TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After the head of a Chinese state-run media mouthpiece called for Hong Kong protesters to be shot on sight, a Taiwanese legislator questions if Taiwanese would ever really want to be part of such a tyrannical regime.
In response to a violent crackdown on Hong Kong protestors by police in an MRT station in Hong Kong on Sunday, Global Times Editor in Chief Hu Xijin (胡錫進) said the only answer to the use of excessive violence is to have them shot on the spot. Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a legislator from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) countered by questioning if Taiwanese would want to be a part of such a ruthless country.
On Sunday, Hu took to Weibo to claim that an angry mob of Hong Kong protesters threw Molotov cocktails at police, causing many officers to suffer burns. He warned that the people of Hong Kong should never support such acts and that "atrocities have reached the point where the perpetrators should be shot on the spot."
Hu said that he and the Global Times strongly condemn the "thugs" who attacked police with petrol bombs and "your little bit of strength in the face of the country is not worth mentioning." He urged protesters to halt their demonstrations or otherwise, "it will only get worse in the end."
On Monday (Aug. 12), Wang, responded on Facebook by saying that the threat by a Chinese state-run mouthpiece that it would shoot protesters on the spot shows the grim realities of being "a part of China." He then asked Taiwanese people, "Do you want to make yourself and your children part of this kind of country?"
Wang went on to say that the Hong Kong government's means of suppressing the resistance in the anti-extradition protests are becoming increasingly cruel. He pointed out that on Sunday, a woman had been shot in the eye with a bean bag round and could suffer permanent blindness.
In response to Hu's call for Hong Kong protestors to be shot on the spot, Wang asked, "Do Taiwanese really want to be part of China?"
Many Taiwanese netizens agreed with Wang's sentiments:
"For the Chinese Communist Party, life is the least valuable and the most easily sacrificed, as long as the regime can remain stable!"
"If Taiwan also has a day like this, I will go to the streets without hesitation!"
"Only by supporting Tsai Ing-wen in 2020 can we safeguard Taiwan's democratic and free values."
"The free world is watching all of this, but the Chinese Communist Party does not want to control itself."
"Get ready for Hong Kong to be washed with blood."
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) has issued a heavy rain advisory in 11 counties and cities in western and southern Taiwan this morning (Aug. 13) as nearly 280 mm of rain fell in Tainan overnight.
Thunderstorms began late last night in Tainan. Although the rain was intermittent, it was intense at times.
This morning, flooding broke out in some areas of the city. In response, the Tainan City Government has immediately canceled work and classes for today.
At 5:25 a.m. this morning, the CWB issued an extremely heavy rain advisory for Changhua County, Yunlin County, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Chiayi County, Chiayi City, and Pingtung County. It has also issued a heavy rain advisory for Miaoli County, Taichung City, Nantou County, and Taitung County.
Overnight, heavy rain was accompanied by crashing thunder, disrupting sleep for many residents in Tainan. By 3 a.m., rain had begun to accumulate in some low-lying areas, including the culvert at Yongda Road and Kunda Road in the city's Yongkang District, which became impassable to traffic.
By 6 a.m., water deep enough to submerge an adult was spotted at the intersection of Kunda Road and Dawan Road in front of Kun Shan University, reported CNA. A snack shop owner told CNA that flooding started to occur at 3 a.m., and although he had closed his waterproof gate, water still managed to pour into the store, so he had to use pumps and buckets to get the water out.
Over the past 24 hours, Tainan has borne the brunt of the wet weather with 279.0 mm of rain recorded in Tainan City's Rende District, followed by 260.5 mm in Guiren District, 241.0 mm in Yungkang District, and 222.5 mm in Guanmiao District, according to the CWB. Meanwhile, in Pingtung County's Chunri Township, the Lili weather station recorded 220 mm of rain and the Dahanshan station saw 218 mm of rain over the past 24 hours.
The Tainan City Government Disaster Response Center announced a level 2 emergency at 5:30 a.m. this morning. At 6:30 a.m. this morning, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) announced that offices and classes would be canceled today as many roads had become impassable due to flooding.
One dead after 5.9-magnitude quake jolts Taiwan; island also bracing itself for rainstorms brought by typhoon
TAIPEI - A 5.9-magnitude earthquake that rattled Taiwan on Thursday (Aug 8) killed one woman and caused temporary power outages that affected over 10,000 homes, the authorities said.
Tremors were felt across the island, and high-rises in Taipei swayed.
The quake struck at 5.28am at a depth of 10km in north-eastern Yilan county, startling sleeping residents.
A 60-year-old woman was killed outside Taipei after a closet fell on her during the quake, the National Fire Agency said.
More than 10,000 houses around the greater Taipei area and neighbouring Yilan - a popular tourist area - lost power.
