Sun, Oct 25, 2020
An arbitration tribunal on Friday ordered the Taitung County Government to pay NT$629 million (US$21.75 million) to Miramar Resort Hotel Co (美麗灣公司) to take ownership of the company’s coastal resort as locals and environmental groups claimed partial victory in their more than a decade-long fight against the build-operate-transfer (BOT) project. Taitung County Commissioner Yao Ching-ling (饒慶鈴) at a news conference yesterday called the ruling fair and reasonable. The tribunal saw fit to return the coastal site to Taitung residents, Yao said. The resort was built on a beach at Shanyuan Bay (杉原灣) in the county’s Beinan Township (卑南). The payment is about half the NT$1.219 billion Miramar had demanded in compensation from the county government when it filed for arbitration in August 2018, in accordance with the Arbitration Act (仲裁法). Yao said the tribunal ruled that the county government had the legal authority to order the construction be halted in 2012 and that it had not contravened the original BOT agreement, as the situation was caused by “force majeure circumstances” and other uncontrollable factors. The firm fought numerous legal battles against the county government, as well as a coalition of Aborigines and environmental groups. Its executives said they filed for arbitration based on the BOT agreement signed in 2004 to build and operate the resort for 50 years before turning it over to the county government. They said they sought compensation due to repeated delays in construction caused by demands to undergo environmental impact assessment (EIA) and other procedural setbacks, and financial losses resulting from not being able to operate the resort after completing its construction. However, the tribunal ruled that the county government does not need to pay compensation, because the company undertook all of the phases of the project on its own volition, from the planning, design, construction and expansion to covering additional beach
The US Coast Guard (USCG) is basing Enhanced Response Cutters in the western Pacific for maritime security missions, the US national security adviser said on Friday, citing illegal fishing and harassment of vessels by China. US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien in a statement said that the coast guard also planned to evaluate next fiscal year the feasibility of basing Fast Response Cutters in American Samoa in the South Pacific. The statement described the US as a Pacific power and added that China’s “illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of other countries in the Indo-Pacific threatens our sovereignty, as well as the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbors and endangers regional stability.” It said US efforts, including by the coast guard, were “critical to countering these destabilizing and malign actions.” “To that end, the USCG is strategically homeporting significantly enhanced Fast Response Cutters ... in the western Pacific,” the statement said, without detailing where the vessels would be based or how many were involved. O’Brien said the new-generation coast guard vessels would conduct maritime security missions, such as fisheries patrols, and enhance maritime-domain awareness and enforcement efforts in collaboration with “regional partners who have limited offshore surveillance and enforcement capacity.” “Enhancing the presence of the USCG in the Indo-Pacific ensures the United States will remain the maritime partner of choice in the region,” the statement said. The coast guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the statement, which came just ahead of a planned visit to Asia by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo led a meeting of foreign ministers from India, Japan and Australia this month in Tokyo, a grouping Washington hopes to develop as a bulwark against China’s growing assertiveness and extensive maritime claims in the region, including to most of the strategic
PRUDENCE: Palau has only one hospital, which cannot treat critical patients, and the country’s medical system could be quickly overwhelmed in the event of an outbreak A plan to create a travel bubble between Taiwan and Palau has been postponed because the Pacific ally decided not to relax quarantine rules for Taiwanese travelers, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The postponement was made after Palau took into account its epidemic prevention capacity and that the northern hemisphere is entering winter, when COVID-19 infections could surge, said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman. Earlier in the day, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that due to limited medical care capacity in Palau, the country would still require Taiwanese visitors to undergo seven days of quarantine upon arrival. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and related agencies are ready for a travel bubble, but Palau’s healthcare sector is worried that if an outbreak occurred following an opening, its limited resources would be unable to cope, Chen said. The two countries had been holding talks on the possibility of forming a travel bubble to revive their tourism industries amid the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing each side to open its border for its citizens to travel to the other in tour groups. As both sides’ populations are considered extremely low-risk in terms of COVID-19 infection, it was considered safe to create a travel bubble. Under the plan, travelers would need to present negative polymerase chain reaction test results for COVID-19 before they would be allowed to join a travel group, the Tourism Bureau has said. Visitors from Palau would not have to undergo a compulsory 14-day quarantine required from other travelers to Taiwan, and Taiwanese visiting Palau would not have to undergo seven days of quarantine, according to the proposed plan. However, Chen, who spoke with reporters on the sidelines of the Global Health
The US on Friday broke its daily record for new COVID-19 infections as it reported 84,218 new cases due to outbreaks in virtually every part of the country, according to a Reuters tally. The spike in cases came less than two weeks before the US presidential election on Nov. 3 and is hitting battleground states such as Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. On Thursday, the US reported a near-record 76,195 new cases. The previous record was 77,299 new cases on July 16. At the time, hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients hit 47,000 and two weeks later deaths rose to an average of 1,200 per day. Now, hospitalizations are more than 41,000 and deaths average nearly 800 per day. Sixteen states had record one-day increases in new cases on Friday and 11 reported a record number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Health experts have not pinpointed the reason for the rise, but have long warned that colder temperatures driving people inside, fatigue with COVID-19 precautions and students returning to schools and colleges could promote the spread of the virus. The US has the most cases in the world at 8.5 million and the most fatalities with nearly 224,000 lives lost. It has reported over the past week an average of 60,000 new cases per day, the highest seven-day average since early August. The Midwest has been the epicenter of the latest surge, but infections are rising nationwide. The northeast reported an 83 percent increase in cases in the past month. New cases have doubled in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and New Jersey in the past four weeks compared with the prior four weeks, according to a Reuters analysis. Western states including Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming have reported a 200 percent increase in cases in the past four weeks when compared with the previous four weeks. It has been
Sudan on Friday became the latest Arab nation to agree to recognize Israel in a diplomatic triumph for US President Donald Trump announced days before US elections. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain last month signed an accord at the White House to normalize relations with Israel, but Sudan carries added symbolism as an Arab nation that has been at war with Israel. Trump announced the agreement by Sudan’s year-old, civilian-backed government moments after he formally moved to end the nation’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, achieving a major objective for Khartoum. Reporters were escorted into the Oval Office where Trump was on speakerphone with Sudan’s leadership and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “This truly changes the region. It changes the lives of our peoples for the better and allows us to focus on the task of building our nations, building our future,” Netanyahu was heard telling Trump. Trump said that more Arab states are also looking to recognize Israel, including regional power Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s two holiest cities. “We have at least five more that want to come in and we’ll have many more than that soon,” Trump said in a room packed with visibly happy aides, few of them wearing masks despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Until last month, the only Arab nations to recognize Israel were Jordan and Egypt — neighbors of the Jewish state that had made peace after US mediation. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office voiced “condemnation and rejection” of the deal between Sudan and the “Israeli occupation country which usurps Palestinian land.” While Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have found common cause with Netanyahu and Trump against Iran, Sudan appears mostly driven by a desperate economic situation that has fueled new protests in the past few days.
PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE: Although Taiwan must take measures to defend itself, it would not dismiss the prospect of peace, the Mainland Affairs Council minister said The world would take an entirely different view of China if Beijing held constructive dialogue with Taiwan instead of resorting to threats, former US deputy secretary of state James Steinberg said yesterday. Steinberg made the remarks by videoconference at an international forum in Taipei. China is responsible for letting its neighbors believe its rise is peaceful and that it would not sacrifice the rights of others in doing so, Steinberg said. Beijing should be aware that its current path would not make it a winner, he said. A responsible Beijing — one that does not infringe on the rights of other nations when promoting its own — would be beneficial for everyone, he said. In this particular area, Beijing’s actions do not conform to what it preaches, he added. Regarding Taiwan-US relations, Steinberg said that the US does not pursue ties with Taiwan just because it is in the first island chain and is home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), but also because of the universal values of democracy that Taiwan embodies. US support is not limited to the Taiwan Relations Act or the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative Act, he said. Steinberg said that Taiwan should step up development of 5G networks, artificial intelligence systems and its biomedicine industry. This would enhance Taiwan’s economy and help it to further resist China’s attempts to influence it, he said, adding that Taiwan should collaborate closely with its partners and cut back on potential conflicts. Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said in his opening remarks at the conference that China’s comprehensive strength is growing, giving Beijing more clout to attempt to assert itself in international affairs. China’s efforts to spread its ideology abroad is affecting the world’s political and economic order, and Taiwan hopes Beijing would act as a responsible nation and contribute to regional and global peace,
‘SPIRIT OF WAR’: The speech coincides with the release of an action-thriller film depicting a band of Chinese soldiers fighting the US in the Korean War Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday warned of China’s military resolve to defeat “invaders,” speaking on a 70th anniversary remembrance of the Korean War, the only time Chinese forces have fought the US. In a long speech, heavy on patriotism and flecked by anecdotes of heroism by Chinese forces, Xi said that victory in the 1950 to 1953 conflict was a reminder that his nation stood ready to fight anyone “creating trouble ... on China’s doorstep.” Beijing frequently uses war anniversaries to fire thinly covered warnings to the US of the military strength of the “new China.” The Korean War is a key foundation story for the Chinese Communist Party. The anniversary comes as the party is called out by US President Donald Trump, in a bitter row spanning trade, technology, human rights and Taiwan. Without explicitly naming the US, Xi loaded up with the historical precedent of the Korean War and took swings at modern day “unilateralism, protectionism and extreme egoism.” “Chinese people don’t create troubles, nor are we afraid of them,” Xi said to applause. “We will never sit back and watch any damage to our national sovereignty ... and we will never allow any force to invade or divide the sacred territory of the motherland,” he said. On Wednesday, the Pentagon announced it had agreed to sell more than US$1 billion dollars of missiles to Taiwan, the sharpest potential flashpoint with US forces. The Korean War was the first and so far only time Chinese and US forces have engaged in large-scale direct combat. According to the Chinese government, more than 197,000 Chinese soldiers died during the three-year war, which saw the US-led UN coalition pushed back to the 38th parallel bisecting the Korean Peninsula, after China weighed in on the side of North Korea’s communist army. The war, essentially fought to a bloody stalemate, is hailed in
‘FIRST OF MANY’: The draft bill, which seeks to sanitize investment in defense manufacturers, would be the start to more efforts to curb China’s influence, a lawmaker said Taiwan Statebuilding Party and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers have jointly proposed a draft amendment to prevent Chinese or other malign forces from infiltrating companies in the national defense industry. The proposed amendment would add two clauses to articles 4 and 21 of the National Defense Industry Development Act (國防產業發展條例) which was passed in June last year. The act places restrictions on defense manufacturers to safeguard national security, but has failed to address regulations regarding company ownerships, Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) said. This leaves a loophole for foreign forces with hostile intent, or other agents, to infiltrate the industry under the guise of foreign investment, he said. Together with DPP legislators Chao Tian-lin (趙天麟) and Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應), Chen proposed amendments that would allow the Ministry of National Defense to list defense manufacturers as “important national security industries,” conduct background checks on major shareholders and control ownership. The draft would require companies deemed vital to national security to report voting share transactions of entities owning a stake of 5 percent or more to the Ministry of Finance. Investors wishing to make share purchases that exceed the threshold would need to seek approval from the finance ministry, the draft stipulates. Companies which fail to report such stock transactions could be fined NT$2 million to NT$50 million (US$69,163 to US$1.73 million), it adds. The Investment Commission would have the authority to order entities disapproved on national security grounds to dispose their stake and fines those failing to comply NT$2 million to NT$50 million, it adds The proposed amendment is undergoing review at the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and national Defense Committee. The draft amendment would be the first of many amendments if Taiwan wishes to prevent China from infiltrating the nation through its economy and conduct corporate espionage, Chen said.
