Sat, Sep 18, 2021
Australia and the US on Thursday announced expanded military cooperation, including rotational deployments of all types of US military aircraft to Australia, a day after announcing a submarine deal denounced by China as intensifying a regional arms race. Speaking after meetings between US and Australian foreign and defense ministers, Australian Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the two sides would be “significantly enhancing our force posture cooperation, increasing interoperability and deepening alliance activities in the Indo-Pacific.” “This will include greater air cooperation through rotational deployments of all types of US military aircraft to Australia,” Dutton told a joint news conference in Washington. “We’ve also established combined logistics sustainment and capability for maintenance to support our enhanced activities, including logistics and sustainment capability for our submarines and surface combatants in Australia,” he said. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the meeting had endorsed “major force-posture initiatives that will expand our access and presence in Australia.” On Wednesday, the US and Britain said they would provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines through a pact called AUKUS. The US and its allies are looking for ways to push back against China’s growing power and influence, particularly its military buildup, pressure on Taiwan and deployments in the contested South China Sea. In Taipei, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) yesterday welcomed the formation of AUKUS, adding that “it doesn’t imply that we are asking the UK to get involved in the conflict across the Taiwan Strait.” She was referring to a question from former British prime minister Theresa May to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons in London on Thursday about the possibility of Britain defending Taiwan from a Chinese invasion. “We are responsible for Taiwan’s national security, we are not asking the UK or any other country to fight on
The US and Australia on Thursday expressed support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and said they intend to bolster ties with Taiwan. In a joint statement issued by the two governments at the conclusion of the 31st Australia-US Ministerial Consultations in Washington, they said that Taiwan plays an important role in the Indo-Pacific region. Australia and the US said they would fortify ties with Taiwan, which is “a leading democracy and a critical partner” for both of them, said the statement issued by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Peter Dutton. “The principals emphasized their support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations, as a member where statehood is not a prerequisite and as an observer or guest where statehood is a prerequisite for membership,” the statement said. They also reiterated their continued support for a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, without resorting to threats or coercion, and their shared commitment to enhance donor coordination with Taiwan in the region, the statement said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei welcomed the open support from the two countries. Taiwan would continue to build ties with the two democratic partners, based on a solid foundation, to jointly maintain peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, it said yesterday.
MATTER OF SECURITY: The EU adopted a report that addresses the threat from China’s recent military buildup and called for trade relations with Taiwan The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday urged the EU to start preparations for negotiating a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan, after the bloc expressed its intention to boost cooperation with Taiwan in semiconductors and other areas. The EU on Thursday adopted a Joint Communication on the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, after the European Council on April 19 approved the strategy. In the report, the EU said it intends to increase engagements with Indo-Pacific partners, based on promoting democracy, the rule of law, human rights and universally agreed commitments, such as those related to sustainable development and climate change. The document said that “there has been a significant military buildup, including by China, with the Indo-Pacific’s share of global military spending increasing from 20 percent of the world total in 2009 to 28 percent in 2019.” “The display of force and increasing tensions in regional hot spots such as in the South and East China Sea and in the Taiwan Strait may have a direct impact on European security and prosperity,” it said. “There is also an increase in hybrid threats, including on cybersecurity.” As resilient value chains are essential for recovery, the EU would work with its Indo-Pacific partners to reinforce value chains and develop cooperation in strategic sectors, it said. “For semiconductors, for example, it will do so with partners such as Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan,” it said. After drawing blueprints for concluding or negotiating economic agreements with Australia, India, Indonesia and New Zealand, it said “the EU will also pursue its deep trade and investment relationships with partners with whom it does not have trade and investment agreements, such as Taiwan.” To promote safe and free data flows, the EU has worked with Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, it said. “Other partners such as India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan
China’s surprise application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would not force Taipei’s hand in its own application, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday. Speaking to reporters outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Wang said that Taiwan has been pursuing back-channel negotiations with friendly countries to lobby for its inclusion in the CPTPP and other bodies. “Our strategy is to line up allies in a low-key manner and work on building consensus before pursuing any official application,” Wang said. “That way, things tend to happen smoothly as a matter of course.” China, on the other hand, surprised the world when it moved to officially join the trade pact of 11 Pacific Rim countries, including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan and New Zealand, she said. Beijing’s surprise bid for inclusion does not mean Taipei should feel pressured into making a parallel bid, she added. “There’s no set timetable for inclusion after an official bid,” Wang said. “There are certain procedures, and there has to be consensus from member countries that inclusion is appropriate.” Wang said China’s moves to crack down on economic activities and unfriendly trade relations with CPTPP member nations could hurt its chances of inclusion. “We could question if China meets the CPTPP’s high standards for inclusion right now,” Wang said. “Recently, China has repeatedly interfered with the economy in highly illiberal ways, heightened surveillance, reduced transparency and even banned imports without proper cause.” Taiwan has been working on market liberalization and legal framework adjustments to be “CPTPP compatible,” Wang said. The CPTPP is the successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, from which former US president Donald Trump withdrew during his tenure. The withdrawal of Taiwan’s most powerful supporter from the regional agreement has been seen as detrimental to Taiwan’s chances. “Of course US support is always welcome in helping Taiwan join international
