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Traditional medicine in Taiwan on life support

Why are traditional Chinese medicine stores are struggling to survive in Taiwan even as Hong Kong and China push to export the industry?

Date: Jan 20, 2019 

People in Taiwan who are not feeling so well have, for generations, avoided going to a doctor and visited a traditional Chinese medicine shop instead.

But thousands of shops have shut down in the past 20 years – an estimated 200 stores a year.

The Taiwanese government has not issued any new operating licences in those 20 years and store owners fear when they die, so will their industry.

Al Jazeera’s Katia Lopez Hodoyan explains why.    [FULL  STORY]

Why China isn’t ready to invade Taiwan – yet

Global News
Date: January 20, 2019
By: Josh K. Elliott National Online Journalist, International  Global News

WATCH ABOVE: The tensions surrounding the future of Taiwan’s independence makes it the top hotspot to watch for Paul Stares, a senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations.

President Xi Jinping wants to restore China to its former glory – and that means bringing Taiwan under the Communist Party’s control, one way or another.

That was the gist of Xi’s direction-setting New Year’s speech on Jan. 2, when he addressed a packed house at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi’s speech marked 40 years since China stopped regular artillery bombardment of Taiwan-controlled islands off the Chinese coast. While he spoke at length about peace, he also made it clear that he’s running out of patience for polite politics.

“We are willing to create a vast space for peaceful unification, but we will never leave any room for any sort of Taiwan independence or separatist activities,” Xi said from his seat at the front of the auditorium. He then directly addressed the scope of action China may use to enforce this: “We do not promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option to use all necessary measures.”    [FULL  STORY]

Exclusive Interview with Indonesian co-founders of Universal Volunteer in Taiwan

The volunteers in green shirts comprise of Indonesian migrant workers, caregivers, white-collar professionals, and students

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/20
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Reporter

The photo shows Mayasari (left) and Mas Ade Warhanto, co-founders of Universal Volunteer. (By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On weekends, a group of people in green shirts can be sighted at parks, mountains, and beaches in Taiwan, carrying garbage bags filled with glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and other non-decomposable waste. They are volunteers from Indonesia who want to make their second home sustainable, and a better place to live.

Instead of hanging out with friends at shopping malls, Mayasari and Mas Ade Warhanto, co-founders of Universal Volunteer based in Taiwan, choose to meet their fellow Indonesian and Taiwanese friends outside work for hiking tours across Taiwan. The hiking tour is, however, like no other, in which Mayasari and her trekkers pick up one or more bags of garbage as “souvenir” after each trip since starting in 2016.

Mayasari told Taiwan News that she joined a group – Taiwan Hiking Community – in her first year working in Taiwan. The group was formed by a small group of Indonesian migrant workers who are nature lovers and they go hiking together on weekends. In the beginning, they picked up litter along the way with bags.

In April of 2018, Mayasari and Warhanto began naming the initiative “the cleanup project” under their newly co-founded non-profit organization “Universal Volunteer,” which aims to help those in need, regardless of race, gender, age, or socio-economic status.    [FULL  STORY]

Danish firm suspends wind-power facility construction in Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/20
By: Tsai Peng-min and Chi Jo-yao

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) Orsted A/S, a Danish investor in offshore wind-power sites in Taiwan, has suspended its part in the nation’s offshore wind-power development program amid what it described as a re-evaluation of its investment in the country.

Orsted has informed its supply chain that it has suspended the execution of ongoing contracts to install wind-power facilities off the western coast of Taiwan, Wang Hsin-chieh (汪欣潔), the company’s official in charge of corporate communication, confirmed Saturday.

For those contracts that have not yet been carried out, the company will renew price negotiations with the relevant businesses, Wang said, explaining that the decision was made as Orsted is assessing whether or not to continue its Taiwan investment.

The suspended contracts include the construction of onshore substations with Taiwan Cogeneration Corp., underwater structures with China Steel Corp. (CSC) and Century Iron and Steel Industrial Co. Ltd. (CISI), according to Wang.    [FULL  STORY]

Owners urged to keep pets warm

COLD WEATHER: As the CWB warned of a cold snap arriving yesterday, Kaohsiung vets provided advice on how to keep pets — from reptiles to rabbits — comfortable

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 21, 2019
By: Hsu Li-chuan and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Kaohsiung-based veterinarians have recommended that pet owners keep their animals

Fish swim in a tank fitted with a heating device in an undated photograph.
Photo: Lee Hui-chou, Taipei Times

warm, as cold weather was forecast for the next few days.

Cats and dogs common in Taiwan prefer temperatures from 20°C to 30°C, Jonghsin Animal Hospital’s 16th Agricultural Zone Branch veterinarians said, adding that while their fur is usually enough to keep cats and dogs warm, those that are old, short-haired, small or have chronic health issues could be more vulnerable to the cold.

A cat or dog that is uncomfortable in the cold could quiver or become lethargic, while signs of severe distress include weakness, stiff muscles, slowed breathing and heartbeat, and even loss of consciousness, they said.