More than 77 percent of Taiwanese say they are willing to fight for the nation in the event of an invasion by China, a survey released yesterday showed. The Taiwan Center for International Strategic Studies and the Taiwan International Studies Association at a news conference in Taipei publicized the results of the poll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday. Asked about their willingness to defend national security, 66 percent of respondents said that they would fight for Taiwan if a cross-strait war breaks out in the wake of Taiwan declaring independence, while 26.1 percent said they would not, the survey showed. When facing an invasion by China, the ratio of people willing to fight for the nation rose to 77.6 percent, and that of opponents fell to 15.9 percent, it showed. Asked if they would work with the US to combat China, given that Washington has increased arms sale to Taiwan, 58.7 percent said “yes,” while 24.6 percent said “no,” the poll showed. In the event that a war breaks out across the Taiwan Strait, 55.1 percent of respondents said they expected the US to send armed forces to assist Taiwan, while 32.8 percent said the US would not, it showed. The survey, conducted by Focus Survey Research, targeted respondents aged 20 or older, including those on the nation’s outlying islands. It collected 1,076 valid samples, including 536 through landline telephones and 540 through mobile phones, with a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
SYMBOLIC CHANGE: The draft amendments would alter swearing-in protocols and apply to the offices of the president, vice president and other elected representatives Three amendments proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers, which would abolish government tributes to Republic of China (ROC) founder Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), on Friday passed their first reading at the Legislative Yuan, where they are expected to spark controversy among Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers, who have proposed their own amendments. The DPP amendments to the Presidential and Vice Presidential Oath Act (總統副總統宣誓條例), the Oath Act (宣誓條例) and the National Emblem and National Flag Act (國徽國旗法) are intended to stop the practice of the president, other elected representatives and other officials being sworn into office in front of Sun’s image. As well, the amendments would no longer require government agencies and schools to have Sun’s image displayed. Proposed by DPP Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) and other DPP lawmakers, the amendments were introduced after other versions were rejected last month over KMT objections and returned to the legislature’s Procedure Committee. Fan resent the proposals and they were tackled at the legislature’s plenary session on Friday. Despite persistent objections from KMT lawmakers, the three proposed amendments passed their first reading, pending reviews at the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee. Thirty-one KMT lawmakers, led by party Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), also proposed amendments to the two oath acts, although in a diametrically opposed spirit. Their proposals would revise the content of oaths of office taken by the vice president, other elected representatives and other officials by adding references to “the ROC” and “the ROC Constitution,” rather than just “the nation” and “the Constitution.” The presidential oath of office is defined by Article 48 of the Constitution, so is not targeted by the party’s proposals. The “ROC” is Taiwan’s formal name until a constitutional amendment is passed to change the nation’s name, KMT lawmakers wrote in the proposals. Highlighting references to the ROC is intended to consolidate the status of the
The National Academy of Civil Service is next month to include English as part of the mandatory training for civil servants, with an estimated 10,000 people expected to receive lessons each year. Hao Pei-chih (郝培芝), head of the Civil Service Protection and Training Commission, who also heads the academy, on Thursday said that to comply with the government’s bilingual education policy, the academy has created English-related training programs to prepare civil servants. The training programs include an all-English course focused on globalization livestreamed on the academy’s Facebook page every Thursday evening, as well as weekend workshops on topics such as giving presentations, hosting foreign guests, attending meetings and writing letters, Hao said. There would also be opportunities for medium to high-level officials and high-potential talent to participate in overseas workshops or internships, Hao added. Starting from Nov. 30th, additional changes would be made to meet the government’s goal of making Taiwan a bilingual nation by 2030, such as incorporating English into each link of the civil servant training program and introducing immersive situational exercises based on business tasks, she said. The academy would also collaborate with other agencies on a series of online courses, which would include English-language news, daily English practice related to government tasks and lectures hosted by professional native English-speaking teachers, she said. Examination Yuan President Huang Jung-tsun (黃榮村) said that improving civil servants’ English proficiency is a must in national development, and also a priority when the branch devises polices. For someone to improve their English proficiency takes time, and education institutions should use the limited available training hours to teach students how to utilize a wide range of resources for self-learning, Huang said, adding that reading English-language newspapers and taking advantage of learning tools, such as apps, are helpful. The Examination Yuan is responsible for administering national civil servant exams and appointing, training
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Friday urged the Hong Kong government to “respond pragmatically” to its call for mutual legal assistance with regards to a murder case in Taiwan more than two years ago involving two Hong Kongers. The council made the remarks a day after the mother of Amber Poon (潘曉穎), the victim, said that she wanted to mediate between Hong Kong and Taiwan to break the impasse over the surrender of the murder suspect, Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), to Taiwanese authorities. The mother had set Friday as the deadline for Chan’s surrender in exchange for her mitigation efforts. Chan is suspected of killing Poon in February 2018 when they were visiting Taiwan as tourists. He returned to Hong Kong before Poon’s body was found near a riverside walking path in New Taipei City and has since served a 29-month sentence in Hong Kong for stealing money from Poon’s bank account. The Hong Kong authorities said that they cannot bring murder charges because the key evidence is in Taiwan. Chan was released on Oct. 23 last year, but was immediately taken to a secret location by Hong Kong authorities. Chan has repeatedly expressed his desire to stand trial in Taiwan, but the Taiwan representative office in Hong Kong denied his visa application, as he had planned to turn himself in to the nation’s authorities. Taiwan and Hong Kong have been blaming each other for the deadlock. Taiwan wants to reach a mutual legal assistance agreement. Hong Kong refuses to reach such an agreement, citing a lack of legal basis. Last year, Hong Kong tried to introduce an extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China, Taiwan or Macau, but it triggered massive opposition, as people feared that Hong
