By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterThe Taoyuan Union of Pilots is considering a strike during the Mid-Autumn Festival in September. The union, formed by 800 China Airlines (CAL, 中華航空) pilots and 500 EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) pilots, held a protest outside the Ministry of Transportation and Communications yesterday morning. “We have stated that there will not be any sudden strike,” the union said. EVA Airways said that it would meet with representatives from the CAA, the labor ministry and the union. “We should reach a conclusion pretty soon if the union is willing to continue the negotiations,” the airline said.
Staff writerCPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) yesterday said that the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off northern Australia, in which it has a 2.625 percent stake, has started production. CPC joined the Ichthys project in 2013, making it the third-biggest stakeholder in the project after Japan-based Inpex Corp’s 62.245 percent stake and French energy giant Total SA’s 30 percent stake. CPC said Inpex on Monday announced that the Ichthys project had commenced production of gas from its first offshore well and that shipments are expected to start later this year. The project comprises the development of the Ichthys gas field, an onshore LNG plant near Darwin, Australia, and a 889km gas pipeline that links the gas field and the LNG plant. CPC’s self-sufficiency ratio currently stands at 2.17 percent.
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporterThe Taipei City Government yesterday announced that applications are to open today for 510 units of Xinglong Public Housing (興隆公共住宅). Xinglong Public Housing’s D2 section is part of the Ankang Public Housing reconstruction project. Of the 510 units, 153 are to be reserved for Ankang Public Housing households, 26 for Aboriginal households, 153 for households registered in local boroughs, 117 for Taipei residents, 26 for people studying or working in Taipei and 35 for young entrepreneurs. “It takes three years to finish building a house, so you cannot say that I went back on my word, and it is quite impressive to have already built 20,000 public housing units,” Ko said, when asked by reporters if he had failed to meet his goal of building 20,000 public housing units in four years. Asked if he expects to accomplish his goal of building 50,000 public housing units in eight years, he said that negotiations before the start of a project take a significant amount of time.
By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporterPIMCO, a global fixed-income investment manager, yesterday announced that it has received a license from local regulators to set up a securities and investment consultant firm in Taiwan. The new company would act as the master agent for the global firm’s 13 global investor fund series, which are registered for general sale to local investors and to manage its local distribution partnerships, pending regulatory approval on the master agent transition, it said in a statement. PIMCO is working closely with Allianz Global Investors Taiwan Ltd (安聯投信), its current master agent of the funds on the local market, on the transfer of responsibilities, it said. During the transition, PIMCO would continue to manage the PIMCO funds and Allianz would remain the master agent until the effective appointment of PIMCO Taiwan as the new master agent later this year, it said. PIMCO has appointed veteran fund manager Mitch Wang (王可華) as general manager of the new company.
Anxo on Monday announced that it had signed an agreement with a Chinese company based in Shenzhen to commercialize a generic psychoactive drug. The generic drug is a treatment for depression that has already been approved for sale in Taiwan, Anxo spokesperson Hank Chen (陳志賢) said by telephone. Anxo said China does not have a drug that equals its depression drug, so the product is expected to command a high price there. Anxo in early May announced that it had signed a partnership with another Chinese company that would allow it to out-license a drug known only as NXR-606 in China. Sales in the first half of the year rose 27.02 percent year-on-year to NT$437 million, company data showed.
By Chang Chin-ya and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter, with staff writerThe Taichung City Government plans to hire internationally renowned lighting designer Chou Lian (周鍊) to build a “gallery of light” along a maple-lined stretch of Nantun Creek (南屯溪), a city official said. After inspecting the area with Taichung City Councilor Ho Wen-hai (何文海) and Fongshu Warden Chen Po-Chung (陳伯仲), it was decided that purpose-designed lights would better serve the safety needs of pedestrians and city beautification, Huang said. The bureau hopes that the designer lights will increase the usable recreational space of the community, he said. The designer lights will be installed along the creek between Yongshun Road and Rihfong Bridge (日楓橋) from September to November, he said. He has also been asked to work on the Taichung World Flora Exposition.
The command in 2014 announced the restrictions to little fanfare, but neither the developers nor the city government understood its full implications until Thursday last week, when the military clarified them in writing. In addition to Gushan, the command has restricted development in Siaogang (小港), Linyuan (林園), Daliao (大寮), Alian (阿蓮), Gangshan (岡山) and Tianliao (田寮) districts. Developers were hoping that buildings under a certain height would be exempted from the restrictions, but the military said it would not grant such exemptions, the bureau said. A spokesman for King’s Town Construction, which owns large tracts of land in the district, said the company has “never heard of” the restrictions before. While developers understand the military’s concern for national security, it is impracticable to impose blanket restrictions on seven districts, Real Estate Development Association of Kaohsiung City president Cho Yung-fu (卓永富) said.