Rail authorities suspended some train services in Yilan, affecting thousands of passengers.
Taiwan was already on alert for typhoon Lekima, which is gaining momentum and is expected to buffet the island with powerful winds and heavy rains. The typhoon was forecast to edge towards mainland China on Friday.
“We will continue to monitor if there could be a combined impact from the aftershocks of the earthquake and the approaching typhoon,” President Tsai Ing-wen told reporters.
Television reports showed goods knocked off grocery store shelves during the quake and slight structural damage to buildings.
A temblor was also felt on the Japanese island of Yonaguni, about 110km east of Taiwan, at around the same time, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by quakes.
In April, a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit the island, disrupting traffic and injuring 17 people.
Taiwan's worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6-magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- An elderly woman in New Taipei City was killed today (Aug. 8) after she was crushed by her 50-kilogram wardrobe cabinet, which fell on top of her when a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck notheastern Taiwan.
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck northeastern Taiwan's Yilan County at 5:28 a.m. this morning and lasted for 20 seconds, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). At 7:02 a.m., a second temblor struck the same area, this time registering a magnitude 4.5 on the Richter scale.
A 65-year-old woman was sleeping in her home at Lane 186, Xinsheng Street in New Taipei City's Zhonghe District when the first temblor struck, reported ETtoday. The woman was soon awoken by the violent shaking, but as she tried to get out of her bed, a metal wardrobe cabinet next to it suddenly fell over and landed on top of her.
The woman was immediately pinned beneath the 50-kilogram cabinet and piles of clothing and was unable to move, according to the report. When her husband, who was sleeping next to her, saw his wife trapped under the cabinet, he immediately rushed outside and cried for help.
Neighbors soon ran over, and together they lifted the metal cabinet off the woman's body and removed the piles of clothing. However, when they examined the woman, they found that she was not showing any vital signs.
Firefighters arrived on the scene at 7:39 a.m. and immediately rushed her to the nearby Shuang Ho Hospital, reported Yahoo Kimo News. Efforts by doctors to resuscitate the woman were unsuccessful and she was declared dead at the hospital, reported ne trp.
The woman's husband was taken back to the police station for questioning and the case is under investigation.
TAIPEI: A powerful typhoon will hit Taiwan later on Thursday (Aug 8), bringing the risk of landslides and high seas, weather forecasters said, hours after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck the island.
Typhoon Lekima, categorised at the strongest typhoon level by Taiwan's weather bureau, was expected to approach off the island's northeastern coast late on Thursday.
It was moving across the ocean in a north-northwesterly direction at 15kmh, weather officials said.
Lekima was carrying maximum winds of 227kmh, as it approaches Taiwan, the weather bureau said.
The bureau issued wind and rain warnings for greater Taipei, the northern port city of Keelung and other northern counties. It also put out a warning to seafarers off the south and east coasts.
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Taiwan's northeastern coast earlier on Thursday, prompting warnings of landslides as the weather bureau forecast rainfall of up to 900mm in the island's northern mountains.
"An earthquake struck when we are making preparations for the typhoon, which is a rare event," premier Su Tseng-chang told a meeting at a national emergency centre, urging authorities to stay on alert when the storm approaches.
The earthquake cut power to more than 10,000 buildings and a woman was killed by a falling wardrobe.
More than 1,500 people were moved to safety, most of them tourists on islands off its east coast, while troops were deployed in some areas amid fears of floods.
The storm will proceed to China, approaching its eastern city of Shanghai over the weekend, the weather bureau said.
Typhoons regularly hit Taiwan, China, the Philippines and Japan in the second half of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean or South China Sea before weakening over land.
Typhoon Morakot devastated the island in 2009, killing nearly 700 people, most of them in landslides.
Typhoon Lekima is forecast to strengthen significantly this week and pose a threat to lives and property across eastern Asia.
Lekima organized into a tropical storm on Sunday after becoming a tropical depression in the Philippine Sea, east of Luzon, on Saturday. It became a typhoon on Wednesday morning, local time.
A general northwest track over the next several days will keep Lekima over the open waters of the Philippine Sea, limiting impacts to land but allowing it to gain size and strength.
It had been more than five months since the last typhoon roamed the western Pacific Ocean before Francisco became a typhoon on Monday afternoon, local time.
Lekima quickly followed as the next typhoon in the West Pacific Basin on Wednesday morning.
Additional strengthening is forecast from Thursday into Friday, allowing Lekima to become a large and powerful typhoon with winds equal to a Category 2 hurricane in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
There is a low chance that Lekima could go through a period of rapid intensification from Thursday into Friday, which could allow the storm to become even stronger.
Rough seas will be churned up from northern Luzon to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands much of this week with wind and rain from Lekima reaching the southern Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan by Thursday with worsening conditions expected on Friday.