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday disputed an independent investigation which found that in her previous job at the World Bank she pressed staff to alter a report to avoid angering China. Based on the findings, the World Bank announced it was immediately discontinuing its Doing Business report after the investigation found irregularities in the 2018 and 2020 editions. Georgieva, a Bulgarian national who took the helm of the IMF in October 2019, rejected its conclusions regarding her role. “I disagree fundamentally with the findings and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities as it relates to my role in the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2018,” she said in a statement. The report ranks countries based on their business regulations and economic reforms, and has caused governments to jockey for a higher spot to attract investors. According to the investigation, Beijing complained about its ranking of 78th on the list in 2017, and the next year’s report would have shown Beijing dropping even further. The Washington-based development lender’s staff was preparing the 2018 edition, while leadership engaged in sensitive negotiations to increase its lending capital, which hinged on an agreement with China and the US. In the final weeks before the report was released in late October 2017, the World Bank’s then-president Jim Kim and then-CEO Georgieva asked staff to look into updating the methodology in regard to China, the investigation by law firm WilmerHale showed. Kim discussed the rankings with senior Chinese officials who were dismayed by the country’s ranking, and his aides raised the issue of how to improve it, according to the summary of the probe, released by the World Bank. It is considered one of Kim’s signature achievements that he shepherded a deal for a US$13 billion increase in World Bank resources. The bargain required support from then-US president Donald Trump, who
‘ONE-OFF’ DEAL: Australia would become the only state, after Britain, that the US has helped to build a nuclear fleet, which a White House official called ‘unique’ The US on Wednesday announced a new alliance with Australia and Britain to strengthen military capabilities in the face of a rising China, with Canberra to receive a nuclear submarine fleet and US cruise missiles. US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not mention China in unveiling their alliance, dubbed AUKUS — but their intent was clear, and their announcement prompted fury in Beijing. China yesterday condemned the deal as an “extremely irresponsible” threat to stability in the region. The agreement also left Paris furious, as Australia scrapped a US$40 billion 2016 deal to purchase conventional submarines from France. “This initiative is about making sure that each of us has a modern capability — the most modern capabilities we need — to maneuver and defend against rapidly evolving threats,” Biden said, speaking in Washington. Morrison said that the three all respected “freedom” and “the rule of law,” and that the alliance would help ensure security in the region. The allies often reference the rule of law and freedoms when railing against China’s military build-up in the South China Sea. The first major initiative announced under the new alliance was a fleet of eight state-of-the-art nuclear-powered submarines for Australia. The submarines, said Biden and the other leaders, would not be nuclear-armed, only powered with nuclear reactors. They would allow Australia’s military to travel, and strike targets, far from its coast. They “are quieter, faster and have longer endurance, which will allow Australia to deploy its future submarines to Indo-Pacific locations for much longer periods of time,” said Ashley Townshend of the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. In addition to the submarine fleet, a senior Biden administration official said AUKUS would combine forces on “cyber, AI [artificial intelligence] — particularly applied AI — quantum technologies and some undersea capabilities as well.” Morrison
Japan would defend the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) — known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan — against Chinese aggression, and considers Taiwan a crucial link in its energy supply, Japanese Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi told CNN in an interview published on its Web site yesterday. Kishi said that Japan would defend the disputed island chain through ship superiority in the surrounding waters. “Against Chinese action to Senkaku Islands and other parts of the East China Sea ... we have to demonstrate that the government of Japan is resolutely defending our territory with the greater number of Japanese coast guard vessels than that of China,” Kishi said. “There is no territorial dispute relating to the Senkaku Islands between Japan and other countries,” he added. Regarding Taiwan, Kishi told CNN: “What’s happening in Taiwan is directly linked to Japan,” adding that Taiwan sits astride the “energy lifeline” that sustains his country. “Ninety percent of the energy that Japan uses is imported through the areas around Taiwan,” Kishi said. “What could happen in Taiwan could likely be an issue for Japan, and in that case, Japan will have to take the necessary response to that situation,” he said, adding that conflicts should be resolved by dialogue, not military force. Kishi said that Japan is willing and able to protect what it perceives as part of its sovereign territory and uphold its interests. Japan has been deploying missiles and troops on Yonaguni island and plans to reinforce nearby Ishigaki, he said. “This is to demonstrate our strong will to defend our southwestern area of Japanese territory,” he said. The defense minister has talked about Taiwan’s importance in several recent media appearances. Kishi on Sunday told the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense that Taiwan “is a key point for regional maritime security.” “Peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are important to both the region
