Wang Dan to teach history
Wang Dan (王丹), one of the student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests, has been hired to teach cross-strait history in Taiwan’s National Chengchi University, a school official said. Wang will be a visiting scholar at the university from Aug. 1 to the end of February next year, Hsueh Hua-yuan (薛化元), dean of the school’s Graduate Institute of Taiwan History, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. Wang will teach a class on China and Taiwan in the 1950s, Hsueh said. Wang, 40, has been living in exile in the US since fleeing China after the Chinese army crushed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. He received a PhD from Harvard University last year and wrote a doctoral dissertation entitled: A Comparative Study of State Violence in Mainland China and Taiwan in the 1950s.
Volvo to recall sedans
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday demanded that Volvo Group recall all diesel sedan model XC70s sold before last August because its nitrogen oxide emissions exceed the national limit. The EPA said that whereas Article 5 of the Vehicular Air Pollutant Emission Standards (交通工具空氣污染物排放標準) states that nitrogen oxide emissions should not exceed 0.25g per kilogram, the Volvo XC70 emissions are at 0.28g per kilogram. This year’s XC70 model has passed EU emissions tests, the EPA said, however older versions sold from October 2007 to August last year — a total of 154 cars — have emissions that do not meet this standard and therefore should be recalled. Volvo will begin to contact the owners of the vehicles, the EPA said, adding that those contacted should cooperate with the company to help improve air quality.
Ma offers virtual tour
Anyone interested in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) day-to-day life can now log on to the Presidential Office Web site and Ma will give you a virtual tour of his office. As a part of efforts marking Ma’s first year in office, the Presidential Office on Wednesday posted a video featuring Ma offering the public a glimpse of the country’s center of power. During the 12-minute video, Ma shows viewers a bronze horse given to him by one of his supporters in Taipei, books that he recommends reading, Chinese calligraphy by Fu Shen (傅申) and Chang Ping-huang (張炳煌), paintings by a 228 victim’s family member, Liao De-cheng (廖德政), and works by physically challenged foot and mouth painter Yang En-dian (楊恩典). One of the photographs in the office that he particularly likes, Ma says, features him eating red bean cake, as his wife looks at him with a stern expression. Ma said her look is one that is familiar to him and that she must be thinking at that moment: “Why am I married to this man?”
AIT closed for holidays
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) will be closed on Monday (May 25) in observance of US Memorial Day and on Thursday next week in observance of the Dragon Boat Festival, the AIT said in a press release yesterday. All AIT sections and offices, including the Consular Section, Commercial Section, Agricultural Trade Office, American Cultural Center and AIT Kaohsiung branch office will be closed for the holidays, the press release said.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or