rejected applications filed by eight cable service operators to move TVBS News from channel 55 to channel 149 or 158 on the grounds that the changes would conflict with the viewing habits of subscribers. Applications for channel lineup changes were filed between late August and early last month by five cable service operators of Taiwan Broadcasting Communications and three of Dafong Cable Co after they failed to reach an agreement with TVBS News on content authorization fees. Taiwan Broadcasting Communications proposed moving TVBS News to channel 158, while Dafong sought to move it to channel 149. The two multiple system operators proposed to have Mirror News air on channel 55. “TVBS News has been broadcasting for years on channel 55, which is part of the cable news block,” the NCC said in a statement. The news cable block comprises channels 49 to 58. “Watching the channel has become a habit of consumers, and an important source of public information and current news events for them,” the statement said. “Applicants failed to offer ratings of Mirror News or other objective factors to justify a channel lineup change,” it said, adding that “such a change would greatly affect consumers.” The commission said it consulted local government officials, with the Miaoli and Hsinchu county governments saying that TVBS News should remain on channel 55. NCC Vice Chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that a subcommittee on Monday sent the issue to be deliberated at the weekly commissioners’ meeting yesterday. The commissioners rejected the applications after taking into account key factors in Article 29 of the Cable and Radio Act (有線廣播電視法), as well as opinions from stakeholders and local government officials, Wong said. The key factors include whether changes to the channel lineup would facilitate or maintain a competitive market, protect consumers, ensure the diversity of televised content
NATIONAL SECURITY: The nation will adopt ‘very firm’ export controls to keep the PRC military from getting access to advanced technologies, a deputy minister said Taiwan yesterday pledged to work closely with the US and other allies to prevent China’s military from acquiring state-of-the-art technology, as Washington steps up efforts to contain the world’s No. 2 economy. Taiwan, home to the world’s largest semiconductor foundry, will keep its advanced chip development at home, while adopting measures to stop its tech from being used by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺) said yesterday. Chen said that while Taiwan’s economy would not be able to decouple from its biggest trade partner, it would implement “very firm” export controls to keep advanced technologies from China’s military. “With respect to national security, we will take measures to safeguard our trade secrets, safeguard our key technologies, safeguard our talent [so that they are] not poached illegally,” he said. Taiwan investigated Alchip Technologies Inc (世芯) for allegedly supplying advanced supercomputer chips to China’s Phytium Information Technology Co (飛騰信息技術) — which some analysts have said has links to the Chinese military — and banned chip exports to Phytium, Chen said. “Once we find a loophole, we plug it,” he said. Phytium, which is affiliated with research arms of the Chinese military, relied on Alchip for certain designs, the Washington Post reported in April last year. The Taiwanese company also dealt with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) for production on behalf of Phytium, it said. The US eventually blacklisted Phytium, prompting Alchip to declare a suspension of shipments. Regulators would also fine iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) for failing to report an acquisition by the company’s Shanghai-listed arm of a stake in China’s top chipmaker, state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup (清華紫光), he said. Chen’s comments come as US President Joe Biden’s administration prepares new restrictions on chip exports to China, which would formalize export controls on the technology behind advanced semiconductors, while
Housing affordability deteriorated in the second quarter, with the mortgage burden picking up 1.27 percent to 39.62 percent nationwide, while housing prices climbed to 9.69 times household income, a survey released by the Ministry of the Interior on Sunday showed. The uptrend in unaffordability came after median house prices in the nation rose 0.46 percent to NT$8.5 million (US$269,260) per unit from NT$8.4 million in the first quarter, while interest rates on new mortgages climbed from 1.358 percent to 1.592 percent, the ministry said. The readings likely evolved in the same direction last quarter after the central bank last month announced another rate hike of 0.125 percentage points, while housing prices held firm amid rising building material and labor prices, it said. The ministry classifies mortgage burdens of more than 50 percent of income as “extremely high,” between 40 and 50 percent as “high,” and less than 30 percent as “reasonable.” The unaffordability reading was much sharper in Taipei, with housing prices equivalent to 16.17 times average household income and 66.12 percent of the money going to mortgage payments, the ministry said. Housing prices amounted to 12.82 times household income in New Taipei City, with mortgage burdens taking up 52.41 percent, it said. Mortgage burdens in Taichung climbed to 45.54 percent of household income, and constituted 38.26 percent and 38.17 percent of household income in Tainan and Kaohsiung respectively, the ministry said. Taoyuan had a relatively reasonable mortgage burden of 32.01 percent — the lowest among the six special municipalities — as housing prices stood at 7.83 times household income, it said. By absolute value, housing prices in Keelung, Chiayi, Yunlin and Pingtung met the reasonable test of less than 30 percent of household income, it said. The ministry urged people to exercise caution, as long-term mortgages are vulnerable to interest rate adjustments.