MUTUAL GOODWILL: Taiwan is to donate 10,000 pulse oximeters and 1,008 oxygen concentrators to Japan, which has pledged to send Taiwan 500,000 additional vaccines The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two local and six imported cases of COVID-19, but no deaths. The two local cases reside in Taipei, a woman in her 70s and another one in her 20s, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC spokesman, told a news briefing in Taipei. The woman in her 70s was in a hospital on Wednesday for surgery and tested positive yesterday. A person who had contact with her has been asked to quarantine at home, Chuang said. The woman in her 20s was tested for COVID-19 because she needed to accompany her mother to hospital. Although her boyfriend and two relatives contracted the disease in May, the woman was not tested for COVID-19 at the time, even though she reported having cold symptoms, Chuang said. She tested negative for the virus on Friday last week, but another test on Wednesday was positive, with a cycle threshold (CT) value of 33, he said. The source of her infection is still under investigation, and eight people who had contact with her are required to quarantine at home, he said. The six imported cases are four Taiwanese returning from the US, Indonesia and Malaysia; a Lithuanian arriving from Lithuania; and an Indonesian arriving from Indonesia, CECC data showed. Four of them had received Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines, Chuang said. Chuang also shared the genome sequencing results of 11 cases that are part of the 41 imported cases reported between Friday last week and Thursday. All had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, with eight showing no symptoms, CECC data showed. Taiwan has recorded a total of 149 infections by the Delta variant, including 43 local cases, Chuang said. As of Thursday, 11,536,036 people — or about 49 percent of the nation’s population — have received a first shot
People who barbecue in Taipei’s riverside parks during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday would be fined up to NT$6,000, the Taipei Public Works Department said on Thursday. Barbecuing during this year’s holiday, which is from Saturday to Tuesday, would for the first time be banned, due to COVID-19 concerns, the department said. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Wednesday said that barbecuing in public spaces is in general forbidden, with the exception of riverside parks during the annual holiday. However, that would also be forbidden this year, as the city seeks to limit large gatherings to curb the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. The department on Thursday said that those who are found barbecuing in riverside parks would be fined NT$1,200 to NT$6,000 on the spot, based on the Taipei City Park Management Ordinance. However, there is doubt over whether fines would be widely enforced. Earlier this week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that it would be impossible for police to patrol all the city’s riverside parks all night. Huang also said that barbecuing in privately owned, but publicly used spaces, including many of the city’s roofed sidewalks, is not banned. She urged people who are planning to barbecue in such a space to observe social distancing, or instead consider having a meal indoors. Local governments, except for those in the outlying islands of Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu, have also banned barbecuing in public spaces during the holiday. The New Taipei City and Keelung City governments have urged people to also refrain from barbecuing on privately owned sidewalks where the ban does not apply.
‘APOLITICAL’: Chen Ting-fei said her engagement is not comparable to that of Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen, who was fined for playing a role in a TV drama Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) yesterday said she has obtained broadcast regulators’ approval to play the sea goddess Matsu (媽祖) in a TV drama. Chen wrote on Facebook that she and the production team of Formosa TV’s Taiwan New Mysteries had been granted approval from the National Communications Commission (NCC). Local media reported that filming for the show earlier this week began at the Tainan Grand Matsu Temple (台南大天后宮). Elected officials are subject to greater scrutiny when they appear in TV shows, which is as it should be, Chen said. Before accepting the role, she consulted laws and regulations pertinent to the matter, Chen said. Citing the commission’s approval, Chen said that politicians are allowed to appear in a drama as long as their role is not designed to boost their political career. The commission highlighted that elected officials are barred from writing or editing a drama, she added. Responding to criticism that she allegedly received preferential treatment from the commission, Chen said that her case is not comparable to that of Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), who was on Aug. 30 fined NT$200,000 for a cameo in a separate TV show. Lu played herself in the TVBS show Girl’s Power, while Chen has been cast to play a character different from her role as lawmaker, she said. “There is no double standard,” Chen added. The Taipei District Court has upheld Lu’s fine, saying that her appearance in the show in 2019 was intended to boost her as Taichung mayor and promote the Taichung Flora Expo. Her role had been added to the script at a late stage of the writing process, it added. In the finished script, the show’s protagonists incidentally meet Lu at their wedding and praise her for her good taste in men, which indicates that Lu’s appearance
Conservationists in Chiayi County have successfully bred more than 600 endangered tri-spine horseshoe crabs, setting a nationwide record. Chiayi County Commissioner Weng Chang-liang (翁章梁) and local officials on Tuesday visited the rearing facility in Budai Township (布袋) to commend the effort led by the Chiayi County Ecological Conservation Association. After many years absent from the township’s Haomeiliao Wetland (好美寮溼地), the county government in 2019 conducted a survey of the juvenile horseshoe crab population, finding a total of just 14 in two months, Weng said. The living fossil scientifically known as Tachypleus tridentatus has been in decline worldwide, and in 2019 was upgraded to endangered status by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The horseshoe crabs’ survival is at risk due to overfishing, marine pollution, habitat destruction and warming oceans, as they cannot regulate their body temperature. In Taiwan, where they were once abundant, juvenile horseshoe crabs can now only be spotted regularly in Kinmen and Penghu counties. Horseshoe crabs — which are thought to be more closely related to spiders and scorpions than to crabs — lay their eggs in nurseries on sandy beaches. After hatching, the larvae swim in the ocean for about six days before settling in shallow intertidal waters, where they feed at low tide. They mature after about two years, at which point they move a few kilometers offshore until it is time to reproduce. It was once difficult to find adults for breeding, and when they do mate, not many survive into adulthood, association secretary-general Su Yin-tien (蘇銀添) said. To increase the population, the county government this year notified fishers about the situation, urging them to send any adults of the species they catch to the association, Su said. Access to more breeding adults, as well as years of conservation experience, allowed the association to facilitate the mating, which produced more than 600 viable juveniles,
