Sun, Apr 11, 2021
The US Department of State on Friday issued new guidelines governing US officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts, a move welcomed by Taipei as turning a new page in bilateral relations. Shortly before leaving office, then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 announced the cancelation of previous contact guidelines, which he said were “self-imposed restrictions” that attempted to appease the Chinese Communist Party regime in Beijing. However, the status of the guidelines has been unclear since US President Joe Biden entered the White House. Asked about the issue during a legislative session on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said the adjustments could be significant. The department on Friday said it had issued the new guidelines to “encourage US government engagement with Taiwan that reflects our deepening unofficial relationship.” The guidelines “liberalize guidance on contacts with Taiwan, consistent with our unofficial relations, and provide clarity throughout the executive branch on effective implementation of our ‘one China’ policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the Three Joint Communiques, and the ‘six assurances,’” it said in a news release. “The guidance underscores Taiwan is a vibrant democracy, and an important security and economic partner that is also a force for good in the international community,” it said. “The new guidelines have been issued following a review as set forth in the Taiwan Assurance Act.” The Taiwan Assurance Act, signed into law by then-US president Donald Trump in December last year, requires the US Department of State to review the contact guidelines, in addition to supporting normalized sales of arms to Taiwan and Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations. The department did not publish the entire content of the new guidelines, and the American Institute in Taiwan said it has no details to offer beyond the department’s statement at the moment. The new guidelines,
APPOINTMENT NEEDED: Officials need to discuss the timing, cost and vaccine locations, and would reveal the details next week at the soonest, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said it plans to release 10,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for people to get vaccinated at their own expense. It also said that 10 local government heads would be vaccinated tomorrow. There would be eligibility requirements for people to get vaccinated out-of-pocket, such as a need to travel abroad to study, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC. Chen made the announcement on the sidelines the Asia-Pacific Social Innovation Summit. The center is planning to release part of the AstraZeneca vaccines in its stock for people to get vaccinated at their own expense, but the timing, cost, vaccination locations and other details need to be further discussed, he said, adding that an official announcement would be made next week at the soonest. “Our goal is to release 10,000 doses... Our current plan is for them [people] to get vaccinated at hospitals where the vaccine is being offered now,” Chen said when asked how many doses would be made available and where. Asked if Taiwanese businesspeople in China could apply to get vaccinated at their own expense, Chen said: “The quarantine rules in China are relatively tight, so getting vaccinated or not does not matter too much, but if they express such a demand, we would consider including them.” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesperson, said people would need to make an appointment to get vaccinated so that hospitals can make arrangements in advance, as each multidose vial of the AstraZeneca vaccine contains 10 doses. As eligibility for government-funded vaccines is to be expanded to include second and third priority groups tomorrow, Chuang said: “We have received information that 10 local government heads will get vaccinated on Monday [tomorrow], so the center wants to express its gratitude
The White House on Friday said it was keeping a close watch on increased Chinese military activities in the Taiwan Strait and called Beijing’s recent actions potentially destabilizing. “We have ... clearly — publicly, privately — expressed our concerns, our growing concerns, about China’s aggression toward Taiwan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “We’ve seen a concerning increase in PRC [People’s Republic of China] military activity in the Taiwan Strait, which we believe is potentially destabilizing,” she said when asked if Washington was concerned about a possible Chinese invasion. Taiwan has complained over the past few months of repeated missions by China’s air force near the nation, concentrated in the southwestern part of its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). On Friday, 11 Chinese People’s Liberation Army aircraft flew into Taiwan’s southwest ADIZ, the Ministry of National Defense said. The fleet included J-10 and J-16 fighter jets, electronic warfare and marine patrol aircraft, it said. Taiwan’s air force responded by sending patrol aircraft to the area and monitoring the Chinese planes with its air-defense missile systems, it added. Beijing on Thursday blamed the US for tensions over Taiwan after a US warship sailed close to the nation, asking rhetorically whether China would sail in the Gulf of Mexico as a “show of strength.” On Monday, China said a Chinese aircraft carrier group was conducting exercises close to Taiwan, and on Wednesday a US warship sailed through the Strait. China believes the US is colluding with Taiwan to challenge Beijing and giving support to those who want the nation to declare formal independence. Additional reporting by Bloomberg
Chinese regulators yesterday hit e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) with a record 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.78 billion) fine over practices deemed to be an abuse of the company’s dominant market position. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce leader cofounded by Jack Ma (馬雲) and one of the world’s most valuable companies, said it accepted the penalty and pledged to outline plans yesterday for bringing its operations into compliance. The fine appeared to cap a government crackdown on major Chinese tech platforms, and Alibaba in particular, over allegations of anti-competitive behavior and misuse of consumer data. The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation said it assessed the fine after concluding an investigation into Alibaba that began in December last year. The probe centered on Alibaba’s practice of forbidding merchants who wish to sell their wares on its online marketplaces from simultaneously offering them on rival e-commerce sites. “Since 2015, Alibaba Group has abused its dominant position in the market” with the exclusivity requirement, the regulator said. The requirement harmed competition, innovation, and the interests of merchants and consumers, the administration added. The fine was a record and nearly three times the almost US$1 billion levied against Qualcomm Inc in 2015, Bloomberg said. The size of the penalty was determined after the market watchdog decided to fine Alibaba 4 percent of its 2019 sales of 455.7 billion yuan. Shortly after the decision was announced, Alibaba issued a contrite statement that used many of the government’s recent talking points on the issue, pledging to make changes to safeguard fair competition. “We accept the penalty with sincerity and will ensure our compliance with determination,” it said. The company added that it would hold a conference call with investors tomorrow to share its “thoughts and plans for the long-term healthy development of our business in the future.” “We are committed to ensuring an operating environment for
The Ministry of Education would spend NT$360 million (US$12.66 million) annually to hire an additional 300 foreign teachers to meet the government’s goal of widespread English fluency by 2030, the ministry said yesterday. There are 81 foreign teachers of English working in the nation’s public schools, and the government hopes to hire 300 more such teachers starting in August, K-12 Education Administration division head Wu Hsiao-hsia (武曉霞) said. The ministry has begun accepting applications and invites candidates to apply before May 15, she said, adding that applications can be made online at https://tfetp.epa.ntnu.edu.tw. The ministry in 2004 began assisting counties and municipalities with hiring foreign teachers of English, prioritizing schools in rural communities, Wu said. The additional funding for the new hires would bring the total subsidies it provides for English-language education to NT$460 million annually, she said. The ministry has cooperated with National Taiwan Normal University and National Chung Cheng University to establish separate hiring centers for northern and southern Taiwan respectively, she said. The centers have collaborated to create the online application system, and are handling the administrative work associated with the international hiring process, training and guidance for arriving teachers, she said. The ministry would also seek to improve cooperation between schools and nearby universities and language-resource centers, to make the process smoother for foreign teachers and the schools that employ them, Wu said. The universities and centers could help foreign teachers overcome cultural differences, she added. “We hope that bringing in more foreign teachers can give students more opportunities to speak English, while also helping Taiwanese teachers improve their ability to teach in English,” the ministry said.
