Front Page

Cabinet against closing NPM Taipei branch for renovation

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/13
By: Sabine Cheng, Y.F. Low and Elizabeth Hsu 

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) The Cabinet has adopted the stance that the Taipei branch of the National Palace Museum (NPM) will not be closed while it undergoes renovation, Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said Tuesday, contradicting remarks made a day earlier by NPM Director Chen Chi-nan (陳其南).

Kolas was responding to surging media reports about the museum’s controversial renovation plan, which opposition Kuomintang Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) exposed during a Monday legislative hearing.

The lawmaker alleged, citing the minutes of an NPM interior meeting, that the museum, an important tourist attraction in northern Taiwan, could be shut down for three years for renovation starting 2020, with its collections to be shipped to the museum’s southern branch, about 250 kilometers away in Chiayi County.

Asked at the Monday hearing about the possibility of the shutdown, Chen admitted that the plan’s details have not been finalized.    [FULL  STORY]

Art exhibit by former inmates on show in Taichung

Radio Taiwan International 
Date: 13 November, 2018
By: Shirley Lin

“Tai Chi Lion” depicts the yin and yang symbol.

An exhibit of artworks by former prison inmates opened at Taichung City Dadun Cultural Center on Tuesday.

Pan Hsin-hsiao, who specialized in making lion heads for traditional Chinese lion dances, had been in prison since 2008. He later returned to his former profession but would have given up if it had not been for encouragement from his family, his mentor and the Taichung branch of the Taiwan After-care Association.

Pan’s piece is a black and white lion head named “Tai Chi Lion” depicting the yin and yang symbol.

The exhibit has 140 works on display and will run until November 28.

Health Care for All: The Good & Not-So-Great of Taiwan’s Universal Coverage

Taiwan’s health care system is often measured against the world’s best. But is this model of accessible and ‘cheap’ health care viable in the long run?

The News Lens
Date: 2018/11/13
By: Siok Hui Leong

Credit: Depositphotos

When Kiyomi Liu (劉嘉玲) moved to Taiwan in 2013, she was taken aback – in a good way – by its cheap medical fees.

“I paid NT$150 (US$5) for an obstetrician-gynecologist consultation, an ultrasound and medicine at a neighborhood clinic,” said the Hsinchu-based American. “Back home, my bill came up to US$1,000 (NT$30,700) for the same procedure. I had to pay everything out of my own pocket because my insurance deductible was US$1,500 (NT$46,300).”

Liu is among the 99.6 percent of Taiwan’s 23.57 million people covered under the government-run National Health Insurance (NHI), a universal health care scheme that ensures every resident has access to quality and affordable medical care. The comprehensive coverage includes both inpatient and outpatient care, prescription drugs, traditional Chinese medicine, dental services and home nursing care. NHI enrollment is mandatory for all citizens and foreign residents in Taiwan.

With over 92 percent of clinics and hospitals contracted to NHI, patients have a wide choice of doctors or hospitals to choose from. Wait times are short. You pay a modest out-of-pocket fee (copayment) ranging from NT$80 to NT$360 (US$2.50 to US$11.50) per consultation. If you are willing to fork out a bit more, you can go directly to specialty care without a referral. Each NHI user holds a ‘smart card’ that contains the user’s medical data. A swipe of the card gives your doctor instant access to real-time medical records.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese netizen spots deceased mother on Google Maps Street View

Taiwanese netizen moved by photos of mother on Google Maps Street View

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/11/13
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Netizen’s mother. (Images from 爆廢公社)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese netizen grieving the loss of her mother was heartened to discover photos on Google Maps Street View showing her late-parent gardening in front of her home.

Missing her deceased mother, a Taiwanese woman suddenly decided to use Google Maps Street View to see if she could spot her while she was still alive. Amazingly, she found two images of her mother busily gardening on her front porch.

The woman then posted the images on the Facebook group Breaking News Commune (爆廢公社) and wrote “Mom, I’ve looked for you for so long, but it turns out you’ve been at home all along! Mom, it’s nothing, we’re all doing very well, I just miss you!”

Many netizens were moved to tears:    [FULL  STORY]

Friendship earned, not forced: Palau president

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/13
By: Joseph Yeh

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) Calling Taiwan an important and productive partner

Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr.

of his country, visiting Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. said Tuesday that “friendship is earned, not forced,” amid continuing pressure from China to force the Pacific country to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

According to Palau’s Bureau of Immigration, visitor arrivals from China totaled 70,741 in 2016, accounting for 47 percent of the international visitors that year. The number of visitors slid to 55,491 in 2017, before dropping to 25,659 in the first six months of 2018.

The steep decline is a result of Beijing’s ban on group tours to Palau imposed in November 2017 because of the Pacific island nation’s diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Asked to comment on Chinese pressure during a press conference in Taipei, Remengesau said that respect is a very important word for the people of Palau, no matter how big or small a country is.    [FULL  STORY]

Taipei 101 skyscraper and Jiufen surpassed the NPM’s Taipei branch in popularity

The China Post
Date: November 13, 2018

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA)-There are many popular tourism spots in northern Taiwan apart from the National Palace Museum (NPM), some of which surpass the museum in terms of popularity, a Tourism Bureau division chief said Monday.