AFP, TOKYOJapan’s central bank yesterday revised down inflation forecasts, making only minor tweaks to a monetary policy that has so far fallen short of lifting prices and boosting the world’s third-largest economy. However, the bank offered only marginal adjustments to its policy, introducing some flexibility, and revised down further its forecasts for inflation through fiscal 2020. The BOJ has faced criticism for the side effects of its policy, including concerns that its massive purchases are skewing the bond market and financial markets. With inflation stubbornly low, the BOJ has kept its easing in place even as the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank have tightened policies. However, some analysts said that yesterday’s tweaks, while minor, suggested the start of a shift in thinking.
The South Korean tech giant said its second-quarter net income stood at 10.98 trillion won (US$9.8 billion), up 2 percent from 10.80 trillion won a year earlier. The result fell short of the analyst consensus of 11.14 trillion won, financial data provider FactSet said. Sales fell 4 percent to 58.48 trillion won, while operating income advanced 6 percent to 14.87 trillion won, in line with its earnings preview earlier last month. During the second quarter, Samsung’s semiconductor business generated 11.61 trillion won in operating profit, nearly 80 percent of the entire operating income. Its phone business reported 2.67 trillion won in operating income during the three-month period, compared with 4.06 trillion won a year earlier.
By Shelley Shan / Staff reporterA survey conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) found that 84 percent of respondents supported the government’s appeal to reverse the cancelation of the first East Asian Youth Games in Taichung next year. Support for the appeal crossed party lines, with 97.4 percent of respondents who identified as pan-green in favor, as well as 78.3 percent of independents and 79.5 percent of those in the pan-blue camp. A total of 68.4 percent of respondents knew about the incident, DPP Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said. Respondents with a favorable opinion of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) also dropped by 13 percentage points to 25.3 percent, while those who disliked Xi increased 9 percentage points to 45.7 percent, the survey showed. We have kept our promise and our goodwill, and will not succumb to pressure from Beijing,” Hsu said.
By Philip Tsien / Contributing reporterFor Xu Youyu (徐友漁), the Cultural Revolution is a page in China’s history the country has yet to turn. “Many Chinese misunderstand the Cultural Revolution as a glorious time of freedom of speech and association,” Xu says. He says that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) attempts to become “the second Mao Zedong (毛澤東)” will only spell trouble. CULTURAL REVOLUTION REDUXXu is wary of China’s reversion to Mao-style politics. He hears echoes of the Cultural Revolution in today’s political climate, and fears the consequences.
Reuters, SEOULNorth and South Korea yesterday held military talks to build trust, while the US detected renewed activity at a North Korean missile factory, casting more suspicion over Pyongyang’s intentions. South Korea’s defense ministry last week said it plans to reduce guard posts and equipment along the border as an initial step to implement the agreement. Ahn Ik-san, the general leading the North Korean delegation at the military talks, noted South Korean news reports suggesting that he might try to persuade the South to push for a joint declaration with the US to formally end the war. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week said that North Korea was continuing to produce fuel for nuclear bombs. Seoul has said those projects can be resumed when there is progress on Pyongyang’s denuclearization and sanctions are eased.
Normally the statues serve only as backdrops for visitors to take photographs or “check in” on Facebook. The museum has added text to its exhibits that plays on the theme of their video. One visitor said she went to the museum after seeing a post about the phrases. Republican Party Chairwoman Hsu Hsin-ying (徐欣瑩), who is running for Hsinchu mayor in the Nov. 24 elections, posted a series of “I love you, Hsinchu” posts. Asked about the craze, Democratic Progressive Party Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智) on Saturday said: “Give me the time it takes to drink a coffee.
By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporterEnvironmental groups yesterday called on the Executive Yuan to review its national land plan, which they said has been largely simplified and could lead to further loss of agricultural land. The plan states that to protect environmentally sensitive areas, local governments can rezone municipal land into four categories: national conservation, marine resources, agricultural development and urban development, the ministry said. With the 90-day deadline approaching, environmental groups asked the Executive Yuan to re-examine what they said was the plan’s questionable review process. The compressed plan might lead to further loss of agricultural land, as the principle that “agricultural land should be used for agricultural purposes” was crossed out in the section about sustainable land development goals, Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan researcher Wu Chi-jung (吳其融) said. Certain details not listed in the plan would be included in other regulations or guidelines for local governments, it added.
CNN correspondent Matt Rivers asked Wu: “If the United States continues to increase its support — militarily — for Taiwan as you foresee, does that not increase the potential risk of confrontation — militarily — with China?”“No, the opposite is true,” Wu said. Stronger Taiwan-US security ties would “become a barrier for the Chinese to think about the future military scenarios against Taiwan,” Wu said. The Chinese government says it wants to “win the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people,” Wu said. The ministry said in a statement that Taiwan has played an important role in maintaining peace, stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region, and a robust national defense provides support for peace across the Taiwan Strait. Other strategic guidelines include rejecting an arms race, integrating national defense resources and continuing to bolster key national defense and combat capabilities to deter enemy forces, it said.