The online-only Jimuling T-Shirt Art Festival, to be held next month, is accepting T-shirt design proposals, the Northeast Coast and Yilan National Scenic Area Administration Office said on Thursday. Office director Ma Hui-ta (馬惠達) said that the terraced fields in New Taipei City’s Jimuling (雞母嶺) area have existed for more than a century and are part of its scenic allure. With the fields slowly being restored over the past few years to resemble their original state, the office is hosting the festival hoping that more tourists would visit the area and learn about its history. Sitting astride the northern route of the Danlan Historical Trail (淡蘭古道) and the Yang Tingli Historical Trail (楊廷理古道), Jimuling is home to a mountain hamlet best known for its 193 hectares of rice fields. Hsiao Hsue-yuan (蕭學苑) — an official at the Taiwan Art and Creativity Culture Foundation, which organizes the event — said that the festival would choose 100 designs to be printed on T-shirts that would be exhibited throughout the area. “The rice terraces will be our museum,” Hsiao said, adding that the event’s goal is to let T-shirt designs “tell the story” of the individual who submitted them. Applications would close on Sept. 30, and selected designs would be exhibited from Oct. 16 through Oct. 22, Hsiao said. Applicants whose designs are in the exhibition can register online to visit the area, which would be closed to the general public, Hsiao said. Instead, the exhibition would be held online, he added. Additional reporting by Tsai Ching-hua
KMT BACKLASH: Jessica Chen and Alex Fai tore up copies of the report and tossed shreds toward Su, while other opposition members blocked him from the podium A government policy for pilots and flight crew was procedurally sound and carried out with the intent to reinforce COVID-19 pandemic policies, while helping to prevent stress for flight personnel, the Executive Yuan said in a report yesterday. The policy, dubbed “3+11,” which called for three days of isolation and 11 days of self-health management for pilots and flight crew, has been blamed for a cluster infection in April. The Legislative Yuan called for the report on the process that led to the policy to supplement its review of a third increase of funding under the Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia With Novel Pathogens (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例). The policy mandated that staff on overseas flights should have no contact with people outside of the airplane, isolate for meals and rest time while in the air and be subject to tracking by the Digital Fence System, the report said. The disease prevention measures were far stricter than elsewhere and applied to all flight personnel, while whole flights in other countries have been exempted from quarantine requirements, the report said. While there was no formal meeting or minutes showing the policy being made, promulgation of the rules was nonetheless legitimate, given the power granted to the head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), the report said. Careful assessment was made of the capabilities of airlines to implement the rules and there was clear communication with the firms, it said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) was to present the report and answer questions on the opening day of the new legislative session yesterday. However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers blocked Su from taking the podium. There was no sign that the report was a proper review, instead it was thinly veiled praise for the government, opposition lawmakers said. As the ruckus began, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers rushed to
FEMALE WORKFORCE: Childcare leave needs to be more flexible, which would help boost the birthrate and workforce participation of married women, an advocate said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers and the Childcare Policy Alliance on Wednesday urged the government to reform labor regulations to boost the birthrate in Taiwan and keep married women in the workforce. The law should be amended to allow parental leave in hourly blocks rather than monthly and parents should be entitled to leave until their child is eight, not three as it is now, alliance spokeswoman Huang Chiao-ling (黃喬鈴) told a news conference in Taipei. These changes would require amendments to the Employment Insurance Act (就業保險法) and the Regulations for Implementing Unpaid Parental Leave for Raising Children (育嬰留職停薪實施辦法), Huang said. The changes would make childcare leave more flexible, which would help boost the nation’s birthrate and the participation of married women in the workforce, alliance convener Liu Yu-hsiu (劉毓秀) said. Academic studies and data from other countries show that publicly funded childcare properly integrated with parental leave is an effective policy solution, Liu said. The labor laws stipulate that parents who take childcare leave must do so in monthly blocks, which often permanently removes mothers from the workforce, she said. The inflexible regulations harm families and business owners, she said. “Taiwanese parents have the longest work hours in the world, with 50 percent of fathers and 20 percent of mothers working overtime,” National Chung Cheng University associate professor of social welfare Wang Shu-yung (王舒芸) said. Ministry of Labor data show that 56.6 percent of people aged 25 to 34 work overtime, while a separate study on childrearing showed that parents consider not being with their children under three their biggest challenge, Wang said. “The global trend is to design regulations that are based on workers’ needs and increase flexibility for parents to spend time with their family,” she said. It is not enough to give parents unpaid leave, as many have used it all amid the restrictions of the
The Executive Yuan must push agencies to deal with domestic abuse, especially against women and children with disabilities, the National Human Rights Commission said on Thursday. The commission is assessing Taiwan’s efforts to implement the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Reported household abuse cases last year increased by 13,674, or 10 percent, from 2019, while cases involving spouses, those who are divorced or couples living together increased 6.3 percent, the commission said. Protective custody cases involving children increased 25 percent, while reports of abuse of people with disabilities rose 11 percent, it said. People with disabilities, women in particular, have faced heightened risk of abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic, it said, adding that there are still roadblocks to implementing protections for vulnerable people. The Executive Yuan must push agencies in charge of such issues to make changes, including via its Guiding Principles on Rights for Those with Disabilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Commission member Wang You-ling (王幼玲) said that only 5 percent of Taiwanese are officially recognized as disabled, compared with 15 percent in other nations. The criteria to be recognized as disabled in Taiwan do not conform to human rights standards and are based on arbitrary standards of bodily functionality, Wang said. The goal of the UN convention is to “make reasonable adjustments” and implement regulations on campuses, and in work environments and prions, she said. Commission member Wang Jung-chang (王榮璋) said that financial difficulties in the Labor Insurance Fund have left 230,000 people with disabilities at a disadvantage regarding their right to retire.