Wu Chieh-ping (吳潔萍), the Tourism Bureau’s Planning Division chief, made the remark in the wake of speculation that Taiwan’s tourism industry might be negatively affected if the NPM’s Taipei branch is closed for three years beginning 2020 for a major overhaul.

According to NPM meeting minutes unveiled by opposition Kuomintang Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) at a legislative hearing earlier that day, the NPM’s main building in Taipei is scheduled to be closed in 2020, with renovation work to be carried out from 2022 to 2023.

Even though many foreign visitors like to visit the NPM’s Taipei branch, the number has dropped in the last two years due to fewer tourists arriving from China, Wu pointed out.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese “Manhattanhenge” draws crowds in Kaohsiung

The News Lens
Date: 12 November, 2018
By: Natalie Tso

Crowds rushed to see Kaohsiunghenge on Sunday (pic from Kaohsiung tourism bureau)

Crowds gathered at about 5pm on Sunday night in Kaoshiung, southern Taiwan, to see the sunset. They were there for a phenomenon that could be called “Kaohsiunghenge”.

The scene was similar to what New Yorkers call “Manhattanhenge.” That’s when the sun aligns perfectly along the east-west streets and is framed by skyscrapers as it dips below the horizon. It’s a twice-yearly phenomenon that occurs in the cities, due to their similar street grid.

The Kaohsiung City Government blocked off Qingnian 1st Road between Minquan 1st Road and Weiren Street from 4-6pm on Sunday in order to give people a better, safer view of the solar phenomenon.

The Tourism Bureau also teamed up with hotels to offer discounts on accommodation to people who took selfies with “Kaohsiunghenge” in the background.    [FULL  STORY]

OPINION: Interpol Must Let Taiwan Join Its 87th General Assembly

Taiwan wants to obtain observer status at Interpol’s General Assembly, set to be held from Nov. 18 to 21.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/11/12
By: Kent Wang

Credit: Reuters / Jason Lee

The 87th Interpol General Assembly is scheduled to be held at the Dubai World Trade Center in the United Arab Emirates from Nov. 18 to 21.

Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization, enabling police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place. Police chiefs and other senior law enforcement officials will gather at the event to discuss a range of policing and security issues including foreign terrorist fighters and cybercrime.

However, among the 192 member nations of the Interpol, Taiwan is absent, despite the fact that the island is a net contributor to international law enforcement.

Despite being a major U.S. trade partner, Taiwan has to rely on delayed, second-hand information about international criminals and global criminal activities. This makes Taiwan needlessly vulnerable to criminality. The increasing global threat of terrorist attacks requires a more efficient system for sharing information within a network of countries.    [FULL  STORY]

Man caught secretly taking ‘upskirt’ videos in Taipei Eslite Bookstore

Man caught using pinhole camera in shoe to take videos under skirt of Eslite Bookstore in Taipei’s Xinyi District

Taiwan News
Date: 2018/11/12
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

CCTV camera footage. (Image from Taipei Police Department)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man was caught using a pinhole camera in his shoe to capture video footage under women’s skirts yesterday afternoon (Nov. 11) at an Eslite Bookstore in Taipei’s Xinyi District, reported Apple Daily.

At 5 p.m. yesterday on the third floor of the Eslite Xinyi Store, a 33-year-old man surnamed Chien (簡) was arrested by police after he had been spotted by a bystander extending his foot beneath a woman to capture video under her skirt with a tiny camera hidden in his shoe.

After an initial investigation, police said that Chien, who is single and unmarried, had noticed many attractive young women frequent Taipei’s trendy Xinyi District and he chose the Eslite Xinyi branch as a prime location to secretly film them. He claimed that this was his first time to try “upskirting” or taking unauthorized photographs and video under a woman’s skirt.

Chien was seen wearing a black shirt, gray pants, black shoes, and a black baseball cap, which was lowered to obscure his face. To avoid attracting attention, he wandered in an out of the 3rd floor while waiting for the opportunity to sneak videos.     [FULL  STORY]

New Taipei mayoral candidates tout political platforms

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2018/11/12
By: Lin Chang-hsun and Flor Wang

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) The New Taipei mayoral candidates from the the

Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌, right) and Hou You-yi (侯友宜)

Kuomintang (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) shared the same stage for the first platform presentation Monday, during which they promoted their respective visions for the city ahead of the Nov. 24 local government elections.

Speaking at the political platform presentation organized by the Central Election Commission, Hou You-yi (侯友宜) from the KMT, a police officer-turned politician who is the incumbent deputy mayor, said he has dedicated himself to building a better New Taipei since assuming the post in 2011.

If elected, Hou said he will continue working toward that goal and build on the foundation already established.

Vowing to complete the city’s 209.81-kilometer metro system that will ultimately connect 174 stations, the KMT candidate said he will work to improve the livelihoods of New Taipei residents by renewing flood defenses, advancing social welfare programs and strengthening social order.    [FULL  STORY]