HOSPITALIZED: The CECC said a Filipina was placed in a second quarantine by her broker and only tested positive there — making it a 22-day incubation period Taiwan yesterday confirmed two new imported cases of COVID-19, bringing the nation’s total to 550, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. One new patient is a Filipina in her 20s who tested negative in the Philippines three days before arriving in Taiwan on Sept. 30 for work, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesperson, told a news briefing in Taipei. She had no symptoms upon arrival or while under quarantine, and tested negative at the end of her 14-day quarantine on Oct. 13, Chuang said. People entering Taiwan from the Philippines with no symptoms no longer need to be tested upon their arrival, but they must be tested at the end of their 14-day quarantine. Her employment agency placed her in another quarantine facility where she took another test on Thursday, with the results returning positive yesterday, Chuang said, adding that the woman was hospitalized. The woman had her own room at the second facility, Chuang said. Asked why she was retested if she had no symptoms, Chuang said that her workplace required it. The case was classified as imported, despite there being a 22-day incubation period if imported, as she was not in contact with people in Taiwan while under quarantine. Twelve people were identified to have come in contact with the woman, including six coworkers who were there when she was tested and have been instructed to self-isolate. Three other coworkers and three drivers were wearing masks when they had contact with her, so they have been asked to self-manage their health, the center said. The other patient is a Taiwanese man in his 30s who returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week after spending two weeks in the US, Chuang said, adding that while under quarantine, the man developed symptoms on Wednesday, tested positive and was hospitalized. The man was in
A series of illustrations commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showing various diseases as anime characters has caught on in the US after being uploaded on the meme sharing app 9GAG. The series, launched in 2018 to build public health awareness among those aged 35 or younger, has so far introduced illustrations for 26 diseases, including COVID-19, which was part of last week’s issue. Each reimagined illness appears on the cover of the magazine Disease, with their appearance, outfit, accessories and even the background art representing aspects of the disease, while the cover blurbs offer tips on how to stay healthy. After capturing the interest of Internet users in Japan last year, the illustrations caught on in the US this week after a user uploaded them to 9GAG, which shared them on its Facebook page under a caption that read: “Why are they so attractive?” In response, Chiyou (蚩尤), the artist behind illustrations for COVID-19, Ebola and the plague, said that taking diseases out of a textbook and giving them a human form makes them more approachable and easier to understand. For the COVID-19 illustration — which was the “most difficult to create” — Chiyou thought of the “mysterious and unpredictable” disease as a computer hacker, which he described as “always changing, possessing many faces and able to spread from country to country the moment people let their guard down.” The structure of the virus also informed the illustration, he said, adding that its spherical shape is represented in the model’s chair, while the spike proteins on the virus’ surface appear as outward-reaching metal arms. Say HANa (林花), who spent a month creating the illustrations for syphilis and rubella, said that her greatest challenge was reconciling the diseases’ sometimes gruesome symptoms with their “cute” personifications. She said that the origin story of syphilis — a sexually
DOGGED BY TRAUMA: Abuse can physically alter a person’s nervous, cardiovascular, reproductive and immune systems, and their ability to learn, doctor Sophie Liang said At least half of children and adolescents under state guardianship develop a lifelong mental illness, such as depression or attention deficit disorder (ADD), research from Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital found. The hospital at a news conference on Thursday announced the results of a study conducted by its Child Protection Center, which tracked the mental health of 97 children in four foster care residential institutions in the Taoyuan area from July 2011 to January 2014. Nearly 3,000 children last year became wards of the state, many carrying emotional trauma from past situations, researchers said. According to their findings, 54.6 percent of the children had some sort of lifetime psychiatric affliction, nearly two times higher than the 31.6 percent prevalence rate among all Taiwanese children. Conduct disorder was the most common type at 22.7 percent, followed by ADD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with 15.5 percent and oppositional defiant disorder at 13.4 percent, researchers said. Nearly 10.3 percent of participants had depression, while 4.1 percent had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they added. Compared with other children, ADD or ADHD is 1.5 times more prevalent among those in foster care institutions, depression is 6.7 times more prevalent and PTSD is 41 times more prevalent, they said. The six-month prevalence rate among foster children was also slightly higher at 28.9 percent, compared with 25 percent in the overall population, research showed. About 10 percent of the subjects reported feeling depressed, with up to 17 percent of those aged eight to 12 expressing depressive thoughts, researchers said. Abuse can physically alter a person’s nervous, cardiovascular, reproductive and immune systems, as well as their ability to learn, said Sophie Liang (梁歆宜), an attending physician in the hospital’s child and adolescent psychiatry unit. Many abused children and adolescents have difficulty focusing and controlling their actions, and can become impulsive, irritable and restless, she said. Mistreatment or
Despite their reputation as a clean and healthy alternative to deep fryers, air fryers can pose a major risk to indoor air quality if used without proper ventilation, a study has shown. The study, released on Thursday by the Wang Jhan-Yang Social Welfare Foundation and the Taiwan Society of Indoor Environmental Air Quality, measured the level of particulate pollution caused by cooking high-fat foods such as sausages in a closed studio apartment. Without any ventilation, air frying a sausage caused overall pollution from fine particulate matter to spike up to 1,525 times higher than normal, the study showed. Even when a kitchen range hood was employed, air frying caused pollution levels 13.15 times higher than those produced by cooking a sausage in a frying pan, the research showed. Chang Jung Christian University occupational health and safety professor Chang Cheng-ping (張振平) said that air fryers work by circulating air at high temperatures. This produces crispier and comparatively healthier food, but also poses pollution risks when the oils in high-fat foods start circulating in the machine, he said. Air fryers produce fine particulate matter smaller than 0.3 micrometers, while those produced by oil-based cooking methods are smaller than 0.5 micrometers, he said. Research has shown that particulates with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less can penetrate the deepest parts of the lungs, including the alveoli — the tiny air sacs that allow oxygen to enter the blood stream — posing a range of potential health risks, he said. People can mitigate these risks by ensuring that their kitchens have adequate ventilation, he said. When using air fryers that lack proper ventilation, people should consider using them outside, such as on a balcony or near a window, Chang added.
