However, the growth in average pay is distinct from increasing uncertainty in the global and domestic economies due to continued US-China trade tensions. In the first 10 months of the year, the average wage, excluding performance bonuses and overtime pay, climbed 2.61 percent to NT$40,906, the agency said. The data show that most employers preferred paying performance bonuses and overtime fees over increasing monthly pay, Pan said. This indicated that average take-home pay grew at a slower rate than inflation, or consumer prices, Pan told reporters. During the same period, monthly working hours totaled 168.4, little changed from a year ago, and overtime rose 0.2 hours to 8.1, while overtime pay climbed 6.59 percent to NT$1,811 on average, the statistics showed.
By Ann Maxon / Staff reporterThe Taiwan Association for Human Rights yesterday urged lawmakers to pass two proposed amendments and two bills it said were crucial for human rights protection, which have been waiting at the Legislative Yuan for years. Draft amendments to the act passed a review at the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee in May 2016, but have since been set aside for no obvious reason, he added. They need to make their voices heard by taking to the street,” he said, urging lawmakers to pass the amendments in the current or next legislative session. Similarly, legislative review of the draft refugee act has stalled since July 2016, association secretary-general Chiu Ee-ling (邱伊翎) said. Only two more legislative sessions and perhaps one provisional session remain before the lawmakers’ term ends, Shih said.
By Lai Hsiao-tung and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter, with staff writerDirector Winson Chang’s (張志宏) latest short film aims to raise awareness of the importance of seeking counseling and professional help when dealing with family conflicts and domestic violence. It has been 20 years since the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (家庭暴力防治法) was enacted, said Hsu Chih-chi (許芝綺), the director of New Taipei City’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Center. Awareness of domestic violence and emergency services is improving daily, she said. In 2011, the city government commissioned the Shiuh-li Cultural and Educational Foundation to establish the White Ribbon center, she said. She hopes Chang’s film can help change stereotypes about domestic violence and encourage abusers to accept help.
Staff writer, with CNATaiwanese shares moved sharply lower yesterday, with the TAIEX closing down more than 100 points as investors were shocked by heavy losses on US markets amid worries over an economic slowdown in the US and trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, dealers said. Large-cap stocks in the bellwether electronics sector led the downturn, reflecting weakening global demand for tech gadgets, they said. As selling spread to old economy and financial stocks, the TAIEX ended down 113.34 points, or 1.16 percent, at 9,647.54, on turnover of NT$98.07 billion (US$3.18 billion). “Moreover, market sentiment remained under pressure from the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing,” Chang said. In the financial sector, Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) ended down 1.04 percent at NT$47.50 and Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) closed 1.14 percent lower at NT$47.60.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterTaipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said he does not know what speculations about the pan-green camp cooperating with a “white force” in the Taipei legislative by-election nomination really mean. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) resigned from his post to run for Taipei mayor, leaving his seat in Taipei’s Shilin-Datong (士林-大同) constituency vacant. The Central Election Commission has announced a legislative by-election for Jan. 27, with candidates able to apply until Friday. Asked whether the pan-green camp has approached him about cooperation in the by-election, Ko said he did know who in the pan-green camp has a say on the issue, nor did he understand what “pan-green-white cooperation” means, but he had heard that DPP members are still criticizing him on political talk shows every day. The deadline for candidate applications is Friday, and anything is open for discussion until then, Ko added.
Lai gave the instructions during a meeting at the Executive Yuan in Taipei, Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka told a news conference afterward. The blueprint is intended to create a trend of English learning not only for students, but the entire nation, he was quoted as saying. The premier also asked local governments to provide assistance to the central government in realizing this goal, Kolas said. Taiwan is often perceived by foreigners as having a good English-learning environment, but lacking a good command of English, which is why it is absolutely necessary to improve English proficiency, council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said. As education would be key to realizing the goal, certain education regulations would need to be relaxed, she said.
The detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟) came after US authorities reportedly launched an investigation into suspected Iran sanctions breaches by Huawei, which was already under scrutiny by US intelligence officials who deemed the company a national security threat. The arrest stirred tensions just as the US and China agreed to a ceasefire in their trade spat while negotiators seek a deal within three months. The Wall Street Journal in April reported that the US Department of Justice had opened an investigation into suspected breaches of Iran sanctions by Huawei. Huawei is not the first Chinese telecommunications equipment company to face the ire of US authorities. The ban nearly destroyed the Chinese technology company, forcing it to cease major operations in May.
