By Chung Li-hua / Staff reporterThe nation would continue to abide by its cross-strait policy of maintaining the “status quo” even as Beijing exerts greater pressure by stealing away Taiwan’s allies and barring the nation from participating in this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, an anonymous source said yesterday. Over the first three months of the year, China constricted Taiwan’s international space in 10 incidents, adding to 49 such incidents last year, 18 in 2016 and 13 in 2015, Ministry of Foreign Affairs data showed. More examples can be cited that illustrate how China forces other nations to observe its “one China” principle, yet Taiwan is garnering more support from the international community, the source said. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) pledge to maintain the cross-strait “status quo” aims to attract more international allies by letting them know that it is Beijing that continues sabotaging the peaceful “status quo,” the source said. The greater the pressure from China, the more the government will pursue this policy, the source said, adding that Tsai’s administration would not concede to Chinese pressure and change its cross-strait policy.
By Yang Hsin-hui / Staff reporterThe last snake restaurant in Taipei’s Huaxi Street Night Market (華西街觀光夜市), also known as “Snake Alley,” is to close today, with second-generation owner Kuo Yi-chien (郭懿堅) saying the shop is to be converted into a hot pot restaurant. Six decades ago, Huaxi Street in the city’s Wanhua District (萬華) was a red-light district that featured brothels, street performers and snake-meat restaurants, said Kuo, who inherited his father’s restaurant, which has only ever served snake. There were as many as eight snake restaurants in the area’s heyday, but the only two other remaining restaurants with snake on the menu now manly sell softshell turtle meat, Kuo said. Meanwhile, the busker culture on Huaxi Street was dying out, which is why their family decided to stop serving snake, Kuo Yi-chien said. Many people expressed regret online over the store’s closure, with one saying that their skin problems were cured after they drank snake soup on the street.
Staff writer, with CNAThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) has informed Taiwan that it would not approve any change to the name it uses to participate in the Olympic Games, Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) secretary-general Shen Yi-ting (沈依婷) said on Saturday. Shen made the announcement a day after IOC executive board member Wu Ching-kuo (吳經國) said the chances of the nation attending the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as “Taiwan” were low. IOC president Thomas Bach has kept close tabs on the situation and on May 2 called a meeting of the committee’s executive board, during which it presumably decided that it would not approve any name change, Shen said. After the CTOC on May 5 received a letter from the IOC informing it of the decision, it then forwarded the letter to the Sports Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies, Shen added. “Under these circumstances — in which a request had not been made — how could the IOC say it is not approving a change?” the campaign asked, urging the CTOC to disclose the full text of the IOC’s letter to clarify the situation.
AP, WASHINGTONThe US and China have agreed to take measures to “substantially reduce” the US’ massive trade deficit with China, but US President Donald Trump’s administration failed to get the Chinese to commit to a specific numerical goal. However, the statement provided no dollar amounts on how much China might boost its purchases of US products. Trade analysts said it was highly unlikely that China would ever agree to a numerical target for cutting the trade gap between the two nations, but they said the talks likely were more successful in de-escalating recent trade tensions. Europe could end up rueing a potential new deal between China and the US, French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire said yesterday. “The United States and China risk entering an agreement at the expense of Europe if Europe is not capable of showing a firm hand,” Le Maire told CNEWS television.
By Wu Liang-i and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe average age at which people have a heart attack is falling, due to poor dietary habits, lack of exercise and ignorance about cholesterol and blood lipids, a Tainan doctor said. Heart disease was the second-biggest cause of death in Taiwan in 2016, preceded only by cancer, he said, adding that sudden death from cardiac arrest was the leading cause of death in heart disease patients. Symptoms of heart attack include chest pain, cold sweating and nausea, developing into trouble breathing and loss of consciousness in the most serious cases, he said. When they experience blockages, the blood cannot pass through and blood cells die,” Li said. “When they do, they release myocardial enzymes,” he said, adding that doctors test for such enzymes to diagnose heart problems.
The public should focus on whether the prosecutorial system functions as intended and enjoys the trust of the public, instead of lining up behind the former Special Investigation Division. The now-defunct division was incorporated into the prosecutorial system on April 2, 2007, after Article 63-1 of the Organic Act for Courts (法院組織法) was amended. Based on several cases handled by them, I still have great confidence in the prosecutorial system. That power remains in the prosecutorial system. I personally believe that the nation must return to a normal prosecutorial and judicial system.
The US$2.63 billion they spent on overseas transactions last quarter might have been a record high, international law firm White & Case LLP said. M&A transactions by Taiwanese firms investing abroad last year reached a record high of US$7.25 billion in 28 deals, the law firm said in a report last week. In another example, Taiwanese firm Ta Chen Stainless Pipe Co (大成不銹鋼工業) in March last year acquired a 95 percent stake in US company Empire Resources Inc for US$177 million. In support of this, local firms are likely to continue looking abroad to increase their capabilities and source innovative technologies, White & Case said. A convergence of the industrial and tech sectors, spurred by a need to stay ahead of the competition, should encourage Taiwanese firms to look for more overseas acquisition opportunities, it said.
