“The entire Control Yuan has been painted green,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang (王育敏) said at a news conference at the KMT headquarters in Taipei. The Presidential Office on Monday announced the president’s 27 nominations for the Control Yuan, including former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) as president. The Control Yuan consists of 29 members who serve six-year terms and are nominated by the president, with the consent of the legislature. The terms of the incumbent Control Yuan members end on July 31, with new members expected to assume their roles the following day. Separately yesterday, the KMT announced that Kaohsiung City Councilor Jane Lee (李眉蓁) would be its candidate in the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election.
More students interested in healthcare, hygieneANNUAL SURVEY: Students from junior-high school through to university were asked what they thought were crucial global issues and about their international outlookBy Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporterStudents’ interest in healthcare and hygiene has nearly tripled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a King Car Cultural and Educational Foundation survey released yesterday found. Photo: Rachel Lin, Taipei TimesLast year’s survey found that 20.6 percent of respondents believed healthcare and hygiene was one of the world’s top concerns. When asked which nations they would most like to go to if they were to immigrate, 51.6 percent said Japan. The survey was conducted through questionnaires distributed to students in junior, senior and vocational high schools, as well as universities and colleges, the foundation said. The foundation said 40.6 percent of respondents were students in senior or vocational high schools, 31.3 percent were in junior-high schools and 28.1 percent were in universities or colleges.
CNS is extending 4K partnershipsBy Lisa Wang / Staff reporterChina Network Systems (CNS, 中嘉網路) yesterday said it is extending its partnerships with Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) and Taiwan Star Telecom Co (台灣之星) on high-definition 4K content as part of its efforts to shift to more profitable businesses. We are open to any type of cooperation that can boost the value and diversity of our hardware, services and products,” CNS chairman Gary Kuo (郭冠群) said. CNS subscribers would be able to access OTT content from Far EasTone’s friDay and Taiwan Mobile’s CatchPlay. CNS is the second-biggest shareholder of Taiwan Star. KHL Capital (達勝投資), cofounded by Kuo, and KHL’s investment arm KHL Investment I Ltd (達勝壹甲壹投資) hold a combined 3.4 percent share in Taiwan Star.
Teachers’ unions call for air-conditioners in class‘INFERNO’: While more than 90% of Taipei classrooms have air-conditioners, the number is only about 10% in New Taipei City and 40% in Kaohsiung, the group saidBy Sean Lin / Staff reporterBraving the heat yesterday, members of the National Federation of Teachers’ Unions rallied outside the Executive Yuan in Taipei, calling on the government to make air-conditioners a basic requirement at elementary and junior-high schools. “While civil servants sit in air-conditioned rooms, students are in an inferno,” federation members chanted. Members of the National Federation of Teachers’ Unions file a petition with the Executive Yuan yesterday, complaining that almost 2 million elementary and junior-high school students do not have air conditioning in their classrooms. The Taipei City Government says that 100 percent of its junior-high school and 92 percent of its elementary-school classrooms have air-conditioners, while the number is only about 10 percent in New Taipei City, the federation said in a statement. In Kaohsiung, only about 40 percent of classrooms have air-conditioners, it added.
Draft US bill is a warning to BeijingBy HoonTing 雲程US Senator Josh Hawley introduced his draft Taiwan Defense Act to the Senate on June 11. Their active aspect is that they have laid the basic foundation of governance necessary for Taiwan to exist as a political state. The key concept of US policy regarding security in the western Pacific is therefore to preserve the “status quo,” but unfortunately China has changed the “status quo” into a fait accompli. This makes relations between Taiwan and China an existential issue for the US and lends legitimacy to Hawley’s bill. To achieve this, the bill calls for maintaining military deterrence capabilities by developing new operational concepts.