REACHING BACK: The changes, aimed at preventing individuals from creating entities to avoid capital gains taxes, would apply retroactively to transactions dating to 2016 The Legislative Yuan yesterday approved amendments to the Income Tax Act (所得稅法) that are on July 1 to place a 45 percent capital gains tax on individuals and businesses selling real estate within two years of purchase. The bill, intended to curb real-estate speculation, was passed after legislators in interparty negotiations on Wednesday resolved areas of disagreement, including setting July 1 for the changes to take effect. The revisions are aimed at improving the “integrated house and land transaction income tax,” which was introduced in 2016 to reduce speculation, especially in the residential housing market, but has failed to act as a deterrent amid high liquidity and low interest rates. Under the changes, the tax on individuals and businesses would be set at 45 percent on gains from the sale of property within two years of purchase and 35 percent on gains from properties sold within two to five years of purchase. Currently, the 45 percent rate applies only to gains on property sales within the first year of purchase, while the 35 percent rate applies only on sales made within one to two years of purchase. Those rates only apply to individuals. Businesses pay an across-the-board rate of 20 percent on such gains under corporate income tax rules. By imposing the same tax rate on individuals and businesses, the bill aims to prevent individuals from setting up companies to trade property and pay only 20 percent on their gains. For people and companies buying property from outside Taiwan, the 45 percent tax would apply to gains on property sales within two years of purchase, up from one year, after which the rate would remain at a flat 35 percent, according to the bill. The tax on individuals for gains on properties sold five to 10 years after purchase would be 20 percent, and 15 percent thereafter. For companies,
TAKING A STAND: With thousands of Burmese migrants and immigrants in Taiwan, the nation has a responsibility to denounce the violent crackdown, a legislator said The Legislative Yuan yesterday passed a resolution to support an effort by the international community to restore democracy and human rights in Myanmar, while urging the country’s military to end the violence against unarmed protesters. The legislative caucuses of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and New Power Party (NPP) separately proposed resolutions to call for democracy in Myanmar, which lawmakers then reconciled through a motion to amend. The resolution, which gained cross-party support, stated that Myanmar’s military should resolve the conflict through peaceful and rational dialogue aimed at restoring democracy as soon as possible. The Burmese military’s use of force against protesters has resulted in many deaths and injuries, the resolution said. The UK, US and several EU member states have imposed sanctions on Myanmar in response to the violence, it added. “As a country that loves democracy, freedom and peace, Taiwan cannot accept the military of Myanmar’s use of armed force against civilians and its trampling of human rights,” it said. The legislature also demands that the government do more to protect Taiwanese residing in Myanmar and to make better use of Taiwanese businesspeople in the country as a conduit for information and relief, it said. Humanitarian visa extensions should be made available to Burmese living in Taiwan until the end of the crisis, the resolution said. “We believe Taiwan can play a more active role in the democratization of the world,” DPP Legislator Hung Sun-han (洪申翰) said. “The junta in Myanmar has killed nearly 600 civilians and arrested nearly 3,000 people, and the situation continues to deteriorate even now,” he said. “The actions of the Burmese military have been widely condemned by the international community.” Taiwan is home to tens of thousands of Burmese and Taiwanese have significant investments in the country, he said. “Taiwan has a responsibility to unequivocally denounce the junta’s violent crackdown on dissent and give
DETECTABLE SYMPTOMS: To identify the condition early, family members should use a questioning technique developed at National Taiwan University A doctor urged family members to pay more attention to symptoms of prenatal depression, a condition less widely known than postpartum depression and which one in 10 pregnant women experiences. Chang Pei-chen (張倍禎), a doctor at China Medical University’s Department of Pediatric Psychiatry, said that she early this year treated a pregnant woman whose symptoms ranked 15 out of 20 on the Brief Symptom Rating Scale, which measures emotional stress. The scale, codeveloped by Lee Ming-pin (李明濱), a professor at National Taiwan University (NTU), is based on five standardized questions, with answers given one to four points. Should the total points exceed 15, it indicates that a person is facing serious emotional stress. Chang said that the woman experienced prenatal depression, for which she prescribed regular psychiatric sessions and a diet based on foods rich in with omega-3 fatty acids. Chang also recommended that her family spend more time with her, listen to her concerns, and do not criticize her or judge her for experiencing depression, she said. After three months of treatment, her condition had stabilized and other pregnancy-related symptoms such as nausea in the morning had also eased, Chang said. About 13 percent of pregnant women experience prenatal depression, Chang said, adding that the conditions occur most often when women expect their first child. Symptoms of prenatal depression usually occur in the 16th week of pregnancy and persist until four weeks after giving birth, she said. Many cases go untreated, and about 10 percent of women with prenatal depression continue to experience depression after giving birth, Chang said. Family members should pay close attention to the emotional well-being of pregnant women, as prenatal depression might lead to malnourishment of the mother and premature birth, which might also lead to malnourishment of the newborn and delayed development, he said. Typical symptoms are fitful sleep, restlessness, loss of interest in