In the longer range, there are two scenarios for Lekima's track. The first would take the storm across or just north of Taiwan as a typhoon late this week before turning into eastern China.
In this scenario, flooding rainfall, mudslides and damaging winds would all be possible across Taiwan and the islands of Yaeyama and Miyako. Okinawa would receive a glancing blow of wind and rain from the storm.
Although some weakening would be possible prior to reaching eastern China, areas from Fujian to Jiangsu would be at risk for flooding rainfall and locally damaging winds from as early as Friday through the weekend.
Lekima may eventually turn northeastward and bring impacts to South Korea or Japan next week in this scenario.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Today (Aug. 7) is Qixi Festival (七夕節), the Lunar Valentine's Day in many parts of East Asia and a Taiwanese numerologist has created a list of six dos and don'ts to observe on this day.
On the lunar calendar, Qixi falls on the seventh day of the seventh month, thus it is also called Double Seventh. Originally a celebration of the once annual reunion of a mythical cowherd and weaver girl, its was traditionally not an occasion when gifts are exchanged, but has in recent years been commercialized with lists of top five best and top five worst gifts surfacing online.
Like many other festivals in Taiwan, there are many superstitions associated with Qixi that people observe in order to ensure success in romantic relationships. According to numerologist Hsiao Meng (小孟) because Qixi is the day that the cowherd and weaver girl meet as well as the birthdays of the Seven Star Goddess (七娘母) and the Bed Goddess (床母) there are six dos and don'ts to be observed during this festival, according to Liberty Times.
1. Pray for love
Qixi Festival is the best day to seek affection in a year. At seven o'clock on the evening of Qixi Festival, cut seven circles out of a piece of silver paper and place near the window to symbolize the Big Dipper. The cowherd and weaver girl will soon bring the person who does this a good marriage. If one has a secret crush on someone, they can visualize their face after pasting the seven stars, and they will eventually be able to marry this person.
2. Pray for Financial Fortune
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Qixi, take an unopened bottle of water and put it on the sacrificial altar for the Seven Star Goddess or God of Love Temple (月老廟). After praying, drink the water immediately. After 49 days, one will meet someone who will help them in romance or wealth.
3. Children under the age of 16 pray to become adults
According to folklore, Qixi is the birthday of the Bed Goddess. When a child becomes an adult, they should offer sesame oil chicken and glutenous oil rice to the Bed Goddess. She will then bless the child and they will then become easier to handle.
1. Avoid eating beef
Because the cowherd used to take care of cattle, people should avoid eating beef on Qixi. Otherwise, it will offend him, leading to disputes and conflicts among couples. If someone eats beef by accident, they can do good deeds or donate to charity to compensate for slighting the cowherd.
2 Avoid wearing clothing with holes
The weaver girl used to make clothing. Therefore, if one has holes in their trousers, it represents that they could have emotional deficiencies in their romantic relationships. In the future, irreparable fissures could open up in the relationship, thus signaling its demise.
3. Don't move the bed
Moving a child's bed during Qixi can easily upset the Bed Goddess. Doing so can result in reduced empowerment for blessings for the child.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese films and filmmakers will be absent from this year’s Taipei-based Golden Horse Awards, occasionally dubbed by foreign media as the “Oscars of Asia,” as Beijing has on Wednesday (Aug. 7) reportedly imposed a ban.
The China Film Administration has suspended Chinese films and filmmakers from participating in the 56th Golden Horse Awards, announced China Film News, the mouthpiece of Chinese cinematic authorities, via its official Weibo account on Wednesday.
The Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee said afterward that it would surely regret such a decision if the information is confirmed, reported the Central News Agency. Nevertheless, the awards will continue as planned, according to the committee.
The news came a week after Beijing imposed a travel ban on solo trips by Chinese tourists to Taiwan. The decision has been denounced by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as using tourism as a political tool with the intention of influencing Taiwan’s presidential election next January.
Held in Taipei every November since 1962, the Golden Horse Awards have been acclaimed as among the most important accolades Chinese-language filmmakers can receive. Several films censored in China have been nominated and even awarded at the Awards over the years.
Even though the ban came as Taiwan’s presidential race heats up, with scholars and officials warning of possible interference from the Chinese government, measures taken by Beijing to restrict participation in the Golden Horse Awards began months ago. In June, China decided to move the ceremony of its Golden Rooster Awards to November 23, which coincides with that of the Golden Horse Awards.
China’s intention to boycott the Golden Horse Awards is widely seen as a response to an acceptance speech made at last year’s awards ceremony. “[I] hope that one day our country [Taiwan] can be treated as a genuinely independent entity,” said director Fu Yue (傅榆), whose “Our Youth in Taiwan,” was awarded the Best Documentary.
