N. Korea fails in new missile test: Seoul

SEOUL -- A new North Korean missile test failed on Wednesday, the South and U.S. said, two weeks after Pyongyang launched four rockets in what it called a drill for an attack on American bases in Japan. The nuclear-armed North is under several sets of United Nations sanctions over its atomic and ballistic missile programs. "U.S. Pacific Command detected what we assess was a failed North Korean missile launch attempt ... in the vicinity of Kalma. Seoul said that experiment showed "meaningful progress" in the North's missile capabilities. Analysts' opinions are varied on how advanced the North's missile technologies are but many agree that Pyongyang has made significant progress in recent years.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Having a bad time: Swiss watch exports tumble in lead-up to Basel trade fair

ZURICH -- The world's biggest watch fair will open in Switzerland this week, even as slumping exports of luxury Swiss timepieces appear to dash hopes of a market rebound. Global exports of Swiss watches slid 10 percent in February to 1.5 billion Swiss francs (US$1.5 billion), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Tuesday. The news cast a shadow over the looming Baselworld trade fair, which opens its doors to the media on Wednesday and to the public a day later.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

China asks WTO to weigh in on EU anti-dumping efforts

GENEVA -- China on Tuesday asked the World Trade Organization to create an expert panel to examine the so-called "surrogate country" approach used by the European Union to calculate anti-dumping measures applied to Chinese exports. When China joined the WTO in 2001, it was written into the terms of the deal that member states could treat it as a non-market economy for 15 years. The deadline passed late last year, but the EU has nevertheless opted to preserve tough rules that protect it from cheap Chinese products flooding its markets. China on Tuesday asked the WTO to establish a panel to rule on its demand that the EU stop using a "surrogate country" system — judging the price of Chinese goods against a third country's — to determine whether China is selling its products below market prices. Beijing has said previously that the refusal to grant China market economy status is an example of "covert protectionism" and "double standard" by the West.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Siemens vows to turn Taiwan into offshore wind hub

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Siemens Taiwan President and CEO Erdal Elver vowed Wednesday to establish Taiwan as a regional offshore wind power hub. Siemens Taiwan President and CEO Erdal Elver, Deputy Director General of German Institute Taipei Sabrina Schmidt-Koschella and Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy Dr. Eugene Chien all welcome the ambitious plan. From the technology perspective, Elver has specified three key levers for Taiwan's sustainable energy future: offshore wind energy, gas-fired power generation and energy efficiency in buildings, energy grids and mobility through Digitalization. Taking the development of offshore wind power as an example, Siemens will provide products suited for the climatic conditions in Taiwan and the rest of APAC. Siemens will also establish in Taiwan the hub for offshore wind power activities in the APAC region.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Japan sees largest trade surplus since 2010 on back of strong Chinese exports

TOKYO -- Japan logged its biggest monthly trade surplus since 2010 in February, as exports to China surged by 28 percent from a year earlier. Preliminary customs data released Wednesday show overall exports rose 11 percent to 6.35 trillion yen (US$56 billion) and imports edged up 1 percent to 5.5 trillion yen (US$49 billion). The resulting trade surplus of 813.4 billion yen (US$7.3 billion) for the month was more than double that of a year earlier. "The upshot is that net trade should have continued to support growth this quarter," Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said. The month's biggest year-on-year gains were in exports of machinery and electronic components, likely reflecting improved manufacturing inChina.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC



Japanese trade surplus surges

AFP, TOKYOJapan’s trade surplus hit a multi-year high last month, government data showed yesterday, as exports to China rebounded after a Lunar New Year lull. That resulted in a trade surplus of ¥813.4 billion (US$7.3 billion), reversing a January deficit and more than tripling the ¥235.5 billion surplus the previous year. The latest figures marked Japan’s highest monthly trade surplus in nearly seven years. Exports to China soared 28.2 percent from the same month last year, creating Japan’s first trade surplus with China in five years. Japan also posted its first trade surplus with the US in three months last month.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Jobless rate up on holiday resignations

If they find new positions, the unemployment rate would drop, Pan said. Discontented workers coupled with people who lost jobs to temporary hiring raised the unemployment rate by 0.07 percentage points from a month earlier, Pan said. There were about 453,000 unemployed people in the nation last month, an increase of 8,000 from a month earlier, the agency’s report showed. The unemployment rate was 3.85 percent for people with a high-school education and 3.03 percent for people who only finished junior high school. People aged 45 and older had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.07 percent, the report showed.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

MediaTek hires ex-TSMC CEO Rick Tsai

Tsai was parachuted into the job as MediaTek is struggling to stop gross margin from contracting amid intensifying price competition from Qualcomm Inc and Spreadtrum Communications Co (展訊通信). “Tsai will be working on the mid to long-term strategic blueprint for future breakthroughs and growth for MediaTek, and to continuously elevate the firm’s global management capabilities so it becomes a world-class company,” MediaTek chairman and chief executive Tsai Ming-kai (蔡明介) said in a statement. MediaTek yesterday also named Tsai as a director and as vice chairman of MediaTek Group (聯發科集團) to enhance the integration between MediaTek and its subsidiaries. MediaTek yesterday also trimmed its operating income forecast due to an increase in operating expenses. Operating expenses are to rise to between NT$16.89 billion and NT$19.15 billion, from NT$15.39 billion and NT$17.74 billion, the filing showed.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