Agricultural losses caused by the current water shortage have exceeded NT$400 million (US$14.07 million), with farmers in Pingtung County affected the most, Council of Agriculture data showed yesterday. As of Friday, agricultural losses nationwide totaled NT$401.8 million, with the losses in Pingtung reaching NT$352 million, or 88 percent of the total, followed by Nantou County’s NT$21.42 million (5 percent) and Chiayi County’s NT$13.95 million (3 percent), the data showed. Agricultural losses in Kaohsiung and Yunlin County were NT$13.62 million and NT$810,000 respectively, it showed. The production of mangoes, tea leaves, plums and onions has been hit hardest, the data showed. The shortage has damaged 53 percent of the production of improved mango cultivars, meaning 977 hectares have not yielded fruit and losses have reached NT$307.8 million, it showed. As for farms growing locally developed mango cultivars, 34 percent of planted areas have been affected, with losses reaching NT$23 million, the data showed. The shortage has affected 16 percent of tea production with losses totaling NT$30 million, 31 percent of plum production with losses of NT$15 million and 33 percent of onion production with losses of NT$14 million, it showed. From Tuesday, Miaoli County and Taichung are to only have water for five days per week. Water supply to 74,000 hectares of farmland, mainly in the central and southern regions, has been suspended. Water would continue to be supplied to another 236,000 hectares of farmland, but there are concerns that it might be restricted soon. If the shortage continues and water levels in rivers drop further, the council would consider drilling more than 500 wells to ensure supply to 236,000 hectares of rice farms, Irrigation Agency Director-General Tsai Sheng-fu (蔡昇甫) said yesterday. In other news, farmers are facing a shortage of boxes for packaging. Demand for boxes is surging as more farmers are exporting their products abroad and the international price
TEN IMPLICATED: An Agency Against Corruption probe focuses on Hualien government officials and contractors accused of bribery, the agency said Hualien prosecutors yesterday questioned four more suspects amid an investigation into a fatal train crash on Friday last week, saying that they are focusing on alleged corruption over public work projects. Fifty people were killed and more than 200 injured when Taroko Express No. 408 crashed into a crane truck that had rolled onto the tracks, derailed and slammed into the walls of the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The four additional suspects are Hsiung Teh-yu (熊德育), a construction site superintendent at the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) Hualien engineering section, Pan Tang-yi (潘堂益), supervising engineer at the section, Lee Chin-fu (李進福), a construction superintendent at United Geotech Inc (聯合大地工程), and Chang Chi Fu-tsai (張齊富財), a labor safety and health inspector at the company. Hualien prosecutor Chou Fang-yi (周芳怡) said that the four were questioned yesterday and released on bail. Chang Chi posted NT$500,000 (US$17,583) and Pan posted NT$150,000, while Lee and Hsiung both posted NT$300,000. Including the four, 10 people are listed as suspects, prosecutors said. Meanwhile, Agency Against Corruption (AAC) officers have over the past week been gathering evidence to determine whether the suspects have been involved in bribery, collusion between government officials and contractors, financial profiteering, and other contraventions, the agency said. Its investigation focuses on the Hualien County Government and the TRA, the AAC added. The construction site where the crane truck was employed, was part of the TRA’s six-year railway safety plan, it said. The train operator has commissioned work to reinforce slopes next to the tracks on a 51km section of its north link line, the agency said. United Geotech has won a NT$124.8 million tender for design and construction. United Geotech has employed Tung Hsin Construction (東新營造) as subcontractor on-site, which itself employed as subcontractors Yi Hsiang Industry Co (義祥工業社) and Yi Cheng Construction Co (義程營造), which are both owned by Lee
Taipei is undertaking a “food vendors long-term advancement project” in the hopes that more of its traditional markets would be awarded “five stars” by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Ko made the remarks at the launch ceremony of the two-day Taipei City Traditional Market Festival at Taipei Flora Expo Park in Zhongshan District (中山), where 59 food vendors from Taipei’s traditional market offer delicacies from a variety of cuisines. At the end of the two-day event, which is its 14th year, the Taipei Market Administration Office is to present an award to the food stall that offers the best dumpling-based dish. Nineteen dumpling vendors competed for the award. In the post-COVID-19 era, cooking at home will be a trend, Taipei Market Administration Office Director Chen Ting-hui (陳庭輝) said, adding that the competition focuses on dumplings because they are nutritious and convenient to prepare at home. Ko said that if a visitor wishes to experience Taipei in just 30 minutes, they should spend the time at a traditional market, which is the epitome of the local culture and manifests Taiwan’s economic environmental and moral standards. With that in mind, Taipei has been striving to improve its markets to become an internationally recognized civilized city, he said. The Taipei Government has been promoting a “food vendors long-term advancement project” aimed at improving the service quality, hygiene and food safety of food stalls in the city, Ko said. The city’s Shidong Market (士東市場), Nanmen Market (南門市場) and Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市) were awarded “five stars” by the ministry last year, he said, adding that hopefully other markets would also be recognized.
