Taiwan News: Chuanghua Demolishes Controversial CCP Temple, Allies Voice Support at UN

Taiwan News: Chuanghua Demolishes Controversial CCP Temple, Allies Voice Support at UN
Credit: Via Wei Min-jen's Facebook

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Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

The Changhua County Government has begun demolishing a controversial temple that had been turned into a shrine worshipping the Chinese Communist Party.

Demolition of additions to the Biyun Temple in Erlin Township comes after several of the buildings were deemed to be illegal structures.

The county government cut water and power supplies to the temple last week days after publication by the New York Times of an article about the building and its owner, Wei Ming-jen (魏明仁).

According to Deputy County Magistrate Lin Ming-yu (林明裕), it will take seven days and cost NT$5 million (US$163,000) to tear down all of the complex's illegal structures and the owner will be liable to pay the demolition costs.

The county had previously refused to tear down the illegal structures after a legal dispute between Wei, who is 60, and the nuns who once lived there was settled.

However, Changhua County Magistrate Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) reportedly opted to demolish the buildings following publication of the New York Times article.

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Two of Taiwan's diplomatic allies have spoken in favor of Taipei during the United Nations' General Debate, which is taking place in New York this week.

Paraguay's President Mario Abdo Benitez urged the UN to include Taiwan as one of its members and told the General Assembly that his country "backs Taiwan's legitimate solicitation to be included in the UN system."

Benitez said Taiwan has earned a place in the global body as its can "contribute a lot to the organization, based on its principle of universal values."

The president of the Marshall Islands, Hilda Heine, has also spoken in support of Taiwan's meaningful participation at the UN, saying the island has the capacity to contribute to a wide range of UN programs relevant to global progress.

She also told the General Assembly that "the people of Taiwan deserve equal treatment, and the U-N should resolve the serious issue of Taiwan's 23 million people being excluded from the UN system."

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Credit: Reuters / TPG
Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 25, 2018.

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The White House's senior official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has said the United States has always been supportive of Taiwan's full membership in the regional economic bloc and is making sure that its membership will not be compromised.

According to Matthew J. Matthews, he believes there are many other economies who feel the same and will also seek to ensure Taiwan's continued participation in APEC.

The statement by the visiting Trump administration official comes after Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said China is attempting to block Taiwan's participation in November's annual 2018 APEC meeting, which will take place in Papua New Guinea.

Wu also accused Beijing of trying to introduce its "one-China" principle into APEC's operating framework.

Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Wang Ding-yu (王定宇) said Washington and Tokyo both rejected that move.

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The Central Weather Bureau has said it is now unlikely to issue a sea warning for Typhoon Trami, as the storm is now not expected to have any major impact on either Taiwan or its territorial waters.

Trami is currently located some 800 kilometers east-southeast of Eluanbi at Taiwan's southernmost tip and the slow moving storm is heading in a northerly direction at 4 kilometers an hour towards Okinawa.

The typhoon has radius of 250 kilometers and is packing sustained wind speeds of 154 kilometers an hour, with gusts of up to 190 kilometers an hour, indicating it is weakening when compared with its earlier reported track.

The typhoon is expected to be closest to Taiwan tomorrow and Saturday, when the weather bureau said Trami's periphery could still bring heavy or extremely heavy rain to northern and northeastern parts of the island.

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The Ministry of Labor has approved NT$182 million in funding to start a government service to provide short-term relief for primary caregivers.

The ministry will now allocate money from its Employment Stability Fund to implement the respite care plan, which was proposed by the Ministry of Health.

Labor officials said the allocation of NT$182 million is 50 percent of the estimated annual amount needed to run the plan, which is expected to benefit about 28,000 families.

The program is geared towards helping those with family members who are severely disabled or those who have limited support, such as individuals who live alone or whose primary caregiver is over 70 years old.

The health ministry's Long-term Care Services Division said some 32,000 respite caregivers have already been recruited in preparation for the launch of the program next month.

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Canada's new representative to Taiwan said Wednesday that he will continue to improve bilateral relations between the two sides while setting a personal goal of seeing through a Canadian-invested offshore wind project as his top priority.

Speaking to reporters, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Jordan Reeves said he will work to strengthen already close two-way ties on various fronts, including tourism, trade, culture and education.

However, he says the Hai Long II and Hai Long III Canadian-invested offshore wind projects off the coast of Changhua County are at the top of list.

According to Reeves, the projects could represent Canadian investment of up to US$6.1 billion, making it the largest single new investment from Canada into Taiwan in the clean energy space.

The Bureau of Energy awarded 232 MW of generating capacity to the Hai Long II offshore wind farm and 512 MW to the Hai Long III offshore wind farm in June 2018 under an offshore wind auction program.

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Credit: Canada in India Facebook
Jordan Reeves is the news Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director.

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed four new indigenous dengue fever cases, bringing the total number so far this year to 134.

Health officials said two of the new infections were in Taichung while the other two new cases were in New Taipei and Kaohsiung.

Taichung has been hardest hit by dengue fever, with 72 indigenous cases being reported there so far this year.

New Taipei has had the second largest number of dengue fever cases this year, which totaled 39.

Kaohsiung has reported 10 cases of the mosquito-borne disease, there have been seven cases in Changhua County, Taipei and Chiayi County have confirmed two each, and one case has been confirmed in Tainan and another in Taoyuan.

The CDC said the public should continue to take precautionary measures when traveling to dengue infected areas.

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Thirty-two of the island's top schools have been listed as some the world's best universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2019.

The rankings are based on the performance of research-intensive universities across their teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

National Taiwan University was the highest ranked university, placing 170th – up from last year's ranking of 198th.

Other Taiwanese universities included in the rankings were National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and the National Tsing Hua University.

Both of them were listed in the 401-500 grouping.

The latest rankings include more than 1,250 universities, with the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom topping the list, followed by University of Cambridge, also in the UK.

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The post office has unveiled its commemorative stamp set for the year of the pig.

Chunghua Post said the images on the stamps represent "rich pigs" and have been printed in gold and red to represent the "joyous atmosphere" of the new year holiday period.

The stamps will be printed in France and issued there also by the French postal service as part of a cultural collaboration between Chunghua Post and its counterpart in France.

The year of the pig commemorative stamps will be available here in Taiwan from Dec. 3.

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Qualcomm plans to establish a multimedia research and development center and a mobile artificial intelligence enablement center in Taiwan.

Both are expected to begin operations early next year.

Qualcomm said establishment of the two facilities is part of its commitment to long-term investment in Taiwan and is aimed at helping the island cultivate talent and develop its own R&D capability.

The multimedia R&D will focus on the research and development of 3D sensing solutions, image compression techniques and computer vision technology, while the mobile AI center will work to develop on-device AI platforms and applications.

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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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