When she ran a company that sold US clothing labels in China, textile heiress Veronica Chou (曹穎惠) was a globe-trotting executive who made headlines for her socialite lifestyle and lavish 2012 wedding in Hong Kong. Now, she is trying to clean up the fashion industry. A member of the US$2.7 billion family empire built by her father Silas Chou (曹其峰), the 36-year-old said that she is now devoting her time and money to start-ups that make one of the world’s most wasteful industries more sustainable. In 2015, after selling the family stake in a Chinese joint venture with New York-listed Iconix Brand Group Inc for US$56 million, she started her own eco-friendly label, backing suppliers that are using innovative technologies to make materials and clothes. “I’ve definitely changed my lifestyle and behavior,” said Veronica Chou, a mother of five-year-old twin boys. “We have to look at how to cut back consumption and make things that don’t harm the planet, but we have to consume; we need to clothe ourselves.” It is a bold bet. Sustainable fashion is a sliver of the US$1.8 trillion global apparel industry, which has ballooned over the past decade amid a boom in low-cost, quick-to-market clothing championed by the likes of Zara SA and her father. However, Veronica Chou is joining a growing list of start-ups seeking to key into shoppers who are concerned about the impact on the environment, a market ResearchAndMarkets.com said it expects to grow to US$8.25 billion by 2023. The fashion business produces 20 percent of the world’s wastewater and 10 percent of carbon emissions — more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, a UN report said. It takes about 7,571 liters of water to make a typical pair of jeans, while the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is sent to landfills
Iraq’s Kurdish region has for decades lived off its oil wealth, but plummeting energy prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic and financial mismanagement are forcing locals to return to long abandoned farms. Civil servants from the northern region’s bloated public sector have gone without pay and many are turning back to agriculture and other businesses to make ends meet. On a rugged hillside about 50km east of Erbil, the booming regional capital, vineyards are ripe for harvesting as a new source of income. Abdallah Hassan, 51, a civil servant from the nearby village of Meer Rostam, has returned to harvest the grapes, used to produce raisins and vine leaves, for the first time in almost 20 years. “There is hardly any work left for us and there are no salaries,” he said, complaining that the regional government now “only pays wages every couple of months.” “It’s better for farmers to tend to their fields than wait for the payday or for charity,” he said. Hassan recounted how before the 2003 US invasion that toppled former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Kurdish region had survived on farming during years of painful sanctions. Since then, in its drive to secure lucrative oil revenues, the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government had mostly abandoned agriculture. Big investments from multinational energy companies have transformed the region, and Erbil has become an urban hub with skyscrapers and luxury hotels. However, this year, the pandemic and tumbling oil prices have taken a heavy toll, worsened by budget disputes with the central government in Baghdad. The Iraqi economy, one of the world’s most oil-dependent according to the World Bank, saw its gross domestic product contract by about 10 percent this year. Putting all of the regional economy’s eggs into the energy basket had proven costly, Kurdistan Board of Investment chairman Mohammed Shukri said. “We’re rich when the oil price is
TIMING KEY: All three of Wall Street’s major indices recorded weekly declines, as traders believe the US’ stimulus package would pass, but want to know when The S&P 500 and NASDAQ on Friday closed modestly higher in choppy trading, with investors keeping a close eye on negotiations on a US stimulus package that would ease the economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dow ended lower on the day, moving within tight ranges. Uncertainty over the timeline of the relief legislation has been weighing on Wall Street’s major indices in recent sessions, with all three indices posting weekly declines. US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that it was still possible to get another round of COVID-19 aid before the Nov. 3 election, but that it was up to US President Donald Trump to act, including talking to reluctant Republicans in the US Senate, if he wants it. Trump and US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that Pelosi must compromise to get an aid package, saying that significant differences remained between the Republican administration and the Democrats. However, the market believes a stimulus deal is likely to be completed: The only question would be size and timing, analysts said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 28.09 points, or 0.1 percent, lower at 28,335.57, the S&P 500 gained 11.9 points, or 0.34 percent, to 3,465.39 and the NASDAQ Composite added 42.28 points, or 0.37 percent, to 11,548.28. For the week, the Dow ended down 0.95 percent, the S&P 500 fell 0.53 percent and NASDAQ declined 1.06 percent. The communication services sector rose 1.1 percent, the highest gainer among the major S&P sectors. “This has been a stimulus-driven market for several weeks — today is more evidence of that,” said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest, in Charlotte, North Carolina. “The market believes we are getting a stimulus, but it wants to know when it’s going to pass, because it’s going to take time for the money to flow out,” she added. Meanwhile,
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on Monday lambasted Chinese Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu (叢培武) for threatening the “health and safety” of Canadians living in Hong Kong. Freeland said that Cong’s thinly veiled threat was “not in any way in keeping with the spirit of appropriate diplomatic relations between two countries.” Canadian Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole said that Cong should apologize or leave Canada — an understandable response to the ambassador’s diplomatic gaffe. China’s response was to criticize Canadian officials and the media, rather than Cong. Canadian leaders “did not verify, but also condoned the anti-China comments spreading across the nation and made groundless accusations against China,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) said. That Zhao would assume that Canadian leaders have control over what the country’s media and public say about China shows the disconnect between the mentality of China’s communist government and that of Canada’s democratically elected government. Another example of this was on June 6, 2016, when Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) berated a Canadian journalist during a news conference in Ottawa for asking about human rights in China and the jailing of Canadian Kevin Garratt, who was charged with espionage. Wang told the reporter that she was being “irresponsible” by asking such questions. “Your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance... I don’t know where that comes from. This is totally unacceptable,” Wang said, according to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. This attitude is not only exhibited toward Canada. Wang threatened Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil for last month’s visit to Taiwan, and Chinese officials have threatened to arbitrarily detain Americans living in China in retaliation for the US’ detention of Chinese academics suspected of espionage. “We are aware that the Chinese government has, in other instances, detained American, Canadian and
A truism of the US is that its elections affect more than just Americans, but for communities threatened by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the occupant of the Oval Office is a matter of existential importance. Polls have revealed that Taiwanese strongly prefer US President Donald Trump to win next month’s election. Hong Kongers have mixed opinions, although they narrowly prefer Trump’s policies. These results are unsurprising, given the president’s “tough on China” rhetoric, his support from prominent activists and the supportive legislation passed under his administration. Despite this partisan slant, activists should realize that they have overwhelming support from Republicans and Democrats, making this one of the few issues on which Americans are united. Trump undeniably deserves credit for raising global awareness regarding the CCP, but his administration has been inconsistent on the issue, and has overseen diminishing support for US allies and partners. Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that would have greatly increased US engagement and trade in the Asia-Pacific region, while excluding China. The first few years of the Trump administration saw more tariffs levied on US allies than China. Trump has repeatedly threatened to reduce military forces in South Korea and Japan that are critical to support democratic partners and allies in the region. He even abandoned Kurdish partners in a spur-of-the-moment decision, leading to their invasion and undermining the credibility of US security partnerships. Imagine the shudders this created in Taipei, especially when Trump considered cutting support for Taiwan as a bargaining chip in trade talks with China. Accordingly, global confidence in the US was plummeting even before the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by erratic foreign policy decisions and a failure to support allies and partners. Confidence in the US president to “do the right thing” was 74 percent under former US president Barack Obama and fell to 29 percent under Trump.