June 22, 2020 16:07 UTC
Cathay lowers GDP forecast to 1.8%RELATIVELY UPBEAT OUTLOOK: Government spending would drive economic growth and private investment would increase 3.2% year-on-year, a researcher saidBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterCathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控) yesterday trimmed its forecast for Taiwan’s GDP growth to 1.8 percent this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, down from the 2 percent it predicted in March. The company said that it expects investment and government spending to cushion the nation’s economy from the effects of the pandemic, making its forecast the most optimistic of all released forecasts. The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) predicted 1.67 percent growth, the central bank forecast 1.52 percent growth and DBS Bank Ltd said that it expects a contraction of 1 percent. Cathay Financial’s monthly surveys found that most consumers last month regained their interest in buying durable goods and making big purchases, Hsu said. Cathay Financial expects the vouchers to boost the nation’s GDP growth by 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points, or generate extra output of NT$200 billion to NT$400 billion (US$6.74 billion to US$13.49 billion), higher than the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ estimate of NT$111.2 billion, Hsu said.
Taoyuan airport sees small rise in passenger trafficTRAVELERS: Aside from the limited easing of restrictions to business visitors, foreign students from low-infection-risk nations are expected to arrive in the next two monthsBy Shelley Shan / Saff reporterTaiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday saw a slight increase in passenger traffic as the government yesterday started allowing business travelers to enter the country under certain conditions. Taoyuan International Airport Corp (桃園國際機場 公司) estimated that 1,475 passengers arrived in the country yesterday, compared with 868 on Sunday, while 643 departed. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday last week announced that business travelers from 11 low-infection-risk nations and four medium-low infection risk nations would be permitted to enter Taiwan. Passengers wearing an assortment of personal protective equipment, including hazmat suits and visors, stand on a moving walkway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday. Business travelers from low-risk countries would be released from quarantine after five days if they test negative, while those from medium-low infection risk countries would be quarantined for seven days.
Nation protests Japan’s Diaoyutai moveUNHELPFUL: Any unilateral action to change the islands’ name would not change the fact that the islands belong to the Republic of China, the Presidential Office saidBy Lu Yi-hsuan and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writerTaiwan yesterday protested a Japanese city’s decision to change the name of an administrative area that covers the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台). Known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, the group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea is claimed by Taiwan, Japan and China. The Diaoyutai Islands, also known as Senkaku Islands, a group of islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by Taiwan, Japan and China, are pictured on Sept. 15, 2010. Japan’s move infringes on the nation’s territory, sovereignty and fishing rights, the KMT said, calling on President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) not to overlook Japan’s action. Asked if he would form a protest flotilla to the islands, Chen said he would invite fishers for further discussions.
Independence support spikes: surveyADULTERY DECISION UNPOPULAR: The Council of Grand Justices’ Interpretation No. Among the people it surveyed, 54 percent said they support Taiwanese independence, 23.4 percent favored maintaining the “status quo,” 12.5 percent supported unification with China and about 10 percent gave no response or were unsure, the survey showed. Of those who favored the “status quo,” 44.1 percent said they would back independence if pushed, 33.6 percent said they would continue to support the “status quo” and 22.3 percent said they would back unification, the survey showed. “In my research on public surveys on these issues over the past 30 years, this is the highest rate of support among Taiwanese for independence,” You said. “Overall, 55 percent of people said that they do not fear that China would launch a military attack against Taiwan,” Taiwan Association for China Human Rights chairman Yang Sen-hong (楊憲宏) said.
Unemployment hits 4 percent, highest since 2013OUTLOOK: The unemployment rate could rise even higher this summer as relief programs are set to expire this month and graduates are starting to look for workBy Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterThe nation’s unemployment rate last month rose for the fourth consecutive month to 4.07 percent — the highest since November 2013 — as the COVID-19 pandemic weighed on hiring activity, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported yesterday. Photo: Clare Cheng, Taipei TimesThe unemployment rate last month increased 0.04 percentage points compared with an addition of 0.31 percentage points in April. The latest unemployment survey, conducted between May 10 and May 16, has yet to reflect a traditional surge in first-time job seekers during the graduation season. By education level, university graduates had the highest unemployment rate at 5.63 percent, followed by high-school graduates at 3.81 percent and people with graduate degrees at 3.29 percent, the DGBAS said. People aged 20 to 24 had the highest unemployment rate at 11.66 percent, followed by the 15-19 age group at 7.72 percent, the 25-29 age group at 6.6 percent and the 30-34 age group at 3.97 percent, it said.