Children who have pet turtles should wash their hands more often to avoid salmonella infection transmitted by the animals, a doctor said on Friday. Citing two cases involving six-year-old children, Taichung Hospital Department of Pediatrics director Chen Min-kung (陳敏恭) said that he treated both for fever, stomachache and diarrhea due to salmonella infection. A boy surnamed Kuo (郭) was last month hospitalized after experiencing diarrhea up to eight times per day, and a girl surnamed Hsu (徐) was hospitalized after experiencing diarrhea, a cough and low urine output, he said. Their symptoms eased after treatment, but persisted, and they also had green stool, Chen said. While inquiring into the sources of infection, Chen learned that they both recently started keeping a pet turtle, he said. Healthy turtles have salmonella bacteria in their digestive tracts, Chen said, adding that the children might have been infected through the animals’ excrement while playing with their pets. Children with pet turtles are at risk of salmonella infection if they do not wash hands after touching the animals, he said, adding that other sources of infection are spoiled milk or eggs. Symptoms of salmonella infection, such as diarrhea, stomachache, fever or vomiting, often occur after an incubation period of one or two days, he said. Blood in stool, headache, joint ache, dehydration or shock might occur during more severe infections, Chen added. Children under five and people over 65, as well as people with weak immune systems, are at risk of developing meningitis and osteomyelitis due to a salmonella infection, he said. Chen also called on pet stores to provide information on the risk of salmonella infection to people interested in buying pet turtles. Parents of children with pet turtles should also pay attention to the issue, he said. If their children experience nausea, diarrhea or fever, parents should send them to hospital immediately to avoid serious
STEM THE TIDE: From 2013 to October last year, 47 of the 129 breaches of the Trade Secrets Act led to Taiwanese trade secrets reaching Chinese industries, a legislator said The Executive Yuan is considering measures to prevent Chinese commercial espionage and the poaching of core technologies, especially in semiconductors and information technology, sources said. The Executive Yuan is considering amendments to the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the Trade Secrets Act (營業秘密法) to respond to increasing reports of Chinese firms recruiting Taiwanese and stealing core technologies, the sources said. Although Taiwan prohibits firms from China from doing business or recruiting locally without prior approval, some companies conceal their Chinese ownership to recruit workers, they said. Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies (比特大陸), an IC chip design firm, is suspected of using its Taiwanese units — New Taipei City-based WiseCore Technology (智鈊科技) and Hsinchu-based IC Link (芯道互聯) — to illegally recruit hundreds of engineers from Taiwanese firms over three years, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said. An investigation found that since 2018 Bitmain had recruited more than 200 engineers and managers, she said, adding that the suspects were released on bail ranging from NT$100,000 to NT$200,000 (US$3,517 to US$7,033). “It is a clear case of China’s ‘red supply chain’ stealing from us. On the surface we have laws preventing such offenses, but in reality they could not stop the theft and poaching from happening. This has resulted in the theft of Taiwan’s core technologies to China one after another,” she said. Citing data from the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, DPP Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) yesterday said that 47 out of 129 breaches of the Trade Secrets Act from 2013 to October last year have resulted in Taiwanese trade secrets finding their way to China. The government must better protect its trade secrets, which would help Taiwan win the trust of countries that it works with, he said, adding that there is a discrepancy in fines handed to United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) for its involvement in
LOOKING FOR MORE: Some KMT officials welcomed the new guidelines on Taiwan-US exchanges, while others said they hoped more restrictions could be removed Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) intends to visit Washington this year to mark the opening of a KMT office there and meet with US officials, a source said yesterday. After the COVID-19 pandemic has “slowed down,” Chiang would visit Washington, where he would meet with members of the Taiwan Benevolent Association of Metropolitan Washington, the source said. In a meeting with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen in June last year, Chiang said that he hoped the US would take concrete actions in support of democracy and freedom in Taiwan. At the meeting, Christensen said the US has always valued Taiwan as a trading partner and that the AIT welcomed the KMT’s establishment of an office in Washington. The KMT has been preparing to open the Washington office since January, and had already found a location, the source said, adding that it was waiting for the pandemic to abate before proceeding. In a videoconference with members of the association last month, Chiang thanked the organization for its support since he was elected KMT chairman, and said that he would visit the association and other members of the Taiwanese community in Washington when he travels there, the source said. It has always been a goal of the KMT to establish a representative office in Washington, KMT vice chairman of international affairs Ho Chih-yung (何志勇) said. Therefore, Chiang’s position on the matter did not represent a shift in party policy, Ho said, adding that Chiang would also likely meet with academics during the trip. Meanwhile, in response to guidelines issued by the US on Friday that seek to loosen restrictions on Taiwan-US exchanges, KMT Deputy Secretary-General Huang Kwei-bo (黃奎博) said he hoped the changes would continue the advancement of the countries’ mutual interests. However, although the KMT understood the US’ way of doing things, it hoped
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed to meet operational requirements for amphibious assault and personnel and materiel transport, as well as disaster prevention, relief and humanitarian aid, the Navy Command Headquarters said. Built by CSBC Corp, Taiwan (台灣國際造船), the 153m-long, 23m-wide vessel can support a marine battalion of 673 soldiers with helicopters, amphibious assault vehicles, craft, and light and heavy utility vehicles. The ship is armed with an OTO Melara 76mm gun, two Tien Chien-2N air-defense missile systems and two Phalanx close-in weapon systems. The superstructure is designed to reduce its radar signature and enclose its twin masts. The ship can also be modified to be used as a field hospital. It is expected to be put into operation next year, the navy said. CSBC had met all relevant project milestones since the ship’s construction started in May 2019, Commander of the Navy Admiral Liu Chih-pin (劉志斌) said at an event marking the ship’s mast stepping on March 18. The navy has full confidence that CSBC and the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology will continue their smooth cooperation to deliver the ship, he said. The navy thanks President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for supporting its programs to build new ships and promoting national defense self-sufficiency, industry upgrades and economic growth, he said. The Ministry
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday honored a fighter pilot who died after his F-5E jet crashed into the sea off Pingtung County following a mid-air collision on March 22. At a memorial service at the Chihhang Air Base in Taitung County, the president presented a citation to Lo Shang-hua’s (羅尚樺) widow. The 26-year-old pilot was also posthumously promoted from the rank of first lieutenant to major and awarded a posthumous Order of Loyalty and Valor, which his father accepted on his behalf from air force Commander General Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基). Tsai thanked Lo for his dedication and the sacrifices he made to protect Taiwan. “As a guardian of Taiwan’s national airspace, we are all proud of him,” she said. She instructed the Ministry of National Defense to provide the best possible care to his family. During the memorial procession, members of the military police performed a three-volley salute and four F-5 jets flew the missing man formation over the air base. Lo is to be interred at the Hualien Martyrs’ Shrine. His F-5E, a single-seat variant of the F-5 “Tiger” jet, crashed into the sea after it brushed against his wingman in mid-air as they were switching formation during a training mission over Pingtung County. He ejected from the aircraft after the collision, but did not show any vital signs when found at sea and was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital. The other pilot, Captain Pan Ying-chun (潘穎諄), is thought to have also ejected from his aircraft, but he has not yet been found. The air force said yesterday that it has not given up the search to find Pan.