Fu’s pro-independence statement provoked a huge reaction during and after the awards, with several Chinese filmmakers promptly declaring their loyalty to Beijing on the ceremony stage and via social media. Chinese actress Gong Li (鞏俐), head of the awards jury last year, later declined to deliver the award for Best Feature Film.
Golden Horse’s best director Zhang Yimou (張藝謀) was earlier reported to have refused to take part in this year’s awards with his new film, “One Second.” However, the Chinese drama appears to have already been hit by Chinese censorship due to its content. Selected to compete in the 69th Berlin International Film Festival in February, “One Second” was withdrawn shortly before its screening, citing “technical difficulties” as the reason for the cancellation.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s labor authorities are being urged to constrain the minimum wage rise to within 3 percent this year, as the island nation’s employers tear their hair out over increased personnel costs.
Hsin Ping-lung (辛炳隆), an associate professor at National Taiwan University Graduate Institute of National Development, noted that a rise of 3 percent is tolerable for the corporate world, but advised against an increase of more than 5 percent, reported UDN. A wage adjustment meeting has been set for Aug. 14 by the Ministry of Labor (MOL).
Taiwan has hiked both the monthly and hourly minimum wages over the past three years at, respectively, around 5 percent and, 5 percent to 7 percent. “The island’s small- and medium-sized enterprises will struggle to survive if the trend continues this year,” cautioned Li Yu-chia (李育家), President of the National Association of Small & Medium Enterprises.
The General Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan has called for a freeze on basic wages, given the expected impact on the tourism industry from the Chinese ban on individual travelers to Taiwan. Hsin Ping-lung opposes the idea, however, saying he believes a rise in wages will spur private consumption, said the report.
While a “moderate” rise in wages is to be expected this year, Li urged the government to implement supporting measures that help businesses cope, through tax breaks or other policies. He also voiced a wish, purportedly shared by many company owners, to decouple the arrangement of minimum wage rises for local and emigrant workers.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Well-known Taiwan tea brand Yi Fang Fruit Tea (一芳水果茶) suddenly took to Weibo on Monday (Aug. 5) to kowtow to Beijing by swearing its support for the tattered "one country, two systems" framework and condemning the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong, prompting many Taiwanese to curse the company and threaten a boycott.
On Monday, Taiwan's Yi Fang Fruit Tea, which has many shops around the world, on Weibo pledged its obedient allegiance to the broken "one country, two systems" framework and expressed is opposition to the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong. The company also said that it would terminate its contract with an Yi Fang franchise branch which had gone on strike without permission.
Taiwanese netizens were incensed by the move and said they would "refuse to drink it" and that "This turned out to be the nail in the coffin for fruit tea." They criticized Yi Fang for "only seeking profits and having no conscience" and that it has simply become "Yi Fang Chinese tea."
Others admonished Yi Fang's Weibo account to not "use Taiwan's name indiscriminately." The following is the full text of Yi Fang's statement released on Weibo:
"Today, some internet users have filmed and disseminated pictures of an Yi Fang shop, which wrote a description [together with the people of Hong Kong] and posted outside. Here, we would like to make a statement to the public that we firmly support one country, two systems and look forward to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. We strongly condemn and resolutely oppose violent strikes. The recent demonstrations in Hong Kong have seriously affected the operation of Hong Kong stores, and they are deeply saddened.
Up to the time of submission, it has been confirmed that the store is not a direct operation, but a franchise shop. And its behavior is also the individual advocacy of the shop, which has nothing to do with the company's position. Effective immediately, the offending shop has taken the action of closing its doors. If there is any violation of the law and contempt for the state, it will be severely punished and we reserve the right to further investigate the legal liabilities.
Thank you for your support and attention. We apologize to all the people for the adverse impact of this incident on the general public. In the future, we will work on strengthening the deepening of our brand management and business philosophy, and we thank our partners for their trust and help.
Yi Fang will never tolerate any attempt to split apart the country! Apart from the individual government recommendations and safety considerations, 20 Yi Fang Hong Kong stores are still continuing to stay open outside the core protest areas. We strongly oppose strikes and violence and Yi Fang Fruit Tea will continue to operate!"
Taiwanese franchises have already felt the wrath of irate Taiwanese consumers, and individual branches have taken to Facebook to say things such as, "the behavior of the head office does not represent the political positions of their branches." Within three hours of the news breaking, furious Taiwanese posted over 6,400 angry comments on the company's Facebook page.
At 10:30 p.m. on Monday evening (Aug. 5), New Power Party Legislator Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸) took to Facebook to lament that she is afraid this is not the last time the country will see the "political kneeling" of a Taiwanese brand. Near midnight Tuesday morning, the general agent for Yi Fang Hong Kong issued a statement saying that the messages circulating on the internet had nothing to do with it.