Taiwan severs ties with Dominica
March 30, 2004: Taiwan breaks off diplomatic ties with the Commonwealth of Dominica as the latter switches recognition to China. During the two-decade period of ties, Taiwan sent technical missions to help the island nation with its agricultural and aquaculture industries.
People First Party is born
March 31, 2000: James Soong (宋楚瑜) establishes the People First Party (PFP, 親民黨) and becomes its chairman after his failed bid to become Taiwan’s president. In 1999, Soong left the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) after losing the presidential nomination to then-vice president Lien Chan (連戰) and ran as an independent in the 2000 presidential elections.
In its early years, the PFP maintained a close but tense relationship with the KMT because the two parties competed for the same voters — with many Taiwan observers believing that Soong split pan-blue voters, thus handing Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) the 2000 election. However, the party’s influence shrank as its seats in the Legislative Yuan dwindled from 46 of 225 in 2001 to 3 out of 113 in 2012.
‘Mini three links’ extends to Penghu
March 31, 2007: The Mainland Affairs Council (大陸委員會) announces that residents of Taiwan’s outlying island of Penghu are allowed to cross the Taiwan Strait via Kinmen County or Matsu County starting the next day. Chinese tourists can visit Penghu using the same route. Cross-strait travel, known as the “small three links” (小三通), was established in January 2001. It opened the door for unrestricted travel between Kinmen, Matsu and Xiamen in China’s Fujian Province.
Taiwan’s first nuclear power plant beings operations
March 30, 1978: Taiwan’s first nuclear power plant, located in Shihmen District (石門), begins operation with a capacity of 636,000 kilowatts.
In July 2013, typhoon Soulik caused a trip in the generator and turbine of the power plant’s Unit 2, which was shut down for immediate repairs. In August, the power plant’s operator, state-run Taiwan Power Co, received a correction order from the Control Yuan because radioactive water was leaking from two spent fuel pools. In February of this year, news reports pointed to the possibility of the plant’s early shut down due to a lack of waste storage capacity. The plant is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2019.
Tourists killed in China
March 31, 1994: Twenty-four Taiwanese tourists and eight Chinese boat crew and guides are murdered during a robbery on a cruise of Qiandao Lake (千島湖) in China’s Zhejiang Province.
The Chinese government reportedly blocked information regarding its investigation, which triggered a public backlash in Taiwan. Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was president at the time, publicly called the Communist Party of China a bandit regime. Three suspects were found responsible for the crime and were sentenced to death.
Senior officers killed in military helicopter crash
April 3, 2007: An army UH-1H helicopter crashes during an air surveillance drill in a remote mountain region in what is today’s Greater Kaohsiung, killing all eight army officers onboard, most of them senior officers, including Brigade Chief Colonel Chen Min-tung (陳銘同).
Investigations later concluded human error to be the cause of the crash. The army later announced that chief officers and their deputies would no longer be allowed to travel in the same vehicle or aircraft at the same time.
Distinguished painter passes away
April2, 1983: Noted painter, collector and forger Chang Dai-chien (張大千) dies in Taipei at the age of 85. Considered one of the greatest Chinese artists of the 20th century, Chang’s Chinese landscape paintings enjoyed the same critical and commercial acclaim as his modern impressionist and expressionist works.
Trained in China and Japan, Chang left China in 1949 amid civil war. He traveled to various countries including Argentina, Brazil and the US. The meeting between Chang and Pablo Picasso in 1956 was viewed as a summit between masters of Eastern and Western art. Chang settled in Taipei in 1978. After his death, Chang’s home in Shilin District was donated to the National Palace Museum and has been preserved as a memorial.
Taiwan-made film pockets Japanese film award
March 30, 2013: Director Fu Tien-yu’s (傅天余) The Happy Life of Debbie (黛比的幸福生活) wins top honors at Japan’s Okinawa International Movie Festival. The film follows the life of an Indonesian woman, who leaves her hometown to start a new life with a Taiwanese veteran in Yunlin County. The award comes with a cash prize of 1 million yen (about NT$290,000).
March 31, 2013: Taiwan’s table tennis team finishes second in the men’s division at the World Team Classic (世界團體桌球經典賽) in Guangzhou, China. The main highlight of the contest comes in the second match of the final contest when Chen Chien-an (陳建安) defeats China’s Olympic gold medalist Zhang Jike (張繼科).
March 27 to April 2 After placing fifth in the 1964 Miss Universe pageant in Miami, “Miss China” Yu Yi (于儀) toured the US to great fanfare. The Chinese community in San Francisco called her the “pride of the Republic of China (ROC),” and she even received the key to New York City. Taiwan’s Miss China pageant produced three winners that year who performed on the international stage. Lin Su-hsin (林素幸), the second Taiwan-born Miss China, did even better, claiming third place in London’s Miss World. She says she was elated to see
Last week, the huge news broke that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would not host an open primary for its presidential nominee, but instead pick a candidate through a committee process. KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) sent forth a few polite meaningless words about party unity in making the announcement. There’s great commentary on this momentous move, so I will say only that for those of you who think the KMT will “never be that dumb,” I have three words for you: Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), the unelectable candidate the party chose for the 2016 presidential race. Criticism of the Democratic Progressive
The opportunity that brought Ming Turner (陳明惠) back to Taiwan a decade ago had an environmental theme, but since then, she admits, paying attention to environmental issues “hasn’t really been my thing.” Turner, who attended graduate school in the UK, initially returned to curate an event in Kaohsiung’s Cijin District (旗津), not far from where she grew up. Some years after she and her husband decided they’d stay in Taiwan, they moved to Tainan’s Annan District (安南) with their two young children. Turner is now an associate professor in the Institute of Creative Industries Design and director of visual and performance
Among the many atrocities committed by the Japanese during World War II, the Sook Ching massacre was notable for the involvement of Taiwanese. Having captured Singapore in February 1942, the Japanese army and its accomplices killed at least 25,000 Chinese. Prominent among the invaders’ henchmen was Wee Twee Kim (Huang Duijin, 黃堆金), an interpreter-turned-enforcer who — as this riveting new book reveals — was one of many Taiwanese participants in abuses against overseas Chinese, Allied POWS and local civilians. As an employee of the Japanese Southern Asian Company, Wee had been posted to Singapore in 1917. He started out managing Chinese