The government has engaged in a conscious effort to raise awareness of Southeast Asian cultures and traditions, writes Wei Chun-ying.
The News Lens
By Wei Chun-ying
The long-anticipated Culture White Paper 2018 was officially published last December following the National Cultural Congress in 2017. I had the privilege to serve as member of the advisory committee in congress and would like to share some observations during the process, along with some relevant content concerning the Culture White Papers.
In the previous Culture White Papers published in 1998 and 2004, both had mentioned cultural exchange and promoting culture. This is instrumental for Taiwan’s cultural diplomacy. The 1998 Culture White Paper stated that the principle of the Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) should be to ‘nourish new culture, establish the new Central Plain, re-construct new society’. This slogan demonstrated an enduring recognition of Chinese culture.
In terms of ‘cultural exchange’ (wenhuajiaoliu), the CCA claimed the arts and culture should be the means to participate actively overseas. Therefore, the main objective was to introduce Taiwanese culture to international audiences, and foster understanding among Taiwan’s allies.
The rhetoric of ‘national competitiveness’ mentioned in this Culture White Paper implied that culture has the potential to be an asset enabling Taiwan to ‘compete’ with others. I argued that although the term soft power was not used in the document then, the government recognized culture as an important asset. [FULL STORY]
Swinhoe was not only a diplomat, but also conducted research into the Taiwanese fauna
By: Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Christopher Swinhoe-Standen (right) with an effigy of his famous forefather (photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Department of Cultural Affairs). (By Central News Agency)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A fifth-generation descendant of British consul Robert Swinhoe on Thursday visited the building in Kaohsiung where his forefather lived and worked in the 1860s.
During the visit to the hilltop consulate, Christopher Swinhoe-Standen posed by an effigy of his famous forefather, the first British consul in Taiwan, which at the time was ruled by China’s Qing Dynasty.
Swinhoe-Standen first visited the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei where he learned more about the history of the country, including the foreign presence on the island, the Central News Agency reported. [FULL STORY]
By: Liu Kuan-ting and Flor Wang
DPP lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政, right)
Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) A lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) voiced concern Friday 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 (蔡英文) in Taipei earlier this month.
Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao (大公報) ran a front page story Wednesday, claiming that Tony Chung Han-lam (鍾翰林), a student leader of the pro-Hong Kong independence movement Studentlocalism (學生動源), met an “emissary” of Tsai to discuss an “independence plot” at Academia Historica in downtown Taipei.
Speaking at a news conference, DPP lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) 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. [FULL STORY]
SHAJHU BAY PLAN: Su Tseng-chang said that before developing the bay, the central and local governments would have to solve the issue of the area’s lack of space
Date: Jan 19, 2019
By: Sean Lin / Staff reporter
Jhongjiao Beach in Shajhu Bay in New Taipei City’s Jinshan District is pictured on Aug. 23 last year. Photo: CNA
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday pledged to transform Shajhu Bay (沙珠灣) in New Taipei City’s Jinshan District (金山) into an incubator for professional surfers and make it an even more popular tourist spot.
When Su was running for New Taipei City mayor last year, he promised to remediate all 126km of the municipality’s shoreline, to “set the stage for its beauty to be seen by all,” in the hopes that it would encourage northern Taiwan’s approximately 10 million residents to visit the bay.
Su yesterday inspected the area accompanied by his former campaign rival, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜).
The premier said the subject of developing the bay was brought up by Hou on Thursday at the Cabinet’s weekly meeting, so he decided to inspect the area himself. [FULL STORY]
The China Post
Jan. 18, 201973
TAIPEI (The China Post) – The leopard cat, or “Shi Hu” in Chinese, is the only remaining native Felidae in Taiwan after the disappearance of the Formosan clouded leopard. Today, there are only about 500 animals left in Taiwan which are often victims of road kills and poisoning, making all conservation efforts more difficult. Even more worrisome, leopard cats live in shallow mountains where their territories often overlap with many development projects.
In recent days, for instance, construction began in a wetland park in Chuo Lan, an urban township in Miaoli County, the project is part of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. Yet, it destroyed the natural habitat of the leopard cats in the name of economic development at the expenses of the endangered species. To highlight the irony of this situation , the public has, therefore, called the Chuo Lan park: the “memorial park” of leopard cats.
Now the construction has halted but the excavation has already caused a lot of damage. How can the government and other experts from various sectors fix the problem and make it right again?
In addition to the Chuo Lan park, there are many development projects impacting the natural habitat of leopard cats such as Yulon Motor’s second assembly line in Sanyi, a township in Miaoli. It will sacrifice 32 hectares of the endangered species’ habitat so there is little wonder that the case has been sent from an environmental assessment for review.
