Taiwan News: Tsai to Meet Mayors-Elect, EPA Defends Climate Policy

Taiwan News: Tsai to Meet Mayors-Elect, EPA Defends Climate Policy
Photo Credit: 中央社

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​​​​​​​Your daily bulletin of Taiwan news, courtesy of ICRT.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will meet the mayors-elect of the country's six special municipalities beginning this week, local media reported Monday.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Tsai called the six mayors-elect Nov. 26 to congratulate them on their election victories.

The first meeting is scheduled to be with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), but Huang confirmed that since Tsai has stepped down as chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), she will confine discussions with Ko to municipal matters, and they will not discuss an upcoming by-election for the seat vacated by losing Taipei mayoral candidate Pasuya Yao (姚文智). It had been suggested in these pages that the DPP might seek to cooperate with Ko on promoting a candidate in order to avoid a potential split vote and consequent victory for the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) candidate.

According to Huang, the purpose of Tsai's meetings with the mayors to be is to bring together the central and local governments to enhance public welfare and to ensure seamless central and local government cooperation on development projects.

The meetings are expected to take place before the six mayors are inaugurated on Dec. 25.

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has said Taiwan remains committed to playing its part in the global efforts to tackle climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The statement comes after Germanwatch, a group that lobbies for sustainable global development, released its Climate Change Performance Index, which rated Taiwan as "very poor" among the 60 listed countries.

Taiwan, or Chinese Taipei as the report describes the country, was ranked 56th overall, dropping two spots from 54th position last year. Its performance in a climate policy sub-index was slightly better, ranking 38th, though this still counted as "low", while its national climate policy performance was "very low" and its international climate policy performance was "medium".

The evaluation of the index is based on key indicators, including emissions level, emissions development, and renewable energy.

The report found that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in Taiwan hasn't been reduced, and has largely stayed flat from 2010 to 2016.

It also criticized Taiwan for being weak in policy development and implementation,

The EPA said Taiwan's greenhouse gas output should be 10 percent lower than the 2005 level by 2025, and 20 percent lower by 2030.


A 135-member delegation from Shanghai will attend next week's twin-city forum in Taipei.

The Chinese delegation will be led by Shanghai executive vice mayor Zhou Bo, whose extensive portfolio of responsibilities includes development and reform, fiscal affairs, tax, science and technology, state assets management, statistics, ports, China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone construction, technology and innovation center construction, comprehensive population management, energy construction, execution of bills and proposals and transparency of administrative affairs.

A record 250 local academicians, industry representatives and municipal officials invited by the Taipei City government will also attend the forum, which has been held alternately between the two cities since 2010.

According to Shanghai Municipal Taiwan Affairs Office Director Li Wenhui, Zhou will be participating on behalf of Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong, who is unable to attend because of a tight schedule.

Li is visiting Taiwan this week to discuss the agenda for the forum the Taipei City government. He said discussions are centering on the content for the forum and agreements to be signed between the two cities.

Taipei City government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) said details of the agenda need to be further discussed, but the main focus will be issues related to the circular economy, culture, environmental protection and urban renovation.

Credit: Reuters / TPG
Ying Yong, mayor of Shanghai, is too busy to attend next week's Shanghai-Taipei twin city forum in Taipei.


Taiwan has been admitted into the Cross Border Privacy Rules system under the APEC forum.

The National Development Council (NDC) said entry into the system will help enhance the country's image in cross-border personal data protection, and help local businesses forge cooperation opportunities with foreign companies.

The system was developed by APEC economies with input and assistance from industry and civil society to build consumer, business and regulator trust in the cross-border flow of personal information.

The NDC said after joining the system, Taiwan's small and medium-sized businesses and organizations will be able to get help to build their own personal data protection systems consistent with the APEC Privacy Framework.

NDC chief Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) submitted a membership application during an APEC senior officials' meeting in March.


Taiwan remains in fifth place in the 2018 Asian corporate governance watch rankings conducted by the Asian Corporate Governance Association.

The ranking was unchanged from the previous rankings released in 2016.

Taiwan finished behind Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, but ahead of Thailand, Japan, India, South Korea, China, the Philippines and Indonesia.

This year's report, titled "Hard Decision" examines the difficult strategic choices that Asian market participants face in selecting the best way forward for corporate governance reform.

The Asian Corporate Governance Association was founded in Hong Kong in 1999, and now has more than 100 members.

It serves as an independent non-profit organization dedicated to implementing effective corporate governance practices to promote the development of economies and capital markets.


The National Security Bureau (NSB), Taiwan's leading military intelligence agency, has said although there is no evidence that China meddled in the Nov. 24 local elections, Beijing and foreign-based forces still frequently spread fake news in Taiwan.

According to the bureau, China takes advantage of controversial incidents in Taiwan to spread deliberately fabricated misinformation via affiliated or like-minded platforms.

The statement comes after KMT lawmaker Lu Yu-ling (呂玉玲) questioned claims by President Tsai Ing-wen and other senior officials accusing China of using fake news to try to influence the local elections.

Lu said NSB Director-General Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹) has said that two pieces of "fake news" had been identified in recent months and they had little influence on the local elections.

Lu is now calling for NT$11 million (US$360,000) of the NSB's 2019 budget be frozen until the bureau makes a full report on the issue.


Photo Credit:6abc Action News螢幕截圖
A selection of the gear and weapons kept by Taiwanese teenager Sun An-tso.

The Taiwanese teenager detained in the U.S, since March on firearms charges is scheduled to arrive at Taoyuan International Airport at around 8 p.m. this evening following his deportation.

Sun An-tso (孫安佐) was arrested after threatening to carryout a mass shooting at his school in Pennsylvania, and will be arriving back in Taiwan on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco.

Sun pleaded guilty to terroristic threats in June after telling classmates he planned a mass shooting.

He was sentenced to time served and deportation by a federal court last month on additional charges of possessing ammunition while on a non-immigrant visa.

The Shilin District Prosecutors' Office has said it will question Sun on his return, and it will list the teenager as a suspect in violation of firearms laws.

Read More: OPINION: Sun An-tso’s School Shooting Threat Is No Joke


Movie director Doze Niu (鈕承澤) has been released on bail of NT$1.5 million after being questioned over allegations he sexual assaulted a female crew member working on his new film "Pao Ma."

Niu, whose work includes the Taiwanese gangster movie "Monga," has also been banned from leaving the country following the alleged assault, which occurred last month at his home in Taipei.

Reports said the victim went to a hospital immediately following the alleged assault to establish proof, and the hospital confirmed her injuries.

Niu said he will cooperate with authorities investigating the case and will take full responsibility for his actions.

However, the movie director is insisting the incident could have been a "misunderstanding," and has told reporters he has already received the severest possible punishment in the court of public opinion.

涉性侵案 鈕承澤:全力配合調查
Photo Credit: 中央社
Movie director Doze Niu appears to believe in the equivalence of the court of public opinion and criminal court.


The Ministry of Transport has said new rules mandating that all that motorcycles manufactured after Jan. 1 of next year be equipped with either anti-lock braking (ABS) or combined braking (CBS) systems are expected to cut traffic casualties by 30 percent.

According to acting Transport Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材), over 60 percent of the 1,680 traffic fatalities reported last year were related to motorcycle accidents, and the new measures can help improve road safety.

Wang said at the current stage, the proposed regulations will only affect new motorcycle models, and that mandatory ABS or CBS systems for new motorcycles of existing models will not take place until 2021.

The Vehicle Safety Testing Directions state that new motorcycle models with 125cc engines or smaller should have ABS or CBS breaks, and those with engines larger than 126cc must be equipped with ABS breaks.

Some one million new motorcycles are manufactured in Taiwan each year.

Credit: AP / TPG
Read More: Taiwan's Road Safety Reports Mask a Worsening Record


Former Taipei City councilor Lee Chen-lung (李承龍) has turned himself in to police after being on the wanted list since early November.