The Taiwan NextGen Foundation and the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) released their polls on the second anniversary of Tsai’s inauguration. The Taiwan NextGen Foundation’s survey found that 53.5 percent of respondents support Tsai, while 44.4 percent were satisfied with her performance. Asked about the government’s reform effort, 40.7 percent of respondents said they were satisfied and 65.5 percent said they support Tsai pushing forward reforms during her first term. Asked for whom they would vote if Tsai were to run against KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) in the 2020 presidential election, Tsai’s support rate was 54.5 percent, significantly higher than Wu’s 23.3 percent. Tsai’s administration received the highest satisfaction rate in the area of pension reform (49.8 percent), followed by national defense (42.8 percent).
By Lisa Wang / Staff reporterTaiwan Star Telecom Co (台灣之星) on Thursday last week said it aims to achieve a positive bottom line next year, after reporting earnings ahead of schedule last month. 4 telecom said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) last month turned positive. We expect a positive EBITDA for the whole of this year,” Taiwan Star president Cliff Lai (賴弦五) said. Taiwan Star also expects its average revenue per user to stay at about NT$500 for post-paid users, he said. The company’s number of base stations is to increase 40 percent year-on-year to 14,000 by the end of this year, Taiwan Star added.
Staff writer, with CNATaipei last year ranked second as a target for international retail brands across the Asia-Pacific region, a report by property consultancy CBRE Group Inc showed on Friday last week. The city attracted 52 new international brands, said the report, which examined 47 nations and 123 cities that saw international retailers setting up shop there for the first time. The city’s department stores have also been carrying more food and beverage stalls as a means of attracting customers and boosting revenue, she said. Lee said she expects the catering business to remain in demand for the retail store lease market this year. Worldwide, Taipei ranked third in the report, behind only Hong Kong and Dubai, which last year saw 86 and 59 new international entrants respectively.
Besides running Far Eastern department stores, the company also operates the Amart Co (愛買量販店) hypermarket chain and is a main investor in Far Eastern Sogo Department Store (遠東Sogo百貨). During the January-to-March period, the retail and department store arm of Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) saw net profit increase to NT$390.42 million (US$13.05 million), with EPS of NT$0.28. Operating profit grew 50.37 percent year-on-year to NT$1.01 billion in the first quarter, with operating margin increasing by 3.87 percentage points to 10.8 percent. “With the recovery of consumption in Taiwan, sales of Far Eastern Department Store and Sogo Department Store both grew more than 3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter,” Taishin Securities Investment Advisory Co (台新投顧) retail industry researcher Alan Chen (陳炤綸) said. Far Eastern shares on Friday last week closed at NT$19.3.
Staff writerLes Enphants Co (麗嬰房) on Thursday last week reported a 10 percent decline in sales for the first four months of this year, but said it has completed the latest round of a share buyback scheme ahead of schedule. Les Enphants shares on Friday last week fell 0.78 percent to end at NT$12.8 in Taipei trading. Les Enphants supplies children’s apparel and related products under its brands, such as Les Enphants, My Nuno, Nac Nac and Little Moni. The company reported cumulative revenue of NT$2.15 billion (US$71.9 million) for the January-to-April period, compared with NT$2.4 billion a year earlier. Les Enphants has 290 outlets in Taiwan and about 600 in China, Chang said.
Staff writer, with CNASummer electricity rates are to go into effect on June 1 and last until Sept. 30 to encourage people to save power during the peak energy consumption months. Electricity prices are to be 27 percent higher during the period than those from October last year to this month, depending on electricity consumption levels, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said. People who consume a monthly average of 420 kilowatt-hours (kWh) would pay NT$115 more per month during the period, while those who use 1,000kWh a month would see their bill increase by NT$656, Taipower said. The pricing plan is to be implemented after the average price of electricity was on April 1 raised 3 percent to NT$2.6253 per kWh from NT$2.5488 per kWh, although the hike does not affect most households, as it only applies to those who use more than 500kWh per month.
About 11 million Chinese tourists are expected to visit Thailand this year, up from just more than 1 million in 2010, making China by far the biggest source of tourism there. A big slice of the spending is with retailers, restaurants, and food and cosmetics makers that target the Chinese audience. Do Day Dream PCL, the company behind the skin-whitening Snail White cream, is one. That is more than the 10 to 15 percent that comes from Chinese tourists buying in Thailand. Another Thai beauty firm that sells color cosmetics and skincare products, Beauty Community PCL, is also seeing substantial growth.
May 19, 2018 15:56 UTC
AFP, HAVANACuba yesterday began two days of national mourning for victims of a crash of a state airways aircraft that killed all but three of its 110 passengers and crew. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said an investigation is under way into Friday’s crash of the nearly 40-year-old Boeing 737, leased to national carrier Cubana de Aviacion by a Mexican company. The mourning period is to last until midnight today, Cuban Communist Party leader and former Cuban president Raul Castro said. The aircraft — carrying 104 passengers — was almost completely destroyed in the crash and subsequent fire. Built in 1979, the airplane was leased from a small Mexican company, Global Air, also known as Damojh Aerolineas.
May 19, 2018 15:56 UTC