Ko approval rating at 69.3%
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) approval rating was at 69.3 percent last month, down 6.3 percentage points from August, Taipei’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission said on Friday. The commission’s survey, conducted about a year after Ko took office on Dec. 25, 2014, showed that 19.8 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the mayor’s performance. The approval rating remains above Ko’s own expectation of a 65 percent satisfaction rate, commission acting head Huang Ming-tsai (黃銘材) said. On specific policies, 78.9 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Taipei’s safety and security, and 58.8 percent were satisfied with traffic and transportation conditions, but only 36 percent were satisfied with elementary to high-school education in the city, the poll found. The poll had 1,007 respondents and a margin of error of plus or minus-3.09 percentage points.
Tainan, Kaohsiung air poor
Most parts of Tainan and Kaohsiung have poor air quality, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday. As there is little wind, the Chiayi area, as well as the two southern municipalities, are being blanketed with unhealthy levels of PM2.5, the index for fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, the EPA said. The PM2.5 index for the Fuhsing area of Kaohsiung hit a hazardous level of 10 on the 10-tier scale, indicating PM2.5 concentrations of more than 70 micrograms per cubic meter, it added.
Ad touts Taiwan’s role
The government on Friday placed an advertisement in a US newspaper to highlight the role played by Taiwan in the Asia-Pacific region and the peaceful purpose of Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島), the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) in the South China Sea. The full-page ad in the Washington Times says the Republic of China (ROC) is the only democracy in the ethnic Chinese world and plays the role of a peacemaker in the region, adding the ROC is also important to the US economy and to the global supply chain. The ad contains a photograph of Itu Aba, which Taiwan controls, and of a newly constructed lighthouse on the island, along with the peace initiative proposed by Taiwan for resolving South China Sea territorial disputes. Representative to the US Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡) said the purpose of the ad was to tell people that Taiping Island is a naturally formed island that has a 12-nautical-mile (22km) zone of territorial waters and an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles.
Cram-school survey released
The results of a survey released by the Ministry of Education showed that more than 50 percent of senior high-school students in Taiwan attend cram schools, in most cases to keep up with their regular schoolwork. According to the survey, 52.5 percent of respondents take extra courses at cram schools, as do 18.3 percent of vocational high-school students. Most of them attend the schools to brush up on their coursework and prepare themselves for college entrance exams, which determine which universities and which departments high-school seniors get into. Senior high-school students spend an average of NT$40,595 on cram schools a year, while vocational high-school students spend NT$23,813 a year, the survey found. The survey collected a total of 2,839 valid questionnaires from 87 schools.
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
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
‘LONG OVERDUE’: The Republic of China is a military-political regime of the KMT that illegally occupied Taiwan, Taiwan Republic Office director Chilly Chen said Independence advocates yesterday at a rally called on government leaders to “rectify” the nation’s official name as “Taiwan” as they denounced Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu’s (吳釗燮) remark of “not seeking formal ties with the US” during a media interview. Organized by Taiwan Republic Office director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵), the advocates chanted slogans, such as “Taiwan is not the Republic of China [ROC],” and held a banner that read: “If the nation’s title is not corrected as ‘Taiwan,’ how can it fully establish diplomatic relations with the US?” as they gathered outside Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei at