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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), addressing an increasingly “overbearing” China, told supporters that Taiwan will not yield an inch to Chinese pressure.
She cited recent incidents such as Taichung losing the right to host the 2019 East Asian Youth Games due to Chinese demands, along with China pressuring Taiwanese actress Vivian Sung (宋芸樺) to apologize for saying Taiwan is her favorite country.
Speaking at a campaign rally for the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) Tainan mayoral candidate Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲), Tsai said China's moves to undermine the morale of the Taiwanese people and disrupt society will fail, no matter how great the pressure.
Tsai also touted her administration's achievements in domestic affairs at the rally and told supporters the government has not let everyone down, even under very difficult circumstances associated with China's suppression of Taiwan.
According to Tsai, while the world has seen China become more heavy-handed recently, her administration has stood steadfast against the pressure and its handling of the situation has garnered support for Taiwan from the international community.
President Tsai also said the island has been seeing an economic upturn, lower unemployment and a rise in the stock exchange index since she took office.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Kaohsiung, Tsai said her administration’s policies show the DPP is more capable of growing the economy than the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), even though the opposition has attacked the government for economic sluggishness.
According to Tsai, Taiwan has seen continued GDP growth of above three percent for four consecutive quarters, compared to an annual 0.8 percent before she came to office in May 2016.
Tsai said Taiwan has now surpassed South Korea and is no longer in the last place among the four “little dragons” – referring to Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
The unemployment rate for 2017 averaged 3.76 percent, a record low in 17 years, and declined further to 3.69 percent for the first half of this year.
Tsai went on to slam the KMT, saying it promised to push the stock market to above 20,000 points, but failed to deliver on that promise, while the index has risen over 10,000 points for more than a year since she took office.
The Mainland Affairs Council says Kinmen County's plans to deepen links with China are not issues for the local government alone but instead must be carefully measured and assessed at the national level.
The statement comes after Kinmen Magistrate Chen Fu-hai (陳福海) expressed the possibility of an electricity link and bridge linking the outlying island with China's Fujian Province following the opening a water link this weekend. Chen has dubbed his ideas the "three new links."
Water from Fujian began arriving in Kinmen County Sunday. Chen says that after the water reaches the island, it will undergo treatment and could reach people's homes in as little as three hours.
The water link stems from a deal Kinmen signed with Fujian in 2015 to end longtime worries over water shortages in the county.
According to the Mainland Affairs Council, the government supports the idea of Kinmen's initial cooperation with Fujian, but specific economic and trade cooperation must still comply with central government policies and the law.
The Republic of China flag was on display during the colorful opening of the 2018 Gay Games in Paris this weekend - and it wasn't only being waved by members of Taiwan's team. It was also carried from other countries or areas that support Taiwan.
The Taiwanese athletes entered the venue at Stade Jean Bouin waving the ROC flag and a banner reading "The 1st Asian country to legalize equal marriage." The flag was also waved by some members of the French team and by a team from San Francisco.
A May 2017 landmark court ruling in Taiwan established same-sex unions as a fundamental right. However, equal marriage has not been legalized in Taiwan.
According to the head of the Taiwanese team, they gave several dozen ROC flags to French softball alliance members, who said they would fly the flag during the opening parade.
The name of the Taiwanese team was changed from "Taiwan" to "Taipei" in late July on the official website of the Paris Gay Games.
The Philippines top envoy to Taipei is expressing his thanks to Taiwan for its arrest and deportation of a Philippine city councilor, who was wanted in his home country for drug trafficking.
Angelito Banayo says the arrest of Ozamiz City Councilor Ricardo Parojinog in Pingtung on May 23 is a good sign of cooperation between authorities of both sides. Parojinog was detained by Taiwanese authorities following a tipoff from Philippine police.
He had gone into hiding in September after a crackdown on suspected drug dealers by police in Ozamiz City on Mindanao Island in July last year. Parojinog's older brother, who was mayor of Ozamiz, was shot dead in that operation along with his brother’s wife and 14 others.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte had offered a bounty of 5 million pesos (US$94,237) for the arrest of Parojinog, who also allegedly was involved in several other serious criminal cases.
In a June report in The News Lens, human rights advocates expressed concern that Taiwan was not showing due diligence in ensuring the due process of Parojinog, citing the treatment of other drug suspects in the Philippines under the Duterte administration.
The United States has refused to deport Filipino drug offenders, citing the United Nations Convention Against Torture in separate cases in Hawaii and California.
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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC, 台積電) says its plants will be operating normally from today following a computer virus that attacked the tech giant last Friday.
According to TSMC, the virus was contained within hours of being detected. However, the company says the virus outbreak managed to affect a number of computer systems and fab tools at its plants here in Taiwan and will cause delays to shipments and additional costs. It could result in third quarter revenue falling by about 3 percent.
TSMC is denying the computer virus was part of either a cyber or hacker attack.
The company's CFO Lora Ho (何麗梅) is being quoted by Bloomberg as saying that, although TSMC has been attacked by viruses before, Friday's attack was the first time a virus managed to affect the company's production lines.
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) says air quality in Miaoli County, Hsinchu City and Matsu has deteriorated.
According to the administration, the concentration of PM2.5 in Miaoli County rose by 4.2 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³), or nearly 20 percent in the first half of the year from the same period of last year.
The EPA says that PM2.5 growth in Miaoli was the highest among of all Taiwan's cities and counties, followed by a year-on-year surge of 2.9 µg/m³ on Matsu and a rise of 2.7 µg/m³ in Hsinchu City.
Taoyuan, Changhua County, Chiayi County and Taichung also all recorded higher PM2.5 concentrations in the first six months of the year than in the same period of 2017.
EPA data shows that the highest average PM2.5 concentration in the first half of the year was recorded in the northern area covering Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli.
EPA data also showed that Yunlin retained the dubious honor of being home to Taiwan’s worst air quality, although PM2.5 levels fell by 2.6 µg/m³ from last year to 27.8 µg/m³ in the January-June measuring period.
The EPA’s Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management says more analysis is needed before it can release any information about the reasons for the increases.
The New Taipei Department of Health says two more indigenous cases of dengue fever have been reported in the city's Xinzhuang District. The latest cases bring the number of confirmed cases this year to eight.
The Centers for Disease Control says there is likely a cluster infection in Xinzhuang District. Health officials say they are concerned the cluster infection could worsen.
Areas around where the cases have been reported have been disinfected and residents of the area are being advised to destroy and remove and standing waters sites that could be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Residents who fail to remove the standing waters breeding sites face fines and health officials say police have the authority to enter private residences to search for possible mosquito breeding grounds.
The National Health Insurance Administration says acute and chronic kidney disease remained Taiwan's most costly disease in 2017, costing the country over NT$50 billion (US$1.63 billion) in insurance payments.
According to the agency’s figures, the disease cost a total of $NT50.36 billion last year by 358,000 patients - compared with NT$48.38 billion by 320,000 patients a year earlier.
The second most costly disease last year was salivary gland diseases which cost NT$44.32 billion by 11.49 million patients, followed by diabetes, costing NT$29.69 billion by 1.49 million patients. The fourth most costly disease was acute upper respiratory tract infection and the fifth was hypertension.
The National Health Insurance Administration says most of the top 10 money costing diseases are related to an aging population, as the medical costs for chronic kidney disease, hypertension, cancer, and pneumonia rise as the population ages.
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This news bulletin was provided courtesy of International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT), Taiwan’s leading English-language broadcaster.
TNL Editor: Nick Aspinwall