Trending in Taiwan Today

Trending in Taiwan Today
Photo Credit: AP / 達志影像

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Today's biggest stories from around Taiwan.

Tsai reiterates sovereignty of disputed South China Sea islands

AP_385665782021 太平島
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Taiwan will continue to work with neighboring nations to assert sovereignty over its land in the disputed South China Sea, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said at an event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the recovery of Taiping Island (太平島), the Liberty Times reports.

Tsai said that from July, the Coast Guard Administration had increased patrols around Taiping Island and increased protection of Taiwanese fishing vessels in the region. The government has continued to stress its claims in the area, and worked with neighboring countries on earthquake, tsunami and ocean acidification research.

The Coast Guard also held humanitarian aid exercises on Taiping Island in November as proof to the international community that the island had the potential to be an aid center and also continues to train specialists on the Law of the Sea to increase the ability of Taiwan to negotiate with other nations in the region over its sovereignty over Taiping Island, said Tsai.

Council of Agriculture to promote cooperation with four ASEAN countries

Farmers pick tea leaves in Tan Cuong village in Vietnam's northern Thai Nguyen province
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia are likely to be involved in new agricultural cooperation programs with Taiwan under a “new southbound agriculture” policy, the Taipei Times reports. Council of Agriculture officials said that Taiwan relied too heavily on agricultural exports to China at a cabinet meeting on Dec. 8, and it was urgent and necessary to diversify Taiwan’s markets. Council officials also said that it was possible other countries will be included in the plan. The council plans to tap into emerging markets in South and Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as invest in select countries’ agricultural industries and exporting agricultural machinery. The council aims to achieve full cooperation with four countries and set up 10 model farms for agricultural enterprises in those countries.

Facebook releases top trending topics in Taiwan in 2016

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Facebook has released its “Year in Review” top 10 lists for global trending topics today. For Taiwan, the Taiwanese presidential election, Taoyuan tour bus fire, the Panama Papers, the February Kaohsiung earthquake and the China Airlines flight attendant strike top the list, United Daily News reports. Globally, the U.S. presidential election was the most discussed topic of 2016, along with “Brazilian politics,” augmented reality mobile game phenomenon Pokemon Go, Black Lives Matter, and Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte. Facebook also released the top trending live videos of 2016, and “Chewbacca Mom,” a viral video of a mom wearing a Chewbacca mask she bought for her son topped the list.

Yates advised Tsai to keep low profile In U.S.: David Lee

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said former U.S. national security official Stephen Yates advised President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to maintain a low-profile when she makes transit stops in the U.S. en-route to Central America in January 2017, Taipei Times reports. Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), a Democratic Progressive Party legislator who attended the meeting between Yates and Tsai, said that Yates also advised Tsai to “prepare to take a tougher stand on trade negotiations” when president-elect Donald Trump assumes office.

The paper also reports Lo saying that Yates felt there was no need for Tsai to meet with Trump, but she could engage with ordinary U.S. citizens.

Taiwanese drug traffickers sentenced to death in Indonesia

REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

A high court in Indonesia sentenced three Taiwanese citizens to death on drug-related charges on Dec. 8, the Central News Agency reports. The three men can still appeal their case to the Indonesian Supreme Court. As the record stands, however, the chances of the three men overturning their sentence are low, as Indonesia has taken an increasingly tough stance on drugs crimes since President Joko Widodo took office in 2014. The three men were arrested in November for possession of 26 kg of methamphetamine (crystal meth).

Editor: Edward White