A luxury hotel in Taichung has denigrated the nation’s sovereignty by listing its location as “Taiwan, China” on online booking sites, New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said yesterday, demanding that the Tourism Bureau investigate.
Chiu said he had received complaints that the Fairfield by Marriott Taichung hotel’s online site is registered in China and its address is written, in simplified Chinese, as “Taiwan, China.”
This is unacceptable, because it belittles Taiwan’s political status and undermines national sovereignty by reducing it to a province ruled by China, Chiu told a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee.
“There are also security concerns about data leaks and theft of personal information if Taiwanese make their bookings through the online site in China,” he said.
Chiu called for an investigation as the hotel had received government financial assistance under the “subsidy program for domestic travelers” launched in July and implemented by the Tourism Bureau.
The subsidy program, totaling NT$5.5 billion (US$178 million), was designed to help the hotel and hospitality sectors, as well as travel and tour agencies that were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program included lodging subsidies of up to NT$1,300 a night for individual travelers.
The public response was positive, with the average occupancy rate reaching 70 percent from July to the first week of September, the bureau said.
There have been similar complaints before, such as against Four Points by Sheraton Linkou hotel in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口) in 2018, which also listed its location as “Taiwan, China,” Chiu said.
The bureau took action then, ordering the hotel to change its location and warning that it could revoke the hotel’s business license, Chiu added.
Tourism Bureau Director Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰) said the travel subsidy program was administered by local authorities — in this case, by the Taichung City Government — and only legitimate premises with proper registrations and licenses could receive the subsidy.
Chang said he would check with the Taichung City Government first, while adding that Fairfield is a member of the international Marriotte hotel chain, which operates its own online site, and uses simplified characters to cater to the Chinese market.
“We will look into this issue, but we hope that international hotels operating in Taiwan adhere to the law and statutes of Taiwan,” he added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
LUCKY DATE: The man picked the 10th ‘Super Red Envelope’ in a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10 A man who recently broke up with his girlfriend won a NT$1 million (US$32,929) prize in the “NT$20 million Super Red Envelope” lottery after picking a card based on the date of their breakup, Taiwan Lottery Co said yesterday. The man, in his 20s, bought the 10th ticket at a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢), because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10, the store owner told the lottery company. The “Super Red Envelope” lottery was a limited offering by the company during the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended yesterday. The cards, which cost NT$2,000 each, came with
TOURISM BOOST: The transportation system could help attract more visitors to the area, as the line is to connect multiple cultural sites, a city councilor said Residents in New Taipei City’s Ankeng District (安坑) said the local light rail system might have a positive influence, but raised questions about its practicality. The Ankeng light rail system, which is to commence operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, would cut travel time for commuters from Ankeng to downtown Taipei or New Taipei City by 15 to 20 minutes, the city government said. According to the initial plan, there would be one train every 15 minutes during peak time and additional interval trains would run between the densely populated Ankang Station (安康) and Shisizhang Station (十 四張). To encourage people to
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the