Thu, Dec 09, 2021
The US “will take every action” in diplomacy and deterrence to prevent the forcible unification of Taiwan by China in concurrence with a hypothetical Russian invasion of Ukraine, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday. Sullivan made the comment at a White House news conference following a teleconference between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier that day over the military standoff between Russia and Ukraine. A reporter asked: “Some observers have described a nightmare scenario where President Putin invades Ukraine and also, simultaneously, President Xi [Jinping, 習近平] uses force to ‘reunify’ Taiwan with China. Is the US prepared to deal with such a scenario?” “The United States is going to take every action that we can take, from the point of view of both deterrence and diplomacy, to make sure that the Taiwan scenario you just described never happens and to try to avert the invasion and deter the invasion into Ukraine,” Sullivan said. “The sum total of the efforts we have undertaken over the course of the past eight months in the Indo-Pacific have also all been geared towards avoiding any kind of scenario where China chooses to invade,” he said. Biden and Putin were still far apart after their two hours of talks on a crisis caused by Moscow massing of tens of thousands of troops near the border with Ukraine. Biden delivered a simple message: Invade Ukraine again and face painful sanctions that will do resounding harm to your economy. Putin had his own blunt take, telling the US president that “the Russian troops are on their own territory, and they don’t threaten anyone,” said Yuri Ushakov, who advises Putin on foreign affairs. With no immediate breakthrough to ease tensions on the Ukraine question, the US emphasized a need for diplomacy and de-escalation, while issuing stern threats to Russia
CHINA TARGETED: The NDAA includes US$7.1bn for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and a ban on the procurement of products produced with forced labor US lawmakers included a statement of support for the defense of Taiwan in efforts to push back against China in a massive annual defense bill released on Tuesday that included a proposal for US$300 million to help Ukraine’s military. The fiscal 2022 US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes US$770 billion in military spending, US$25 billion more than requested by US President Joe Biden and about 5 percent more than last year’s budget. The bill — the result of intense negotiations in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate — includes a 2.7 percent pay increase for troops, and more aircraft and navy ship purchases, in addition to strategies for dealing with geopolitical threats. On China, the bill includes US$7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and a statement of congressional support for the defense of Taiwan, as well as a ban on the US Department of Defense procuring products produced with forced labor from China’s Xinjiang region. The US has labeled China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang as genocide and lawmakers have been pushing a ban on imports of products made with forced labor from Uighurs. China dismisses the genocide charge as a slanderous assertion about conditions in Xinjiang. The compromise NDAA omits a proposal to require women to register for the military draft that was included in earlier versions. It includes an overhaul of the military justice system to take decisions on whether to prosecute cases of rape, sexual assault and some other major crimes out of the hands of military commanders. The NDAA normally passes with strong bipartisan support, and the House of Representatives backed the compromise measure by 363-70 later on Tuesday. The bill is closely watched by a broad swath of industry and other interests because of its wide scope and because it is one of the only major
Taiwan’s solar and wind energy installations would generate revenue of more than NT$2 trillion (US$72.09 billion) and create 160,000 jobs by 2025, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, reiterating the nation’s resolve to energy transition. Tsai made the remarks at the opening of the three-day Energy Taiwan exposition at the Nangang Exhibition Center’s Hall 2 in Taipei. Exports of Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturing facilities in the third quarter exceeded US$7.3 billion, making it the biggest market in the region, Tsai said, citing Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International data. The booming semiconductor industry is increasing demand for green power, while the government is committed to expanding the green energy industry, she said. By 2025, the nation’s wind and solar power installations would create investments of up to NT$1.7 trillion, revenue of more than NT$2 trillion and 160,000 jobs, Tsai said. “The UK is supporting Taiwan in its energy transition,” British Representative to Taiwan John Dennis said at the British pavilion later. “We are partnering with Taiwan to turbocharge its offshore wind sector and become the regional leader in clean growth.” “Now, Taiwan is the UK’s largest offshore wind market in Asia-Pacific,” Dennis said. “I would like to congratulate the Bureau of Energy and the Ministry of Economic Affairs on their third round offshore wind development plan, and their target to achieve 20.5 gigawatts in capacity by 2035.” Taiwan, although it was not part of the COP26 negotiations, has an important role to play, as it is the world’s 21st-largest economy and a top-25 emitter of carbon dioxide, he said. The envoy also welcomed Taiwan’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050 and its plan to legislate a carbon pricing scheme. “The UK’s credit agency ... has provided more than ￡500 million [US$659.78 million] in credit guarantees to three offshore wind farms in Taiwan,” he said. It is the first time that the British
People in the top three priority groups and the seventh priority group for COVID-19 vaccination are required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. A policy announced by the CECC on Sunday requires staff at 24 types of establishments supervised by the education, economics, labor, and health and welfare ministries to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), deputy head of the CECC, yesterday said the vaccination requirement has been expanded to include people in the top three and the seventh priority groups, and also workers at correctional facilities and funeral service providers. The four priority groups are workers who maintain the nation’s healthcare capacity, disease prevention capacity, national security and normal social function, as well as people who work in environments with a high risk of infection. As people must have had two vaccine doses for more than 14 days to be considered “fully vaccinated,” people who are subject to the policy should get their second dose no later than Friday next week, the CECC said. New employees must provide a negative COVID-19 test result from either an antigen rapid test, an at-home rapid test or a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within three days of the first day of work after the deadline, Chen said. People who have recovered from COVID-19 and have a “Notice for Release From Isolation Treatment” issued within three months of the deadline would not need to provide a vaccination record, but new employees who have recovered from an infection would still need to provide a negative PCR test result, he said. People who have a vaccine exemption or cannot get vaccinated due to personal reasons must be tested every week, he said. A total of 193,419 vaccine doses were administered on Tuesday, bringing the nation’s
Olaf Scholz yesterday became Germany’s ninth post-World War II chancellor, opening a new era for the EU’s most populous nation and largest economy after Angela Merkel’s 16-year tenure. Scholz’s government takes office with high hopes of modernizing Germany and combating climate change, but faces the immediate challenge of handling the country’s toughest phase yet of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers voted 395-303 to elect Scholz, with six abstentions — a comfortable majority, although short of the 416 seats his three-party coalition holds in the 736-seat lower house of parliament. That is not unusual when chancellors are elected and some lawmakers were out sick. Scholz exchanged fist bumps with lawmakers from across the political spectrum before German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier formally appointed him as chancellor. He was sworn in by German Parliament President Barbel Bas later yesterday. Merkel, who is no longer a member of parliament, looked on from the spectators’ gallery as parliament voted. Lawmakers gave her a standing ovation as the session started. World leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin to French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen extended their congratulations to Scholz. Putin wants “constructive ties” with Scholz and hopes for continuity in relations between the two countries, the Kremlin said. “We are counting on continuity, on the fact that constructive relations will develop between the president and the new chancellor, that the German side will continue to proceed from the understanding that there is no alternative to dialogue to resolve the most difficult differences,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Scholz, 63, leads a coalition of his Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Free Democratic Party. “We are venturing a new departure, one that takes up the major challenges of this decade and well beyond that,” Scholz said on Tuesday.
‘MORALLY JUSTIFIABLE’: Mark Clifford, president of the UK-based Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong, said global leaders had been ‘shown the way’ by the US China has reacted angrily to the US government’s diplomatic boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics, as more nations said they would consider joining the protest over Beijing’s human rights record and New Zealand announced that it would not send representatives to the Games. Chinese officials dismissed Washington’s boycott as “posturing and political manipulation,” and tried to discredit the decision by claiming that US diplomats had not even been invited to Beijing. The White House on Monday said that it would not send any official or diplomatic representatives to the Winter Games and Paralympics in February, “given the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China’s] ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.” “The athletes on Team USA have our full support,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. “We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games.” New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson yesterday confirmed that his nation would not send diplomatic representatives at a ministerial level. Robertson cited COVID-19 as the primary reason, “but we’ve made clear to China on numerous occasions our concerns about human rights issues,” he said. In Taipei, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) yesterday told a news briefing that the government understands and respects Washington’s decision to boycott the Games. The government is still collecting information about the issue and would convene an interagency meeting before responding to the boycott, she said. Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) gave a similar response, adding that the government would protect athletes’ rights to compete at the Games and provide them with all the necessary assistance. The UK, Canada and Australia have said they are considering their positions, while Lithuania, which is facing trade and diplomatic hostilities from China over its growing relationship with
Taiwan and the US have established a new bilateral cooperation framework to develop commercial programs and strengthen critical technology supply chains. Called the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration (TTIC), it is also to focus on promoting a two-way investment environment, studying industry trends, and exploring new opportunities and investment in the US market, a US Department of Commerce news release said. The two sides are to designate representatives at the bureau level to plan and convene the first meeting of the TTIC in the coming months, the statement said, while providing few other details about the framework’s functions. Taiwan and the US already communicate on economic issues through two other high-level bilateral economic dialogue platforms — the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and the US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue. The forming of the mechanism was announced during an online meeting between Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo early yesterday. During the meeting, Raimondo reiterated Washington’s support for Taipei, and the importance of the bilateral US-Taiwan commercial and investment relationship. She also expressed the US’ continued interest in working together with Taiwan on issues of common commercial concern, particularly in the area of semiconductor supply chains and related ecosystems, the statement said. The US has repeatedly pressed Taiwan, as a major chip producer, to do more to help resolve a global shortage of semiconductors, which has shuttered some auto production lines and impacted consumer goods. Taiwan says it is doing all it can to help. Taiwan and the US are long-term and reliable supply chain partners, Wang said. The new framework would help Taiwanese and US companies work closer to promote two-way investment and trade to further deepen the already strong relations between the two nations, Wang was quoted as saying in a statement. Taiwan also hopes to further work with the US on
HIGH DEMAND: Personnel at a vaccination site who had an undocumented migrant arrested might have misunderstood the new rules, a deputy minister said A temporary vaccination center offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Taipei Railway Station would remain in service until Sunday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, extending the deadline from today. The temporary site was opened on Sunday to bolster the nation’s vaccination coverage, allowing eligible recipients to directly get vaccinated on site without an appointment. Vaccine recipients are also offered a NT$100 gift voucher to be spent at Pxmart supermarket outlets. People formed long lines in the station’s main hall on the first day of the center’s opening, prompting the CECC to deploy more healthcare personnel. Two extra vaccination sites were set up in the main hall on Monday due to high demand. Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), who is deputy head of the CECC, said 2,814 doses were administered at the temporary site on Tuesday and a total of 5,623 doses had been administered since Sunday. As more people than expected turned out for vaccination, the CECC extended the site’s service period to Sunday, he said, adding that operating hours are from 1pm to 8pm. All people in Taiwan, regardless of nationality, can get vaccinated if they meet the eligibility criteria, and a small gift would continue to be offered to the recipients, Chen said. On Monday, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said migrant workers who have overstayed their visas would not be turned over to the police when they show up for COVID-19 vaccination, encouraging them to get vaccinated. However, local media on Tuesday reported that an undocumented migrant worker was asked to turn herself in and pay a fine, and was later arrested by police after going to a public health center in Hsinchu County’s Sinfeng Township (新豐) for vaccination. Chen Tsung-yen yesterday said medical personnel at the Hsinchu site might have misunderstood
SHOPPING SEASON: The airport’s cargo volume has posted double-digit percentage growth since July last year before plateauing in October, a director from TIAC said Cargo volume at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport from January to October rose 23.3 percent annually to reach 2.32 million tonnes thanks to booming exports of electronic products and increased consumption in the holiday season, Taiwan International Airport Corp (TIAC) said on Tuesday. The airport ranked No. 2 in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of cargo growth over the period, TIAC Property Development Department director Tom Chen (陳慶隆) said. The facility is expected to process a total of 2.8 million tonnes of cargo this year, which would be an increase of 20 percent compared with last year. The airport’s cargo volume has registered double-digit percentage growth since July last year, Chen said. However, growth has plateaued since October, with the airport processing about 240,000 tonnes of cargo per month, he added. “Christmas and Lunar New Year holidays are traditionally peak shopping times. Moreover, surging exports of electronic products also boosted the amount of air cargo handled at the airport. We expect that imports and exports of air cargo will continue to grow until the first quarter of next year,” Chen said. Some businesses have begun to transport heavier or bulkier goods, such as bathtubs, spinning bikes and tiles, via air freight, he said. “Many businesses have switched to air transport as the global supply chain has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Congestion at seaports around the world and a container shortage have also led to high demand for air cargo services,” Chen said. “Even though transport fees could be higher than prices of the goods delivered, businesses would prefer to fulfill terms of their contracts and deliver goods via air transport, even though this means they would sustain financial losses,” he said. Prior to the pandemic, air freight fees were about 12 times those of sea freight, he said, adding that it is now about three
The coast guard has warned vessels sailing in waters off eastern Taiwan to beware of floating volcanic rocks from the Japan-controlled Ogasawara Islands following an undersea eruption in the western Pacific Ocean island chain in August. The pumices have been spotted floating along the coast of Hualien County from Shihtiping (石梯坪) to Cisingtan Beach (七星潭), with the largest of them the size of a tennis ball, Coast Guard officer Yang Shih-feng (楊仕逢) of the East Branch of the Coast Guard Administration said yesterday. The rocks float on water because of their porous nature, and while some are as a big as a tennis ball, most of them are the size of pebbles and are easily sucked into ships’ engines, potentially causing substantial damage, Yang added. There were no signs that the volcanic rocks have damaged the environment in Hualien, Yang said, urging people to report sightings of the rocks to local authorities and reminding boats in the region to be vigilant. Pumice is volcanic rock that is produced when lava with a high content of water and gases is discharged from a volcano, and then cools and hardens, resulting in a very light rock material filled with tiny bubbles of gas. At the end of last month, government agencies were notified that the volcanic rocks had drifted into 16 coastal areas in Pingtung and Taitung counties, as well as Taitung County’s Green Island (綠島) and Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼), Yang said. The agencies said that the pumices originated from an undersea volcanic eruption in the middle of August in the Ogasawaras, also known as the Bonin Islands, a chain of volcanic islands about 2,000km east-northeast of Taipei.