The government would trim its GDP growth forecast of 3.76 percent for this year if exports disappoint, but the reading would stay above the 3 percent mark, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) told lawmakers yesterday. Kung made the remarks as lawmakers raised concerns over the economy, inflation and monetary policy. The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, which in August cut its growth forecast for this year to 3.76 percent, could revise it down again next month if exports fare weaker than expected, Kung said. Exports, the mainstay of Taiwan’s small and open economy, likely had slipped into contraction mode last month after squeezing a mild 2 percent gain in August, the Ministry of Finance has said. Shipments of tech products slowed drastically in August, while those of non-tech products dipped into negative territory. The government is to release last month’s trade data tomorrow. Kung voiced confidence that GDP growth would exceed 3 percent this year, but expressed reservations when asked if it would be larger than 3.5 percent. Growth in the consumer price index for last month is forecast to remain above 2 percent, but is likely to be weaker than August’s growth of 2.66 percent due to a drop in international oil prices, he said. However, it would be difficult for world energy prices to slump given lingering supply issues, Kung said, adding that while oil prices have sagged, natural gas prices remain high amid the war in Ukraine. Central banks in advanced nations would reconsider the wisdom of drastic tightening to curb inflation after the UN on Monday warned that the monetary policies of wealthy nations could spark a global economic downturn, Kung said. Lawmakers from across party lines expressed unease that capital flight would persist, and hurt the local currency and share prices given Taiwan’s widening interest rate gap with major economies. The global
Former Fubon Guardians pitcher Mike Loree was welcomed by 10,239 fans when he played his last game before retiring on Sept. 6. The turnout is testament to two things: Baseball is as popular in Taiwan as it is in the US — if not more — and passionate players such as Loree can serve as a bridge between the two countries. Baseball first came to Asia in 1838, when it was brought to South Korea by missionaries, and was later adopted by the Japanese, who brought it to Taiwan during the colonial era. The sport remained popular in Taiwan long after the Japanese left, and the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) was established in 1989. In 2002, outfielder Chen Chin-feng (陳金鋒) became the first Taiwanese to play for a Major League Baseball (MLB) team in the US. Since Chen, there have been 15 other Taiwanese who have played in the MLB, one of whom — Cleveland Guardians infielder Chang Yu-cheng (張育成) — still plays in the league. There are also 11 US players playing in the CPBL. The popularity of baseball in Taiwan and the US lends itself to nonpolitical exchanges between the two countries, and to improved mutual understanding between the two societies. US respondents to a poll by the Washington-based German Marshall Fund of the US and Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation said they would prefer sanctions and diplomatic actions over sending arms or troops to Taiwan in the event of a conflict with China. There could be several reasons for such a position, but one likely possibility is that the average American has no real sense of connection with Taiwan or Taiwanese. That could be changed through increased exchanges between Taiwan and the US, including in the area of sports. In post-World War II US-occupied Japan, the General Headquarters encouraged playing and watching
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday last week announced that it would reopen borders on Thursday next week and implement a “0+7” rule — no days of quarantine and seven days of “self-disease prevention.” Hong Kong — which has been grappling with its “zero COVID” policy and a mass exodus of investors suddenly said that it would on Monday be implementing a “0+3” measure, in a bid to outperform Taiwan. However, there is still grumbling in Hong Kong’s catering industry due to ongoing restrictions, such as the 12-person limit on people dining in at the same table. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of restaurants and eateries have gone out of business. Even the century-old Lin Heung Tea House (蓮香樓) — known for its mooncakes — was not able to stay the course: It closed its doors at the beginning of August, before the Mid-Autumn Festival. In contrast, the revenue of Taiwan’s catering industry rose at an annual rate of 43.6 percent in August — a new high. The monthly turnover from January to August also exceeded past years, increasing at an annual rate of 20.6 percent. Hong Kong’s population is only one-third that of Taiwan’s, and yet its number of COVID-19 deaths has topped 10,000, which is nearly the same as Taiwan’s. This is enough to show that Taiwan’s pandemic prevention team actually passed with flying colors in terms of balancing economic development and pandemic prevention measures. Even though Taiwan has been a model of how to respond to a pandemic, its achievements are on the wrong end of vicious rumor campaigns by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP). The animosity had stemmed nothing, while former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) resigned from his duties as head of the CECC