Fireworks welcome back Dajia Matsu at end of tripStaff writer, with CNADajia Matsu returned to her home temple, Jenn Lann Temple (鎮瀾宮) in Taichung’s Dajia District (大甲), late on Saturday following a nine-day annual “inspection tour” of temples in central and southern Taiwan. The grand Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage, the nation’s largest annual religious procession, ended shortly before midnight after three statues of Matsu, the goddess of the seas, were carried out of their separate palanquins and placed on the altar at the temple. “Dajia Matsu has returned!” people shouted as the procession, joined by hundreds of followers, arrived in Dajia on Saturday afternoon, concluding a 340km journey that took the Dajia Matsu through Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi counties. Pilgrims return to the Jenn Lann Temple in Taichung at the end of the Dajia Matsu pilgrimage late on Saturday. The Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage had been scheduled for March 19 to 28, but was postponed due to fears about the spread of COVID-19.
June 21, 2020 15:56 UTC
Justin Huang spurns Tsai nominationCONTROL YUAN ROW: The KMT said Tsai Ing-wen should have consulted it before reaching out to Huang, while a DPP member said the party was not informed eitherBy Sherry Hsiao, Lee Hsin-fang and Huang Hsin-po / Staff reportersFormer Taitung County commissioner Justin Huang (黃健庭) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday declined a nomination from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to serve as Control Yuan vice president. The entrance to the Control Yuan is pictured in Taipei on Wednesday. Chen, who is expected to be nominated as Control Yuan president, has been involved in three impeachments and more than 50 cases of corrective measures by the Control Yuan, the KMT said. If Tsai, who doubles as DPP chairperson, believes Huang is suitable for the position, she should defend the nomination, instead of allowing members of her party to attack Huang, the KMT said. The Presidential Office did not communicate with DPP members about Huang’s planned nomination, said a party member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Taipei exhibition highlights Hong Kong protests‘BE WATER’: Causeway Bay Books owner Lam Wing-kei said at the opening that Hong Kongers should be prepared to fight for the territory from abroadBy Chung Li-hua / Staff reporterAn exhibition documenting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong against a now-withdrawn extradition bill opened yesterday in Taipei, with a theme that says Hong Kong protesters should be as resilient as water. Hong Kong Outlanders spokeswoman Justine said that the large 23kg banner is iconic, as it embodies the voices of Hong Kongers from all 18 districts in the territory. A person yesterday speaks at an exhibition in Taipei documenting the pro-democracy protests against the now-withdrawn extradition bill in Hong Kong. He is optimistic about Hong Kongers rebuilding Hong Kong from elsewhere in the world, he said, adding that Hong Kong does not have to represent a geographic location. The council should clarify the review procedure for applications prospective Hong Kong immigrants submit and introduce a mechanism for civil participation when offering Hong Kongers assistance, he said.
With four borough wardens leading the charge, they surrounded an oil refinery operated by China Petroleum Corp Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) and demanded answers. Photo: Hung Chen-hung, Taipei TimesDAYS OF PROSPERITYThe Dalinpu area fell under Dutch control when they colonized southern Taiwan in 1624. One of them, Wu Yen-shan (吳燕山), arrived in the Dalinpu area later that year. Taipower’s Dalin Power Plant near Dalinpu village in Kaohsiung was a notorious polluter in the 1980s and 1990s. And last year, Dalinpu residents railed against the construction of an underground CPC pipeline through their community.
The Executive Yuan names Shen Jong-chin as vice premierBy Sean Lin / Staff reporterThe Executive Yuan yesterday announced the appointment of Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) as vice premier and Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) to head the ministry. Shen and Wang are to assume their new roles today, Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) said after former vice premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) resigned on Wednesday to contest the Aug. 15 Kaohsiung mayoral by-election. Shen has a well-rounded understanding of the business sector, where he has accumulated many years of experience, Ting said. Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming speaks in front of a projection that shows the curriculum vitae of incoming vice premier Shen Jong-chin, who formerly served as Minister of Economic Affairs, at a news conference in Taipei yesterday. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) believes that Shen’s expertise would make him his top aide for economic affairs, Ting said.
June 19, 2020 15:56 UTC