Hyundai Motor Co is pitching its new Ioniq 5 as being able to do more than the average electric vehicle (EV). In a series of promotional videos on YouTube, a camper is shown running on a treadmill hooked up to the vehicle’s battery, listening to their favorite tunes on a bank of speakers and even rustling up a roast chicken dinner in a portable oven. The vehicle can supply up to 3.6 kilowatts of power, enough to run appliances such as refrigerators and stoves. It is part of a push by Hyundai to appeal to a younger audience as it plays catch-up in the EV market. The South Korean automaker is behind EV pioneers such as Tesla Inc and established brands such as Volkswagen AG and BMW AG, only introducing its electric car in 2016. “We looked at the wider meaning of space that would include outdoor and daily activities that consumers can do with their cars,” Heung Soo-kim, a senior vice president and head of product and EV businesses at Hyundai, said in an interview last month. “We are constantly looking into new features that will appeal to users.” Hyundai said that it is the first major EV maker to offer bi-directional charging, which means owners can power electronic devices from the vehicle battery. While conventional vehicle batteries can be used to charge laptops and phones, they drain quickly if hooked up to anything more powerful, such as a portable fridge or sound system, meaning serious campers need to install a dual-battery system or lug around heavy, noisy generators to power their home comforts. The Ioniq 5 also comes with the option to install a solar-panel roof that would charge the battery pack, giving the vehicle an additional driving range of about 1,300km annually. US-based EV start-up Rivian Automotive Inc is also looking to attract
Elon Musk’s start-up devoted to meshing brains with computers was on Friday closer to its dream, having gotten a monkey to play the video game Pong using only its mind. Musk has long contended that merging minds with machines is vital if people are going to avoid being outpaced by artificial intelligence. A video posted on YouTube by the entrepreneur’s Neuralink Corp start-up showed a macaque named Pager playing Pong by essentially using thought to move paddles that bounce digital balls back and forth onscreen. “To control his paddle, Pager simply thinks about moving his hand up or down,” a voice narrating the video said. “As you can see, Pager is amazingly good at MindPong.” Neuralink devices were implanted on two sides of Pager’s brain to sense neuron activity, then the monkey played the game a few minutes using a joystick to let software figure out the signals associated with hand movements. Pager’s reward was banana smoothly served through a straw when he successfully batted the digital ball from one paddle to the other, according to the demonstration. After a few minutes, the “decoder” program figured out what neuron signals to look for and the joystick was no longer needed to play the game. “A monkey is literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip!!” Musk wrote on Twitter. The decoder could be calibrated to enable a person to guide a cursor on a computer screen, potentially letting them type e-mails, text messages or browse the Internet just by thinking, a blog post at neuralink.com said. “Our first goal is to give people with paralysis their digital freedom back,” the Neuralink team said in the post. Members of the team last year shared a “wish list” that ranged from technology returning mobility to the paralyzed and sight to the blind, to enabling telepathy and the uploading of memories
Several hundred people have already booked their tickets and begun training for a spectacular voyage: a few minutes, or perhaps days, in the weightlessness of space. The mainly wealthy first-time space travelers are preparing to take part in one of several private missions which are preparing to launch. The era of space tourism is on the horizon 60 years after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space. Two companies, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin LLC, are building spacecraft capable of sending private clients on suborbital flights to the edge of space lasting several minutes. Glenn King is the director of spaceflight training at the National Aerospace Training and Research Center, a private company based in Pennsylvania that has already trained nearly 400 future Virgin Galactic passengers for their trips. “The oldest person I trained was 88 years old,” King said. The training program lasts two days — a morning of classroom instruction and tests in a centrifuge. This involves putting the trainee in a single-seat cockpit at the end of an 8m-long arm and spinning them around to simulate gravitational force, or G force. A medical team is on hand at all times. NASA’s training for shuttle crew members lasted two years, but the duration has been drastically reduced by the commercial space industry because of the “numbers of people that want to get up in space,” King said. “We can’t take two years to train these people. We’ve got to get this down to a matter of days to get these people up,” he said. “These people aren’t crews, just strictly passengers,” King said. “For a passenger, there isn’t a lot of work for you to do other than just relax, endure the G forces of launch or re-entry, and then once you’re orbital, enjoy the view out the window.” King said the pass rate for
Taiwan-US relations are said to be entering a new stage after Washington on Friday released new diplomatic guidelines, but some sensitive issues still require delicate negotiations. In its announcement, the US Department of State said the new guidelines “liberalize guidance on contacts with Taiwan” and show that the nation is a vibrant democracy, and important security and economic partner. However, the department also reiterated the US’ “one China” policy and used the word “unofficial” twice to describe the relations. While the US has repeatedly said that its commitment to Taiwan is “rock solid,” Washington is taking steps to bring bilateral relations back into a rules-based order by setting limits to the ecstatic, risky developments under the previous US administration. After then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 announced the cancelation of previous guidelines shortly before leaving office, Taiwan’s diplomats were excited to see the realization of what they had for decades strived to achieve. Overseas representative offices posted on social media photographs of meetings with their US counterparts in a third country, while Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) posted photographs showing meetings with US officials on their premises. Pompeo’s lifting of limits was thrilling, but also brought about more anxiety. Over the past three months, Taiwanese lawmakers and commentators have been asking whether diplomats could start raising the national flag on official premises in the US without provoking Washington, as occurred in 2015, and whether the president, vice president, premier, vice premier and ministers of defense and foreign affairs could visit Washington. The questions remain, as the new guidelines were not publicized, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the questions were not covered in the document. Judging from the ministry’s news release yesterday, which said that the new guidelines reflect the closeness of bilateral interactions in the past few years and aim to
Article 3 of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Standards on Assessing Donor Suitability for Blood Donation (捐血者健康標準) states that people should wait at least two months between donations of 250ml and at least three months for those giving 500ml. However, it also says that men should give a maximum of 1,500ml per year and women should give a maximum of 1,000ml. In other words, when a donor has reached the limit for annual blood donations, even if they waited the required interval between them, they would still have to wait until after their next birthday before giving blood. The Taiwan Blood Services Foundation says the limits to the amount of blood people can donate is set out of a concern for donors’ iron levels. When a man has donated 2,000ml blood, he might have lost 1,000mg iron and needs time to replenish it. However, regular blood donors have a good idea about how to look after their bodily health. If donors judge that there is no problem with their health, as long as they have fulfilled the three-month waiting period, they should be allowed to donate another 500ml. Besides, Taiwan has become an aged society. The population of young people is falling, and there are certain restrictions as to who can donate blood. Under these conditions it will become more of a challenge to maintain a balance between supply and demand of blood. If the limit on blood donations could be conditionally relaxed when the Taiwan Blood Services Foundation announces low stocks of blood or when there is a major disaster, such as last week’s Taroko Express train crash, it would help meet an urgent demand for blood. This small adjustment to the rules would enable many regular blood donors to roll up their sleeves and give blood when it is most needed. Fu Yen-wen is