Lee was wanted after he failed to report for his sentence for decapitating a bronze statue in Tainan of Japanese engineer, Yoichi Hatta.

Lee is a member of the Chinese Unification Promotion Party, and was sentenced to five months in prison on March 8 for removing the head of the statue, which is located in the Wushantou Reservoir Scenic Park.

The former Taipei City councilor's sentence could have been converted to a fine of NT$1,000 per day, but Lee said he believes the ruling was unfair and decided not to pay the fine or report in person for his sentence.

Chinese Unification Promotion Party leader Chang An-le (張安樂), commonly known as "the White Wolf," helped Lee pay the fine after he was transferred to the Shilin District Prosecutors Office on Monday.


Taipei is in 45th position in the rent rankings of premium office space worldwide, according to U.S.-based real estate agency Jones Lang LaSalle.

The latest Premium Office Rent Tracker shows that the average rents in Taipei's Xinyi District totaled NT$6,165 per ping per month.

The average rents of Grade A offices in Taipei's Xinyi District were the 18th-highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

It's the first time a city in Taiwan has been to be included in the Premium Office Rent Tracker.

Hong Kong's Central district took the top spot in the premium office rent rankings, with the average rent hitting NT$31,575 per ping per month.

New York's Midtown came in second, ahead of London's West End and Beijing's Finance Street.


American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen is describing Taiwan as a leader on women's empowerment in politics.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a women's leadership and empowerment workshop Taipei, Christensen said not only does Taiwan currently have a woman serving as its president, but nearly 40 percent of the island's lawmakers are women.

According to the AIT director, few countries can claim to have achieved as much as Taiwan has toward the important goal of more equal representation between men and women in leadership positions.

The opening ceremony of the "Achieving 50-50: Empowering Women Leaders in the Indo-Pacific Region" event was also attended by Pat Schroeder, a former U.S. congresswoman.

In her keynote speech, Schroeder, admitted the U.S. has a long way to go and much to learn from Taiwan given the fact that America is ranked 89th in terms of the representation of women in national legislatures.

The three-day workshop is being held under the U.S.-Taiwan Global Cooperation and Training Framework.

Credit: Reuters / TPG
Read More: In South Korea, Corruption Knows No Gender


An Indonesian NGO that promotes pluralism and works to protect minority rights against religious and racial intolerance has been awarded the 2018 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award in Taipei.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Gusdurian Network Indonesia (GNI) national coordinator Alissa Wahid said the award is a recognition of the group's work and also serves as a reminder of its commitment to work harder.

Wahid is the daughter of the late Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid.

Established in 2010, the GNI was named after the former head of state to encourage interaction and consolidation among those who share his beliefs and vision in Indonesia and around the world.

President Tsai Ing-wen has praised the GNI for its efforts to engage different social groups in dialogue to deepen democracy.


Taiwan has been nominated for nine Gender Impact Awards.

The list of awards was released by Womany, the first social media here in Taiwan with a core focus on gender issues and female consciousness.

The awards are divided into seven categories, and the nine Taiwanese nominations on the list include the installation of the country's first comfort woman statue in Tainan, the initiation of a referendum on same-sex marriage and Taiwan's "#MeToo movement."

The Taiwan Coalition against Violence says 2018 has seen great achievements towards gender equality and there have been calls for reflection on gender-based violence from the entertainment and media industries, as well as the public and private sectors.

The winners of the Gender Impact Awards will be announced on Dec. 20.


The Straits Exchange Foundation is expressing its condolences over the death of its former chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), who died on Monday aged 85.

The Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei says Chiang died of multiple organ failure.

He was rushed to the hospital after collapsing at a restaurant in Taipei Saturday, and was admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit after undergoing emergency treatment for aortic dissection.

Chiang was chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation from 2008 to 2012 before becoming head of the Straits Economic and Cultural Interchange Association.

During his four years as chairman, Chiang took part in eight meetings with China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and signed 18 cross-Strait agreements.

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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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