Bank to hold draw
State-owned Bank of Taiwan on Monday said that it is accepting applications for a draw to pick three people who would be eligible to purchase a limited-edition commemorative coin set made by the Japan Mint for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Each set, which features 37 coins of different values and designs, would retail for NT$499,800, the bank said. The mint has produced 1,000 sets, but only 80 are destined for the global market, of which three were allocated to Taiwan, it said. Applications can be submitted through Thursday next week and the winners would be announced on the bank’s Web site on July 29, it said. Those interested can download an application form online and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org, it said. The coins, made of gold, silver or an alloy, are in denominations of ￥10,000 (US$91), ￥1,000, ￥500 and ￥100, and are packaged in a walnut box bearing the Tokyo Games logo, the bank said.
New AIT official arrives
American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director-designate Sandra Oudkirk arrived in Taiwan on Monday, the US’ de facto embassy said in a statement. “After following the regulations of the Taiwan Central Epidemic Command Center’s COVID-19 Prevention Program, including going through a 14-day quarantine and seven days of self-health management, director-designate Oudkirk will be ready to report for duty,” the AIT said. “She will assume her position as AIT director upon the departure from Taiwan of AIT Director Brent Christensen.” Oudkirk arrived on a United Airlines flight shortly before 7pm and was welcomed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials including Department of North American Affairs Director-General Douglas Hsu (徐佑典). Oudkirk speaks English, Mandarin and Turkish, and has been posted in Ireland, Turkey, Jamaica and Beijing, the AIT said last week. Oudkirk visited Taiwan in October 2019 to attend the inaugural Pacific Islands Dialogue. Taipei was also her first overseas assignment after she joined the US Foreign Service in 1991.
VR short film wins
A virtual reality (VR) production directed by Taiwanese Huang Hsin-chien (黃心健) yesterday beat 15 other nominees to win the VeeR Future Award for Best VR Story at Cannes XR, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency said. Huang is a professor at National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Design. The 20-minute Samsara Ep. 1 (輪迴) explores multiple social issues, including the environment, technology, natural resources and war, the university said. Huang applies the concept of “embodied cognition” to allow audiences to switch bodies and experience the world depicted in the film from different perspectives, it said. The full version of the film is to begin its global tour in September and travel to Kaohsiung for its Asia premiere in October, it said.
Two quakes hit Hualien
Two earthquakes hit Hualien County at about 7:41am yesterday, but no immediate damage or injuries were reported, the Central Weather Bureau said. The quakes were 20 seconds apart, the bureau said, adding that such a close interval was not unusual in Hualien. The first, a magnitude 3.4 temblor, was centered 5.6km south of Hualien County Hall at a depth of 5.5km, the Seismology Center said. The second, with a magnitude of 3.6, was centered 6.1km south-southwest of Hualien County Hall at a depth of 8.6km, it said.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: The mayors of the two largest cities voiced concerns over hidden cases, while all other local governments are to follow eased CECC guidelines All local governments, with the exception of Taipei and New Taipei City, are to allow dine-in services at restaurants after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would on Tuesday lower a nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2. The center on July 8 allowed the resumption of dining at restaurants nationwide — despite keeping the alert level at 3. At the time, this prompted all cities and counties, except Penghu Country, to keep local dine-in bans in place. Following Friday’s CECC announcement that COVID-19 prevention measures would be further relaxed, the Taipei and New Taipei City governments
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide