The issue of industrial subsidies is thorny, because they are intertwined with the Chinese government’s industrial policy. Beijing grants subsidies and tax breaks to state-owned firms and to sectors seen as strategic for long-term development. However, the USTR has complained of a catalog of other subsidies and supports, including preferential access to capital and land. The US has said China has failed to disclose subsidies as required by the WTO. Washington has detailed more than 500 different subsidies it says China applies in notifications to the WTO.
Staff writer, with CNAThe deportation of Chinese academic Li Yi (李毅), who has promoted the use of force to unify Taiwan and China, was justified, as it is illegal to advocate war, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday. On Saturday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that Taiwan had no reason to allow Li to stay and he constituted a national security threat. Li was deported on Friday, three days after his arrival in Taiwan. Any foreign nationals who make similar remarks would be listed as persona non grata and their applications to enter Taiwan would be closely scrutinized, Chiu said. The government’s efforts to build institutional mechanisms to oversee cross-strait political negotiations and the inking of cross-strait pacts are vital to interactions and Taiwan’s security and well-being, Chiu said.
Staff writer, with CNAA long line of voters on Sunday waited outside a polling station near Taipei Railway Station as absentee voting began three days before Indonesia’s general election. Indonesians in Taiwan on Sunday could vote for their next president, vice president and members of the People’s Consultative Assembly, from 8am to 6pm at 34 polling stations nationwide. She said a letter from the IETO on March 10 to Taiwanese who employ Indonesian workers, helped more Indonesians receive a day off to vote. Aside from postal voting and voting at the 34 polling stations, the IETO also set up four polling stations at the harbors in Keelung, Yilan, Pingtung and Taitung to allow Indonesian fishers to vote, Gultom said. Indonesians who are 17 years old and above are eligible to vote in the election, including those who reside overseas.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe Taipei City Government is working with Taiwan Adventist Hospital to increase the number of Muslim-friendly hospitals as part of its efforts to make the nation’s capital a more Muslim-friendly city, the Taipei Department of Health said yesterday. A survey conducted by the Taipei Department of Information and Tourism found that more than 90 percent of foreign visitors to Taiwan in the past four years visited Taipei, and the numbers of visitors increased each year, the health department said. Data from the Taiwan External Trade Development Council’s Taiwan Halal Center suggest there are about 300,000 Muslims living in Taiwan, Taipei Department of Health Commissioner Huang Shier-chieg (黃世傑) said. It is willing to help other hospitals create Muslim-friendly environments and show them how to apply for halal certification, he added. At an Eid-al-Fitr event at the Taipei Grand Mosque in July 2016, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) promised to make Taipei a “Muslim-friendly” city.
By Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterThe Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday said it has rejected Nan Shan Life Insurance Co’s (南山人壽) application to be listed on the local bourse due to the company’s low equity-to-asset ratio. The average equity-to-asset ratio of the nation’s 23 life insurers was 5.4 percent as of the end of February, the commission said. As Nan Shan is an independent firm, unlike most of its peers, which belong to financial holding companies, it has to enhance its financial strength, the commission added. Nan Shan should re-examine its financial gauges to meet the commission’s IPO requirements, which also include risk-based capital ratio, real-estate investment ratio and corporate governance, the bureau said. “We will review our qualifications according to the new regulation and strive for the commission’s approval,” Nan Shan said.
AFP, SYDNEYThe lawyer defending Australia’s biggest news organizations against contempt charges for their reporting of Cardinal George Pell’s sex crimes conviction yesterday denounced what he called an unprecedented attack on press freedom in the nation. Twenty-three journalists and 13 media firms face fines and prison terms for allegedly breaching a gag order not to report on last year’s trial of Pell for child sex abuse. The court had banned all reporting of the case pending a second trial scheduled for this month, but the gag order was lifted in February when that trial was canceled. Matthew Collins, representing the accused media at the first hearing on the matter yesterday, said such wide-ranging contempt charges had “no precedent” in Australian legal history. Collins added that a guilty verdict on any of the charges would have a “chilling effect” on open justice in Australia.
Taiping District has a population of more than 190,000, the fourth-highest of any district in Taichung, Chang said. Otherwise, residents must take their trash to garbage trucks stationed at one of eight collection points on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8pm, she said. There is clearly demand for additional garbage collection services in Taiping, she said. She urged the bureau to hire more garbage collectors, set up additional collection points and to increase the frequency of evening services from twice to five times a week. In light of the rapid development Taiping district has experienced over the past few years, it would be reassessing the frequency and availability of evening garbage services in the district, it added.
Also included is a provision that would prevent a teacher from being rehired after contravening the law. The proposed changes sparked heated debate among teachers and parents, who also protested outside the Legislative Yuan yesterday. “We are outraged by the draft amendments, because they amount to persecution of teachers,” Chang said. “It is as if we were back in the authoritarian era, when administrative officials had absolute power over teachers,” he said. A petition the group launched last week to call for an increased percentage of outside members on teachers’ review committees and more oversight over their operations has garnered 100,000 signatures from parents nationwide, Peng said.
