Taiwan News: Subsidies Target Birthrate, Taichung Games Fallout Continues

Taiwan News: Subsidies Target Birthrate, Taichung Games Fallout Continues
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
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The government said Thursday that it will introduce subsidies for families with children under the age of six in order to encourage them to send their kids to private childcare centers or kindergartens.

The new measures are designed to tackle the problem of insufficient places at public daycare centers and kindergartens and to help tackle Taiwan's declining birthrate, which is often attributed to the cost and difficulty of raising children here.

According to the government, families with children under two years old will be granted a subsidy of NT$6,000 (US$196) per month if the family's annual income is less than NT$2.42 million.

Medium- to low-income families will be entitled to a monthly subsidy of NT$8,000 for each child under two years old, while low-income families will be given a subsidy of NT$10,000 per month.

Families with more than two children can apply for additional subsidies.

The subsidies will take effect next month across much of the island.

However, the subsidies will not be introduced in the six special municipalities of Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung until August of next year.

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The Sports Administration said that it is planning to seek talks in an attempt to overturn a decision by the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) to revoke Taichung's right to host the East Asian Youth Games in 2019.

The statement follows a joint meeting with the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Taichung City officials and experts on sport regulations.

According to the Sports Administration, the decision by the regional sports body to cancel the Games was made without Taichung's knowledge and the EAOC also failed to invite any city officials to the meeting.

Officials said the city was unable to defend itself or even state its case and the EAOC never informed Taichung what terms it allegedly violated that have resulted in its hosting right being withdrawn.

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee says it hopes to meet with member states of the EAOC during next months Asian Games in Jakarta to strengthen dialogue and seek their support.

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Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said his office will soon submit a petition to the EAOC over its decision to cancel next year's East Asian Youth Games.

Speaking to reporters, Lin said the city will submit the petition after consultations with the Sports Administration and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee.

Lin says any appeal of the EAOC's decision will be based on four arguments.

Those being the cancellation of the games violated the spirit of the Olympic charter, the EAOC failed to inform city officials of what regulations it breached, the failure of the EAOC to invite Taichung officials to the meeting and the EAOC's failure to give concrete reasons for the sudden revoking of its hosting rights.

According to Lin, Taichung's objection is gaining widespread public support, based on the belief that politics should not meddle in sports.

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賴清德
Photo Credit: 行政院
Premier William Lai is asking for unity among Taiwan's political parties in the face of multipronged Chinese pressure.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) is slamming Beijing for pressuring the EAOC to cancel the East Asian Youth Games.

And he has told reporters that China's continuing suppression will not serve its end and provoke a backlash from the international community.

According to Lai, China's actions are intended to bully the Taiwan government and destroy public confidence as a means of forcing Taiwan to accept Beijing's "one China principle."

Lai said such offensive acts aimed at Taiwan will prove useless and will make it increasingly hard for China to maneuver globally, because it will sound alarms in the international community.

Lai is now calling on all of Taiwan's political parties to come together to defend the island's interests.

And the Premier said the Cabinet has instructed the Ministry of Education to devise countermeasures and help Taichung appeal the EAOC's decision to cancel the games.

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The Taipei District Court has renewed a travel ban on three members of the pro-unification New Party's youth corps and a family member - and they will continue to be barred from leaving the country.

The four were indicted in June for violating national security laws in collusion with a convicted Chinese spy.

The original travel ban was set to end on today.

Prosecutors said the four suspects will barred from leaving the country for the duration of the trial.

New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠), his father Wang Chin-pu (王進步) and two other New Party members, Lin Ming-cheng (林明正) and Hou Han-ting (侯漢廷) were charged with violating national security laws.

According to prosecutors, they colluded with Chinese student Zhou Hong-xu and accepted payments from the Chinese government to establish spy networks for China in Taiwan.

The suspects are all denying any wrongdoing.

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RTX6A7LN
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) listens during a meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room with congressional members and cabinet members about immigration at the White House in Washington, D.C., June 20, 2018.

Several members of the U.S. Congress are continuing to express objections to China's demand that American airlines stop listing Taiwan as a country on their websites -- and are warning of the dangers of giving in to such pressure.

American, Delta and United airlines are among several carriers that have now removed references to Taiwan on their websites to avoid penalties by China.

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton said it was disappointing that the three major U.S. airlines had removed references to Taiwan on their websites in compliance with the Chinese government's ultimatum.

Cotton went on to call the decision "pathetic" and said the demand by a Taiwan-obsessed Chinese Communist Party is the mark of "insecure, impotent leaders who know the future will not belong to them."

Congressman Ted Yoho tweeted that it was unacceptable that China was forcing U.S. businesses to become Communist Party mouthpieces.

While Congressman Paul Cook said there should be resistance to China's "bullying" and the U.S. must continue to stand up to China and its bullying tactics.

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The Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said almost 2,000 children report being sexually abused every year here in Taiwan.

Pediatric General Medicine physician Hu Mei-hua (胡美華) said the definition child sexual abuse involves the use of authority, violence or money to induce or force children and adolescents under the age of 18 to engage in sexual acts.

The definition includes lewd acts, sexual assault, sex in the form of prostitution, sexual touching or intercourse, making or allowing children to watch pornography and using children to produce pornography.

According to Hu, an average of 41 out of every 100,000 children have reported being sexually abused over the past decade here in Taiwan -- a figure which equals 1,935 cases a year, or an average of approximately 5.3 cases daily.

And the doctor said as many as three-quarters of the perpetrators in these cases were family members or people known to the victims and the abuse most often occurred at the victim's home or a place they frequently visited.

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Local movie maker, Shih Hsiang-te (施祥德) has won the Red Maple Leaf Award for Best Director at the Vancouver International Chinese Film Festival for his short film "Will to Fly."

The 35-year-old said he was delighted the movie had attracted that type of attention, since there are not many films that focus on rare diseases and disorders.

According to Shi, the award not only provides a sense of achievement, but is also a great encouragement to people suffering from rare genetic disorders, and for their families, because it allowed a better understanding of such health issues.

"Will to fly" is about the challenges faced by the family of a five-year-old girl who has type II spinal muscular atrophy, a regressive genetic disease that increasingly affects a person's ability to function.

The 6th Vancouver International Chinese Film Festival award ceremony was held at the Michael J. Fox Theatre.

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This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.

Editor: David Green