A special exhibition on Fort Zeelandia showcasing the reconstruction of the Dutch fortified town opened at National Cheng Kung University Museum in Tainan on Tuesday. Lead researcher Huang En-yu (黃恩宇), who is an assistant professor of architecture at the university, said the five-year investigation is part of a broader academic project to mark the 400th year of Zeelandia’s founding in 2024. The present-day historical site in Tainan’s Anping District (安平) was only a part of the fortress and township established by the Dutch East India Company in 1624, bringing Taiwan into the international trade system, he said. The research team used a wide array of documents and records to recreate the layout of Fort Zealandia with a fidelity of more than 80 percent, he said. Historical documents used in the reconstruction include the 1643 Estate Registers of Zeelandia, which was discovered in manuscript form by Dutch researcher Menno Leenstra; Diary of Fort Zealandia; The East India Report; Resolutions of the Council of Tayouan; and Correspondences of the Governor of Formosa and the Governor-General of Batavia. The material was cross-referenced with cadastral and topographical maps of the region compiled by the later Japanese colonial authorities, he said. The works on city planning and military engineering by 17th-century Dutch polymath Simon Stevin provided valuable insights for imagining parts of the fort that lacked documentation in the archives, he said. The multimedia exhibit showcases a scale model of the fort, video presentation and copies of primary source documents that were utilized by the research team, in addition to other materials that contextualize Fort Zeelandia’s role in global commerce at the time, he said. The exhibit is to run until Sept. 30 next year.
A photography exhibition on the Holocaust, which opened at the Control Yuan yesterday, focuses on the harm of racial discrimination and the importance of defending human rights, the National Human Rights Commission has said. One of a series of events being held by the commission ahead of Human Rights Day on Friday, the exhibition — titled “Shoah: How was it humanly possible?” — features 18 images reproduced from the photograph collection of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, about the genocide of European Jews from 1933 to 1945. Speaking about the motivation behind the show, Control Yuan President and commission Chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊) said that yesterday marked the 80th anniversary of the start of Nazi Germany’s extermination campaign at the Chelmno extermination camp, where poison gas was used to kill hundreds of thousands of people. Historical sites of injustice, such as the extermination camp, bear testimony to the “darkest time in human history” and provide venues where younger generations can learn from history and its lessons, Chen said. The exhibition, which runs until Dec. 22, serves to remind people that this cruel history must not be repeated, she said. About 192,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel, but soon most of them will be too old to tell their experiences in person, Israeli Representative to Taiwan Omer Caspi said. For that reason, it is critical that their accounts are preserved and passed on to future generations, he said. The Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei has in particular promoted Holocaust remembrance and education in Taiwan, Caspi said. “We are devoted to telling the story of those who perished and those who survived,” he added. The office represents Israel’s interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
GREEN LIGHT? Chunghwa Post Department of Human Resources director Cheng Chih-neng said the company can give the 4 percent raise if its board approves Chunghwa Post employees are to receive a 4 percent pay raise next year, like other government workers, the company said yesterday. The pay increase — the largest in 25 years — applies to all government workers and takes effect on Jan. 1, the Executive Yuan said on Oct. 28. “Employees of Chunghwa Post — a state-run corporation — are ‘quasi-civil servants,’ so the pay raise applies as well to postal workers,” Chunghwa Post chairman Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) told a media luncheon. The company spends about NT$33 billion (US$1.19 billion) per year on personnel, Chunghwa Post president Chiang Jui-tang (江瑞堂) told reporters, adding that the pay hike would increase those costs by NT$1 billion. Employees in non-managerial positions received pay increases in July, with the salaries of office workers increased by NT$4,850 per month and those in the field by NT$2,494 per month, he said. The 4 percent raise would increase the salaries of entry-level workers by an additional NT$1,400 to NT$2,000 per month, Department of Human Resources director Cheng Chih-neng (鄭至能) said. The company can only implement the 4 percent raise if its board approves it in a meeting at the end of this month, Cheng said. The company said that it has earned substantial profits from stock investments this year. As of October, the company had earned NT$11.2 billion from stock trades, it said, adding that it mainly invests in electronic and financial stocks. “Savings account holders have NT$7.45 trillion in deposits in the company. After subtracting a required reserve fund and funds at the central bank, we put the remaining funds mainly in low-risk investments, which help generate fixed income. As stock trading has its risks, we limit the funds invested in the stock market to between NT$120 billion and NT$150 billion each year,” Department of Capital Operations director Lu Wen-wei (呂文偉) said. Appreciation of the
COOPERATION: The Hsinchu Science Park Administration Bureau said it signed an MOU with Technical University of Kosice to boost personnel and technical exchanges A Slovak delegation yesterday visited agencies affiliated with the Ministry of Science and Technology at the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區) and signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs). Led by Slovak Second State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy Karol Galek, the 43-person delegation arrived in Taiwan on Sunday. On Monday, the group attended the first session of the Taiwanese-Slovak Commission on Economic Cooperation hosted by National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) and a dinner hosted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮). On Tuesday, Galek took a group of 13 people to meet with Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠), who expected that Taiwan and Slovakia would expand cooperation on quantum technology research, the science ministry said. The Executive Yuan on Thursday last week announced a plan to allocate NT$8 billion (US$288.37 million) over the next five years to the development of quantum technology and talent, which would involve the science ministry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Academia Sinica, it said. During his trip to Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania in October, Wu Tsung-tsong visited the Slovak Academy of Sciences and met with the academy’s Research Center for Quantum Information head Vladimir Buzek, who demonstrated the EU’s first quantum communications network, between Vienna and Bratislava, it said. Department of Engineering and Technologies Director-General Li Chih-peng (李志鵬) on Tuesday briefed the delegation on Taiwan’s experiences in developing its semiconductor industry, it added. Yesterday, the delegation visited agencies affiliated with the science ministry: the Hsinchu Science Park Administration Bureau, the National Space Organization (NSPO) and the Taiwan Semiconductors Research Institute at the science park. They were received by Hsinchu Science Park Administration Bureau Director Wayne Wang (王永壯) and Acting National Applied Research Laboratories President Lin Bou-wen (林博文). During a meeting at the science park, Galek said that Taiwan’s electronics industry is a global leader and