By Natasha Li / Staff reporterThe Taichung City Government yesterday fined the Taichung Power Plant NT$20 million (US$647,962) for poor management of industrial wastewater. The plant, which is run by state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), was fined in accordance with Section 40 of the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法), Wu said. 4 generators contained nitrate nitrogen levels that exceeded the allowable limit, Wu said. To demonstrate its willingness to lower nitrate nitrogen levels in wastewater, the plant has halved the output of generators No. Taipower reiterated the importance of the plant, which it said plays a key role in ensuring a steady power supply for the nation.
BloombergPrivate-home sales in Singapore soared last month as developers marketed more projects after a typically slower February that included the Lunar New Year holiday. Developers sold 1,054 units last month, more than double the 455 in February, the Singaporean Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a statement yesterday. Sentiment is proving most positive in the super-luxury segment, with a significant pick up in sales, property broker OrangeTee & Tie Pte said. Last month, 25 new homes were sold above the S$5 million (US$3.7 million) mark, the most since December 2013. Sales for the first quarter reached 1,946 units, 23 percent higher compared with the same period last year, they showed.
By Kwan Shin-han / Staff reporterSilicone products supplier Topco Technologies Corp (崇越電) yesterday provided a positive business outlook for this quarter and next quarter, despite revenue falling last quarter. Revenue last quarter fell 16.6 percent to NT$1.74 billion (US$56.4 million), compared with NT$2.08 billion a year earlier, due to clients’ inventory adjustments that started in the fourth quarter of last year, Topco said. “However, new demand from our major client, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co, and an end to inventory adjustments are expected to stimulate demand in the second quarter,” Chang said. Topco’s silicone products are used in various applications ranging from food containers and apparel to construction and building materials. About 70 percent of Topco’s products are made for foreign companies, with the remainder destined for Taiwanese firms.
With clear skies and favorable wind, the pigeon whistle race (賽鴿笭) began on Sunday at 8am between Sinfu Village (新富) and Touchu Village (頭竹) in Yijhu Township (義竹), Chiayi County. “There are less people raising pigeons these days because it requires a lot of time and money. Organized by the Chiayi County Cultural Foundation (嘉義縣文化基金會), the Chiayi Yijhu Pigeon Whistle Culture Festival (嘉義義竹鴿笭文化季), recognizes pigeon whistle racing as an representative heritage of the Chiayi region. During the opening ceremony on Thursday last week, Chiayi County commissioner Weng Chang-liang (翁章梁) recounted his memories of attending the pigeon races as a child. “The pigeons used in our races are three times larger than average race pigeons,” says Sinfu Village Chief Lin fu-chuan (林福傳).
Article 14 in the act states that 60 decibels is the standard to decide if a resident living near an international airport should receive compensation for noise created by aircraft departures and landings. However, a 2015 amendment to the Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法), which changed noise control fees charged to airlines specified in Article 37 to compensation fees, also removed the 60-decibel standard for determining noise pollution, which means that the international airport act needs to be amended. The area around the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was divided into noise control zones — Level One, Level Two and Level Three — with residents in the Level-Three zone the most affected by airport noise, Taoyuan Department of Environmental Protection section head Huang Bo-hong (黃伯弘) said. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) said the amendment to the Civil Aviation Act only benefited people living near the Taoyuan airport. People living near other airports should also receive such benefits once the international airport act is amended, Liu said.
BloombergThe battery maker for Nissan Motor Co’s Leaf vehicles is adding a factory in China to more than triple its global capacity and lure more customers in the world’s biggest electric-vehicle (EV) market. The Chinese wind-energy company, which purchased a controlling stake in the battery business from Nissan, has three facilities in Japan, the US and the UK that can produce a combined 7.5 gigawatt-hours of batteries for electric vehicles a year. China aims to sell 7 million new-energy vehicles annually by 2025, including pure-battery electric, hybrid plug-ins and fuel-cell vehicles. “China emerged as a powerhouse of the automotive industry,” Diess told reporters late on Sunday at a presentation near Shanghai. “As a brand, we want to be number one in terms of electric mobility in China and beyond,” he said.
The magazine defines luxury homes as apartments larger than 100 ping (330m2) that appeal to wealthy buyers. Luxury home projects approached NT$90 billion in 2013, but plunged to NT$35 billion in 2014 following a spate of government measures to cool the property market, Ho said. Luxury homes serve as a critical confidence barometer on the part of developers, the analyst said. New luxury home projects might have difficulty competing with unsold units due to a lack of land supply in popular locations, Ho said, adding that most unsold luxury homes are built on plots acquired years ago. The absence of new luxury homes is favorable for unsold units, making them more competitive and attractive, he said, adding that their transactions might pick up if sellers reduce prices a bit.