By Lee Hsin-fang and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Cabinet yesterday said it would complete a draft proposal to ban fishing in a portion of Penghu County by June in response to a resident’s online proposal. Penghu County Commissioner Chen Kuang-fu (陳光復) in a video said that he is opposed to any ban on fishing, which would hurt the livelihood of local fishers. Of greater concern to the county is the need to crack down on illegal fishing, particularly by Chinese fishing boats, Hsu said, adding that if illegal fishing is stopped, the local marine environment could more effectively be protected. Whether to completely ban fishing in the area or maintain a partial ban requires further discussion, he added. Any ban on fishing would not be passed before the middle of next year and might not be implemented until the following year, he added.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterCable channel operators yesterday urged the National Communications Commission (NCC) to be aware of the possible consequences of introducing a tiering system for cable TV subscriptions, adding that the policy should not be enforced at the expense of operators. Four cable operators in Tainan have proposed using a tiering system to charge subscribers. It also approved channel packages for between 131 and 137 channels that would cost between NT$535 and NT$590 per month. Weng reiterated that it is not the commission’s purpose to lower the price of cable TV services. “We did not know about the schemes proposed by cable operators until we read about it in newspapers.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterTwo cases of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infection that resulted in serious complications were reported last week amid increasing enterovirus cases in the nation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday. A total of 9,450 enterovirus infection cases were reported last week, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Liu Ting-ping (劉定萍) said. While the enterovirus epidemic season in the nation has ended, the latest cases include four infections by the more serious EV-D68 strain, with two of them leading to serious complications, Liu added. The two cases involved a four-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl, both from central Taiwan, CDC physician Huang Wan-ting (黃婉婷) said. People diagnosed with enterovirus infection should avoid crowded places and get plenty of rest, he said.
The committee criticized the league for postponing negotiations on an administrative contract that is to be signed between the committee and the league, which would set out penal measures if the league’s chairpersons are found to have hidden assets. “If the negotiations fail to yield substantial results by Dec. 26, when a committee meeting is to be held, the committee is to make its decision according to the law,” it added. The committee thanked the ministry — the league’s governing body — for mediating between it and the league since July. BCC officials during the meeting advised the KMT administration to renew the company’s mission, the committee said. The party should review and correct its current broadcasting policy,” the committee’s investigation report showed Chiang as saying.
By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterMalaysia’s Cornerstone Partners Group yesterday joined forces with InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) to enter the local market, saying that demand for international hotel brands remains healthy. The two firms are turning a 14-story building near Pacific Sogo Department Store’s (太平洋崇光百貨) branch on Taipei’s Zhongxiao E Road into Kimpton Hotel Taipei, which is to have a soft opening in the third quarter of next year. Cornerstone would not rule out the possibility of extending the NT$100 million (US$3.33 million) lease for a year if necessary, Chong said. Cornerstone is to spend NT$400 million decorating Kimpton Hotel Taipei, which is to feature 129 boutique guest rooms priced between NT$7,000 and NT$8,000 per night, company officials said. IHG owns brands including Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express that operate in the local market, he said.
“We have successfully completed four batches of 1,000 liters of EG12014 this year, as part of preparations for the phase III trial,” EirGenix president and CEO Liu Lee-cheng (劉理成) told an investors’ conference. The company has two main business units: CDMO and product development, which includes the development of biosimilars, specialty biologics and novel biologics, Liu said. EirGenix has seven product lines, four of which are biosimilars, he said, adding that the development of EG12014 is progressing faster than the company’s other biosimlars. The global phase III trial is to cost between 50 million and 60 million euros (US$58.8 million and US$70.5 million) and is to involve 800 patients in 20 nations, he said. “Two of the five potential partners have entered the critical negotiation stage with EirGenix,” Liu said.
Staff writer, with CNALocal aircraft designer and manufacturer Aerospace Industrial Development Corp (AIDC, 漢翔航空工業) on Tuesday signed an agreement with Martin-Baker Aircraft Co to purchase ejection seat systems. The British firm’s ejection seats are to be used in AIDC’s advanced jet trainer (AJT) that it is building for the air force, the company said. The 66 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by 2026 and are to replace the military’s AT-3 trainer aircraft and F-5 jets, which are more than 30 years old. “The contract between AIDC and Martin-Baker facilitates cooperation opportunities and is a major milestone in the launch of AJT systems,” AIDC said in the statement. Through the agreement, Taiwan and the UK will strengthen cooperation in aviation development to create a safer environment, he said.