Interrupting the assimilation of Xinjiang’s Uighur population would result in an unmanageable national security threat to China. Numerous governments and civil society organizations around the world have accused China of massive human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and labeled Beijing’s inhumane and aggressive social re-engineering efforts in the region as “cultural genocide.” Extensive evidence shows that China’s forceful ethnic assimilation policies in Xinjiang are aimed at replacing Uighur ethnic and religious identity with a so-called scientific communist dogma and Han Chinese culture. The total assimilation of Uighurs into the larger “Chinese family” is also Beijing’s official, central purpose of its ethnic policies in the region. Consequently, numerous Western actors are escalating their political, economic and diplomatic pressure on Beijing to coerce it into stopping the program. In the US, last year’s Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act condemns gross human rights violations of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, and calls for an “end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China.” During his presidential campaign, US President Joe Biden referred to the crackdown on Uighurs as “genocide,” and in the past few months imposed numerous political and economic sanctions on Beijing. The UK has imposed sanctions on Chinese officials, and British lawmakers are discussing a genocide trade bill that, if passed, would seriously restrict trade with China. Political parties in northern Europe are asking to end the EU’s free trade talks with China. The list of measures goes on. A consequence of the growing public outcry against Beijing’s assimilation policies in Xinjiang is the probable partial boycott of next year’s Beijing Winter Olympic Games. After all, how could a country send its athletes to an event organized by a genocidal regime? Numerous representatives of Western governments have added their support for the boycott. Canadian lawmakers have called for the relocation of the
UNCONVENTIONAL: Kim Si-woo used a fairway metal to putt the final four holes after he broke the normal club in anger after a three-putt bogey on 14 Justin Rose apparently did not get the memo that Augusta National was a little more forgiving on Friday in the Masters. The consolation was still having the lead, but just barely. Rose had a putt on the fourth green that he did not hit hard enough to get through the fringe. Another putt on the sixth hole did not have enough pace and returned back to him about 60 feet away. All around him, major champions and a Masters rookie scored well enough to close the gap. The contenders even included Kim Si-woo, who broke his putter in anger and used a fairway metal to putt the final four holes. Rose was among 12 players who broke par on Thursday. He was not among the 40 who broke par on Friday. “I didn’t quite appreciate the scoring was going to be quite so good today,” he said. Even so, his even-par 72 was good enough for a one-shot lead going into a weekend filled with a little mystery how Augusta National will play and plenty of possibilities for who will win the green jacket. One certainty: It will not be Dustin Johnson, who took 64 putts in 36 holes and missed the cut by two shots. Rose was at seven-under 137, one shot ahead of Brian Harman (69) and Will Zalatoris (68), the 24-year-old from Dallas who still does not have a full PGA Tour card. “I wanted to be here my entire life,” Zalatoris said after birdies on his last three holes to get in the final group. “Some people shy away from that, but I’m excited to be here. There’s no reason to feel intimidated now. I made it to here. And obviously, the job is not done by any means.” Jordan Spieth (68) and Marc Leishman (67) were two shots behind. Spieth stands out for his wizardry
Lille OSC on Friday climbed six points clear of title rivals Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 with a tight 2-0 win against Metz. They now lead the French top flight with 69 points from 32 games, while PSG have 63, AS Monaco 62 and Olympique Lyonnais 61 ahead of their catch-up games this weekend. Turkish veteran striker Burak Yilmaz got the opener on the hour and compatriot Zeki Celik scrambled home a second at the death after Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan had saved an early Metz penalty. “We had a very sluggish start to the match,” Lille manager Christophe Galtier said. “We struggled to get the ball out. The desire to do well made us rush and we were wasteful. Mike kept us in the game by stopping the penalty.” Yilmaz showed great experience, wrong-footing the Metz goalkeeper, and shooting hard and low inside the near post to score. As they dug deep, Celik scrambled home a corner on 89 minutes to provide a harsh scoreline for the hosts. Maignan saved a 17th-minute penalty, diving low to turn Aaron Leya Iseka’s spot-kick beyond the post. This came after John Boye’s volley for Metz was goal-bound, but stopped on the line by defender Jose Fonte, who raised an arm to protect his face. PREMIER LEAGUE Reuters, LONDON Fulham manager Scott Parker praised his relegation-threatened side, even though a stoppage-time goal by Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore condemned them to a 1-0 loss that left them mired in the bottom three of the Premier League. Fulham are in 18th spot, three points behind Newcastle United, who have two games in hand, but Parker refused to find fault with his side. “It’s a painful one. I’ve been involved in football for a long time and that’s a blow, obviously ... it’s a hard one to take, and we go again now,” he told BT Sport.
A 48m Damian McKenzie penalty yesterday put the Waikato Chiefs into play-off contention in Super Rugby Aotearoa in Dunedin when they downed the Otago Highlanders 26-23 in a dramatic golden-point finish. Chiefs captain Brad Weber described the sudden-death decider as “fantastic” after the score was locked at 23-23 at the end of regulation time. McKenzie missed a chance to win the game before 80 minutes when he missed a 50m penalty after the hooter had gone. However, five minutes into extra time, after the Highlanders had missed a drop-goal attempt, Anton Lienert-Brown won a penalty for the Chiefs and McKenzie calmly settled the issue. It lifted the Chiefs to third in the competition, just two points behind the Auckland Blues and six away from leaders the Canterbury Crusaders. The Highlanders slipped to fourth on 10 points, five ahead of the Wellington Hurricanes, who face the Crusaders today. “We really needed that,” Weber said. “Whichever team won tonight was really going to push their claim for this title, so we’re happy to be on the right side.” “It’s the sort of rugby people love,” he said. “They want to come and see tight finishes, and golden point is great. I hate a draw, so it’s fantastic.” The Chiefs went into the match as underdogs with the Highlanders backing up from an upset victory over the Crusaders. However, captain Ash Dixon said that they were unable to repeat that performance. “We came out a bit flat,” he said. “For us to keep progressing in this competition, we’ve got to turn up week in and week out, and we just weren’t consistent tonight.” In a frantic opening, Etene Nanai-Seturo scored in the corner to open the Chiefs account and the Highlanders replied almost immediately with James Lentjes scoring from a well-worked lineout move. Then followed 30 minutes of attack, counterattack and fruitless shots at goal
Queensland Reds flyhalf James O’Connor kicked a late penalty to secure a 24-22 victory over the ACT Brumbies in front of 22,000 fans in Brisbane yesterday to maintain his side’s 100 percent record this season and secure a home final in the Super Rugby AU. The Reds had trailed by nine points with 15 minutes remaining, but finished the stronger side, with O’Connor kicking 14 points and having a hand in both of his side’s tries, which were scored by center Josh Flook and wing Jordan Petaia. The Brumbies looked in control for much of the game and led for most of it, scoring tries through hooker Folau Fainga’a, fullback Tom Banks and wing Tom Wright. The Reds head the Super Rugby AU table with 32 points from their seven games and are to host the May 8 final, while the Brumbies have already secured a home playoff in second place with 25 points. The Brumbies are set to meet the team who finish third in a semi-final on May 1, which is likely to be either the Melbourne Rebels or the Western Force.