Indian lawmaker Sujeet Kumar’s current 10-day visit to Taiwan is a landmark development in the relationship between two vibrant democracies. India has sulked about sending an official parliamentary delegation to Taiwan owning to its “one China” policy, which is now being questioned the world over, including in India’s political spectrum. Although Kumar is visiting Taiwan in a personal capacity, the visit carries huge political traction. Kumar does not belong to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP); he belongs to regional political party Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Although BJD is an opposition party, it has always extended constructive issue-based support to the government. Kumar is a very vocal and articulate member of the upper house of India’s bicameral parliament and a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs. He has studied at Harvard University and has worked in corporate sectors abroad. He is also the founder and member of the Formosa Club, and a participant in the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. The voice of Kumar is certainly not a lone voice in the Indian political spectrum. Over the years, particularly since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, there has been some political contact between the two sides, albeit symbolic. When the People’s Republic of China was established, India was only the second country outside the socialist bloc to recognize the communist regime in Beijing. The decision by then-Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for a democratic country like India to recognize the communist regime and argue for its membership in the UN was not taken favorably by some Indian lawmakers belonging to precursors of the BJP. Former Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, in his book The Long Game: How the Chinese negotiate with India, has called out the Nehru government for its benign neglect of India’s legitimate
SQUEAKY CLEAN: Although Maris’ record had been beaten before, all were tainted by the stench of steroids, with many fans rejecting records set by Bonds, McGwire and Sosa Aaron Judge on Tuesday took a smooth, mighty swing, then broke into a big smile as he trotted around the bases. Heading home, his teammates backed away, letting him touch the plate alone. At last, the New York Yankees slugger had the American League home run record all to himself. Judge’s 62nd home run of the season breaks Roger Maris’ American League record and set what some fans consider baseball’s “clean” standard. “It’s a big relief,” Judge said. “Everybody can finally sit down in their seats and watch the ballgame. It’s been a fun ride so far, getting a chance to do this... Getting a chance to have your name next to someone as great as Roger Maris and Babe Ruth and those guys is incredible.” Judge said he felt “quite a few emotions” after connecting, thinking about his family and fans and supporters. He said it would probably be after the season until he would truly soak in and appreciate the significance of his achievement. “In my book, it’s just another day,” the stoic Judge said. After slamming his helmet in a rare show of frustration when he went without a homer in the first game of the doubleheader against the Rangers in Texas, Judge hit the third pitch of the nightcap into the first row of seats in left field. That trip around the bases after a long chase was certainly a mixture of pure joy and relief for No. 99, whose only homer in the previous 13 games had been when he tied Maris’ 61 on Wednesday last week away against the Toronto Blue Jays. Judge did it just in time, too, homering on the next-to-last day of the regular season. Barry Bonds holds the major league record of 73 home runs, set with the San Francisco Giants in 2001. Judge’s milestone ball was caught by Cory