Not long ago, 34-year-old Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin was interviewed by Trendi magazine and posed for photographs wearing a black blazer with apparently nothing underneath except a necklace in the plunging neckline. This style is nothing new on the red carpet of an awards show, but a national leader dressed like that causes quite a stir. By contrast, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) always wears a clean-cut suit with strong lines in relatively neutral colors. When she was running for election as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairwoman and president, DPP political heavyweight Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) repeatedly asked whether the party should put its future in the hands of an unmarried woman, and said that “someone in a skirt” was inappropriate to serve as commander-in-chief. Is being married a guarantee that someone can handle national and international affairs? In modern history, key positions, such as national leaders and supreme commanders, have mostly been monopolized by men. Despite the perhaps unruffled, imposing and gallant figures they cut, have men brought peace and harmony to the world? After Marin’s photographs were published in the fashion magazine, conservatives criticized her outfit saying that was likely to damage her political credibility. Some even discussed how much people would pay for membership to a pornographic Web site that featured photo spreads of her. Although the number of female national leaders is on the rise, many still expect them to have a masculine look. Once a woman, whether a star or a politician, reveals a more sexual aspect of her body, conservatives immediately sexualize her and diminish her value as a talented woman by reducing her to a sex object. However, Marin’s supporters have been posting images of themselves in blazers with nothing underneath on social media with the #imwithsanna hashtag as a show of solidarity and to support her effort to break a patriarchal
BROTHERS AWAIT: Last night’s result ended the Rakuten Monkeys’ bid for a fourth consecutive title, while Friday’s outcome ended the hopes of tearful Fubon fans The Uni-President Lions prevailed over the CTBC Brothers 3-2 last night in the final game of Taiwan’s CPBL regular season, with the Lions claiming the second-half title, while the results from the past two days eliminated the Fubon Guardians and the Rakuten Monkeys from the playoffs. Playing at home at the Tainan Municipal Stadium, Lions fans tossed orange ribbons to celebrate the win, which left their record at 32-1-27 through 60 games in the second half, the best among the four teams. The second-half title guaranteed them a berth in the best-of-seven Taiwan Series, with Game 1 to be played on Saturday. The Lions face the Brothers in the Taiwan Series, who secured a berth by winning the first-half title. The Brothers had the best record for the full regular season. Last night’s result eliminated the Monkeys, ending their bid for a fourth consecutive title. CTBC outfielder Chang Chih-hao hit a solo homer in the first frame, while Lions’ outfielder Su Chih-chieh blasted a solo shot in reply to make it 1-1 heading into the second. The roaring Lions rattled CTBC’s Dominican lefty Jose de Paula in the sixth frame, with four consecutive batters reaching base on singles. They grabbed two runs to take a 3-1 lead. The Brothers got one back on two hits and a walk in the eighth inning, but did not score again. Lions’ American righthander Teddy Stankiewicz pocketed the win. He took the mound in the third inning and shut down CTBC offense, giving up only one run on five hits, two walks, while striking out six over 5-2/3 innings. “We faced very difficult obstacles down to the stretch and the fans gave us great support,” Lions manager Lin Yue-ping said after the game. “It was a night to remember, because we won the second-half title at home for our fans and we can celebrate
Phil Foden came off the bench to spare spluttering Manchester City’s blushes as the England midfielder rescued a 1-1 draw against West Ham United yesterday. Pep Guardiola’s side fell behind to Michail Antonio’s superb overhead kick in the first half at the London Stadium. Foden came on at halftime and produced an instant equalizer, but City could not deliver the knockout blow and have now won just one of their past four Premier League games. On Fridy, Aston Villa’s perfect start to the Premier League was ended by Leeds, who won 3-0. Villa had never won their opening five league games and still have not after defeat saw them miss the chance to top the Premier League for the first time since October 2001. Patrick Bamford scored a second-half hat-trick made the striker only the second player to score in each of Leeds’ opening three away games in a top-flight season, after Gordon Hodgson in 1937. BUNDESLIGA Sebastian Andersson rescued a 1-1 draw for Cologne after his side’s calamitous start against VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on Friday. Stuttgart’s Orel Mangala scored before any visiting player had even touched the ball. Gonzalo Castro surged forward and the ball worked its way through Daniel Didavi and Sasa Kalajdzic, who laid the ball back for Mangala to hammer it to the roof of the net after just 24 seconds played. A penalty conceded by Atakan Karazor provided the visitors the chance to equalize in the 23rd minute, with Andersson converting. LIGUE 1 Stade Rennais sent 5,000 fans racing home to beat a curfew on Friday ruing another wasted lead after their team lost 2-1 at home to Angers in Ligue 1. A spike in COVID-19 cases in the region brought the introduction of a curfew from midnight on Friday. That gave fans barely an hour to get home after the match or risk a
Valtteri Bottas completed a clean sweep in Portuguese Grand Prix free practice when topping the third and final session yesterday ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. The Finn, who returned a “double top” on Friday, clocked a best lap in 1 minute, 16.654 seconds to outpace the six-time champion by 0.026 seconds on a bright and warm day at the Algarve track. Hamilton, who leads Bottas by 69 points in the drivers’ title race, rebounded from a disappointing opening day, when he was eighth, to prove that he has learned his way round the challenging new Algarve International Circuit, albeit that he had an “off” into the gravel at Turn 7, damaging a front wing end-plate. Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull, 0.158 seconds off the pace, ahead of Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri, Alex Albon in the second Red Bull and Charles Leclerc in the leading Ferrari. Carlos Sainz and his McLaren teammate Lando Norris were seventh and ninth, separated by Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, with Esteban Ocon 10th in the leading Renault. Ocon’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo was 14th after a frustrating session during which his car required minor repairs and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was 11th for Ferrari as he seeks to complete his career with the team “with dignity.” The session, which ended prematurely when a drain cover lifted and opened at Turn 14, was run in warm and dry conditions, the track temperature rising from 22°C to 30°C. A day earlier, Bottas maintained his habit of being “fastest on Friday” in an incident-hit second practice. The Finn clocked a best lap in 1 minute, 17.940 seconds to beat Verstappen by 0.6 seconds. It was the sixth consecutive Grand Prix at which Bottas, who topped both of the day’s sessions, was fastest in opening practice. Verstappen was involved in a collision with Racing Point’s