The US has begun bolstering its allies in the second island chain in a bid to counter China, academics said on Thursday after Australia, the UK and the US inked a pact that includes helping Canberra to acquire nuclear-powered submarines. On Wednesday, Canberra announced the AUKUS deal, which Washington and London confirmed a day later. AUKUS unites the three countries’ industry, technology and armed forces to “deliver a safer and more secure region that ultimately benefits all,” US President Joseph Biden said in a news release. Institute for National Defense and Security Research assistant research fellow Paul Huang (黃恩浩) said that Australia only has one experimental nuclear reactor, so building a nuclear submarine would mark a paradigm shift in its security strategy. Diesel-electric submarines have a short operational radius and need to resurface for air, while nuclear submarines, which can remain submerged almost indefinitely, would project power from Papua New Guinea to the South China Sea, Huang said. This capability would be a boon to the UK and the US, which are committed to maintaining a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region, he said. The US appears content with its deployable military strength on the first island chain and is therefore working to improve its second line of defense, he said. For the US, arming Australia would significantly enhance the defensive capabilities of the second island chain, while Canberra would be able to project power on a strategic level and deter China, he said. Australia has been a military ally of the US since World War I up to campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, said Alexander Huang (黃介正), an associate professor of international affairs at Tamkang University. The three countries’ long history of alliances and shared Anglo-Saxon heritage make them natural allies with little in the way of ethnic or linguistic barrier, he said. Being able to deploy a nuclear submarine
MARKET VOLATILITY: The 4.9% rate rise stems from unpredictable foreign exchange rates and inflation, as the company lifts prices in other countries by the same or more DHL Express Taiwan Corp (洋基通運) plans to raise its average freight rates by 4.9 percent next year due to inflation, volatility in currency exchange rates and administrative costs, with the price adjustment taking effect on Jan. 1, the company said in a statement yesterday. The local subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group, one of the world’s leading mail and logistics service groups, has increased its freight rates by 4.9 percent each year since 2018, corporate data showed. The price adjustment was proposed by the local unit, though approved by the parent company, DHL Express Taiwan said by telephone. Price adjustments vary from country to country as different units make separate decisions, it added. The price rise in Taiwan matches that of DHL Express New Zealand & Pacific Islands, but lower than the 6.9 percent approved by DHL Express India next year, DHL Express’ Web site and foreign news reports showed. DHL Express Taiwan, which concentrates on transporting packages by air, yesterday said that its decision to hike prices did not stem from the rise in air cargo rates in the past few months, but was based on inflation, foreign exchange volatility and costs related to regulatory and safety measures. The price hike is to apply to all customers whose contracts allow the adjustment, it said. The price rise would allow the company to invest in infrastructure networks, strengthen its ability to fight crises and expand its freight capacity according to demand, it said in a statement. “We strive to deliver excellent service to our customers and will invest regularly to enhance our services. We will also ensure that our clients’ business can continue growing even in times of global crises,” DHL Express Taiwan managing director Yung C. Ooi (黃湧君) said in a statement. Meanwhile, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運), the nation’s second-largest container shipper by fleet size,
Innolux Corp (群創), which makes flat panels used in TVs and computers, yesterday said it is cutting production amid weakening demand and slumping prices. The Miaoli-based flat-panel maker’s comments came as demand began losing steam last month after experiencing the industry’s longest boom of one-and-a-half years. “The flat-panel industry is cyclical by nature. After a long period of upticks, it is normal to see price adjustments,” Innolux chairman Jim Hung (洪進揚) told reporters on the sidelines of a media briefing in Taipei. Asked whether the company plans to cut its financial forecasts for the third quarter, Hung said: “We might see a slight adjustment in prices.” Innolux might cut its estimate of a low-single-digit percentage increase in prices for the current quarter, he said. The company kept unchanged its estimate of a low-single-digit percentage sequential increase in shipments of TV and PC panels this quarter. “Shipments might be adjusted in the fourth quarter,” Hung added. Innolux plans to idle certain manufacturing equipment for maintenance and might adjust its product portfolio, such as reducing TV panel shipments to align with changes in market demand, he said. Innolux has seen lower demand for Chromebooks for students, but corporate demand for notebook computers is picking up and is expected to fill the void for the second half of this year, Hung said. Innolux also attributed supply-chain disruptions, international port congestion and key component shortages to the already falling demand. The company aims to reduce its dependence on TV panels by reducing its revenue contribution to 30 percent in the long run, from a hefty 40 percent last quarter, Hung said. Flat panels used in notebook computers, monitors and mobile phones account for a third each, he added. Overall, Innolux remains optimistic about the flat-panel industry’s long term outlook, as most panel makers have given up racing for capacity and are