Owners should provide indoor heating or an outside shelter, they said, adding that heat pads for beds should be wrapped in blankets or towels to avoid contact burns.

Lawmaker voices concern over national security failings

ICRT Radio News
Date: 2019-01-19

A lawmaker from the DPP is voicing concern over possible security failings in
the area around the Presidential Office, after a report appeared in a Hong
Kong newspaper with pictures of a pro-Hong Kong independence student leader
allegedly meeting with an “emissary” of President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei
earlier this month.

Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao ran a front page story earlier this week,
claiming that Tony Chung Han-lam, a student leader of the pro-Hong Kong
independence movement Studentlocalism, met an “emissary” of Tsai’s to discuss
an “independence plot” at Academia Historica in downtown Taipei.

Speaking at a news conference, DPP lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng called the news
report “groundless,” but said it exposed security failures in the Bo’ai
Special Zone near the Presidential Office, because apparently a reporter was
able to secretly film a group of people without being challenged.

Although the report was false, Lo said such “lawless” behavior highlighted
security lapses in an area of Taipei where security is supposed to be tight.  [SOURCE]

Taiwan’s population growth rate hits new low

The population increased by just 18,000

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/19
By: Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Population growth in Taiwan has exhibited a downward trend for decades

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of the Interior (MoI) announced today (Jan. 19) that statistics from the household registration office have revealed Taiwan’s population increased by just 18,000 between 2017 and 2018, a new low in recent years.

The statistics reflect a growth rate of just 0.08 percent, the first time it has fallen under one thousandth of the previous year’s total population. The drop in growth is not as significant as it was between 2016 and 2017, but it is still indicative of a general downward trend that Taiwan has seen for over two decades.

According to the statistics released by the MoI, there were 11,712,913 men in Taiwan at the end of 2018, accounting for 49.65 percent of the total population, and 11,876,019 women, accounting for the other 50.35 percent. The male to female ration fell to 98.63 (men per one hundred women), likely due to the fact that women live longer, the ministry said.

Deputy director of the ministry’s Department of Home Affairs Teng Hsin-wei (鄭信偉) told CNA that the total number of births in 2018 was lower than the number of deaths, which restricted the population’s growth potential.    [FULL  STORY]

McDonald’s China expresses regret over ad incident in Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/01/19
By: Yang Sheng-ju and Frances Huang

From YouTube

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) McDonald’s in China expressed Saturday regret over an advertisement posted on Youtube by Taiwan McDonald’s that sparked an outcry among Chinese netizens, who claimed the ad supports Taiwan independence.

On its official Weibo page, a popular Chinese social media site, McDonald’s China expressed regret over the ad, which labelled the nationality of a female student in the ad as Taiwan.

Many Chinese netizens posted strong protests, accusing McDonald’s of supporting Taiwan independence.

The ad appeared on YouTube Dec. 6 and was withdrawn Dec. 18 after the online protests. McDonald’s Taiwan did not say whether the withdrawal had something with the protests from Chinese netizens.    [FULL  STORY]

Groups protest council ‘coercing’ labor ministry

TOO MUCH? The coalition of trade unions called on the Ministry of Labor to ignore the National Development Council and evaluate whether Article 84-1 is still needed

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 20, 2019
By: Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

A coalition of trade unions yesterday demonstrated outside the National Development

Union members outside the Ministry of Labor in Taipei yesterday hold signs that read: “Workers are overworked” during a protest against a proposed responsibility-based system for workers above a certain salary level.  Photo: CNA

Council in Taipei, protesting what it called the council’s attempt to pressure the Ministry of Labor into imposing a salary threshold that would allow employers to subject some employees to a responsibility-based scheme and could aggravate overwork.

The council succumbed to pressure from the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei and the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan when in August last year it overstepped its bounds and submitted a proposal to the ministry that asked it to widen the scope of Article 84-1 of the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), Taiwan Federation of Financial Unions secretary-general Han Shih-hsien (韓仕賢) said.

The article allows employers to bypass the act and have workers in 40 professions — including flight attendants, reporters, security guards, chauffeurs at government agencies and women working the night shift — work on a responsibility-based schedule, as long as an agreement is reached between the employer and the employee, and the agreement is forwarded to local governments.

The measure could mean that the employees would have to be on call at all times.

BTS manga to be released in Taiwan on Line Webtoon

Thwe China Post
Date: Jan. 19, 201932

TAIPEI (The China Post) – Members of popular South Korean boy band BTS have made a name for themselves around the world, cooperating with various companies ranging from retailers to restaurants, cosmetics, and cars.

On Jan.17, Line, a Japanese freeware app for instant communications, announced plans to work with Big Hit, BTS’s management company, to create a manga about the boy band.

The main storyline will be based on the 2015 album “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life,” featuring the band’s seven iconic members: Jin, SUGA, J-hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook.

Smeraldo Books, the official Twitter account that started publishing stories and videos of the “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life” on Jan. 7, has surprised many fans and raised their expectations.    [FULL  STORY]