The bridge project was launched to connect New Taipei City’s Tamsui (淡水) and Bali (八里) districts to ease traffic congestion during peak hours and on holidays. The project is divided into three parts: a section of road that connects the Port of Taipei and the bridge, the bridge itself, and a section connecting Bali to the bridge. “We will ask them to quickly start building the bridge after the contract is signed,” Teng said. Once completed, the bridge would be world’s longest single-tower, asymmetric cable-stayed bridge, it added. 1) and Jhungho Interchange on Formosa Freeway (Freeway No.
By Jason Pan / Staff reporterAuthorities have summoned nine people for questioning over their suspected affiliation with a Taipei entertainment promotion agency that is being investigated over a suspected investment scam, in which investors lost about NT$130 million (US$4.45 million) after investing in South Korean pop music (K-pop) and television stars. The New Taipei City District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday raided 12 locations and requested the detention of two people after questioning suspects yesterday. Prosecutors also issued a wanted bulletin for Chuang Li-huo (莊力霍), the main proprietor of Aaron International Entertainment Co (亞倫國際娛樂公司) and the alleged mastermind of the operation. Records indicate that Chuang left Taiwan in September last year and has been abroad since. K-pop has become popular in Taiwan since Taiwanese K-pop star Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜) grew to prominence in South Korea.
By Sean Lin / Staff reporterThe Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning and its escort warships on Tuesday night again passed through the Taiwan Strait, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said. However, Yen declined to comment further on the carrier’s passage, saying only that the ministry had “thoroughly monitored” the event. “If China really wanted to intimidate Taiwan, it would likely have docked its warships in the Strait and launched a large-scale military drill. Passing through the Strait would be pointless and not intimidating,” Tsai said. “Arranging high-level meetings immediately after the act’s signing could cause ‘the third party’ to misjudge the situation,” he said.
By Lo Tien-bin / Staff reporterThe Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology has increased its marketing budget nearly 112 percent to promote domestically developed and manufactured weapons, an official said on Tuesday last week. The business outlook for domestically developed weapons in international markets is highly optimistic, the official said. “More importantly, the institute has the ability to customize products for clients, which gives Taiwan a large competitive edge over other arms manufacturing nations,” the official said. As the institute has been building its presence at international defense, aerospace, maritime and photovoltaic industry exhibitions, an increase in marketing expenses has been necessary to improve the nation’s visibility in those sectors, the official said. The institute has led delegations to the trade shows to introduce Taiwanese weapons systems and equipment to international buyers, the official said, adding that it has received solid recognition from international buyers.
By Jake Chung / Staff writer, with CNALow carbohydrate diets followed by many cancer patients are unlikely to “starve” cancer cells, but could increase the chances of the patients becoming malnourished, a Chiayi-based hospital has warned. Research has found that between 20 percent and 40 percent of cancer patients die due to malnutrition-related complications, not tumors or their cancer itself, St Martin De Porres Hospital Da Ya Branch said in a statement yesterday. More than 45 percent of cancer patients lose 10 percent or more of their weight while undergoing treatment for their cancer, which highlights the severity of malnutrition and the importance of maintaining a patient’s weight, the hospital said. Hospital nutritionist Chen Ya-chi (陳雅琪) said cancer patients should not be picky about their food as they need adequate intake of rice and carbohydrates to provide the calories their bodies need. Patients undergoing therapy require at least 1.5 to two times the normal protein consumption of regular people, Chen said, adding that insufficient consumption of protein could cause a sudden loss of weight.
By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporterNewly inaugurated Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) yesterday urged the public to stop fixating on the so-called “1992 consensus,” saying that cross-strait issues should be dealt with through laws. Asked by Sra Kacaw how he intended to further cross-strait ties without embracing the “1992 consensus,” Chen said: “The content of the ‘1992 consensus’ has been debated in Taiwanese society. Several breakthroughs in cross-strait relations were made during negotiations that adhered to those two laws, he said, adding that insistence on gluing cross-strait relations to a “controversial noun” would only tie the government’s hands. “How much longer is our society going to fixate on the term?” Chen asked. The US factor has always played a significant role in cross-strait relations, Chen said.
By Wang Chun-chi / Staff reporterVisitors to Taroko National Park last month dropped by more than half compared with the same period last year following the earthquake that struck Hualien on Feb. 6. There were about 440,000 visitors to the park in February last year, but last month, it only saw about 185,000 visitors, park administration chief Yang Mo-lin (楊模麟) said. It is just terrible,” Taroko Village Hotel proprietor Cheng Ming-kang (鄭明岡) said. “You will not see crowds in Hualien Train Station, downtown areas or scenic attractions like Taroko National Park,” he said. Hualien County Hotel Association chairman Chen Yi-feng (陳義豐) said he hopes that the government, businesses and people would show their love for Hualien and consider holding training events, exhibitions and tours in the county.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterTaipei City Government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) yesterday rejected a report that a twin-city forum with Shanghai would not be held in Taipei this year. Chinese-language magazine Mirror Media this week quoted an anonymous source who is purportedly close to Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) as saying it is certain that the twin-city forum would not be held in Taipei this year. The city government wants to avoid the possibility of the forum becoming a stage for the campaigns of candidates in November’s local elections and wants to avoid worsening cross-strait relations, the magazine quoted the source as saying. As many pan-green groups have criticized Ko for his remark at last year’s forum that “both sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family” and the Democratic Progressive Party has yet to decide whether to support Ko in his re-election bid, the Ko administration feels that holding the controversial forum in Taipei might cause even more disturbances, the magazine said. After the city government reached a consensus with the Shanghai Municipal Taiwan Affairs Office, it informed the central government about not holding the forum in Taipei, which is an attitude also held by the Mainland Affairs Council and the National Police Agency on the issue, it added.