Liverpool on Tuesday eased to a comfortable 2-0 win in the “Battle of Britain” against the Rangers in the Champions League group games, while SSC Napoli underlined their credentials with an impressive 6-1 thrashing of Ajax in Amsterdam. On a night when a minute’s silence was held before every match in tribute to the 131 victims of the Indonesia stadium tragedy, Bayern Munich and Club Brugge also made it three wins from three, while Inter edged Barcelona in a tight contest in Milan. Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool went into their Group A game against the Scottish champions on the back of just three wins in their first nine Premier League and Champions League games of the season. They settled quickly when Trent Alexander-Arnold produced a sublime free-kick to put the home side ahead after just seven minutes. The Rangers’ 40-year-old goalkeeper Allan McGregor produced some fine saves, including four to deny Darwin Nunez his first Champions League goal for Liverpool, to keep his side in the hunt at halftime. Seven minutes into the second half, Leon King’s challenge caught the legs of Luis Diaz to give away a penalty. Mohamed Salah stepped up and struck the ball down the middle as McGregor was unable to repeat the penalty-saving heroics he produced against Napoli. Napoli stay top of Group A after another impressive victory, coming from behind to hammer Ajax 6-1 to take their tally of goals to 13 from three matches. Bayern moved to the edge of qualification with a third successive win, thrashing Viktoria Plzen 5-0 in Group C. Hakan Calhanoglu fired Inter to a 1-0 win over Barcelona at the San Siro to take the Italians into second spot in Group C, three points behind Bayern. Inter had lost five of the previous 10 matches, but Turkish midfielder Calhanoglu ended the crisis talk when he lashed in
The latest bombshell in the scandal that has rocked the chess world to its foundation dropped on Tuesday when an investigation into the games of Hans Niemann found the American grandmaster has cheated far more frequently than previously disclosed. The 72-page report, conducted by Chess.com and reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, found that Niemann “likely received illegal assistance in more than 100 online games” as recently as 2020, including in events where prize money was at stake. The suspicions around Niemann, a 19-year-old who has made a meteoric ascent into the world’s top 50 over the past four years, were initially amplified last month when the world champion Magnus Carlsen first suggested, then outright declared, the American was winning through illegitimate means. Niemann has mounted a vigorous denial of the allegations, but confessed to cheating in the past: first as a 12-year-old in an online tournament, and then as a 16-year-old playing unrated games while streaming. The Chess.com report, which relied on cheating-detection tools including a comparison of a player’s moves to those recommended by powerful supercomputers, has offered compelling data-driven evidence that dramatically contradicts those statements. The investigation made no conclusions regarding Niemann’s over-the-board games, but flagged contests from six of his stronger in-person events, saying they “merit further investigation based on the data.” The 72-page report said that Niemann privately confessed to the allegations, and that he was subsequently banned from for a period of time from Chess.com, the world’s most popular chess platform. The controversy erupted last month after Niemann beat Carlsen while playing with black pieces at the US$500,000 Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, Missouri, ending the current world champion’s 53-game unbeaten streak in over-the-board games. The shocking defeat and Carlsen’s withdrawal ignited a maelstrom of comments and allegations that Niemann was cheating including from Hikaru Nakamura, the American grandmaster once
Veteran Taiwanese cyclist Feng Chun-kai yesterday finished sixth on the fourth stage of the Tour de Taiwan, but remained the top Asian rider, holding on to his blue jersey for the third day in a row. After finishing the 156km Kaohsiung leg, the 33-year-old Miaoli native was sixth in the overall standings with a total time of 12 hours, 19 minutes and 29 seconds, putting him 7 seconds ahead of Tadaaki Nakai and Shoma Kazama of Japan’s Shimano Racing Team. Feng on Monday took the lead in the Asian rider category after the 124.71km second stage in Taoyuan, taking the blue jersey from Aisan Racing Team’s Hayato Okamoto, who dominated the first day of the Tour. Feng’s Chinese Taipei Cycling Team leads the team general classification category with a time of 37 hours, just 1:12 ahead of Shimano Racing. “The Chinese Taipei team is very strong, and currently we are the best team in team general classification. Thanks to my teammates’ help, we will try to hold onto the blue jersey,” Feng said in a statement on Tuesday. Feng, an Olympian, also won the Tour de Taiwan’s King of the Mountain polka dot jersey for three consecutive years from 2012 to 2014. Team Ukyo’s Raymond Kreder won the Kaohsiung stage to place fifth just ahead of Feng in the overall individual standings. Kreder’s teammate, Benjamin Dyball of Austria, leads the overall standings with a time of 12:17:40, followed by British rider Sam Culverwell of Trinity Racing and Spanish rider Marcos Garcia Fernandez of Kinan Racing Team. The annual Tour de Taiwan, a 2.1 category race on the UCI Asia Tour, started on Sunday and ends today with the 156km fifth stage in Pingtung County. The