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China’s attempts to annex Taiwan remain unchanged: Tsai

Radio Taiwan International 
Date: 18 March, 2019
By: Paula Chao

President Tsai Ing-wen met with student protesters in 2014.

President Tsai Ing-wen says China’s attempts to annex Taiwan have not only remained unchanged but have grown even stronger over the past five years. Tsai made the statement Monday in a post on her Facebook page.

Tsai said despite China’s blatant attempt to impose the “one country, two systems” formula on Taiwan, that is not going to happen as long as she is in office.

Tsai called herself a president confident of safeguarding Taiwan’s democracy and sovereignty “without moving one step backward.” Tsai also said she will sign up for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential primary later his week.

The president said Taiwan is on the right track, adding that her efforts to diversify the economy over the past few years have allowed the island to go global and to have a record number of tourist arrivals.    [FULL  STORY]

OPINION: Taiwan Must Discuss Migrant Worker Safety After Fatal Factory Fires

Taiwan must seriously address unsafe work conditions for migrant workers after its third fatal factory fire in 14 months.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/03/18
By: Brian Hioe

Credit: CNA

The death of three Vietnamese migrant workers in a warehouse fire in early February should remind of the unsafe working conditions which continue to face migrant workers in Taiwan. The fire broke out at a warehouse owned by the Kerry TJ Logistics Company in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District on Feb. 7, killing three. The Kerry TJ Logistics Company is a warehousing and storage company.

The blaze burned for eight hours, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., before the fire was contained. A total of six Vietnamese workers were present when the fire broke out, with three survivors and three deceased. Two were pulled out of the fire by firefighters, with one man later dying from burns and smoke inhalation. The six workers were contractors of a Taiwanese man surnamed Chen. Chen and his employees were working on maintenance for the facility when the fire broke out. According to reports, some of these workers may have been working in Taiwan illegally.

Credit: Taoyuan Fire DepartmentThe Feb. 2019 blaze killed three Vietnamese migrant workers.
Nevertheless, the incident reminds of a May 2018 fire that also broke out in Pingzhen District in Taoyuan, killing two Thai migrant workers and five firefighters in a factory owned by the Chin Poon Industrial Company, which prints circuit boards. The fire also proves the third fatal factory fire in 14 months.

Public outrage after the Chin Poon fire called for better protection for firefighters, seeing as this was the largest loss of life for firefighters in Taiwan in 11 years. Calls also took place for factory dormitories to be relocated so that they are not directly adjacent to factories. Indeed, a workers’ dormitory was illegally located adjacent to the factory that burned down in the Chin Poon fire. As with the frequent blind eye turned to illegal structures in Taiwan, one wonders if the existence of the dorm was known previously by authorities, but there was no action. Public discussion also turned to how firefighters were ill-equipped to fight the fire because they did not know of where dangerous chemicals were located in the factory, or how such chemicals might have led to the fire breaking out.    [FULL  STORY]

7 districts in Taichung, Taiwan exposed to 8 cancerous air pollutants

7 districts of Taichung, Taiwan exposed to high concentrations of 8 carcinogens in air

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/18 
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

A smoggy Taichung skyline. (Image from flickr user Justin Chong)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A study of air pollution in Taichung City has found that seven districts contain unacceptable levels of PM2.5 and eight first-level airborne carcinogens, reported SETN.

On Saturday, a public hearing on the results of the first and second phases of a survey on air pollution was held by the Taichung Environmental Protection Bureau at Chung Shan Medical University. Liaw Yung- po (廖勇柏), a professor at the university, said that although the city of Taichung did not exceed standards for PM2.5 and carcinogens, there are seven districts which were found to have concentrations of eight carcinogens so high, that just inhaling the air would put residents at a higher risk.

The issue of air pollution in Taichung has attracted much attention in recent years. In addition to the dismantling of intermediate load power plants, citizens have been curious about how Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) would improve the air quality in the city.

However, the results of the latest survey have caused panic among residents of the seven Taichung districts. The study focuses on the exposure to air pollution by residents around the Taichung Power Plant, Dragon Steel Co., Ltd., and Central Taiwan Science Park.    [FULL  STORY]

British Office Taipei calls for Taiwan to end death penalty

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/18
By: Chen Chun-hua and Ko Lin

Catherine Nettleton (left) and Saul Lehrfreund (right)

Taipei, March 18 (CNA) The British Office Taipei, which maintains and develops relations between the United Kingdom and Taiwan, called on Monday for Taiwan to abolish the death penalty on the basis of human rights.

Capital punishment should not exist in a democratic society where human rights are respected, according to the U.K.’s representative to Taiwan Catherine Nettleton.

Speaking at a press conference in Taipei to discuss the reports “For or against abolition of the death penalty: Evidence from Taiwan,” and “Unsafe convictions in capital cases in Taiwan” released Sunday, Nettleton said in the mind of the British, the “death penalty” is no longer an option.

The reports were jointly compiled by the London-based Death Penalty Project (DPP) and Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP), which revealed concerns over the administration of criminal justice in Taiwan.    [FULL  STORY]

EPA lists pollution acts to face new maximum fine

AIR GUARDIAN: Permitless operators, failure to cease operations and recidivism are among the situations where offenders could be fined NT$20m, the EPA said

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 19, 2019
By: Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday announced draft guidelines

A couple looks at the Taipei skyline shrouded in smog on March 3.Photo: CNA

that outline which breaches of the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法) would bring the maximum fine of NT$20 million (US$648,677), saying fines could be calculated according to the frequency of violations.