By Yeh Yung-chien, Chen Kuan-pei and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporters, with staff writerLychee stink bugs, which react by spraying a foul-smelling and corrosive liquid when disturbed, are emerging in large numbers to breed, officials said on Monday last week, advising the public to be cautious. The bugs prefer to lay eggs on the back of leaves and sometimes on clothing that is left outdoors, the researchers added. People should not approach or swat a stink bug with their bare hands, as the liquid released by the bug causes painful sores, they said. Farmers are advised to apply chlorpyrifos or cyhalothrin-based solutions on their fruit trees to mitigate the damage, they said. To combat the bugs, the Council of Agriculture and its academic partners have introduced the stink bug’s natural enemy, the parasitic wasp Anastatus japonicus, the researchers said.
By Sean Lin / Staff reporterThe Cabinet plans to minimize the budget for the symbolic Taiwan Provincial Government, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday. Lai made the remarks during a question-and-answer session with New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Lim showed Lai a screen grab from the introduction page of the provincial government’s English-language Web site, which refers to Taiwan as a “province,” which he said is confusing. While the Executive Yuan is not authorized to abolish the provincial government, which was set up according to the Constitution, he hopes that the provincial government’s budget could be minimized, Lai said. The budget earmarked for the provincial government for the next fiscal year is to be decreased, and it would only be granted funding to perform necessary tasks, such as running service centers in Kinmen and Lienchiang counties, Lai said.
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There were no proposals from the US to lend Taiwan such fighters, ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said, calling the report “pure speculation by the media.”On Monday, Chinese-language online news outlet Up Media, citing an unnamed source, reported that US officials had expressed an interest in giving Taiwan refitted decommissioned F-15s. The air force’s main high-altitude interceptor, the Dassault Mirage 2000, is aging and increasingly difficult to service, it added. US officials believe that giving Taiwan refurbished F-15s without auxiliary fuel tanks might allay China’s fears about Taipei having an advanced, long-range multi-role fighter, the source added. The 2040C variant is designed to carry up to 16 air-to-air missiles, climb at 15,240m per minute and take off and land on relatively short runways. The jets reportedly destined for Taiwan would have a mid-life upgrade package and avionics equivalent to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s Mitsubishi F-15J, the report said.
These are no signs of demand weakness that would reverse a scarcity of wafer supply constraints and GlobalWafers expects the price uptrend to be in place throughout the year, it said. “A rise in customer demand has helped drive up equipment loading rates in the past year. Our capacity cannot keep up with the pace of customer demand,” company spokesperson Lee Chung-wei (李崇偉) said by telephone. Customer demand is very strong this year, which will support further price hikes.”Lee declined to give a detailed forecast about price increases. Last year, GlobalWafers saw revenue expand to NT$45.21 billion, compared with NT$18.43 billion a year earlier.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) last year collected NT$44.73 billion (US$1.53 billion) in supplementary premiums, the highest total in five years, with one landlord in his 70s paying NT$2.98 million. Collection of the supplementary premium, which is imposed on employers and insured individuals who earn more than NT$20,000 per non-salary source, started when the second-generation National Health Insurance program was implemented in 2013. Employers last year contributed NT$24.95 billion, or 53.5 percent, of the overall annual supplementary premium total, while individuals contributed NT$20.78 billion, NHIA section head Lee Chun-er (李春娥) said. The insured individuals who paid the largest supplementary premiums in the six categories last year were all men aged between 40 and 70, he added. The NHIA has collected more than NT$40 billion per year in supplementary premiums since the mechanism was launched in 2013, Lee said, adding that the total is expected to exceed NT$45 billion this year.
By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporterThe nation’s likelihood of receiving an invitation to the World Health Assembly (WHA) is even lower than last year due to Beijing’s mounting pressure, a government source said yesterday. Several incidents have shown that it is even less likely for Taiwan to receive an invitation to this year’s assembly, which is to take place from May 21 to May 26 in Geneva, Switzerland, the source said. Beijing has also explicitly warned Taiwan-friendly nations against “assisting Taiwan, meeting with Taiwanese officials and helping it during this year’s convention,” the source added. “Tedros responded to their requests by citing the ‘one China’ principle, UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1,” the source said. Asked what the government plans to do if it does not receive an invitation, the source said it “does not rule out using any possible tactics at its disposal” to avoid letting Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHA become commonplace.
By Kuo Chia-erh / Staff reporterPresident Chain Store Corp (PCSC, 統一超商), the operator of the nation’s largest convenience store chain, is expanding its logistics facilities this year to explore business opportunities in the e-commerce sector, a company executive said yesterday. PCSC plans to build a 5,000 ping (1.65 hectare) warehouse in Taoyuan’s Yangmei District (楊梅) to improve its logistics efficiency and meet increasing demand for its in-store pickup services, PCSC president Ray Chen (陳瑞堂) said on the sidelines of a news conference in Taipei. PCSC also plans to expand the size of its existing warehouse in Tainan’s Gueiren District (歸仁) from 630 ping to about 1,000 ping, it said, without providing a detailed schedule. PCSC said it expects to distribute more than 200 million e-commerce packages this year, up from 183 million e-commerce packages last year. PCSC plans to expand its presence in the Philippines this year, Chen said, adding that the company aims to lift the profitability of its existing stores in the nation.