event was not held last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WANTING ANSWERS: As Indonesians’ anger grew over police officers’ actions, the president said all stadiums would be audited to uncover the true cause of the tragedy Indonesian President Joko Widodo yesterday said that he would order an audit of all soccer stadiums in the country, vowing to find the “root” cause of one of the deadliest disasters in the sport’s history. Widodo was in the city of Malang to visit relatives of the victims and talk to the wounded at a hospital, and to see the stadium where a stampede killed at least 131 people on Saturday. “I want to know the root of the problem that caused this tragedy, so that we can get the best solution,” he said. “I will order the public works minister to audit all stadiums used for the [soccer] league,” he said outside the Saiful Anwar hospital in Malang, adding that he had spoken to FIFA’s president the night before about improving Indonesia’s soccer management. He entered the hospital to speak with several of the wounded, saying he told them to “stay spirited.” He then planned to travel to Kanjuruhan Stadium, the scene of the disaster on Saturday evening, an official from the presidential office said. The Indonesian leader’s visit came as anger grew over police officers’ response to a pitch invasion after Arema supporters tried to approach players following their defeat to rivals Persebaya Surabaya. Police described the incident as a riot and said that two officers were killed, but survivors accused them of overreacting. Officers responded to the pitch invasion with force, kicking and hitting supporters with batons, according to witnesses and video footage. They pushed supporters back into the stands where many were trampled or suffocated to death after tear gas was fired. In response to the tragedy, Widodo ordered all matches suspended, an investigation into what happened and compensation for victims. The investigation was focusing on six gates at the stadium using CCTV footage from cameras placed outside them, police said, adding that the exits were
The Indonesian stadium stampede that left 131 people dead has sparked anger at the nation’s police, whom critics have long accused of using excessive violence. Police, who described the unrest on Saturday night as “riots,” said they tried to force supporters to return to the stands and fired tear gas after they invaded the pitch. However, survivors — who described the police as wielding batons and firing tear gas at helpless spectators — accuse them of overreacting, which led to a crush that became one of the deadliest disasters in soccer history. Indonesia’s police force has, with the military, been involved for decades in suppressing dissent, quelling riots, crushing radical Islamist groups and anchoring a bloody fight against separatists. The police force has grown in power as an institution used for the security of the state since the fall of Indonesia’s military dictatorship in the late 1990s. Data reviewed by Agence France-Presse shows a force heavily armed and funded to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars for tactical riot equipment since Indonesian President Joko Widodo came to power in 2014. Spending on crowd control tactical gear — batons, tear gas, gas masks, shields and vehicles — has jumped in the past few years, according to figures collected by Andri Prasetiyo, a researcher at nongovernmental organization Trend Asia who analyzes government purchases. They have spent close to US$250 million in less than a decade, he said, to kit out officers who use what experts say is often excessive force. In 2014, the national police spent US$6 million on tear gas. This year, that figure rose to US$10 million. In the period between, it spent more than US$68 million on tear gas. In the province of East Java, where the tragedy in the city of Malang occured, police spent US$3.2 million on batons in January alone. “They use
IN THE DARK: Some outages lasted for eight hours after a transmission line tripped, ‘creating a cascading effect’ that affected other lines Power was being restored across Bangladesh after the worst blackouts since 2014 cut supply to half the country, disrupting hospitals to road traffic and Internet networks. Four of the country’s eight administrative divisions — home to about 96 million people — on Tuesday lost electricity supply after a transmission line was overloaded, “creating a cascading effect on other lines,” Power Grid Co of Bangladesh executive director Yeakub Elahi Chowdhury said Some outages persisted for as long as eight hours. Supply was restored to much of Dhaka by about 9pm, and was being resumed across other regions, officials said. “Engineers and technicians are working tirelessly,” the country’s power division, which is to form a committee to investigate the cause of the disruption, said in a statement. “The power supply will be completely normal soon,” it said. Bangladeshi