Pan-green camp politicians yesterday joined human rights advocates in calling on the government to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, while announcing that they would hold a “Boycott Beijing 2022” march in Taipei tomorrow. The march would start at 10am in front of the Bank of China office building on Songren Road near the Taipei City Government offices in Xinyi District (信義) and end at Taipei 101, they told a media briefing outside the Legislative Yuan. Taiwan has a pivotal role in protecting human rights and freedom in the Asia-Pacific region, said independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐), who led the event. Citing China’s increased oppression of ethnic minority groups, Lim said: “The Tibetan and Uighur peoples, as well those in Hong Kong, have placed their hope in Taiwan.” “International communities have voiced concern, and are planning a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics... Taiwan must be involved, we cannot stay out of this movement,” he said. Lim said that he had recently had an online conversation with US NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom, who has spoken out about labor camps, torture and the forced sterilization of Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang region, as well as Beijing’s treatment of Tibetans and Hong Kongers. Together with critics of China, Freedom is leading a drive to boycott the Winter Games in Beijing. “After the COVID-19 situation subsides, we hope to invite him for a visit, to organize an international summit meeting on human rights issues,” Lim said. DPP Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) spoke about the plight of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai (彭帥) and China’s “genocide policies,” saying that they have caused Uighur women “untold suffering and pain.” “China’s actions are like that of Nazi Germany,” she said, comparing the Beijing Games with the 1936 Berlin Games. Australia, Lithuania and the US and have announced diplomatic boycotts of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Fan said. “Tibetans are
The Central Election Commission’s (CEC) Taichung branch yesterday held a draw to determine the number each candidate would be assigned on the ballot in the legislative by-election for city’s second electoral district on Jan. 9. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nominee Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) drew No. 4, while Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) nominee Yen Kuan-heng (顏寬恆) drew No. 5. Taiwan Stock Investors’ Party candidate Chang Chiung-chun (張 ?春) drew No. 1, while two independent candidates, Lin Chin-lien (林金連) and Lee Sheng-han (李昇翰) drew No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. The winner of the by-election would fill the seat left vacant after former Taiwan Statebuilding Party legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) was ousted in a recall vote on Oct. 23. Taichung’s second electoral district encompasses Dadu (大肚), Shalu (沙鹿), Longjing (龍井), Wufong (霧峰) and Wurih (烏日) districts. Yen was accompanied to the election commission branch by his supporters, including his sister Yen Li-min (顏莉敏), who is deputy council speaker of the Taichung City Council, and other city councilors from the pan-blue camp. Supporters were also there to cheer for Lin, including Chen Po-wei, former Taichung mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and DPP city councilors. Speaking to reporters, Lin Chia-lung urged officials to crack down on alleged vote-buying, and stop illegal betting by underground gambling pools, which have been known to affect the outcome of local elections. “We call on local residents to look out for these contraventions of election regulations, and to report any illegal activity to the authorities,” he said. “If we can put a stop to the buying of votes — to money distributed at the neighborhood level — then we are confident that Lin Ching-yi can win this election,” he said. Yen has fought back against allegations that his campaign provided buffet-style meals at events to “buy votes.” City councilors had accused him of providing meals that exceeded the free gift limit
RISING INSTALLATIONS: TSEC and Motech expect the growth momentum to extend into next year, with both firms planning capacity increases to cope with demand Solar cell and module supplier TSEC Corp (元晶) yesterday gave a robust outlook for this quarter, with an order backlog that would take at least two quarters to digest. The company, based in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店), said it has started taking orders for delivery in the third quarter of next year, as its production lines are fully booked. This should help TSEC swing back to the black this quarter and help offset losses of NT$198.69 million (US$7.16 million) in the first three quarters, company spokesman Henry Chiang (江郅豪) told a media briefing in Taipei. “Both shipments and prices are on the rise in the fourth quarter. We have a chance to eke out a profit for the full year,” Chiang said. “Revenue this month should remain at the same high level as that of November.” TSEC expects the improvement in profitability to extend into next year, thanks to falling raw material costs and a surge in solar module demand in the domestic market. The company expects solar panel installations in the nation to climb to more than 11 gigawatts (GW) next year, suggesting an increase of more than 3GW. “There is a lot of catch-up to do next year, as installations this year have been slow due to the COVID-19 outbreak and raw material shortages,” Chiang said. By the end of this year, Taiwan’s solar energy installation is estimated to reach 7GW, less than half of the government’s 20GW target by 2025. To satisfy customer demand next year, TSEC is investing NT$1 billion to build a new solar cell line and solar module line next year to make larger solar modules, Chiang said. That would increase its solar cell and module capacity to 1.5GW next year from 1GW this year, after new M6 (166mm2) and M10 (182mm2) solar cells enter production next