The maximum fine was increased from NT$1 million after amendments to the law took effect in August last year, the EPA said, adding that its guidelines outline situations that would warrant the new maximum fine.

Serious breaches include pollution emitters that do not have permits, those that fail to halt operations as ordered and those that repeatedly contravene the act after being told to improve twice within a year, it said.

Other breaches that could draw the maximum fine are factories that emit large amounts of air pollutants that seriously affect air quality, those that emit hazardous air pollutants, endangering public health, and those that emit pollutants via unlicensed outlets, the EPA said.    [FULL  STORY]

Indian Holi Festival brings burst of colors to Taipei

Over 650 people attend Indian Holi Festival in Taipei
Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/17 
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

(Photo from Taiwan Observer)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The “Indian Holi Taipei” festival held on Saturday (March 16) in Taipei saw over 650 attendees celebrate Holi, the “Festival of Colors, and enjoyed the day with delicious Indian cuisine, music, and dance performances.

The festival, which was hosted by Mayur Indian Kitchen in coordination with Taiwan’s Indians’ Club (TIC), was held at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m and featured 40 plus performers.

The Holi festival is well-known as a “festival of colors” where participants throw colored dye and powder at one another. At Saturday’s festival, organizers provided dye mixed with water, which hundreds of participants eagerly splashed on each other.

Soon, a vibrant rainbow of colors spread to the clothing and faces of revelers as they gyrated to the music. In addition to the “festival of colors,” there were DJ’s playing popular Indian music, professional Bollywood dancers, a live Western band Mojo Music, and a wide array of food stalls which served delicious traditional Indian cuisine.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je lands in New York on first leg of his U.S. tour

Formosa News
Date: 2019/03/17

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday landed in New York, kicking off his nine-day tour of the US. The independent politician, who is broadly considered to have presidential ambitions, had quite a colorful entourage accompanying him. They included an independence activist, Chilly Chen, who has threatened to dog the mayor of Taiwan’s capital with protests wherever he goes, along with Ko’s fans on social media and former Taipei city councilor Tung Chung-yan .

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je posed for photos behind the airport’s glass doors before setting off for America. The mainstream media were in his entourage but there were even more social media activists, who were fans of Ko’s.     [FULL  STORY]

China’s new attempt to lure Taiwanese could violate cross-strait agreement

Local authorities are appointing ‘Taiwanese sci-tech special commissioners’

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/17
By: Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

A symposium for the election of commissioners in Zhangpu County (Image from

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Prefectures in China are appointing Taiwanese agricultural commissioners to assist village farming projects, which could be violating the 1992 cross-strait relations act.

CNA reports Taiwanese citizens are being recruited to act as “Taiwanese sci-tech special commissioners” to provide agricultural assistance to farmers in Chinese villages. This latest move follows a series of measures implemented in the southern city of Xiamen and Pingtan County to integrate Taiwanese specialists into state-run community development projects.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said working in such positions violates Article 33-2 of the “Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.”

The act stipulates that any authorities, institutions or legislative organs at any local government level in Taiwan must not coalesce with any local authorities in China without prior consultation with the Ministry of Interior. MAC said it is to review the nature of the new “special commissioner” position.    [FULL  STORY]

Eswatini health minister visits Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/17
By: Joseph Yeh

Taipei, March 17 (CNA) Eswatini Minister of Health Lizzy Nkosi arrived in Taiwan Sunday

CNA file photo

for a five-day visit aimed at enhancing bilateral exchanges in the areas of health and medical care, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said that day.

The health minister, who was appointed in November last year, is accompanied by a delegation that includes Velephi Okello, deputy director of health services under the ministry, according to a MOFA statement.

During their visit, the two will meet with Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and attend a banquet to be hosted by Vice Foreign Minister Miguel Tsao (曹立傑).

During their meetings, Nkosi and various Taiwanese officials will discuss ways to enhance two-way exchanges in health and medical care and how to help Taiwan’s bid to attend this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA), the highest decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), which will take place in Geneva May 20-28, MOFA said.    [FULL  STORY]

Call for English-style ban on third-party pet sales

RESPONSIBLE OWNERSHIP: ‘Lucy’s Law’ requires those wanting to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten younger than six months to deal directly with breeders or shelters

Focus Taiwan
Date: Mar 18, 2019
By: Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Lawmakers and animal rights advocates yesterday discussed the feasibility of legislation

A poodle sits with a US and UK flag around its neck in Taipei on Feb. 7.Photo: Yang Hsin-hui, Taipei Times

similar to England’s so-callled “Lucy’s Law,” which prohibits pet shops or dealers from selling puppies and kittens younger than six months.

Dozens of animal lovers, animal welfare groups, academics, legislators and representatives of pet breeders and commercial dealers attended a conference at National Taiwan University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Taipei to discuss ways to eliminate puppy and kitten mills, and the abuse and health problems associated with such breeding practices.

Lucy’s Law was passed by the British Parliament in October last year and announced by British Undersecretary of State for Food and Animal Welfare David Rutley on Dec. 23. It only applys to England.

The law aims to “put an end to unnecessary animal cruelty and help eradicate forms of irresponsible dog breeding and selling, such as puppy farming, smuggling and trafficking.”

Georny Liu (劉偉蘋), chief executive of Supporting Team Social Enterprise and the organizer of yesterday’s conference, said Lucy’s Law forces anyone looking to buy or adopt a puppy or kitten to either deal directly with a breeder or with an animal rehoming center, which might help protect animals by holding breeders accountable and making the process transparent.    [FULL  STORY]