State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid earlier said that the blackouts had been triggered by “technical glitches” in the grid. Traffic jammed unlit roads late on Tuesday and stores used candles and cellphone torches to serve customers. As the outages dragged on for several hours, many apartment blocks in Dhaka were forced to switch off backup generators that had been running on expensive diesel fuel. The disruptions — the most severe since a nationwide blackout in 2014 — follow months of difficulties for Bangladesh and other developing economies to secure energy supplies amid a global squeeze spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Taiwan ranked eighth in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index 2021, behind only New Zealand, Ireland and the Nordic countries. Titled The China Challenge, the report and its accompanying essay touched on notions of a global “democratic recession” and the hope of “democratic renewal” in light of regression to more authoritarian modes of governance in many parts of the world. No country should be more concerned by China’s attempts to export its “alternative model” — dubiously referred to as “political meritocracy” — than Taiwan; and while the EIU rankings paint an encouraging picture, Taiwan cannot rest on its laurels. Hosting its first event at Tacheles (廢墟) in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) on Sept. 29, Klartext Salon (坦白沙龍), posed the question How Democratic is Taiwan? “Eight out 10,” was Sam Robbins’ (羅翔鈞) assessment. Robbins, an editor at Taiwan Insight and participant in g0v — an open government collaborative — stressed that this was impressive, given Taiwan’s diplomatic and economic marginalization. “A full 10 out of 10 is always going to be incompatible with global capitalism because some decisions are always going to be out of Taiwan’s hands,” he said. So where can Taiwan improve? In assessing Taiwan’s achievements, Robbins asked a further question: “What do we want from democracy as people living in a democracy?” Noting that there are many forms of democracy, including direct, deliberative and representative, Robbins also drew attention to interest among tech activists in ideas such as liquid democracy, where online voting tokens might be delegated to others. For his definition, Robbins goes with a version of democracy that fits his background in open government. The key components are participation, transparency and accountability. Concerning the first aspect, Robbins observes that, “democracy doesn’t only happen every four years,” and that “building participation means creating channels that
Technology-savvy entrepreneurs from Taiwan help not only strengthen Taiwan’s economic power with their endeavors, but also flank the nation’s diplomatic thrust and enhance the reservoir of sympathies for it. The recently held Concordia Summit 2022 in New York, with the participation of many high-profiled international figures from politics to finance, culture to environmental protection and human rights, was attended by a number of Taiwanese officials and businesspeople. Indeed, the summit, timed to coincide with the UN General Assembly, is being touted as a “mini United Nations.” Taiwan’s uncontested global leadership in the electronics field, particularly in chip manufacturing, was noted at the summit where President Tsai, Ing-wen (蔡英文), in a recorded message, thanked organizers for staging the summit, and discussed Taiwan’s development. A striking feature about Tsai’s virtual presence was that she was listed as President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), in contrast to certain UN-affiliated organizations, which usually describe Taiwan as “Chinese Taipei.” HUMANITARIAN AID Alex Shyy (史立軍), Deputy Secretary General of Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), said that Taiwan provides a wide range of technological assistance to developing countries, though “it is driven mainly by humanitarian considerations.” “We provide soft loans, technology, education, vocational training, humanitarian aid … these are the key elements of our aid program,” he told the Taipei Times. Extending such assistance poses a sharp contrast to China’s commercial loans for projects in developing countries that get caught in Beijing’s debt trap and end up mortgaging their strategic assets as a surety for their inability to repay the loans, which recently happened in Sri Lanka. The ICDF is active in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Pacific islands, Southeast Asia and West Asia Africa. This form of assistance is welcomed by many countries that are known to have disappointing experiences with China. Shyy said
