Team touts wood pellets as ‘green’ alternative to coalBy Chiu Chih-jou and Dennis Xie / Staff reporter, with staff writerA Taiwanese team is to introduce natural wood pellets to the market as a low-emission alternative to coal for barbecues in an effort to recycle wood waste from local farmers and reduce air pollution. The wood pellets are 100 percent natural, as they are sourced from subtropical trees, such as lychee, pomelo, lime, wax apple and bamboo, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology department of wood science and design assistant professor Long Way (龍暐) said. Wood pellets of different trees would bring unique smoky flavors to barbecued food, Long added. From left, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology department of wood science and design assistant professor Long Way, Ynidyi Enterprise general manager Hsu Kun-yuan and deputy general manager Hung Cheng-te barbeque meat in Pingtung County on Tuesday using their natural wood pellets. The team has also developed a barbecue grill designed for wood pellets, which is to cost NT$3,000, Hsu said, adding that 2kg of wood pellets would be included with the grill.
June 25, 2020 15:56 UTC
Japan virus case sparks concernLOCAL TRANSMISSION? She has not been listed as a domestic case as the center must confirm the test result with Japan, but it might have been a case of local transmission, Chen added. Health inspectors sit at desks in a deserted passageway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday. However, Chinese travelers must apply for special approval to enter or transit through Taiwan, Chen Tsung-yen said, adding that there is still some uncertainty about the coronavirus situation in China. Taoyuan International Airport Corp (桃園國際機場公司) is to ensure that transitting passengers move along separate routes at the airport, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said.
DPP should start work on abolishing yuans: KMTBy Sean Lin / Staff reporterThe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should include forming a “constitutional reform committee” as a topic on the agenda of the Legislative Yuan’s extraordinary session, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said yesterday. Such a move would formally launch discussions about abolishing the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan, Lin said. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chiang Wan-an, left, and Lin Wei-chou in Taipei on Tuesday accuse the Democratic Progressive Party of dragging its feet on abolition of the Control Yuan. He accused Chen of “putting on a show,” as her party membership can be reinstated after she steps down as Control Yuan president. Following yesterday’s cross-caucus talks, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) and DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) voiced support on Facebook for abolishing the two agencies, and if the DPP is serious about moving forward, Tsai should rescind her nominations, Lin wrote.
FSC planning policies to help companies hold IPOsBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterThe Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) plans to introduce new policies later this year to help companies list on the local stock market, Chairman Thomas Huang (黃天牧) said in an interview yesterday. Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Thomas Huang poses for a photograph at the commission’s office in New Taipei City yesterday. The commission has not trimmed its target number for IPOs, although listing activity would inevitably slow due to the pandemic, he said. In June next year, the Taiwan Stock Exchange is to introduce a market-making system to improve liquidity for companies that are financially sound, but not popular among investors, he added. As local banks have been supportive in providing loans to those affected by the pandemic, the commission has seldom received complaints from companies, he said.
ASE upbeat on revenue growthLONG-TERM OUTLOOK: The chip packager is maintaining its capital spending budget for this year on expectations that 5G, AI and smart manufacturing would drive growthBy Lisa Wang / Staff reporter, in KAOHSIUNGASE Technology Holding Co (ASE, 日月光投控), the world’s biggest chip tester and packager, yesterday stood firm on its forecast of annual revenue growth this year, as customers continue to show a strong appetite for its advanced technology. Growth momentum is expected to continue from the first half of this year, when ASE’s revenue, net profit and equipment utilization all beat its expectations, it said. ASE Technology Holding Co chief executive officer Tien Wu, left, and chief financial officer Joseph Tung, right, attend the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Kaohsiung yesterday. Photo: Lisa Wang, Taipei Times“We are firm about our forecast of annual growth in revenue this year,” ASE chief executive officer Tien Wu (吳田玉) told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Kaohsiung. The company used to provide a business guidance for upcoming quarters, but Wu yesterday declined to quantify the firm’s revenue growth guidance for this year, citing macroeconomic uncertainties, political tensions, the global COVID-19 situation and vaccine development.
Concern after fishing vessel harassed off DiaoyutaisINSTABILITY? 16, which is based in Yilan County’s Suao Township (蘇澳), on Tuesday reported that two Japan Coast Guard ships took photographs and asked it to stop its activities when it was about 63 nautical miles (117km) northeast of Yilan. The Coast Guard Administration dispatched a 500-tonne vessel to patrol the area, but did not encounter any Japan Coast Guard ships, it said. President Tsai Ing-wen yesterday in Taipei speaks about an incident involving a Taiwan fishing vessel near the Diaoyutai Islands. Photo: Lee Hsin-fang,Taipei TimesThe Fisheries Agency reported that the Taiwanese ship was disturbed by two Japanese fishing vessels, not Japan Coast Guard ships, but that their actions still contravened the two nations’ fisheries agreement.
They took it to a nearby garbage depot, and then found a similar black duffel bag on the river the next day. Photo: Chen Wen-chan, Taipei TimesAfter seeing traces of blood leaking from the second bag, one worker opened it and found decomposing human remains. In related news, Taipei police said that a body was found floating in Sindian River (新店溪) yesterday morning. The body was identified as a man surnamed Chen (陳), who was in his 70s. Chen’s body was found floating near Yongfu Bridge (永福橋) that connects Taipei and New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和), police said.
Adimmune applies for human trialsBy Kao Shih-ching / Staff reporterVaccine maker Adimmune Corp (國光生技) last week applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to run phase I human clinical trials of one of its COVID-19 vaccine candidates, the company said on Monday. Although the candidate has yet to undergo full animal testing, Adimmune applied to use it in human trials under the FDA’s fast-track program for emergency use authorizations, which is intended to speed up the development of a treatment for COVID-19, it said. Adimmune hopes to start phase I human clinical trials by August, Pan said, adding that about 100 healthy volunteers are to be injected with the vaccine to see if the antigen is safe. If the phase I trials go smoothly, Adimmune plans to apply to run phase II human clinical trials by the end of this year, Pan said. “We need to test the vaccine candidate’s effectiveness in double-blind phase II clinical trials.
NPP vows to ‘strictly review’ Tsai’s nomineesBy Sean Lin / Staff reporterThe New Power Party (NPP) caucus yesterday said that it would “strictly review” President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Control Yuan nominees, while calling on the other caucuses to propose a draft constitutional amendment to abolish the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan. The Control Yuan is a quasi-judicial agency and the NPP has long advocated eliminating that branch of government, NPP caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) told a news conference in Taipei. The party believes that the Control Yuan’s authority to launch investigations belongs with the Legislative Yuan and the judiciary, he said. Lawmakers from opposition and ruling parties have arrived at a consensus that the Control Yuan and Executive Yuan should be abolished, and the NPP believes that Tsai’s nominees should be the last, he added. Asked if he supports eliminating the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan, Su said that he does, but that the Constitution does not allow for it.
“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.
June 22, 2020 15:56 UTC