By Lu Yi-hsuan and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter, with staff writerUruguay’s decision to halt visa-free entry for Taiwanese from Wednesday was due to pressure from Beijing, a source said yesterday. The announcement by Uruguay, which ended diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1988, was unexpected, the source said. Uruguay halted the preferential treatment for Taiwanese because its online e-visa application system is still being developed, the ministry said. The ministry said that it would continue to approach the Uruguayan government and strive to have the relevant procedures completed as soon as possible so that Taiwanese could again enjoy the convenience of visa-free entry into Uruguay. Uruguay began offering visa-free entry for up to 90 days on Oct. 19, making it the 169th nation at the time to offer Taiwanese preferential visa treatment.
ReutersHackers behind a massive breach at hotel group Marriott International Inc left clues suggesting that they were working for a Chinese government intelligence gathering operation, sources familiar with the matter said. Marriott last week said that a hack that began four years ago had exposed the records of up to 500 million customers in its Starwood hotels reservation system. That suggests that Chinese hackers might have been behind a campaign designed to collect information for use in Beijing’s espionage efforts and not for financial gain, two of the sources said. While China has emerged as the lead suspect in the case, the sources cautioned it was possible somebody else was behind the hack, because other parties had access to the same hacking tools, some of which have previously been posted online. Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) declined to comment directly on the issue, but said China strongly opposed any form of hacking.
Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong (應勇), visited the project site in the Lingang development zone and encouraged Tesla to accelerate construction, a statement on the city’s WeChat (微信) social media account said yesterday. The plant, dubbed Gigafactory 3, is to be the biggest-ever foreign-invested manufacturing project in Shanghai. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk in October said that Tesla was striving to start production of its Model 3 vehicle in China next year. Shanghai authorities are helping Tesla obtain loans from some of the biggest Chinese banks to fund the new plant, people familiar with the matter said in August. Tesla could borrow about US$1.3 billion locally for the facility, RBC Capital Markets analyst Joe Spak said last month.
By Ko Yu-hao and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter, with staff writerKaohsiung mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) inauguration on Dec. 25 is expected to generate more than NT$100 million (US$3.24 million) in tourism revenue, local businesses said yesterday. 2 near the Ambassador Hotel Kaohsiung, said Anne Wang (王淺秋), Han’s nominee for Kaohsiung Information Bureau director-general. Organizers are to allow 120 street vendors to operate along the Love River while the ceremony takes place nearby, she said. Han’s inauguration is also an opportunity to highlight the river as a tourist attraction, Wang said. Former mayors and representatives of disadvantaged groups are among the guests who have been invited to attend the inauguration, Wang said.
Staff writer, with CNAThe US Senate on Tuesday passed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018, which includes a section reaffirming the US’ commitment to Taiwan, particularly arms sales. Section 209 of the bill states that it is US policy to support a close economic, political and security relationship with Taiwan. The US president should also encourage high-level US officials to travel to Taiwan in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Act, it says. However, with less than a month left before the 115th Congress ends on Jan. 3, it is uncertain whether the bill would clear the House in time. TIFA was signed in 1994, and 10 rounds of talks have been held since 1995.
The changes were to find contractors that would help boost advertising revenue, TIAC senior vice president Hong Yu-fen (洪玉芬) said. However, TIAC has not only added lightbox advertisements, but also increased potential advertising space, she said. “In the past, advertising contracts for Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and restricted areas were given out separately. Advertising contracts for Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 have different expiration dates, she said. TIAC said it did not rule out legal action against Tsung Chu for alleged false accusations.
While it was the first time the president addressed the media at the location, she said more “hallway chats” would be held. Over the past several weeks, the Executive Yuan’s most important job has been to review the government’s work, and Lai and his team have been doing that, she said. The two have been “close associates” for more than a year and she believes “it will remain that way,” Tsai said. Lai had offered to resign following the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) losses in the Nov. 24 elections, but was persuaded by the president to remain in his post. Following last month’s elections, DPP members have had similar or different opinions on why the party suffered massive losses, she said.
By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterThe central bank plans to mint a large amount of NT$10 (US$0.32) coins next year to meet the popularity of claw machines, which are occupying ever ever more retail space across Taiwan. The central bank aims to set aside NT$170 million from next year’s budget to mint NT$1, NT$5, NT$10 and NT$50 coins, with NT$10 coins alone to take up 60 percent of the sum, bucking declines in the circulation of other coins, its proposed budget showed. “Claw machines, which accept NT$10 coins for each play, are gaining popularity and the central bank is to make more coins to meet the demand,” bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) told the Legislative Yuan’s Finance Committee. The central bank plans to mint 2.2 billion NT$10 coins next year, a 10 percent increase from this year, Yang said. The central bank would make portfolio adjustments to cope with market volatility, Yang said.