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach on Saturday warned against allowing the Games to “descend into a marketplace of demonstrations” after criticism of a rule banning protests by athletes. Bach said he learned first-hand about the “political impotence of sport” when West Germany boycotted the 1980 Games over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. “The athletes personify the values of excellence, solidarity and peace. They express this inclusiveness and mutual respect also by being politically neutral on the field of play and during the ceremonies,” Bach wrote in the Guardian. “At times, this focus on sport needs to be reconciled with the freedom of speech that all athletes also enjoy at the Olympic Games,” he wrote. “This is the reason there are rules for the field of play and the ceremonies protecting this spirit of sport.” “The unifying power of the Games can only unfold if everyone shows respect for and solidarity to one another,” he wrote. “Otherwise, the Games will descend into a marketplace of demonstrations of all kinds, dividing and not uniting the world.” In Japan, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike yesterday inaugurated the Aquatics Center for next year’s rescheduled Olympics, seven months after it was supposed to open. The center was due to officially open on March 22, but that event was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Two days later the entire Tokyo Games was postponed until next year. Organizers hope to welcome the world’s top swimmers and divers to the center next year, as well as up to 15,000 fans. However, a decision is yet to be made over whether supporters will be allowed into venues during the Games. “There have been some unexpected things such as the postponement, but we need to hold a successful Games,” Koike said. “I really hope that the wonderful swimmers can unleash their powers and the world’s top swimmers exhibit great
ASIA-PACIFIC UPDATE: An Australian state closed schools, Seoul remained South Korea’s ‘epicenter,’ and India’s new cases decline, although remaining above 50,000 per day Authorities in Sri Lanka on Saturday closed at least two fishery harbors and many stalls after a surge of 609 COVID-19 cases linked to the country’s main fish market. The Sri Lankan government also widened the curfew in parts of the capital. At least 11 villages were isolated in the densely populated Western province, which includes the Colombo. Health authorities on Wednesday temporarily closed the fish market on the city’s outskirts after 49 traders tested positive for COVID-19. By yesterday, the number of cases went up to 609. Hundreds of traders and fishermen are being tested. Authorities say that the outbreak is related to a cluster in a garment factory early this month, which has grown to 3,426 cases, almost half the country’s total of 6,287. It broke a two-month lull in infections. Several thousand people have been asked to quarantine at home. Schools and key public offices are closed, gatherings banned and restrictions imposed on public transport. Sri Lanka has had 14 deaths due to COVID-19 since March. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: All staff and students from two schools in northeast Melbourne have been told to immediately get tested for COVID-19 after the emergence of seven new cases yesterday. There were no deaths. Both schools would be closed for the next two weeks, authorities said, adding that about 800 residents in Melbourne’s northern suburbs have been isolating because of the school outbreak. Warnings have been circulated to workers, including taxi drivers, who might have visited the area. Victoria state’s death toll on Saturday remained at 817, and Australia’s figure at 905, with only one death in the past week. The updated figures followed the city’s most significant anti-lockdown protest on Friday. A “Freedom Day” rally began in the afternoon and continued for several hours, erupting at times
TAKING SIDES: As the king lauded a defiant monarchist protester, his behavior indicates that he ‘acknowledges the challenge,’ but ‘will not back down,’ an expert said Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s praise for a man who held up a royal portrait at a protest site in Bangkok has drawn controversy in Thailand, winning acclaim from monarchists and scorn from protesters. The king has not made any public comment on more than three months of protests, which have increasingly targeted the Thai monarchy as well as the government. However, in video recorded on Friday evening as the king greeted well-wishers outside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, he is heard praising Thitiwat Tanagaroon, who is introduced by Thai Queen Suthida as the man who held up the royal portrait while others were protesting. “Very brave, very brave, very good, thank you,” the king said. The Royal Palace made no comment, as it has not since the start of anti-government protests in July that have increasingly targeted the monarchy. Thai government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri declined to comment. The video was posted on Facebook by Tanagaroon alongside several other videos of the event and pictures of him taken on Tuesday in which he is holding the portrait. “Their majesties recognized me. This is the highest point of my life,” Tanagaroon wrote. The authenticity of the video of the king’s praise could not be independently verified. Several other people at the event recorded the encounter and posted videos online, but the king’s words were not clear amid the chanting. However, the king’s comments drew a big response. “Just seeing this picture, we are very touched,” royalist leader Warong Dechgitvigrom posted. “This is the Thai way and Thai society of caring, supporting and protecting. Today, it is considered that his institution has adapted to be very close to the people. That made the greatest impression.” Among the top trending hashtags on Twitter in Thailand, tweeted more than 500,000 times, was #23OctEyesOpened — used by protesters and their supporters saying that the Palace had
When Bikamal Kaken’s husband vanished during a 2017 visit to China’s Xinjiang, she had good reason to believe that he would not be returning home to Kazakhstan any time soon. However, she did not anticipate how dire his fate was or that it would be revealed during a spat online between US and Chinese diplomats. Rights groups at the time of Adilgazy Muqai’s disappearance were sounding the alarm over a mushrooming network of facilities for the massive incarceration of mostly Muslim minority citizens in the Chinese autonomous region. Kaken heard that her husband had fallen victim to the system. Three agonizing years later, she learned that he had met an even worse judgement: a nine-year prison sentence for extremist crimes. “I am so worried. The Chinese [authorities] will destroy him in jail,” said Kaken, a China-born ethnic Kazakh who is now a Kazakh citizen, pressing her two young daughters tightly to her body. Beijing has robustly defended its policies in Xinjiang, where more than 1 million people — mostly Muslims from Turkic-speaking groups like Uighurs and Kazakhs — have been rounded up on vague extremism and separatism pretexts, rights groups say. China claims that the sprawling network of detention centers are vocational training facilities used to counter extremism where attendance is voluntary. Yet in neighboring Kazakhstan, 44-year-old Kaken is just one of a growing number of relatives to discover that their missing family members are not in the centers as previously thought, but serving hard jail time instead. Kaken and her husband, a retired oil worker, moved to Kazakhstan when she was pregnant with her youngest child, now three, after hearing reports that Xinjiang authorities were forcing women from minority groups to have abortions. But 47-year-old Muqai, who had right of residency in Kazakhstan, but was not a citizen, was lured back to his native region in May 2017