‘THE FIRST BANG’: The government ordered mandatory evacuations after scientists detected seismic activity at La Soufriere volcano close to the island’s northern tip Cots, tents and respirator masks poured into the eastern Caribbean island of St Vincent as officials expected to start distributing them yesterday, a day after a powerful explosion at La Soufriere volcano uprooted the lives of thousands of people who evacuated their homes under government orders. Nations ranging from Antigua to Guyana offered help by either shipping emergency supplies to their neighbor or agreeing to temporarily open their borders to the about 16,000 evacuees fleeing ash-covered communities with as many personal belongings as they could stuff into suitcases and backpacks. The volcano, which last erupted in 1979, kept rumbling as experts said that explosive eruptions could continue for days or possibly weeks. A previous eruption in 1902 killed about 1,600 people. “The first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang this volcano will give,” Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Center, told a news conference. St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves asked people to remain calm, have patience and keep protecting themselves from COVID-19 as he celebrated that no deaths or injuries were reported after the eruption in the northern tip of St Vincent, part of an island chain that includes the Grenadines and is home to more than 100,000 people. “Agriculture will be badly affected, and we may have some loss of animals, and we will have to do repairs to houses, but if we have life, and we have strength, we will build it back better, stronger, together,” he said in an interview with NBC Radio, a local station. Gonsalves has said that depending on the damage caused by the explosion, it could take up to four months for life to return to normal. As of Friday, 2,000 people were staying in 62 government shelters, while four empty cruise ships floated nearby, waiting to
DISARRAY: Indian states had on average about five days of vaccine stock left, while France swapped the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine with a different brand Fresh lockdowns and curfews were imposed on tens of millions of people from India to Argentina yesterday, as COVID-19 infections surged again, and vaccine rollouts were hampered by shortages and scares over side effects. In India, the worst-hit state of Maharashtra was running out of vaccines as the health system buckled under the weight of the contagion, which has killed 2.9 million people worldwide. Having let its guard down with mass religious festivals, political rallies and spectators at cricket matches, the world’s second-most populous nation has added more than 1 million new infections since late last month. Every weekend from yesterday until the end of this month, Maharashtra’s 125 million people are to be confined to their homes unless traveling or shopping for food or medicine. “I’m not for the lockdown at all, but I don’t think the government has any other choice,” media professional Neha Tyagi, 27, told reporters in Maharashtra’s megacity, Mumbai. “This lockdown could have been totally avoided if people would take the virus seriously.” The crisis is being exacerbated by a shortage of vaccines. India has inoculated 94 million of its 1.3 billion people, but The Times of India on Friday reported that states on average had just more than five days of stock left, citing Indian Ministry of Health data, with some regions already grappling with severe shortages. Stay-at-home orders were also set to come into force for the 8 million inhabitants of Bogota, as the Colombian capital battled a third wave of infections, adding to curfews already covering 7 million across four other major cities. Elsewhere in South America, Argentina on Friday entered a nighttime curfew running from midnight to 6am every day until the end of this month. It would be in force in the country’s highest-risk areas, mainly urban centers, where bars and restaurants are to close at 11pm. Both Argentina and
Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN on Friday urged “strong action” against the junta as reports emerged of scores killed in the military’s latest crackdown. The country has been in turmoil since the military on Feb. 1 ousted Burmese State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, with protesters refusing to submit to the junta regime and continuing to demand a return to democracy. During a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, Burmese Ambassador to the UN Kyaw Moe Tun pushed for more concrete action — proposing a no-fly zone, an arms embargo and more targeted sanctions against members of the military and their families. “Your collective, strong action is needed immediately,” Kyaw Moe Tun told the meeting. “Time is of the essence for us,” he said. “Please, please take action.” An independent analyst with the International Crisis Group told the council that Myanmar was “at the brink of state failure.” “The vast majority of the population does not want military rule and will do whatever it takes to prevent that outcome. Yet the military seems determined to impose its will,” Richard Horsey said. “Its actions may be creating a situation where the country becomes ungovernable. That should be of grave concern to the region and to the broader international community.” At least 618 civilians have been killed in the military’s crackdown on protests, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a local monitoring group. News emerged yesterday morning of more violence in the city of Bago, 65km northeast of Yangon — the site of a day-long crackdown that forced residents into hiding in nearby villages. Footage verified by Agence France-Presse shot early on Friday showed protesters hiding behind sandbag barricades wielding homemade rifles, as explosions could be heard in the background. A resident told reporters that the military crackdown killed at least 40 protesters and authorities refused to let rescue
April 12 to April 18 Hsieh Hsueh-hung (謝雪紅) stuffed her suitcase with Japanese toys and celebrity photos as she departed from Tokyo in February 1928. She knew she would be inspected by Japanese custom officials upon arrival in Shanghai, and hoped that the items would distract them from the papers hidden in her clothes. Penned with invisible ink on thin sheets, it was the charter of the Taiwanese Communist Party (台灣共產黨, TCP), which Hsieh and her companions would launch on April 15 under the directive of the Soviet-led Communist International with the support of their Chinese, Japanese and Korean counterparts. The ruse worked. The young and homesick Japanese inspector stared longingly at the photos, upon which Hsieh said, “You can have these if you want.” She was cleared immediately. The short-lived party was ill-fated from the very start. Just 10 days after its formation, the Japanese police raided its headquarters in the French Concession, arresting several members, including Hsieh, and confiscated the charter. The TCP later regrouped in Taiwan and continued their mission, but it was plagued by factionalism and government suppression. In June 1931, having finally obtained the list of members, the Japanese authorities launched a massive crackdown on the party, essentially destroying it within a few months. A total of 49 people were convicted. IMPORTANT MISSION After training for nearly two years at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East in Moscow, whose alumni include Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and Ho Chi Minh, Hsieh and classmate Lin Mu-shun (林木順) departed for Shanghai on Nov. 13, 1927 with big plans. A month earlier, Japanese Communist Party (JCP) cofounder Sen Katayama approached Hsieh and Lin on behalf of the Communist International and tasked them with launching the TCP. Hsieh was to lead the operation with
