Taiwan News: Athletes Place 7th in Final Medal Tally, Speaker Su Meets Paul Ryan

Taiwan News: Athletes Place 7th in Final Medal Tally, Speaker Su Meets Paul Ryan
Photo: Reuters / TPG

What you need to know

Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

The Air Force is dispatching two F-16 fighter jets to escort the final group of athletes who competed at the Asian Games back to Taiwan today, part of a heroes’ welcome for Taiwan’s seventh-place team.

The team finished in seventh place in the overall medals table with 17 gold, 19 silver, and 31 bronze medals – Taiwan’s best gold medal haul since the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, when it took 19 gold medals.

The government is scheduled to award a total of NT$350 million (US$11.4 million) in prize money to the medal-winning athletes.

The two F-16s will be accompanying the plane carrying the team members once it enters Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone.

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Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) had a one-on-one meeting with U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in Washington D.C., on the sidelines of a memorial ceremony for the late U.S. Senator John McCain which took place at that Washington National Cathedral on Saturday.

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Photo: Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office
Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, left, speaks to US Representative Paul Ryan, right.

According to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. capital, Su spoke with numerous U.S. politicians and foreign dignities at the event.

Su paid tribute to McCain in the lying-in-state ceremony for the late senator in on Capitol Hill on behalf of the Tsai administration prior to the memorial ceremony.

Along with expressing respect for McCain, Su also expressed gratitude to the U.S. Congress for its support for improving relations between Taiwan and the United States.

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Authorities say three people have been confirmed dead while three others are missing after the six were swept into the ocean from two beaches in Yilan County. A seventh person was washed back onshore with injuries.

The incidents occurred at Mystery Beach in Nan’ao Township and Neipi Beach in Su’ao Township.

內埤海灘_Neipi_Beach_-_panoramio_(1)
Credit: Lienyuan Lee / Wikicommons
Neipi Beach in Yilan's Su'ao Township.

According to rescuers, a mother and her son were washed out to sea while riding an ATV on Mystery Beach. The mother’s body was found this morning at 5:41 a.m. The son remains missing.

In a separate incident, also on Mystery Beach, a couple riding an ATV and an ATV rental owner were swept to sea. The body of the rental owner has been identified, while the couple remains missing.

In yet another incident on Neipi Beach, a young girl was swept into sea by a rogue wave. She washed ashore and survived, but a man who attempted to rescue her died in the hospital.

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The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee says the Kuomintang (KMT) will be allowed to sell a hotel it owns on the Pacific island of Palau.

According to the committee, the KMT has been hoping to sell off the Palasia Hotel in order to help fund its campaigning for November's local elections.

The committee says the hotel was built by the KMT through its Central Investment Corporation 20 years ago and has a current value of NT$250 million (US$8.14 million).

Officials say the hotel will not be sold and will instead be used to increase Taiwan's national interests in Palau, one of Taiwan’s 17 remaining formal diplomatic allies.

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A group of anti-military pension reform protesters are holding rallies across Taiwan to mark Armed Forces Day, which began at 9:30 this morning.

The 800 Heroes (a.k.a. 800 Warriors, 八百壯士) for the Republic of China Association are being supported by the KMT as the party seeks to promote its proposed referendums.

According to the association, plans to hold a major rally in Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei were cancelled and the money raised for that event will now be donated to flood relief efforts.

The association says they are focusing on opposing Taiwanese independence, military pension reforms, air pollution, and food imports from Japan.

Read Next: INTERVIEW: Pension Protest Leader Wu Sz-huai of the 800 Warriors

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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has visited the special forces soldier injured when his parachute failed to open during a rehearsal for the annual Han Kuang military exercises in May.

Tsai posted photographs of her visit to Chin Liang-feng (秦良丰) at the Taipei Tri-Service General Hospital on her Instagram account.

A post shared by 蔡英文 (@tsai_ingwen) on Sep 2, 2018 at 1:41am PDT

She said Chin has been well looked after by the medical team and his family, he has come a long way toward recovering, and he will continue with his rehabilitation.

The accident occurred on May 17 when Chin's parachute failed to open after he jumped from a C-130 aircraft over Taichung's CCK Airbase. He fell 396 meters to the ground, was seriously injured and fell into a coma.

However, his condition improved, and he was moved from an intensive care ward to a regular ward on August 13.

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The Council of Agriculture announced that individuals found attempting to smuggle raw pork into Taiwan from China will be fined NT$15,000 (US$488).

The move comes amid ongoing concern about an outbreak of African swine fever in China. There is no vaccine for the highly contagious virus.

The council said that the fines are part of strengthened efforts to isolate Taiwan from African swine fever, as it could decimate Taiwan's pig industry if it spreads to the island.

Deputy Agriculture Minister Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城) said there are currently 5.43 million pigs being raised in Taiwan and the industry has a production value of more than NT$100 billion (US$3.25 billion) annually.

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The Criminal Investigation Division says efforts this summer to crackdown in illegal drug use have made progress.

According to law enforcement officials, police launched two anti-illegal drugs programs in July and August, which resulted in the cracking of 1,805 drug-related cases and the arrest of 1,849 people for drug offenses. Those figures were up 19.9 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively, from the same period in 2017.

Officials say city police officers targeted 91 hot spots and road sections for drug crimes and devised police patrols and inspection routes before carrying out raids based on big data analytics.

During the two-month period, 263 spot checks were carried out and as a result, 823 cases were cracked and 831 people arrested.

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The government says households in Taipei spend an average of NT$24,000 (US$781) per year on public transport – more than twice the national average

The average annual expenditure per household in Taiwan for 2017 was NT$812,000 (US$26,431), with Taipei posting the highest average annual household expenditure at NT$1.08 million (US$35,154).

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Taipei residents shell out about NT$24,000 every year on public transport.

Taipei was followed by Taoyuan at NT$880,000 (US$28,642) in the 2017 statistics on family income and expenditure.

Families in Taipei also spent the most on clothing and recreation, compared with all other cities or counties around the country.

Also, more people are opting not to spend time in the kitchen and eat out instead.

The government says the figures indicate that spending in restaurants and hotels rose to a historic high in 2017.

About NT$97,000 (US$3,157) was spent by the average household on restaurants and hotels last year. That spending accounted for 12 percent of all household expenditures last year, the highest since 1976.

Read Next: New Zealand Accuses Taiwanese Fishing Vessel of Regulatory Breaches

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

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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