Taipei Times: How has Formosa International Hotels Group (FIH) fared this year with a local COVID-19 outbreak and its lingering containment measures? Steve Pan (潘思亮): Our revenue increased 40 percent in August from July, but our room revenues still tumbled 50 percent from last year, and down by 75 percent from 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The government continues to ban the arrivals of foreign tourists. Other international tourist hotels fared worse with business plunging 85 percent. That is how bad things are. Our domestic resort under the Silks Places (晶英酒店), Just Sleep (捷絲旅) and Wellspring by Silks (晶泉丰旅) brands are pretty much back to normal since August. The earlier level 3 alert drove those businesses to a stop, but they quickly recovered. The international tourist hotels have been a completely different story. Their business is still down 80 percent. Our flagship property, Regent Taipei, has been a victim of border controls due to its heavy dependence on international tourists. TT: How did the group manage when the government in May raised the virus alert to level 3 and banned all dine-in services? Pan: The move took away our major income sources, so we decided to provide food takeout and delivery. We created the “Take Regent Home” Web site. Today, it is the top food takeout brand in terms of revenue among all hotels. Our revenue is double that of the second runner-up. The Web site is doing very well, even though it only generates 50 percent of the revenue we had before the level 3 alert. It is likely a record of some sort to maintain 50 percent of dinning revenue amid a soft lockdown. FIH is the only international tourist hotel group that did not lay off employees or cut staff hours, in keeping with our “no layoff” policy. Our peers have
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sept. 4 held a televised debate between candidates for its chairperson election. The four candidates for the vote, to be held on Saturday next week, represent a wasted opportunity for the KMT, which continues to be out of touch with public opinion on key issues, particularly on the nation’s sovereignty and the identity of Taiwanese. During the debate, the four candidates emphasized relations with China, with former Changhua County commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) claiming that he would invite Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) to visit Taiwan and hold a cross-strait political summit, assuming the party wins the presidency in 2024. Chinese military threats toward Taiwan have over the past year increased to such a degree that they have become the focus of international policy discussions in Japan, the US, Australia and throughout western Europe. The KMT could not have picked a worse time to propose friendliness toward China. If the party has the delusion that a majority of Taiwanese would welcome such a policy, it needs look no further than a Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation survey on June 24, which showed that public support for the KMT had declined to 18.4 percent, despite support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reaching a five-year low of 22.6 percent. There are two possible reasons for the decline in KMT support: the party’s continued emphasis on the so-called “1992 consensus” and its opportunistic criticism of the DPP for criticism’s sake, even when facts negate its claims. For example, when Medigen Vaccine Biologics Co’s domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine was given emergency use authorization, the KMT claimed that the government was using the public as “guinea pigs” to test an “unsafe” vaccine that had only completed phase 2 clinical trials. However, according to WHO standards, the safety of a vaccine
With the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, China has remarketed its East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) concerns. Beijing urged the Taliban to make a clean break with the movement and asked the US to blacklist it again. While some are still debating whether the movement exists, it is not the core of the matter because its existence neither justifies China’s Uighur policy nor sheds light on its concerns after the withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan. Is China really worried, and if so, is it because of the movement? This question needs to be answered. When Chinese officials first acknowledged the existence of forced labor camps in East Turkestan (the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region) in October 2018, they celebrated the results of the camps by saying: “There has been no single terrorist violence in Xinjiang for two years.” Chinese authorities have repeated the statement every time they have had to defend the camps. Most recently, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) said: “No violent terrorist incident has taken place in Xinjiang over the past four years.” This statement is one more proof that more than 3 million Uighur Muslims are in the camps. Through this statement, China has indirectly acknowledged that all members of the Uighur community who were able to bear arms had been arrested. No foreign-based separatist organization can act without the help of the people of its homeland. The main task of such organizations is to play a role in a region’s struggle for independence by guiding or organizing its own people in the homeland. Assuming that the ETIM exists, with whose help would it operate in East Turkestan? Who would lead it? Today, not only Uighur activists, but even the most cautious and China-loyal Uighurs are deprived of the opportunity to communicate with their mothers,
The Transitional Justice Commission last week announced a plan to transform the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, triggering debate at home and abroad. Yoshiyuki Ogasawara, a professor at Tokyo University, wrote an article, published in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) on Sunday, in which he advocated maintaining the hall’s large bronze statue of former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), along with the Republic of China Honor Guard, to preserve the atmosphere of the era to which they belong. Ogasawara also argued that from the perspective of a foreign visitor to Taiwan, the memorial hall provides an excellent educational opportunity about Taiwan’s democratic transition. The hall’s design and construction is all about the veneration of authoritarianism: from its location right at the heart of the nation’s capital city to its groundbreaking ceremony coinciding with Chiang’s birthday and the oversize bronze statue in the main hall, to which the visitor has to climb 89 steps — the age at which Chiang died. In addition, the decorative stone carving that runs through the center of the steps is evocative of traditional Chinese imperial architecture, and the main boulevard that runs through the park encourages visitors to raise their heads toward the heavens: All of these are authoritarian symbols. It is entirely proper that, in accordance with the legal remit of the commission, all authoritarian symbols in the complex should be amended. Removing these symbols — including the statue of Chiang — is not the only way. Rather than discussing whether to remove them, the discussion should be about how best to achieve “a lifting of martial law” in the spatial environment, in a way that simultaneously reminds Taiwanese of the damage caused by authoritarian rule and demonstrates the nation’s resolve to implement transitional justice. Here are some suggestions for how to combine