PRC asks WTO to probe EU policy

The deadline passed late last year, but the EU has nevertheless opted to preserve tough rules that protect it from cheap Chinese products flooding its markets. The request to the WTO came after China in December last year filed initial disputes against the EU and the US over the issue, which are being handled separately in the WTO system. “We think it is inappropriate use of the already strained resources of the WTO dispute settlement system,” the representative said. The EU “can only conclude that China’s objective is, in fact, to attempt to interfere in the internal legislative process of the European Union,” it said. The EU’s opposition blocks the creation of the panel for now, but under WTO rules, if China makes a second request it will automatically go through.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

William Perry in Taipei to meet officials

Staff writer, with CNAFormer US secretary of defense William Perry and a group of several US academics arrived in Taipei yesterday to begin a four-day visit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, adding that Perry will deliver a speech titled “My Journey at the Nuclear Brink.”Perry now director of Stanford University’s Preventive Defense Project, is to exchange opinions with Taiwanese officials on issues concerning bilateral relations, and is to speak at the ministry’s Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs tomorrow, the ministry said in a statement. In the speech, Perry, who served as US secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997 under then-US president Bill Clinton, is to discuss his role in molding preventive defense strategies during his time in government, the statement said. During the 1996 Taiwan Strait missile crisis, Perry urged Clinton to dispatch two aircraft carriers to patrol waters close to the Strait. The academics accompanying Perry include Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies China studies director David Lampton and Stanford University international research professor Thomas Fingar. New York-based National Committee on United States-China Relations vice president Jan Berris and Stanford University’s Preventive Defense Project executive director Deborah Gordon are also in the group.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Rivera headlines Latin American art sale

NEW YORK -- A painting that Sotheby's hails as one of the most important pieces by Diego Rivera to go to auction in recent years will headline its Latin American art sale in May, the auction house said. "Portrait of Senorita Matilde Palou" (1951) depicts Matilde Palou, a Chilean actress and singer who gained fame in Mexican cinema. In the painting, Palou is standing, reclining against what looks like a fireplace. For this painting, Rivera made a preparatory drawing in pencil and an oil sketch on canvas. Diego Rivera 51," shows the model in the same position, but with one more bracelet on her arm and a cigarette in her right hand.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Penguins clinch 11th straight playoff berth

BUFFALO, New York -- Nick Bonino scored the go-ahead goal with 5:29 left and the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched their 11th straight playoff berth with a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary also scored, and Matt Murray made 29 saves. The Penguins (46-17-9) improved to 8-1-1 in their past 10 and are in the hunt to finish with the NHL's best record. Sam Reinhart scored for a Sabres team that's sputtering on offense. Senators 3, Bruins 2 Kyle Turris scored twice and Craig Anderson made 33 saves as Ottawa beat Boston to end a four-game losing streak.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Rights advocate missing in China: family, friends

By Lin Liang-sheng and Su Fang-ho / Staff reportersA former Democratic Progressive Party staffer and human rights advocate is missing after traveling to China on Sunday, sparking concern among family and friends that he might have been kidnapped by the Chinese authorities following Taiwan’s crackdown on Chinese spies. The RFA quoted Liu as saying he was worried that Lee had been “put under the control” of Chinese authorities because Lee is known to have been closely following Chinese human rights issues. Lee’s wife said he had planned to go to Guangdong Province to seek medical assistance for his mother-in-law. Lee has made various exchanges with Chinese non-governmental organizations (NGOs), his friends said. Cheng said Lee’s family and friends, who have been trying to ascertain his whereabouts with the help of Chinese NGOs, are bracing for the possibility that Lee has been detained for “political” reasons.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Changing restrictions on trucks may cut emissions

The study showed that when driven on freeways, large cargo trucks moving at 60kph consume 1.08 times more fuel than those moving at 90kph, Yang said. The institute said that a truck driver could save about 14.3 liters of fuel driving on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1) — which is about 370km from Keelung to Kaoshuing — maintaining a driving speed of 90kph, compared with trucks driven at 60kph. Institute research Chang Yi-cheng (張益城) said freeway electronic toll collection data shows that 21.40 percent of large trucks on freeways are driven at speeds less than 80kph. If all these trucks were driven at 90kph they would conserve a total of about 386,000 liters of fuel, Chang said.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC

Book review: Questioning the future of humanity

Keating uses the realms of physics, metaphysics and phenomenology to discuss the paradigms different people live by, and how adhering to them affect their lives and others. Tolerance is championed in a very lengthy and academic way — but it is well argued that nobody has the right to believe that their beliefs are absolute. Only when we stop being dogmatic can we can work for the greater good. Keating (and Kardashev) suggests that the solution lies in expanding toward other planets, stars, galaxies and beyond. The reader should probably try to suppress his or her inner cynic when they read the book.

March 22, 2017 15:56 UTC




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