By Jason Pan / Staff reporterAuthorities yesterday launched investigations into more than 500 businesses nationwide in a coordinated effort headed by the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau to clamp down on fraudulent accounting, money laundering and other economic crimes. Those taken in for questioning included more than 40 chartered accountants, and more than 50 other people described as financiers and major investors behind a number of the companies involved in the probe, bureau officials said. “Investigations had shown that many businesses forged accounting records, falsely claiming the injection of new investments and boosting of capital,” the statement said. Companies were also suspected of forging registered company capital records to procure tender contracts in government infrastructure projects, the bureau said. APG officials expressed concerns that Taiwan had been an easy target for money laundering schemes in recent years due to inadequate control mechanisms and lack of enforcement of financial laws, officials said.
By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterSeveral experts at a public hearing yesterday urged the Bureau of Energy to establish clear and legitimate guidelines for its two-stage selection process for offshore wind farm projects, which is to begin next year. Developers of offshore wind farm projects are to go through the bureau’s selection process after they obtain approvals from the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA). The bureau’s selection measure is diametrically opposed to its plan to localize foreign techniques of wind farm construction, Wpd Taiwan Energy Co Ltd (達德能源) chairperson Yuni Wang (王雲怡) said. The company plans to build a wind farm off the coast of Yunlin County and its project has passed the EPA’s initial review last month. The ministry should cancel its second selection that is based on bidding price, or it might violate the principle of “legitimate expectation” and infringe on the rights of earlier wind farm developers, he said.
By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporterThe annual Taiwan-US-Japan trilateral security dialogue is to open in Taipei today, bringing together former US White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and lawmakers from the three nations. As per customary practices, the event will feature a one-hour trilateral parliamentary dialogue among incumbent and former Taiwanese, US and Japanese lawmakers, the ministry said. The US side is represented by former Republican representative Tom Petri, while Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers Keisuke Suzuki and Rui Matsukawa would represent Japan, the ministry said. In his capacity as chairman of the Republican National Committee, Priebus led delegations to Taiwan twice, in 2011 and 2015. The main purpose of Priebus’ visits were to attend the nation’s Double Ten National Day celebrations.
Reconstruction work at the mansion is due to begin early next year, the city government said, after the Ministry of Culture grants funding for the project. When it was first built, the mansion was the most striking building in Taoyuan. The mansion was registered as a heritage site in July 2014 following the Taipei National University of the Arts’ efforts, the department said. The department in 2015 launched conservation work at the site by installing sheds to protect it from the elements, removed vines and termites, and performed limited repairs, it said. The dome’s lacquered black tiles were a conscious statement emphasizing the Chien family’s social status and wealth, he said.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe Taipei City Government yesterday said that it would not change its decision to impose fines on people living illegally in a commercial zone in the city’s Neihu District (內湖), despite hundreds of the area’s residents staging a protest outside a public hearing. The Taipei Department of Urban Development in October announced the fines for the residential units, dividing the units into five categories according to size and imposing different fines for each group, with the maximum penalty being a NT$300,000 fine and the cutting of water and electricity supplies in three stages. Several residents, along with Chen Ping-fu, urged the city to legalize the residential units. He added that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) also supported the commission’s decision to impose fines on the residential units. Taipei Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) said the city government has heard the opinions and suggestions of the residents, and would ask the related departments to respond with written replies.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterThe nation yesterday morning welcomed the 10 millionth international visitor this year at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Tan said she had initially planned to visit Taiwan after graduating from university, but could only realize her plan this year, when she decided to visit the nation with her family. It is her first time visiting Taiwan, Tan said, adding that she started planning the trip and making hotel reservations in September. She said she is a also excited about the trip to Jiufen, where she can sample various local desserts. This is the third year the nation has welcomed 10 million international tourists, Tourism Bureau International Affairs Division Director Cheng Ying-huei (鄭瑛惠) said.
The association staged a protest at the Taipei Garden Hotel, where Premier William Lai (賴清德) was having a breakfast meeting with business leaders. Association representative Ho Kuang-wan (賀光卍) said that Lai pushed for the amendments to the labor act because he wanted to give businesses the flexibility they needed to adjust work hours. The government has yet to offer solutions to prevent employers from overworking their employees, but Lai wanted to propose another amendment to the labor act to turn into an evil law again, he said. The protesters gave another example: 64-year-old clothing factory worker Lin Wen-chia (林穩甲), who died while he was working in a factory. The association in 2009 proposed making overwork a criminal offense, but it was opposed by six business groups in 2010, which lobbied lawmakers to turn down such legislation.
By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterMore than a quarter of Taiwanese companies plan to hire more workers next quarter amid an improving economy and a seasonal sales uptick, human resources advisory firm ManpowerGroup said yesterday. The findings represent a net job gain of 22 percent, or 25 percent after seasonal adjustments, better than three months earlier or the same time last year. The financial and real-estate sectors showed the strongest demand for extra personnel, with a net gain of 31 percent, an increase of 6 percentage points quarter-on-quarter, the report said. Strong exports have made companies more willing to increase payrolls, especially for research and development engineers and assembly line workers, the report said. The job market outlook is weakest for the civil engineering industry, with a net gain of 13 percent, the report said.