Charles Baudelaire, whose 200th birthday yesterday was celebrated with stamp issues, new editions of his poetry and virtual events, is arguably more famous for his concept of the flaneur — an aimless stroller or ambler — than for his writing. That’s partly because reading his volumes Les Fleurs du Mal or Le Spleen de Paris requires a degree of application, but also because the idea of an individual moving through the city streets and finding aesthetic pleasure in the teeming crowds, appeals to us and continues to chime. At least, it did until spring last year, when the crowds were told to stay at home. But even in a ghost city, it’s possible to think and walk like a flaneur. Rainer Hanshe has translated several of Baudelaire’s books into English — including Belgium Stripped Bare, about the French author’s visit to Brussels just before it was struck by a cholera epidemic. He notes: “The flaneur is a figure who, while immersed in the urban throng, is simultaneously separate from it. If more empty than not, our streets are still to some degree populated, and we can engage in the form of communion that Baudelaire referred to as a mysterious intoxication.” This involves trying to get inside the heads of others — an act of ecstatic empathy that “peoples” the solitary walker’s imagination. It’s a radical idea that envisions the mind as a sponge or, perhaps, a social media channel. Baudelaire’s most memorable phrase for the flaneur was “a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness.” Some of his ideas need updating. The flaneur might be “a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes,” but what about the princesses? Janet Wolff of the University of Manchester has written of the “invisible flaneuse,” of “respectable” women’s absence from public arenas in modern cities. In her 2016 book Flaneuse:
Over a million years in the making, the outdoor playground that is Kaohsiung’s Shoushan (壽山), commonly known as “Monkey Mountain,” is a rich geological and ecological resource that visitors to the city should be sure not to miss. Many are familiar with the area’s hiking trails and resident monkey population, but even locals may be surprised to learn of the extensive system of caves here, full of classic examples of speleothems like stalactites, stalagmites, draperies and flowstones, as well as cave-dwelling fauna. These caves are the result of hundreds of thousands of years of erosion slowly dissolving the mountain’s limestone. There are hundreds of such cavities, some extending dozens of meters into the mountain. To this day, no complete survey has ever been done. The stone itself was laid down by corals in nascent Taiwan’s shallow coastal waters over a million years ago, before being driven upwards by tectonic action. Indeed, marine fossils are common all over the mountain. NATIONAL PARK In 2011, Monkey Mountain, along with a few other nearby hills, became protected as Shoushan National Nature Park. With the establishment of the Park, the “Wild West” days of Monkey Mountain came to an end, and the vast system of limestone caves on the mountain, formerly a spelunking free-for-all, became mostly off limits. Currently, public access is officially limited to four caves, only between the months of November and April, and only when accompanied by a park-certified guide (details below). The other hundred-odd caves are not gated in any way to prevent access, but according to the law such access is now forbidden. Our group was led through all four caves last month by cave guide Chin Nan. WALKING UNDERGROUND Our first stop was Orangutan Cave (猩猩洞), named after several ape-shaped rocks found inside. The high ceiling and flat floor make this the safest
With the nation in the middle of a long period of drought, the water level at Sun Moon Lake has dropped significantly, exposing numerous objects that had been sitting at the bottom of the lake. One visitor who incautiously dropped his iPhone into the lake one year ago was recently reacquainted with his long-lost gadget as a result of the severe drought. The tourist, surnamed Chen, shared the news on the Facebook group “Baofei Commune.” Chen says he took part in a stand up paddle board activity one year ago at Sun Moon Lake. Chen says that he fell into the water many times and on one of these occasions, while his attention was averted, the iPhone that was hung around his neck fell into the lake. Chen says that after he realized he had lost his phone he felt so dejected that he had no desire to continue paddle boarding. However, one year later Chen was astounded to receive a message from the paddle boarding company informing him that his phone had been found. Chen was shocked and overjoyed, calling it a miracle. Because Chen had placed the iPhone inside a waterproof protective case, not only had the phone not been damaged by water, but, after connecting the charging cable, Chen was able to turn it on and use the device as if nothing had happened. Chen was so surprised that he decided to share the experience on Facebook. The Nantou County Sun Moon Lake Water Tourism and Recreation Development Association has confirmed Chen’s account, stating that the lake’s water level has recently fallen significantly because of the severe drought. Water has drained out of the stand up paddle boarding recreation area, which necessitated the association to rearrange the rows of kickboards and canoes moored on floating docks on the shoreside sandbanks.
A: What an idiot I am! There’s nothing wrong with the air conditioner. It’s the remote that’s not working. B: Is the remote faulty, or are the batteries dead? A: I changed the batteries, but it’s still not doing anything. See, I bought this new one online. B: Wow, nice! And you even bought the right model! A: The seller was really patient, and told me exactly which model I needed to buy. But I think that remotes die so quickly, and you have no choice but to throw them away. It’s really not very environmentally friendly. A: 我真是豬頭啊，冷氣機根本沒壞，是遙控器壞了！ B: 遙控器到底是壞了，還是電池沒電？ A: 我換了電池還是沒反應。所以你看，我就上網買了這個新的遙控器！ B: 哇，厲害！虧你還買對了型號！ A: 那個賣家很有耐心，詳細告訴我買哪一支才是對的。不過我覺得遙控器動不動就壞，最後只能丟掉，真的很不環保。 （Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
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