Trending in Taiwan Today

Trending in Taiwan Today
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What you need to know

The biggest stories around Taiwan today.

Same-sex marriage bill passes committee review, Tsai to meet both sides

Photo Credit: Olivia Yang/The News Lens

Draft amendments to Taiwan's Civil Code which would legalize same-sex marriage yesterday passed a committee review in the Legislative Yuan.

The amendments were proposed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislators Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) and Julian Kuo (郭正亮). The amendments will proceed to party caucus negotiations and still need to pass second and third readings before becoming law, which would make Taiwan the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

Yesterday, thousands of white-clad protesters gathered in front of the Presidential Office after the draft amendments passed committee review, and 16 representatives later met with Liu Chien-hsin (劉建忻), acting secretary-general of the Presidential Office, and Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), legislative caucus whip of the DPP.

Presidential Office Spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would arrange a time in late January to meet with both the supporting and opposing sides of the amendments.

The current legislative session is coming to an end, so the bill will be dealt with when the next legislative session opens in February. Along with other related proposed bills, it will be submitted for cross-party consultations expected to take place in late April or early May.

Read more here:
PHOTO STORY: Taiwan's Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Committee Review amid Protest

High school Nazi, Musha outrage sparks wide discussion

photo 光復高中裝扮納粹
Photo Credit:網路截圖

The Taiwanese high school that allowed students to parade in Nazi uniforms is under more pressure after it was revealed students also depicted a highly-sensitive massacre involving one of Taiwan’s indigenous tribes.

The high school in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan, has been widely criticized for allowing students to take part in a Nazi-themed parade at its anniversary celebration last week. A video released on YouTube shows students from another class dressed as Japanese forces and aboriginal Seediq people, reenacting the Musha Incident (霧社事件) during the same anniversary event.

The Musha Incident, also known as the Wushe Rebellion, was a major uprising and massacre involving Taiwan’s Seediq Tribe and Japanese forces during Japan’s 50-year colonial rule.

While some Taiwanese are defending the group of high school students, local Jewish leaders and indigenous representatives says the events display ignorance towards sensitive historical events.

Read more here:
Nazi Parade School Slammed for Misrepresenting Indigenous Massacre
Taiwan Nazi Parade Continues Decades of Ignorance; Netizens Defend Students

Taiwan’s ‘Asian Silicon Valley’ base opens

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

The "Executive Center for the Asian Silicon Valley Plan" in Taoyuan, northern Taiwan, was opened on Sunday by Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁). The base is part of the government’s "Asian Silicon Valley" plan, which is designed to improve Taiwan's overall economic structure.

The base will promote the Internet of Things (IoT) and innovation industries, integrate relevant local and international sectors, and push Taiwan's industrial transformation, said Chen at the inauguration ceremony.

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said the Asian Silicon Valley Plan was not formed to copy the U.S. Silicon Valley, "but to encourage Taiwanese industries to have the spirit of innovation," reports Focus Taiwan.

Read more here:
Taiwan’s Tech Image: Digital Nation or Competition Killer?

Air pollution worsens in central and southern Taiwan

A man wears a face masks to protect himself from the air pollution in downtown Shanghai
Photo Credit:Reuters/達志影像

As temperatures decline around the country today, the cold air mass has also carried additional air pollutants to central and southern Taiwan. The Environmental Protection Administration has warned people, especially those with allergies, in these areas to reduce the amount of time spent outdoors and encourages them to wear masks.

Smoking to be banned at Taipei City bus stops


Photo Credit: 路透社 / 達志影像

Starting from Jan. 1, 2017, smoking will be banned at the 932 bus stops and 1,150 waiting stands in Taipei City. Violators could be fined up to NT$10,000 (US$309) starting March 1, reports Taiwan News.

Editor: Edward White