Oct. 26 to Nov. 1 When Sawako Sazuka became a household name in Tokyo with her 1939 hit The Girl from the Savage Village, the local headlines described her as an “orphan of the Wushe Incident” (霧社事件). The incident took place on the morning of Oct. 27, 1930, when hundreds of Aboriginal Sediq warriors, simmering after years of colonial mistreatment, attacked and killed 134 Japanese gathered for a sports meet. The Japanese retaliated, crushing the rebellion in two months and forcing the villagers to relocate and assimilate. While Sazuka did have Aboriginal blood, as her song suggested, she was not Sediq — her father was Aisuke Sazuka, the Japanese police chief of Wushe who was killed in the attack, and her mother was Yawai Taimo, an Atayal princess. The two married purely for political reasons, which was quite common in those days; it’s said that uprising leader Mona Rudao’s sister, Terwas Rudao, was abandoned by her Japanese husband, which fueled his growing resentment. Left with four children and ostracized by the community, Yawai is one of the more overlooked tragic figures of the Wushe Incident. Historian Teng Hsiang-yang’s (鄧相揚) 1998 book on the event, Heavy Mist, Deep Clouds (霧重雲深) details the trials and tribulations of Yawai and her descendants, who felt that they were neither Japanese or Atayal, much less Taiwanese or Chinese. Famed writer and social critic Bo Yang (柏楊) called Yawai’s life a “Shakespearean tragedy,” writing in the book’s foreword: “As their homeland went through great changes, three generations of that family each bore the heavy burden of their fates. Born with this burden amid turbulent times, they were like leaves in the wind with no control over their lives.” GOVERNING THE SAVAGES Yawai’s father was a powerful Atayal chief of the Xakut subgroup in Masitoban Village, about 30km north of
In the 2006 movie Island Etude (練習曲), a handsome young man with a guitar slung across his back rode his bike around Taiwan meeting a variety of interesting characters against a series of spectacular sceneries. Suddenly, everybody and their mum, including Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), a candidate in the then-upcoming 2008 presidential election, was inspired to try the 1,000km circumnavigation of the island on two wheels. At the end of 2015, the route received government sanction with the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) investing NT$1.2 billion (US$41.7 million at today’s rate) to link a dozen local cycle paths. This also helped bring the challenge to international attention, and led to local cycle stores offering quality bikes for rental and tour companies adding cycling options to their portfolios. Another NT$3.2 billion was later earmarked for a four-year project of improvements and extensions, meaning that cyclotourists now have a plethora of routes to choose from, some sticking close to the coast, others presenting more challenging roads through inland foothills. The first decision is whether to proceed clockwise or counterclockwise. The MOTC handbook Cycling Around Taiwan recommends starting at Songshan Railway Station (松山車站) in Taipei and traveling in a counterclockwise direction so “you can improve your fitness and become more skilled and comfortable on your bike before the more difficult sections.” SUITED FOR ALL If this makes it sound like unfit and inexperienced cyclists are encouraged to ride 100km in one day for the first time in their lives, and then repeat that for another 9 days, well, they are — since they are probably going to do it anyway. The round-island ride is almost a rite of passage for people graduating from university, or graduating from middle age. Most local cyclists tend to set off from their hometowns; a few cycle clockwise, perhaps to avoid riding
Forced to retreat southward by unrelenting winds, I made my way into Lukang (鹿港), which is never a bad thing. I had to abandon any thought of cycling up the coast of Changhua County into Taichung, but at least I could pedal around one of Taiwan’s most historic and characterful towns. However many times I go back to Lukang, I always seem to discover something I’d not noticed on previous trips. This recent unplanned visit was no exception. Freewheeling through side streets near the rightfully famous Longshan Temple (龍山寺), I found myself facing an unfamiliar place of worship no wider than a shop. Its name, Lukang Xingan Temple (鹿港興安宮), didn’t ring any bells with me, but its weathered exterior was instantly appealing. I’d barely got my bicycle locked when a middle-aged lady walked up to me and began talking. Four-fifths of what she said was in Mandarin, the rest in English. She mixed useful statements about the temple with prying questions (“What’s your line of work?” “How old are you?”). She also handed me a Chinese-language booklet that contained a sketch of the temple as it probably looked in the decades after its founding in 1684. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the temple faced one of the docks through which Lukang merchants imported stone, wood and silk, while exporting rice and sugar. Silt eventually blocked the waterways between the sea and the docks. By the second half of the 19th century, the town’s golden age as a cross-strait trade hub was over. The temple’s name derives from Xinghua (興化) Prefecture, part of Fujian Province in China. Even though the prefectural government was formally abolished about 300 years earlier, it seems the toponym was still in common use when Han people began to settle in Lukang. Old habits do indeed
Fifty-one-year-old Chen Tzu-yin and his 78-year-old father Chen Yung-tsai, both residents of Huatan Township in Changhua County, climbed the main peak of Yushan in just under 11 hours, achieving the father’s lifetime dream to scale the nation’s tallest mountain, which they did in a single day’s round trip. As a young man, Chen Yung-tsai and his wife worked as terrazzo floor installers, which involved back-breaking work. After retiring, Chen worked on his home farm. Five years ago, Chen’s daughter took him to climb several suburban mountains, including Guguan Seven Heros and Mocha mountains. Chen was bitten by the mountain climbing bug and, together with his son, who also enjoys climbing, promised each other they would one day scale Yushan. Chen Yung-tsai says that every Taiwanese should climb Yushan at least once during their lifetimes. Chen’s son, Chen Tzu-yin, who works at the Huatan Township Farmers’ Association, on hearing of his father’s wish, originally planned to climb Yushan five years ago, together with three generations of the Chen family. However, his father began to suffer from a minor ailment, so the plan had to be scrapped. This year, his father’s health situation improved so that he was able to resume his daily exercise regime of a 4km jog and horizontal bar exercises at the Wunhsiang Elementary School playground. When his father again proposed the idea of climbing Yushan, Chen Tzu-yin thought that his father was not getting any younger and immediately set about making arrangements for an expedition to Yushan. Chen Tzu-yin said to himself, even if we cannot reach the top, at least I will have helped to fulfill my father’s wish. On Oct. 7, Chen Tzu-yin took his father to climb Yushan. Setting off from Changhua County at midnight, the two reached Yushan’s Tataka Saddle at 6am and Paiyun Lodge by 9:40am.
This isn’t going to be an easy climb (5/5) 這趟路並不輕鬆（五） A: Congratulations! We’re at the peak. From here, the only way is down! B: That outcrop is an interesting shape. It looks like a whale to me. The lichen halfway down the side could be the eye. A: Actually, it’s already been given a name. It’s known locally as “Dragon Boat Rock.” B: Look, there’s somebody sitting under the outcrop. I can see their toes poking out of the whale’s mouth. A: It’s not a whale. It’s a dragon boat. A: 恭喜！我們登頂了。從這裡開始，就都是下坡了！ B: 這邊露出來的石塊形狀很有趣，看起來像鯨魚。中間的青苔就像牠的眼睛。 A: 其實它已經有名字了。當地人叫它「龍船岩」。 B: 你看，有人坐在岩石底下，我可以看到他們的腳趾從鯨魚的嘴巴裡伸出來。 A: 那才不是鯨魚，是龍船！ （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
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