Entegris Inc, a supplier of advanced materials and process solutions for the semiconductor and other high-technology industries, yesterday said that it is expanding its investment in a new advanced manufacturing facility in Kaohsiung to about US$500 million over the next three years. The investment is more than double the US$200 million the US firm announced in December last year. The new facility at the Southern Taiwan Science Park’s (南部科學工業園) Kaohsiung section in Lujhu District (路竹) would cover 54,000m2, up from the originally planned 27,000m2, it said in a statement. EXPANDING WORKFORCE Entegris expects to hire about 100 new employees next year to add to its existing workforce of more than 300. The new facility is expected to generate about US$500 million in annual revenue when fully operational, it said. “This expansion of our manufacturing presence demonstrates our commitment to Taiwan and to supporting the continued growth of Taiwan’s semiconductor ecosystem,” Entegris president and CEO Bertrand Loy said in the statement. While the new facility would support all three of the company’s divisions, the lead tenant would be Entegris’ microcontamination control business, the statement said. Customer qualifications are expected to take place toward the end of next year or early 2023, with the first liquid filtration solutions expected to be sold in the first half of 2023. The Kaohsiung facility — the company’s largest global manufacturing site — would be supported by the expanded Taiwan Technology Center for Research and Development in Hsinchu, Entegris’ largest and most active research and development center. TECH CENTER The company is investing about US$11 million in the technology center, increasing its size from about 730m2 to 1,740m2. Engineers at the manufacturing facility and technology center would collaborate closely with customers to ensure continued alignment and support their evolving needs, it said. “Growing our capabilities in Taiwan will further position Entegris to respond to
The central bank is expected to tighten selective credit controls for a third time at its quarterly meeting next week, as the property market continues to heat up, the chief economists at Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) and SinoPac Financial Holdings Co (永豐金控) said yesterday. Rising housing prices are a greater concern for the bank, taking precedence over inflation or the New Taiwan dollar’s exchange rate, Cathay United Bank chief economist Lin Chi-chao (林啟超) told a meeting in Taipei. “Surging housing prices have prompted widespread criticism, with mortgages and construction loans combined hitting a record NT$11 trillion [US$396.51 billion], about 54 percent of Taiwan’s GDP. The bank is likely to strengthen credit controls further to address these phenomena,” Lin said. The credit controls are forecast to remain in effect for one more year, and they would only become more stringent, he added. SinoPac Financial chief economist Jack Huang (黃蔭基) agreed, saying that the central bank is expected to maintain benchmark interest rates unchanged, but might tighten its grip on mortgages at its quarterly policymaking meeting on Thursday next week. SinoPac Financial is sticking to its forecast that the central bank would not hike benchmark rates until the fourth quarter of next year, Huang said. However, the central bank should raise interest rates sooner, as rising inflation would slow consumption, he said. The central bank implemented selective credit controls in December last year and added new measures in March and September to cap the loan-to-value ratio and bar banks from granting grace periods to buyers of a second house in several major cities. Rising inflation worldwide is not likely to ease soon, as it is partly caused by high shipping rates amid congestion at global ports, which might persist in the near term, Lin said. The central bank might raise interest rates by 25 basis points in the second
During the Global Views Leaders Forum in Taipei on Tuesday, the host asked the participants — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) — about their presidential aspirations, and whether they might stand in the 2024 presidential election. All three mayors dodged the question, as politicians always do, although you could not blame the host for asking. Ko had been expected to stand last year, and both Hou and Cheng are popular mayors. Hou, in particular, is seen as a rising star in a party lacking obvious candidates in its next generation of potential leaders and, certainly with the debate over the referendums on Saturday next week, he has distanced himself from, or at least not umbilically tied himself to, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) stance espoused by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) regarding restarting construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮). If Ko is thinking about a presidential run in three years’ time, his involvement in, and performance at, the Taipei-Shanghai forum held virtually on Wednesday last week showed him to be a less deft hand than Hou. In the opening speeches at the forum, Ko said that “conducting exchanges is better than disrupting exchanges,” that “dialogue is better than confrontation,” and that “rapport is better than animosity.” It is difficult to argue with those sentiments. Unfortunately for Ko, his counterpart in China, Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng (龔正), made clear his own agenda for the forum when he spoke of how “We on both sides of the Taiwan Strait ... are all Chinese,” “people on both sides of the Strait are one family,” and “we also expect our two cities to compose a new chapter of mutual cooperation and jointly
A question from a lawmaker about his “personal experience” at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee prompted central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) to suggest that young people should consider renting a home until they can afford to purchase one. There is nothing wrong with Yang’s advice, but in 1993, when Yang was a 40-year-old first-time home buyer, newly constructed houses in Taipei cost NT$300,000 per ping (3.3m2), while pre-owned houses were NT$200,000 per ping. Newly constructed houses in Taipei County — now New Taipei City — cost about NT$100,000 per ping. At that time in Taiwan, the average family could expect an income of more than NT$70,000 per month, while the house-price-to-income ratio was consistently less than 10 times annual salary, global housing price indices show. Across the nation, the house-price-to-income ratio was about 4.86 times annual income, while in Taipei the figure was 8.03. Today, the national house-price-to-income ratio is 9.07, while the ratio in Taipei is 15.79. In other words, a young person today will have twice as much difficulty buying a home than Yang did in 1993. Worse still, workers’ earnings have lost value in real terms over the past 16 years. Realtors are fond of saying that housing prices in Taiwan are still lower than in Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong or Singapore, predicting that property values have room to rise further. However, people in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong have access to a large supply of government housing, which means that the house-price-to-income ratio in these areas is actually lower than in Taiwan. Taiwan is experiencing a rebound in housing prices related to demand by real-estate investors and owner-occupier purchasers caused by loose monetary policies at a global level, as well as low interest rates and the return of Taiwanese businesspeople from China. However, irrationally soaring housing prices
