Page Two

Taiwan Is Swept by the ‘Han Wave’

The populist mayor of Kaohsiung is a cultural phenomenon who looks set to make his presence known in Taiwan’s presidential race.

The Diplomat
Date: March 15, 2019
By: Nick Aspinwall

Han Kuo-yu is everywhere. To his supporters, he is a movement politician; a harbinger of

The KMT’s Han Kuo-yu reacts after winning the mayoral election in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Nov. 24, 2018.
Image Credit: AP Photo

hope smashing an ineffectual Taiwanese political order. To others, his rapid ascent from fringe figure of the Kuomintang (KMT) to mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second-largest city, is a civic catastrophe. Regardless, Han Kuo-yu is ubiquitous, dominating news cycles like no other public official in Taiwan.

In a poll published in February by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Han, who has been mayor for less than three months, notched a 35.1 percent approval rating for Taiwan’s upcoming 2020 presidential election, beating out other KMT presidential hopefuls and incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Han remains mum on whether he plans to run, but the fact Taiwan is having this conversation is itself astounding.

Han, 61, is not exactly a political novice. He had a stint as KMT legislator from 1992 to 2001, mostly nondescript other than an incident in which he assaulted then-lawmaker and future President Chen Shui-bian. Han was a KMT outcast for years before resurfacing as head of a farmer’s association – in his mayoral campaign, he would call himself a “bald guy who sells vegetables.” In May 2018, he was quietly nominated by the KMT to run for mayor in the DPP stronghold of Kaohsiung, one year after losing a bid for KMT chairman in which he picked up just 5.8 percent of the vote. He received almost no party support in a race seen as a surefire win for DPP candidate Chen Chi-mai.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwanese driver crashes NT$12-million Lamborghini rental car

No injuries reported, driver tests negative for alcohol

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/16 
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

A driver crashed a rented Lamborghini on his way from Yilan to Taipei Saturday morning. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After crashing a Lamborghini costing NT$12.58 million (US$407,500), the driver who had rented the car said it would have to be written off completely.

The driver, surnamed Cheng (鄭), was traveling from Yilan County to Taipei City at 8 a.m. Saturday when he missed a bend in the road and crashed against a rail, the Apple Daily reported.

The grass-green Huracan RWD Coupe saw its front section severely damaged, with shards of metal landing on the other side of the railing.

Nobody was injured in the accident, and Cheng tested negative for alcohol, according to the Apple Daily.    [FULL  STORY]

DPP picks up 2 seats, KMT 1 in legislative by-elections (update)

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/16
By: Lee Hsin-Yin

Top (from left to right): Yu Tien and Kuo Kuo-wen; Bottom (L-R): Chen Yu-chen and Ko Cheng-fang

Taipei, March 16 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) made a slight comeback in legislative by-elections Saturday after a landslide loss in local government elections late last year, picking up two seats, while the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) grabbed one.

In the four by-elections in New Taipei, Tainan, Changhua and Kinmen, DPP candidates won the first two, with the KMT taking Changhua and an independent picking up Kinmen, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC).

The elections brought the total number of DPP lawmakers to 68 in the 113-seat Legislative Yuan, back to the same level as after the 2016 legislative elections.

Compared with 2016, the number of KMT seats dropped two to 33 due to the Kinmen loss and the suspension of lawmaker Chien Tung-ming (簡東明), who was found guilty of vote buying.    [FULL  STORY]

Chair’s expulsion seen as plan to control TV station

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 17, 2019
By: Hsiao Yu-han and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The abrupt ouster of the chairman of the board at Minjian Investment Ltd Co (民間投資)

Formosa TV chairman Kuo Pei-hung speaks in an undated picture.Photo: Pan Sha-tang, Taipei Times

on Thursday is widely seen as a tactic to take over control of Formosa TV (民視) in the upcoming vote for board chair at the network, sources within Formosa TV said.

Minjian Investment has a seat on the Formosa TV board of directors and owns a 49.7 percent stake in the network, meaning that whoever it supports in the election would likely become its chair.

Minjian’s board sacked Kuo Pei-hung (郭倍宏) as chairman after a vote of no confidence to a motion proposed by board member Huang Ming-chan (黃明展), but Kuo remains chairman at Formosa TV.

Kuo received board approval to take out a NT$500 million (US$16.19 million) loan from Taishin International Bank using company shares as collateral, Huang said.

WATCH: Missiles and Pandas on this week’s Taiwan Insider

Radio Taiwan Internatiomnal 
Date: 14 March, 2019
By: Andrew Ryan

Join Natalie Tso (left) and Andrew Ryan (right) every week for a brand-new episode of Taiwan Insider!

This has been an action-packed week for us in Taiwan. As the nation’s military prepares for the annual Han Kuang Military exercises in May, we get a sneak peak at jet fighters landing on highways, and more.

This week on Taiwan Insider, Andrew Ryan and Natalie Tso dive into the topic of Taiwan’s defense. A recent request to buy 66 F16-V fighter jets from the United States prompted a closer look at how prepared the country is to fend off an attack. Plus, you may be surprised to learn that even though Taiwan’s military budget and manpower pale in comparison to China’s, there’s a continuing effort to demilitarize outlying Taiwanese islands. This month, Taiwan opened up Dadan Island — a tiny islet of the coast of China — to tourism.