Something is rotten in the state of manhood. Guilty of the crime of patriarchy, it is also tainted by toxic masculinity, the belief that most social ills — everything from murder and rape to online abuse — stem from men being men. Not only are men seen as (and too often are) violent and dangerous, in advanced economies men are three times more likely than women to take their own lives. According to research cited in thinktank research fellow Richard Reeves’s new book, Of Boys and Men, males are much more likely to feel socially excluded, and far less likely to thrive after divorce (if they don’t remarry). At the same time, girls are outperforming boys in most academic disciplines, and rapidly closing the gap in those in which boys lead, not just in schools but in universities across the western world. In the US, 57 percent of bachelor degrees are now awarded to women. The same can be said for many areas of the workforce too, where, in spite of the gender gap in pay — largely attributable to the burden of childcare placed on women — men are increasingly second best. What’s more, men are literally losing their grip. In 1985, writes Reeves, “the average man in his early 30s could squeeze your hand with about 30 pounds more force than a similarly aged woman. Today, their grip strength is about the same.” And there are plenty more alarming statistics where those come from. Was the American feminist writer Hanna Rosin on to something when she published a book a decade ago entitled The End of Men? Reeves cites Rosin as a supporting witness to his case, though the woman herself has backtracked on what she has called, in the light of continuing male dominance in the upper reaches of the
The Taipei Times bilingual pages are having a makeover, with professionally curated content for both English and Chinese learners of all levels. With our new partners Ivy English, English OK and others, Taipei Times readers can improve their language studies while keeping abreast of important issues in Taiwan and abroad. A new departure for us is the addition of a Chinese-language learning module, with content provided by the National Taiwan Normal University “Mandarin Training Center.” 《台北時報》雙語版最優質的中英文內容，多年來一向受到讀者們的喜愛。近日起版面全新升級！每週和《常春藤解析英語》、《English OK中學英閱誌》……等專業英語機構合作，
A: Hey, do you want to eat out this weekend? B: Sure, let’s get some beef noodles. The 2022 Taipei International Beef Noodles Festival revealed its winners just last month. A: Great, I love braised beef noodles. B: There are four categories this year. On top of the braised noodles, there are stewed and tomato ones, as well as convenience food packs. A: Who won the braised beef noodles category? B: Gold went to the Hotel Royal in Taipei, Two Food Restaurant in New Taipei City and Jing Da Fang in Taoyuan. A: 你週末想出外用餐嗎？ B: 好啊，我們去吃牛肉麵吧，2022台北牛肉麵節上個月才剛公布得獎名單。 A: 太好了，我最愛吃紅燒牛肉麵。 B: 今年除了紅燒，還有清燉、番茄和調理包共四組。 A: 紅燒組得獎的有哪些？ B: 金獎有台北市「老爺大酒店」、新北市「兩支北方麵食館」、桃園市「金大方麵食館」。
After grocery shopping, we fill our cabinets and refrigerators with boxes, bags, bottles and cans. After they’re used, they get thrown away. Yes, some of them can be recycled, but is there a more eco-friendly way of doing things? This is a question that can be answered with “precycling.” Precycling is the practice of avoiding waste before it’s created. Before you buy something, you should check how much packaging is included and if that packaging is recyclable. You can also check if that packaging is made from recycled materials, or if the product needs packaging at all. The “packaging-free store” is one concrete example of precycling. Instead of providing single-use packaging, these stores ask customers to bring their own reusable bags and containers when they shop there. One such store, Unpackaged.U in the Sanchong District of New Taipei City, has been growing in popularity. The store sells cleaning products, dried fruits, honey, fair-trade spices and organic food. The products there are sold by weight and most have no packaging. The concept is not only ecological, but also economical. This is because customers buy only as much as they need instead of packages with set amounts. Precycling helps us to significantly reduce the amount of waste we produce. By supporting precycling, we help contribute to a cleaner Earth. 到超市採購完後，我們將櫥櫃和冰箱裡堆滿盒子、袋子、瓶子和罐頭。使用後，它們會被丟棄。沒錯，其中一些是可以回收的，但有沒有更環保的做事方式呢？這是個可以透過「預循環」來回答的問題。 預循環是在產生浪費之前，先避免浪費的做法。在你買東西之前，你應該先檢查它含有多少包裝，以及該包裝是否可以回收。你還可以檢查它的包裝是否由回收材料製成，或者這個產品到底是否需要包裝。 「無包裝商店」就是預循環的一個實例。這些商店不提供一次性包裝，而是要求顧客在購物時帶他們自己可重複使用的袋子和容器。一間這樣的商店是位於新北市三重區的Unpackaged.U ，它越來越受到歡迎。 這家商店販售清潔用品、果乾、蜂蜜、公平貿易香料以及有機食品。那裡的產品按重量出售，大多數都沒有包裝。這種概念不僅是環保的，而且很節省。這是因為客戶只購買他們需要的數量，而非固定數量的一包。 預循環幫助我們顯著地減少我們產生的廢物量。透過支持預循環，我們可以幫助促成更乾淨的地球。 MORE INFORMATION precycling n. 預循環 reusable adj. 可重複使用的 ecological adj. 環保的；生態的 Key Vocabulary 1. recycle v. 回收 recyclable adj. 可回收的 You should recycle all of your bottles, cans and paper products. 你應該回收你全部的瓶子、罐子及紙製品。 2. packaging v. 包裝（材料） The store clerk wrapped the glass cup in paper packaging and put it in a bag. 店員將玻璃杯用紙質包裝材料包好，並裝進袋子裡。 3. product n. 產品 The new shop on the corner sells groceries and some household products. 轉角的新商店販售雜貨和一些家用產品。 4. popularity n. 受歡迎；流行 Brad’s popularity at school was due to him
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