SECURITY ALERT: Pakistan captain Babar Azam expressed his disappointment, while former bowler Shoaib Akhtar wrote on Twitter: ‘NZ just killed Pakistan cricket’ New Zealand yesterday abandoned their cricket tour of Pakistan over security concerns that mystified the hosts, just before the Black Caps’ first scheduled match in Pakistan in 18 years. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said it received a security alert from the New Zealand government and made the decision to cancel the tour just moments before the scheduled start of the one-day international series in Rawalpindi. Both teams stayed at their hotel. “Following an escalation in the New Zealand government threat levels for Pakistan, and advice from NZC security advisers on the ground, it has been decided the Black Caps will not continue with the tour,” NZC said on its Web site. “Arrangements are now being made for the team’s departure.” NZC declined to comment on the nature of the security threat. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke personally to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and informed her “we have one of the best intelligence systems in the world and that no security threat of any kind exists for the visiting team.” New Zealand were to play three one-day internationals in Rawalpindi and five Twenty20s in Lahore. Both cities and the security arrangements were cleared by NZC’s security team last month. NZC chief executive David White said the advice he received made the tour impossible to continue and he was supported by the New Zealand Cricket Players Association. “I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option,” White said. The PCB said that it tried its best to convince the Black Caps, but “cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal.” Pakistan captain Babar Azam expressed his disappointment at the cancelation, while former Pakistan fast
Taylor Heinicke and Dustin Hopkins made the most of their second chances. Washington needed every last second — and then some — to earn a long-awaited win over the New York Giants. Hopkins on Thursday made a 43-yard field goal on an untimed down — after a penalty negated his miss seconds earlier — as Washington beat New York 30-29, snapping a five-game win streak for the Giants in the series. It also gave Heinicke another moment in the sun after he cost Washington dearly with a late interception. The 28-year-old quarterback was making his second career start in the regular season and first since 2018 with Carolina. He became a bit of a sensation when Washington had to use him in last season’s playoffs against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, but his team lost that game. “It’s amazing,” Heinicke said. “The first start was what, two or three years ago in Carolina? Threw three picks, tore my tricep, it was just a brutal thing — and that was my last start until last year [against] Tampa. Come in to Tampa last year, had a good game, but ultimately fell up short, and finally get that first win.” Heinicke, playing because of an injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick, threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns. His interception set up Graham Gano’s fifth field goal of the game, which gave the Giants a 29-27 lead with 2 minutes remaining. Heinicke then guided Washington back to field-goal range. “He does have the ability to throw the ball and make all the throws. We’ve seen that,” Washington coach Ron Rivera said. “And he’s got a lot of confidence.” Hopkins missed his first attempt to win the game, but he was given a reprieve when Dexter Lawrence was flagged for being offside. His next attempt was good, giving Washington (1-1) a wild victory. “Somebody
Bryce Harper keeps earning those “MVP” chants in Philly. Harper on Thursday doubled to start a seven-run, game-tying rally in the fourth inning, doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth and sealed the Philadelphia Phillies’ 17-8 win over the Chicago Cubs with a three-run homer in the seventh. Harper’s National League Most Valuable Player candidacy — Philly fans call him MV3 — is thriving. Also alive, improbably, given the start in this one, is Philadelphia’s playoff push. The Phillies are three games behind first-placed Atlanta — rained out on Thursday — in the National League East with 16 games left this season, and 2.5 games behind St Louis for the second wild card. San Diego and Cincinnati also lead Philadelphia in the wild-card chase. With Harper as hot as can be, can the Phillies be counted out yet? “It feels good, but we’ve got a while to go,” Harper said. “I want to keep playing well and have good at-bats, have good games and just be where we need to be down the stretch.” Each team scored seven runs in an inning, the Cubs taking a 7-0 lead in the third against a pair of relievers in a bullpen game that seemed headed toward a loss that would crush Philadelphia’s season. Enter Harper. Year three of his US$330 million, 13-year deal has been his best one yet. Harper doubled and scored in the fourth, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. He is batting .436 (17 for 39) with four doubles, seven homers, 14 RBIs and 11 walks over that stretch. He has a hit in 21 of his past 22 games and is batting .314 with a 1.055 OPS and 77 RBIs this season. “It’s been a show for quite a while,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. Just do not ask Harper — he says he refuses to look at
Victor Osimhen scored twice on Thursday as SSC Napoli came from 2-0 down to salvage a 2-2 draw at Leicester City, while Olympique Lyonnais cruised to a 2-0 win at Rangers on the opening night of the UEFA Europa League group stages. Earlier, Celtic threw away a two-goal lead to lose 4-3 to Real Betis Balompie and West Ham United were convincing 2-0 winners away to Dinamo Zagreb. Leicester just missed out on the Champions League for a second consecutive season as they finished fifth in the English Premier League last season, but the Foxes are keen to go further than their run to the round-of-32 of the Europa League last season and got off to a great start against the Italian giants. Ayoze Perez fired home at the back post from Harvey Barnes’ cross after just nine minutes. Patson Daka then saw his first Leicester goal ruled out by a video assistant referee (VAR) review for a marginal offside call, but Barnes quickly put that disappointment behind Brendan Rodgers’ men with an excellent finish to double Leicester’s lead. Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti held nothing in reserve with his strongest side and the visitors responded in the final quarter thanks to Osimhen. The Nigerian, who cost 70 million euros (US$82.5 million) from Lille OSC last year, brilliantly flicked the ball over the imposing presence of Jannik Vestegaard and Kasper Schmeichel to get Napoli back in the game. Osimhen then outjumped Caglar Soyuncu to power home a header for a deserved equalizer. Leicester’s night got even worse in stoppage-time when Wilfred Ndidi was sent off for a second bookable offense. “The crime isn’t giving away the two goals, the crime is if you don’t learn from it,” Rodgers said. “I’m sure that is something this young team will do.” At Ibrox, Lyon spoiled Steven Gerrard’s 50th European game in charge of
