New Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Chien-yu (陳建宇) highlighted the importance of the so-called “Internet army” and its opinion in his inauguration speech yesterday, saying that one of the ministry’s crucial tasks was to communicate with netizens and apply their opinions in the process of formulating transport policies.
“We have to understand the ‘Internet army’ to command the direction of public opinion. The concepts of ‘big data’ and ‘open data’ have been widely used in advanced nations to formulate public policies. The ministry must also respond and try to apply them as well,” Chen said.
“Communicating with netizens through social networks, gathering their opinions and sufficiently applying them in forming transport policies will be an indispensable task for the ministry,” he said.
Chen was appointed by the Executive Yuan to serve as transport minister after his predecessor, Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), stepped down for failing to secure the Legislative Yuan’s support for the proposed financial restructuring of the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Corp (THSRC), which is expected to go bankrupt in March or April this year.
Chen’s speech took place after members of the Cabinet over the weekend listened to lectures by experts at fusing Internet and public policy.
The educational sessions encouraged government officials to embrace — rather than fear — critique and commentary from netizens.
Beyond using social media, Chen identified what he described as three urgent tasks facing the ministry in his inauguration remarks.
On the subject of THSRC’s financial problems, he said the ministry will be thoroughly prepared to take over the operation of the high-speed rail system to ensure that service will not be disrupted because of THSRC’s imminent bankruptcy — even though an amendment to the Statute for Encouragement of Private Participation in Transportation Infrastructure Project (獎勵民間參與交通建設條例) has yet to be approved by legislators.
Regarding new air routes that China unilaterally announced earlier this month, Chen said that the ministry’s position remained unchanged: China should move the primary problematic air route further west, away from the median line of the Taiwan Strait.
As the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project is a national plan that widely affects economic development, Chen said that the project would be his top priority and he would work closely the Greater Taoyuan government and other government agencies.
Separately yesterday, former Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) president Shyu Jyuo-min (徐爵民) was inaugurated as the minister of Science and Technology, filling the post vacated by Simon Chang (張善政), who last month became vice premier.
In his inauguration speech, Shyu said the world is dominated by a knowledge-based economy, in which innovation is an essential driving force.
He vowed to strengthen cooperation among government research institutes, academia and the private sector to foster an atmosphere of innovation in Taiwan.
To attain these goals, he said his ministry had launched a series of cooperative projects over the past year, as well as incentive programs to encourage innovative ideas from students.
Shyu obtained a doctorate from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and was the head of the institute beginning in 2010 before assuming his current post.
Minister Without Portfolio Woody Duh (杜紫軍), the moderator of the inauguration ceremony, said Shyu is a luminary in Taiwan in the fields of semiconductors and photovoltaic energy, and that the new minister would continue to strengthen the ties between Taiwan’s technology sector and Silicon Valley in the US.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a bid to revitalize the party’s archives, KMT officials said yesterday at a news conference in Taipei that showcased a ceremonial sword belonging to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), the first piece of the collection to be utilized in the project. NFTs are a blockchain technology used for digital files that provide proof of ownership or a certificate of authenticity. KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Lin Chia-hsing (林家興), who is also the curator of the archives, said that digitizing the collection is part of the party’s efforts to revamp its