Warning aircraft returned
Two early warning aircraft that were sent to the US in June last year for upgrades have been returned and will be tested soon, military sources said yesterday. They have been retrofitted with more efficient eight-blade propellers and their radar and surveillance systems have been upgraded. The two aircraft, originally called E-2T, were sold to Taiwan by the US in the 1990s. They were returned to the US in June last year for upgrading and have now been renamed E-2K, military sources said. The aircraft will be put into service within 10 days after completing a series of test flights, the sources said. Two other E-2Ts were sent to the US early last month and are expected to be returned to Taiwan next year. The upgrade program is part of the military’s efforts to update its arsenal under an arms sale deal with the US in October 2008 that included an upgrade of four E-2Ts to the Hawkeye 2000 configuration at a cost of US$2.5 billion.
More investment in power
The government plans to invest an additional NT$130 billion (US$4.28 billion) in smart power grid infrastructure beginning next year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. A digitally enabled power grid that can deliver electricity by using two-way communications will improve the efficiency, quality and reliability of the power supply system, the Bureau of Energy said in a statement. The government expects the smart grid infrastructure to help drive the development of a “smart industry” through the adoption of information and communications technology and automation technology, the bureau said. The ministry said it would hold a forum today to discuss the smart grid strategy.
Cancer survivors lauded
Being alive is the greatest gift in the world, a group of cancer survivors told an awards ceremony in Taipei yesterday to encourage optimism and persistence in the battle against cancer. “Cancer is nothing to be afraid of, as long as you have an open mind,” said Chiu Mei-hui, a 47-year-old breast cancer patient and one of the 10 award recipients. The prize, awarded annually since 2007 by the Formosa Cancer Foundation, encourages cancer survivors to tell their personal stories. This year, there were more than 100 nominees. Chiu said that after her husband was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002, she discovered a lump in her right breast that was later found to be a malignant tumor. She said the burden she bears is the motivation that keeps her alive. Chiu, a mother of four, now speaks regularly at seminars, sharing her thoughts on the beauty and essence of life.
Flower contest has winner
A student from the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts won the Flower Generation contest in Chang-hua County, which included a prize of NT$500,000, the organizers announced on Saturday. Chang Yu-shan (張育姍) gave a musical performance using a bamboo flute, gongs and drums to win from a field of 25 finalists in a contest that featured music, dance, design and composition. “I was very nervous and couldn’t sleep before the competition,” the 18-year-old Chang said. She said she planned to use the prize money to buy new instruments and participate in arts festivals next year to promote Changhua’s flower industry. Chang will serve as one of six spokespeople selected to help the county promote its flower industry at home and abroad, Changhua County Commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) said.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under