The News Lens
Date: January 17, 2019
By: Phillip Charlier
Live fire military exercises designed to strengthen Taiwan’s anti-landing defense capabilities kicked off the second day of a month-long series of military drills involving the ROC air, navy, and army forces.
The exercise began before dawn on the coast of Taichung with a cardinal II UAV taking off to carry out joint surveillance. IDF fighters and Ching Chiang class (Jin-Jiang) patrol ships fired missiles at “enemy ships” off the west coast.
Thunderbolt 2000 missiles and M110A2 self-propelled howitzers fired from land, while assault helicopters attacked from the air as dawn broke, and M60A3 battle tanks and infantry fire simulated shore landing counter-attack operations.
Mirage fighter jets took off from Hsinchu Air Base in rainy conditions and headed north to defend the nation’s capital, Taipei City. [FULL STORY]
Wang Yi gave an interview to People’s Daily about the 40th anniversary of US-China relations
By: Ryan Drillsma, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Wang Yi with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (By Associated Press)
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said the U.S. ought to come together with China on the Taiwan issue and respect the One China Principle.
2019 marks the 40th year of official relations between China and the U.S. Yahoo News reports that in view of the occasion, Wang accepted a special interview with Chinese state publication People’s Daily, in which he expressed that Taiwan has always been the most critical and sensitive issue between the U.S. and China, and that the “One China Principle” remains the foundation of their diplomatic relationship.
The establishment of official relations between China and the U.S. on Jan. 1 1979 is a juncture in history, Wang reportedly said, as it not only opened up new potential for exchanges between the two countries, but had a profound impact on the evolution of international relations across the world.
Wang said the U.S. must not forget the commitments it made 40 years ago in the name of peace and stability, and the pursuit of common interests. The state not be “confused” by temporary hitches, the minister said, and should “help bring prosperity to citizens of the U.S., China and the world from a new starting point.” [FULL STORY]
By: Elaine Hou and Joseph Yeh
Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) / CNA file photo
Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) Taiwan has stated its objections to the United Kingdom’s proposed rules for managing its trade in services after it leaves the European Union and is seeking negotiations on the issue at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Taiwan’s top trade negotiator said Thursday.
Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), head of the Office of Trade Negotiations, told CNA that Taiwan submitted its objections earlier this week to the WTO Secretariat after it saw the U.K.’s proposals for dealing with its trading partners in goods and services post-Brexit.
According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, Britain formally submitted its proposed new trade in services schedule to the WTO last month and since then, Taiwan has circulated a document to other WTO members, raising objections to some parts of the U.K.’s proposed rules. [FULL STORY]
TRANSFERRED: The Penghu National Scenic Area Administration director reportedly started an argument with hotel staff because he was not allowed to borrow a guitar
Date: Jan 17, 2019
By: Chen Yu-fu, Liu Yu-chin and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporters, with staff writer
Penghu National Scenic Area Administration director Chen Chih-hsien (陳志賢) has been
Former Penghu National Scenic Area Administration director Chen Chih-hsien, left, handles a potted succulent plant during an activity in Kaohsiung on Tuesday.
Photo: Liu Yu-ching, Taipei Times
transferred after he was allegedly involved in a verbal conflict with staff at the Four Points by Sheraton Penghu hotel while under the influence of alcohol, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.
Chen was a guest at a dinner hosted by Penghu tourism operators on Thursday last week for a group of seven visitors from the Kaohsiung-based President Group.
At about 9pm, the group moved to the bar on the second basement floor of the hotel, sources said.
Since the live music was not scheduled to begin until 9:30pm, Chen asked to borrow the band’s guitar, but was told he could not, sources said. [FULL STORY]
The China Post
Date: Jan. 17, 201922
TAOYUAN (The China Post) – Council of Agriculture Chairman Chen Chi-Chong (陳吉仲) requested on Jan. 16 more manpower from the Aviation Police Bureau (APU) to establish a third line of protection against the spread of the African swine fever (ASF).
The council has already established a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the screening of carry-on luggage as requested by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) during his recent inspection at the Taoyuan International Airport.
Currently, the first step is to have carry-on luggage inspected manually, especially on flights from ASF-infected regions. Meat products or fresh foods will have to be disposed upon request, although Chairman Chen said that fines will be waived at this stage as long as passengers discard the aforesaid products.
Then, customs officers will distribute flyers upon checking passports. They will remind passengers again that fresh foods and meat products are prohibited from entering Taiwan. Passengers won’t be fined at this stage if they choose to give up the goods.