On Sunday, a 43-member Slovak delegation led by Slovak Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Karol Galek arrived in Taiwan to discuss strategies to enhance economic cooperation between Bratislava and Taipei. This reciprocal visit comes after the signing of seven memorandums of understanding (MOUs) during a visit by a National Development Council delegation to Slovakia in October. Following the recently concluded visit of parliamentarians from the Baltic countries, this is another delegation from central eastern Europe, arguably the most supportive of Taiwan’s quest to expand its international space. Baltic lawmakers, while underlining their commitment to strengthen ties with Taiwan, showed their defiance of repeated intimidation from Beijing. Notably, calls for the pursuit of closer ties with Taiwan are resounding not only in eastern Europe. Last month, the Dutch House of Representatives adopted a motion in support of Taiwan’s participation in the International Criminal Police Organization. Amsterdam’s support for Taipei was cemented with two pro-Taiwan resolutions passed to urge the Dutch government to express its disapproval of Beijing’s unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait and to push for the EU’s support for Lithuania, which has been amply resolute in its support for Taiwan, despite Beijing’s protests and diplomatic downgrading of ties with Vilnius. Importantly, even in countries that remain heavily dependent on China economically, elected officials have taken the initiative to support Taiwan. Germany and Ireland serve as cases in point. On Wednesday last week, the Irish Senate passed a resolution calling on the Irish government to forge relations with Taiwan, while condemning actions used to isolate Taiwan’s engagement with international organizations. In Germany, a new positive momentum for relations with Taipei was brought about by the formation of a new coalition government, which vowed to support “the relevant participation of democratic Taiwan in international organizations” and asserted that a change in
HORROR START: Australia’s Mitchell Starc hit the base of Rory Burns’ leg-stump on the very first ball, and by the sixth over England were already sitting at 11-3 An insipid batting display lasting two sessions yesterday left England with a lot of catching up to do after a terrible start to their Ashes campaign against Australia. Barring the toss, hardly anything went right for captain Joe Root’s men in the Ashes opener at the Gabba in Brisbane, Australia, where they were dismantled for 147 on the opening day with rival captain Pat Cummins (5-38) leading the rout in his first match in charge. Even Root’s decision to bat at a venue where England have not won in 35 years backfired almost as soon as it had been made. The start could not have been more calamitous for the tourists, as Mitchell Starc fired a searing yorker at the base of England opener Rory Burns’ leg-stump. As England’s horror Ashes starts go, it ranks alongside Steve Harmison’s opening delivery of the 2006-2007 series, which was so wide it ended up at second slip. Getting safely through the first hour is a time-honored strategy for any batting side, but by the sixth over England were already gasping at 11-3. Root fell for one of the three ducks in the English innings, star all-rounder Ben Stokes’ return to action proved a low-key affair and an overall lack of intent blighted England’s batting. Jos Buttler’s counterattacking 39, while inadequate, provided a template for how to thwart Australia’s relentless pace attack complemented by their superb catching. It was a “disappointing start” for the visitors, conceded middle-order batsman Ollie Pope, whose 52-run stand with Buttler was the only significant partnership in England’s innings. “There was frustration that we haven’t been able to put on that big score that we wanted,” Pope said. “Obviously frustrated as a unit, but we’re not going to get too down.” “It’s a long tour, it’s a long series. Going to keep our spirits high, come fighting tomorrow,” he added. Even
It was not only the Australia bowlers who tore into England’s cricket team on the first day of the Ashes yesterday — the local police also got in on the act. The Queensland Police Service did not pass up the chance to poke fun at the demoralized England team “Queensland Police are launching an investigation into a group impersonating a Test batting order at the Gabba,” the force wrote on Twitter. England made a disastrous start to the hotly anticipated series, bowled out for 147 at the Gabba ground in Brisbane. They lost opener Rory Burns to the very first ball, and it hardly got any better after that. The police force had already shown that it was keenly watching the Test match, name-checking several of the Australian team when it provided a “traffic update” in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland state. “A large crowd for the first test so plan your Cummins and goings,” they wrote on Twitter, referring to Australian captain Pat Cummins. “We’d be Lyon if we said there’ll be nothing but Green lights near the Gabba. Don’t say we didn’t Warner,” they added, referencing David Warner and Nathan Lyon.
Atletico Madrid on Tuesday won a bad-tempered game against Porto to qualify for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League as Liverpool and Ajax completed the group stage with 100 percent records. Atletico, who lost to Real Madrid in the 2014 and 2016 finals, needed to beat Porto in Portugal to advance to the knockout phase, and they duly triumphed 3-1 in a game that featured three red cards. Antoine Griezmann put the Spanish champions ahead in the 56th minute at the Estadio do Dragao, but they then had Yannick Carrasco sent off for wrestling Otavio to the ground. With tempers flaring, Porto were also reduced to 10 men as Wendell was sent off for elbowing Atletico’s Matheus Cunha in the neck, before their substitute goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin also saw red. With Porto pushing forward in search of the draw they needed to qualify, Atletico got their second goal on the break in the last minute through Angel Correa before Rodrigo de Paul scored their third in injury-time. Sergio Oliveira’s penalty was a mere consolation for Porto. Atletico finished second in Group B, a huge 11 points behind group winners Liverpool, who made it six wins out of six in Europe this season by beating AC Milan 2-1 at the San Siro despite fielding a virtual reserve side. Milan had to win to stand a chance of going through, and they went ahead midway through the first half through Fikayo Tomori. Mohamed Salah did start for the visitors and he equalized in the 36th minute before Divock Origi — who scored a stoppage-time winner in the English Premier League at the weekend — made it 2-1 10 minutes into the second half, heading in after Sadio Mane’s shot was saved. “It’s an exceptional performance,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. “With that many changes, the boys have to
