Taiwan News: More Taiwan Golds at Asian Games, Tsai Returns

Taiwan News: More Taiwan Golds at Asian Games, Tsai Returns
Credit: Reuters / TPG

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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

Taiwan remains in seventh place in the Asian Games overall medals table after adding two more gold, one silver and another bronze medal to its tally in Indonesia.

Yang Kung-pi (楊昆弼), 20, won gold Monday in the men's trap shooting event after nearly being eliminated in the competition's qualifying round.

Yang equaled the world record by hitting 48 of his 50 targets to beat India's Lakshay Lakshay and South Korea's Ahn Dae-myong.

While Su Po-ya (蘇柏亞), 19, won Taiwan's second gold medal of the day in the women's taekwondo under-53 kilogram event after beating the top ranked Asian in the category.

Su beat world No. 10 and Asian No. 1 Ha Min-ah of South Korea 29-10 in the final at the Jakarta Convention Center.

Chiang Sheng-shan (江勝山) won silver in the final of the men's mountain bike downhill event. Chiang placed second with a time of two hours 18 minutes and 184 seconds - a mere 1.497 seconds behind the winner, Indonesia's Khoiful Mukhib.

And Lu Shao-chuan (呂紹全) won bronze medal in the final of the men's 10-meter air rifle competition to take his second medal of the games after winning gold in the 10-meter air rifle mixed team competition on Sunday.

Elsewhere in the competition, Taiwan beat Hong Kong 98 to 67 in a men's five-by-five basketball preliminary Group C game.

However, the women's badminton team was eliminated from the competition by Thailand in the quarterfinals, despite the presence of world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎).

Thailand beat Taiwan 3-0 in the women's team competition.

Speaking after the event, Tai told reporters she had trouble taking control of the points and felt she made errors at critical moments, making it hard for her to play catch-up later in the match.

Taiwan's women's softball team lost to Japan 3-1, and Laos beat Taiwan 2-0 in a men's soccer preliminary group stage match.

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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived back in Taiwan late last night following her nine-day trip to Paraguay and Belize.

Speaking to reporters on her arrival at Taoyuan International, Tsai described the trip as being "successful" and also expressed her thanks to countries she visited for their support for Taiwan's democratic values.

Tsai made two transit stops in the U.S. during the trip, the final one of which was in Houston, where she expressed her hopes that Taiwan and the U.S. can work together to defend the free market economy and protect business enterprises from political interference.

Tsai made the statement at a Taiwan-U.S. business forum in the Texas city.

According to Tsai, Taiwan and the U.S. are sparing no effort to consolidate the free market and protect enterprises and such efforts are the foundation of economic development of the two countries.

Tsai also expressed her hope that Taiwan can continue to defend the foundation along with the U.S. in the future.

In touring NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on Monday, Tsai became the first sitting leader of Taiwan to visit a U.S. federal building in an official capacity.

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The Mainland Affairs Council is slamming China over its criticism of President Tsai's just concluded overseas trip.

The council said such reactions will not help improve cross-Strait ties and it has lodged a protest with Beijing, reiterating that the Republic of China is a sovereign country and as such its head of state can freely travel to allied countries.

The statement comes after China's foreign ministry said Tsai is "finding excuses to visit foreign countries to engage in activities aimed at splitting China."

A spokesperson for China's foreign ministry, Lu Kang, urged the U.S. to follow the "one China principle" and not to offer authorities from Taiwan any opportunities to visit foreign nations.

The Mainland Affairs Council says harsh criticism reflects Beijing's lack of civility, and its words will not help in the development of cross-Strait relations.

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The government said it is working to reconcile labor standards laws within the aviation industry as it seeks to prevent a possible September strike by China Airlines and EVA Airways pilots.

The move comes after Transport Minister Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) said the government will review the two sets of rules that currently govern pilots' working hours.

Airlines in Taiwan follow the Aircraft Flight Operation Regulations, which are set out by the global aviation industry, and the Labor Standards Act, which applies to employees here in Taiwan.

The differences between the two laws are a major factor in the current dispute between the pilots' union and the carriers.

The airlines argue that imposing the Labor Standards Act on the industry could lower their global competitiveness.

While the pilots' union says its members are simply seeking a more friendly working environment and looser schedule that allows for more rest time.