Come for the missiles, stay for the pandas? Today’s #Taiwan will guide you through the on-line response to the suggestion that China gift a pair of pandas to the southern city of Kaohsiung. Mayor Han Kuo-yu says the pandas can be called “Make A Lot of Money” and “Make a Fortune,” but not everyone is buying it.    [FULL  STORY]

Can ‘Late-Night Pricing’ Keep the 24-Hour Convenience Store Alive?

Convenience stores in Asia should look to the taxi industry to make their 24/7 operating hours profitable.

The News Lens
Date: 2019/03/15
By: Xiaochen Su

Credit: H.T. Yu / Flickr

Last month, Japanese media reported extensively on the conflict between major convenience chain 7-Eleven and one of its franchisees. 7-Eleven accused the franchisee of shutting down his shop at night without permission and asked him to pay a “breach of contract” fee amounting to 17 million Japanese yen (US$153,000). The franchisee complained that he was unable to hire workers for late-night shifts and, as his wife had died a few months earlier, he has been overworking himself just to keep the shop open 24 hours.

The underlying problem, as discussed in the article, is a significant shortage of labor faced by convenience store owners. With prices and wages set by the headquarters, franchisees, especially in more remote areas, are having a hard time recruiting people to work the undesirable graveyard shifts. The struggle of the franchisee in the 7-Eleven case shows that labor shortage is threatening one of the defining characteristics of the convenience store: The fact that it is open 24/7.

The issue is certainly not one unique to Japan, but relevant throughout Asia. 7-Eleven and other open-all-night convenience store chains, as well as their local equivalents, can be found in Taiwan, South Korea, China, as well as many Southeast Asian countries. The ubiquity of these convenience stores has led to the emergence of social norms for making small purchases late at night. Indeed, as the president of 7-Eleven made very clear, keeping stores open late at night is very important for the overall sales of the stores. This is true in all countries where convenience stores remain popular.

Taiwan study links late paternal age with early onset of mental illness

A man who fathers a son or daughter at an age over 50 may increase risk of a child developing a mental disorder by up to 66%

Taiwan News   
Date: 2019/03/15 
By: Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A study from Taiwan suggests that a father’s age at the time of conception might be associated with the early onset of schizophrenia, reports said Friday.

Scientists from the College of Public Health of National Taiwan University (NTUCPH) and the Department of Public Health of China Medical University, Taiwan have discovered that for every ten years a man postpones siring a child after the recommended age range of 25-29, the risk of developing mental illness for the child increases by 30 percent.

The research examined the data of 3,000 families with members diagnosed with schizophrenia, as well as the genome analysis of 1,600 households. A link was found between older paternal age and earlier onset of symptoms of the mental disorder among kids, reported Liberty Times.

Researchers believe that the increased risk of mental diseases might be attributed to random genetic mutations in sperm that are more likely to occur in older males.

Number of Formosan landlocked salmon reaches peak

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/15
By: Kuan Jui-pin and Chung Yu-chen

Photo courtesy of Shei-Pa National Park

Taipei, March 15 (CNA) New research results released Friday showed the number of Formosan landlocked salmon in Taiwan’s Shei-Pa National Park has reached 5,059, close to the maximum capacity of 5,800 that the park’s Qijiawan River can handle.

This endangered species of salmon has survived from the last Ice Age and is considered a national treasure in Taiwan.

Apart from Shei-Pa National Park’s decades-long efforts to protect the Formosan landlocked salmon, previous studies have found that the number of typhoons and floods also can influence the population of the species, the park’s management office said on Friday.

There had been fewer typhoons and floods from 2015 to 2018, which has led to a gradual recovery of the fish’s population, the office noted.    [FULL  STORY]

High-school graduates studying abroad up 20%

COMPETITION: The US, Japan, Australia and the UK were the most popular destinations for study, not China, despite the media hype, an education official said

Taipei Times
Date: Mar 16, 2019
By: Rachel Lin  /  Staff reporter

A table from the Ministry of Education shows where Taiwanese senior-high school graduates pursue further studies abroad, with most going to the US, the UK and Australia.  Photo copied by Lin Hsiao-yun, Taipei Times

The number of Taiwanese senior-high school graduates pursuing further studies abroad increased by more than 20 percent from about 32,000 people in 2011 to more than 40,000 people in 2017, the latest data from the Ministry of Education showed.

Due to the nation’s declining birthrate, the number of senior-high school graduates dropped from about 400,000 people in 2011 to 350,000 people in 2017 and further down to about 330,000 people last year, the data showed.

The number of senior-high school graduates pursuing higher education in China increased from 1,433 people in 2011 to 2,567 people in 2017, rising by about 80 percent, but accounting for less than 6 percent of the total number of those studying abroad, which shows that China does not attract Taiwanese students as much as English-speaking countries do.

However, the increasing number of high-school graduates studying abroad poses a threat to the nation’s higher education system.   [FULL  STORY]

Chiayi sees Manhattanhenge effect

Radio Taiwan International 
Date: 14 March, 2019
By: Natalie Tso

Chiayi’s Manhattanhenge on Wednesday (picture by許年宏)

Chiayi County saw the Manhattanhenge effect on Wednesday though the clouds did cover the sun near the end of the day. Residents should be able to see the sun set between high rise buildings in Chiayi from Wednesday to Friday this week.

The term Manhattanhenge describes an event during which the setting or rising sun is aligned with the east–west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, New York City.  Kaohsiung also sees the effect twice a year. The most recent Kaohsiunghenge occurred last November, and the city closed off some streets to traffic to enable citizens to enjoy it.     [FULL  STORY]