Red-faced, the two sumo wrestlers crashed together, grappling their way around the raised earthen ring until one pushed the other over the side. A typical scene in Japan’s traditional wrestling — except the loin-clothed wrestlers were 11 years old, each weighing more than many grown men. “I’m happy, really happy,” said victor Hisatsugu Sasaki, who even at 135kg still has a child’s treble voice. “I hope to become a professional sumo wrestler.” Sasaki and his opponent, Kyuta Kumagai — who weighs 90kg — are chasing the same dream. They want to turn professional, which at the top ranks, especially the highest rank called yokozuna, could bring them fortune and make them household names in Japan. Success depends on being taken into a sumo “stable,” where wrestlers live together and train, with some starting as young as their mid-teens. Sumo wrestlers are revered in Japan, but all aspects of their lives are heavily dictated by centuries of tradition. Occasionally, concerns arise over the weight they gain to compete. Medical studies show sumo wrestlers die younger compared with the general population, although this varies depending on whether they lose weight once their career is over. Kumagai’s coach, Shinichi Taira, said that he did not really know about the health impact of the weight gain on the young boys. Kumagai’s weight is slightly above average for boy sumo wrestlers his age, Taira added. The national Children’s Sumo Association has said that about 40,000 children from ages 10 to 12 take part in the sport, but not many plan to become professionals. Those who do, like Sasaki and Kumagai, work hard. Kumagai, whose family moved to an area of Tokyo known for sumo wrestling, showed promise from his first appearance in a kindergarten tournament. Sasaki, by contrast, has gained prominence more recently, Taira said. Towering over other boys at his Tokyo club, Kumagai trains six
HYPOCRISY? Downing Street denied having a Christmas party while the rest of the UK was in lockdown, but staff were filmed saying it ‘wasn’t a party ... it was cheese and wine’ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was yesterday under fire after a video emerged of his senior aides joking about holding a Christmas party at Downing Street last year when social gatherings were banned under COVID-19 rules. The government has been repeatedly accused of hypocrisy over breaches of lockdown rules and in a major scandal then-British secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock resigned in June after revelations that he broke COVID-19 restrictions during an affair with an aide. The video, obtained by broadcaster ITV News, shows then-Downing Street press secretary Allegra Stratton, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister Ed Oldfied and other staff joking about “a fictional party” during a rehearsal news conference on Dec. 22 last year, with no media present. In the leaked footage, Stratton is seen answering questions about a Downing Street Christmas party the previous Friday — when the alleged rule-breaking gathering took place. “This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced,” she laughs over joking exchanges about “cheese and wine.” At that time, London was under strict COVID-19 restrictions and indoor social gatherings of two or more people were banned. In response to the video, Downing Street said: “There was no Christmas party. COVID rules have been followed at all times.” Labour Party leader Keir Starmer blasted the government for its “shameful” actions at a time when the UK was under lockdown. “People across the country followed the rules, even when that meant being separated from loved ones. They had a right to expect the government was doing the same,” Starmer wrote on Twitter, with a link to the video. “To lie and to laugh about those lies is shameful. We have a Prime Minister who’s socially distanced from the truth,” he wrote. Scottish National Party leader Ian Blackford said that the prime minister could not be
With tensions still high along the India-China border, landlocked Bhutan is struggling to maintain its territory and keep both Asian powerhouses happy. As Bhutan prepares for border talks with Beijing, the Himalayan kingdom has told India that it would not recognize China’s claims to the Doklam plateau in the discussions, people familiar with the situation said. In 2017, India’s military intervened on Bhutan’s behalf to stop China from building a road in the disputed area overlooking a narrow strip of land that connects India’s northeastern states with the rest of the country. China has long offered Bhutan control of areas on their disputed northern border, which has been officially closed for decades, provided it hands over Doklam, the people said. In the past few years Beijing has stepped up pressure on Bhutan to resolve the issue, with satellite data collected by Indian intelligence and Bhutanese officials showing China has built military bases and entire villages in areas claimed by Bhutan, they said. However, Bhutan is wary of doing anything that could prompt it to get caught in the middle of a conflict between India and China, the people added. Bhutan plans to offer Beijing the prospect of eventual full diplomatic relations in return for demarcating the northern border, allowing it to sidestep the issue of Doklam while stopping Chinese encroachment in other areas, they said. It is unclear whether China would agree to that. Bhutan and China have “mechanisms for border talks and experts meeting,” a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said, adding that more discussions are planned after they agreed in October to a landmark road map to accelerate border talks. Territorial disputes between all three countries would be resolved through negotiations, the spokesman added. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Bhutanese embassy in New Delhi declined to comment on the substance
A photograph of a cube-like object captured by a Chinese rover on the far side of the moon has fanned speculation over what it could be and inspired a host of memes by Chinese Internet users. The Yutu-2 caught an image of what seems like a large cubic object on the horizon about 80m from its location, said Our Space, a Chinese government science Web site, citing the rover’s last log on Friday last week. Under the hashtag “Yutu’s latest discovery,” a series of Internet memes showed the rover rolling over the lunar plain toward a pair of obelisks, a tall monolith, and even a giant hammer and sickle — the symbol of the Chinese Communist Party. “It’s space junk left behind by the US,” one Chinese Internet user wrote in a social media post. “Get a bit closer, and you’d see it’s a nucleic acid test site for COVID-19,” another quipped. “It’s the home of aliens!” a third wrote in mock horror. Others suggested a more mundane possibility — it is just a boulder. The solar-powered Yutu, or “Jade Rabbit” in Chinese, could cover the distance of 80m in two to three lunar days, or two to three Earth months, Our Space said. The robotic rover has been operating in the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin since its deployment in January 2019. The mission was a historic first, with no other nation having landed on the far side of the moon until then.