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衛福部_陳時中2
Photo credit: 中央社
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung apologized to the public and all those involved in last week's hospital fire in New Taipei.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) has apologized to the public, the families of those killed and the people who were injured in last week's fire in the Taipei Hospital in Xinzhuang.

Thirteen people were killed in the blaze and 16 others were injured.

Seven of them remain in intensive care wards, while the nine others are now being treated in regular inpatient wards.

Chen bowed to apologize at a press conference and said he felt saddened by the tragic accident. The apology comes after the health minister faced allegations of hiding from the public in the days immediately following the fire.

However, Chen said he was in Papua New Guinea for an APEC meeting last week, and was delayed when transiting through Manila on his way home -- meaning he was unable to visit those injured in the fire until this past weekend.

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Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is voicing his support for an alliance of six People First Party, a center-right leaning party that is broadly pro-unification, and independent city council candidates.

Speaking to reporters, Ko said he decided to come out in support of the alliance because four of the candidates are incumbents and they have in the past voiced their support for his policies.

People First Party Chairman James Soong was also at the the launch of the Taipei Supervising Alliance and he hinted that he's open to teaming up with the Taipei mayor for a possible 2020 presidential run.

However, the Taipei mayor is remaining non-committal over the possibility - saying only that he meets with Soong every two or three months and they get along very well.

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More than half of the respondents to a recent poll say they do not like the use of the title "Chinese Taipei" at international sports events.

According to the survey by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, 51.9 percent of respondents said they dislike the name, while 37.4 percent said they like it.

The poll has also found that 65 percent of respondents said they favor the idea of using the name "Taiwan" at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

However, 26.4 percent of respondents voiced their opposition to such a move.

The poll comes as a campaign for a referendum on what Taiwan's team to the 2020 Games should be called has one more week to collect enough signatures for it to be approved.

Organizers of the campaign have said the petition has so far collected over 240,000 signatures and needs over 281,000 signatures before next Wednesday in order for the Central Election Commission to grant its approval for the ballot.

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President Tsai visit to NASA this past weekend is sparking hope for further collaboration between Taiwan and the U.S. in the field of space exploration.

According to National Space Organization Deputy Director-General Yu Hsien-cheng (余憲政), his office is hoping cooperation will become stronger and both sides will see "an intensity in the depth of the issues involved."

Yu said the organization is seeking to contribute to space exploration based on international collaboration and NASA's guidance.

Taiwan and the U.S. have a long-standing cooperation in satellite development and weather data analysis and a second satellite jointly developed by Taiwan and the U.S. could be launched either later this year early next year.

When launched, the FormoSat-7 satellite will generate three to four times the volume of data generated by FormoSat-3 and will increase the amount of low-latitude atmospheric and ionospheric data available.

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Premier William Lai said Monday that the government is relaxing immigration laws in an attempt to attract and benefit international students.

Speaking at the opening of the New Southbound National Chinese-language Schools Conference in Taipei, Lai said the government is offering more scholarships and visa incentives to ethnic Chinese students to come to Taiwan to study.

According to Lai, he believes if overseas Chinese-language schools fully understood the government's New Southbound Policy they could serve as a bridge connecting their countries with Taiwan.

The conference is being organized by the Overseas Community Affairs Council, which said over 100 representatives from Chinese-language schools across Southeast Asia are attending the two-day event.

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Twenty-five Taiwanese nationals have been sentenced to two-year prison terms in Thailand for cross-border telecom fraud targeting people in China.

Their sentences were reduced from four years by a local court on the grounds they all confessed to committing the crime.

The 25 Taiwanese, along with 19 Chinese, were arrested by Thai police in July of last year following a tip-off from China's public security authorities.

The 19 Chinese suspects were deported back to China.

Beijing had insisted the 25 Taiwanese nationals be repatriated to China, but Thai authorities overruled that request and said they should face trial in Thailand instead.

Officials in Taiwan said the 25 will be sent back to Taiwan to face further criminal charges when they have completed their two year sentences.

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The Ministry of National Defense is a holding a joint forces anti-landing exercise this morning in Pingtung.

The exercise is taking place near the Dong Manfeng fishing grounds, north of Kenting National Park.

Defense officials say the drill is aimed at testing the ability of the navy, air force and army to counter an enemy amphibious beach assault.

The drill is part of efforts by the Ministry of National Defense to increase the number of joint forces warfare simulation exercises.

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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 (@DavidPeterGreen)

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