Edward Greve orders all his meals in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese). If the server doesn’t understand, he’ll switch to English and then Mandarin as a last resort. But, he says, when a Taiwanese friend does the same, especially in Taipei, he’s often criticized for being vulgar or low-class. “[Hoklo] should be treated for what it is, but it really is discriminated against,” Greve, a US expat who goes by A-iong (阿勇), says. “As a foreigner, I don’t face that directly, but when I’m with people who speak Taiwanese, I see it.” A-iong is one of a growing number of social media content creators who are promoting Taiwan’s struggling non-Mandarin languages that were suppressed for decades by the government. While attitudes and policy are changing, stereotypes or the lack of resources make preserving these languages a challenge. YouTuber Tsao Chen-ying (曹辰瑩), has only been learning the little-known Matsu dialect of the Eastern Min (閩東) language for less than a year. Unaccustomed to speaking the language with young people, Tsao often has to remind the older people on the remote offshore islands not to revert to Mandarin in her videos, which also introduce Matsu culture. Umav Ispalakan’s Facebook page featuring Bunun language illustrations has become a conduit to present deeper issues such as cultural identity, Aboriginal rights and persistent stereotypes. “When you start learning your mother tongue, you will inevitably run into these issues,” she says. “Why are so many young people unable to speak them? That has a lot to do with our history … If we don’t look at it from a transitional justice or a decolonization perspective, it’s really hard to even scratch the surface of our people’s circumstances and their needs.” Neither three proclaim to be language teachers, but they hope that they can bring positive attention to these languages and serve
There are very few countries in the world where a cyclist can start at sea level in a sub-tropical climate and on the same day ascend to an alpine area. In central Taiwan, Nantou is the only land-locked county and is the most mountainous with access points to the famed “100 Peaks,” or those above 3,000m. As such, it also offers multiple options to get off road on a bicycle. On a Saturday morning, we leave Kaohsiung by car for the 2.5-hour drive to Renlun Forestry Road (人倫林道), the first and easier of the two routes we’ll ride. Junda Forestry Road (郡大林道), the second and by many degrees more difficult, will take us up to 2,800m in the clouds. DAY ONE — RENLUN The starting point is at the 80.5km marker on Provincial Highway No 21. (This road is also known as the “New Central Cross-Island Highway”). After parking the car and setting up the bikes the ride started at 9am. The first 7kms are sealed surface, but after that it becomes concrete and then gravel. This is the kind of surface most likely encountered on tertiary roads that date back to the era of logging during Japanese occupation (1895-1945). The only reason they are still maintained is to offer hikers access to the high mountains. Starting at an elevation of 400m, the road is steep at the beginning and passes several pig farms — the stench emanating from this area is guaranteed to make progress swift. It took three hours to reach the 17km mark where there is a gate manned by the Forestry Bureau. This is open from 7am to 5pm to allow transport for hikers through. A side gate allows hikers and cyclists to walk through at any time. As we ascend, we pass spectacular coniferous forests. There
A statue in the US Capitol honors Clio, the marmoreal muse of history. Floating above the political fray, she rides in a winged chariot that allegorically represents time and has a clock for its wheel. Looking over her shoulder as she writes in a stony ledger, she tracks events in serene retrospect. The journalists who nowadays report on happenings in Washington work at a more frantic, flustered tempo, racing to catch up with the chaos of breaking news. Jonathan Karl, a correspondent for ABC News, seems to be permanently breathless. In Betrayal, he runs for cover during an emergency lockdown at the White House, with grenades detonating in the distance. He is roused after midnight by the announcement of president Donald Trump’s COVID diagnosis; later, he has to rush to the hospital, ditch his car and scramble into place before the presidential helicopter lands on a strip of road that is suddenly “the centre of the broadcast universe.” And on Jan. 6 Karl keeps up a live commentary as the Capitol is invaded by a mob determined to lynch vice-president Mike Pence — reviled as a “pussy” by Trump because he refused to overturn Biden’s victory — on a makeshift gallows. The Capitol was designed as a classical temple consecrated to democracy, which is why Clio is at home there: picture the Parthenon on steroids, topped by the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica. In Betrayal, however, it is the set for a mock-heroic battle between thugs in horned helmets wielding fire extinguishers as weapons and politicians who prepare to fight back with ceremonial hammers torn from display cases and a sword left over from the civil war. Aghast and incredulous, Karl exhausts his supply of synonyms; this final act of the expiring Trump regime is nuts, weird, crazy, kooky and bonkers. CONSPIRACY
A: Have you got the lid off that jar yet? B: No, I can’t seem to move it. It’s stuck fast. It doesn’t matter how much I twist it, there’s absolutely no give. I give in. A: Give me a go. I think I’ve got a stronger grip than you. B: I’m not sure you do, but here, you’re welcome. Give it your best shot. A: 你打開罐子的蓋子了嗎？ B: 沒，我好像就是沒辦法打開。蓋子緊緊黏住了，不論我多用力扭，它就是紋風不動。我放棄。 A: 讓我來。我的握力應該比你強。 B: 我不確定哦。不過拿去，別客氣。你就好好試一下吧。 (Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯) Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
Give it your best shot (3/5) 你就好好試一下吧（三） A: Harry is getting married next month. B: To his new girlfriend? They haven’t been going out for more than a month, and they’re always arguing. A: Tell me about it. I don’t suppose the marriage will last. B: I don’t think it will, either. I give them six months at most. A: 哈利下個月要結婚了。 B: 跟他的新女友嗎？他們交往還不到一個月，而且一直在吵架。 A: 可不是嗎？我覺得他們的婚姻維持不了多久。 B: 我也這樣覺得。我猜頂多六個月吧。 (Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯)
The Mnet Asian Music Awards ceremony, known as MAMA, has become the most popular K-pop awards show worldwide in recent years. The 2021 MAMA, which will be broadcast through music TV channel Mnet, is set to take place on Saturday this week in Paju, South Korea. The Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10 Awards are currently led by supergroup BTS, which will be unable to perform at the show as planned after South Korea implemented a 10-day quarantine requirement on all travelers last week. Other performers will include Ed Sheeran and over a dozen K-pop sensations. Plus, after hit Korean boyband Wanna One disbanded in 2019, most of the 11 members will stage a one-night-only reunion performance at the show, with the exception of Taiwanese member Edward Lai. China has threatened to boycott the show again as Taiwan is listed as a “country” on the voting Web site’s user registration page for the event. The same incident also happened to the 2017 MAMA, which was held in Hong Kong, Japan and Vietnam. (Eddy Chang, Taipei Times) Mnet亞洲音樂大獎（簡稱「MAMA」）近年來成為全球最熱門韓流頒獎典禮，今年的「MAMA」由音樂電視台Mnet轉播，預計本週六將在南韓坡州登場。 在全球粉絲票選十大藝人的獎項方面，目前韓流天團防彈少年團（BTS）持續領先，但因南韓自上週起對所有入境旅客採取十天隔離措施，該團將無法照計畫出席並表演。本屆的表演嘉賓包括紅髮艾德，及十幾組韓流明星們。此外人氣男團Wanna One二○一九年解散後，除了台灣籍的成員賴冠霖以外，這次其他所有成員將為了「MAMA」合體演出。 然而中國則威脅將再次抵制「MAMA」，因為在該活動投票網站的註冊頁面上，國家選項中包括台灣。類似抵制事件亦曾發生在二○一七年，該屆頒獎典禮在香港、日本、越南三地共同舉辦。 （台北時報張聖恩〉
|New Taipei City||18-23||10%|