FREE-FOR-ALL CONTEST: Taro Kono’s popular support means that he ‘probably has the edge, but if he has a lead, it’s a very vulnerable one,’ an Asia expert said The campaign to become Japan’s next prime minister began yesterday, with four candidates vying for leadership of the ruling party in an unusually close race. In televised speeches, the candidates set out their priorities, from boosting Japan’s digital prowess to addressing the falling birthrate. Among them are two women hoping to lead a nation that has never had a female prime minister, although both are considered long shots. The race follows Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s shock announcement that he would not run for head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Whoever the party picks in a Sept. 29 vote is to contest a general election that has to be held by late November. As the LDP is expected to retain power, its leader is likely to be the person leading the world’s third-largest economy in the coming years, and would face challenges from dealing with China to tackling climate change. “We find ourselves in a time of climate crisis... We must exert maximum effort, by making renewable energy a priority,” said Japanese Minister for Administrative Reform and Regulatory Reform Taro Kono, who is in charge of overseeing the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination program and leads public opinion polls on the nation’s next leader. “It is not a pipe dream to power this country with 100 percent renewable energy,” Kono said. His main competition is expected to come from former Japanese minister of foreign affairs Fumio Kishida, who heads a large LDP faction that is to back him in the race. Two of the few women at the top of Japanese politics — divisive right-winger Sanae Takaichi and former Japanese minister for gender equality Seiko Noda — are also standing. The race is hard to predict because factions that often vote as blocs are this time largely leaving members to vote as they choose. “Given that the factions aren’t endorsing anyone
Simran Snigdha was begging when a chance encounter helped get her off Bangladesh’s streets and realize her artistic dreams — one of a growing number of transgender people securing formal employment as the government boosts support for the marginalized community. The Muslim-majority nation’s roughly 1.5 million transgender people have long faced discrimination and violence. Kicked out from homes and communities, cut off from education and shunned by many employers, they often turn to begging, the sex trade or crime. “I didn’t get the opportunity — I had to extort people ... and did prostitution,” Snigdha said at a garment factory in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. The Bangladeshi government has implemented new laws, such as tax breaks, for firms hiring transgender people, helping pave the way for their integration into society. Snigdha now works for a firm owned and run by another transgender woman, while pursuing her dreams of being a painter. “I can now pursue my favorite work,” the 32-year-old said as she painted. While she has found safety, Snigdha said there were scores more transgender artists in need of help. “I pray they don’t go back to begging even for another day,” she said. Like many of her peers, Snigdha fled her rural home in central Bangladesh for a transgender commune in Dhaka at 15 after facing abuse and rejection. She lived under the protection of a guruma — a politically and socially connected transgender person who grants some economic security, but who can force residents into the sex trade, extortion or prevent them from getting an education. Snigdha’s life changed in 2019 when she peered into a car window at a road crossing. Staring back was transgender factory owner Siddik Bhuyan Synthia — who asked her to join the business. “In the past ... bullying [of transgender people] was the order, but [the] majority of the society are now our well-wishers,”
The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry yesterday said that it would appeal a Jakarta court ruling that found Indonesian President Joko Widodo, several ministries and top local officials guilty of environmental negligence over chronic air pollution. Ruling on a citizen lawsuit on Thursday, judges found senior officials were culpable in failing to prevent, monitor and control unhealthy pollution levels in and around the capital. Jakarta, a sprawling metropolis of more than 30 million people, is Southeast Asia’s most polluted city, according to a report last year by the air quality monitoring organization IQAir. Indonesian Air Pollution Management Director Dasrul Chaniago confirmed that an appeal would be made against the decision. He said the court ordered the ministry to monitor air quality and emissions, actions that he said had been undertaken since 2011 in Jakarta and other cities, such as Banten and Bandung. Widodo’s spokesman Fadjroel Rachman said that his office would defer to the ministry on whether to appeal. Lawyers for the 32 plaintiffs had argued that authorities had failed to protect citizens, pointing to scientific research that air pollution could cause asthma and heart disease, and lower life expectancy. Rapid urbanization and chronic congestion in Jakarta, plus nearby coal-fired power plants, have contributed to the poor air quality, the Center on Energy and Clean Air said. The verdict was welcomed by Jakarta authorities. “We understand the lawsuit is part of citizens’ rights to a healthy environment and part of collaborative action to work together for better air quality,” said Irvan Pulungan, a climate change adviser to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan. “We honor the verdict and will continue working on our efforts, and working with the plaintiff and all stakeholders,” he said.
In an industrial unit on the outskirts of Taipei chefs are plating meals that will never be served in a restaurant: welcome to the world of “ghost kitchens.” Even before the pandemic sent an earthquake through the global restaurant trade, the “Amazonification” of commercial kitchens was well underway, but coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions have fueled explosive growth in Asia. The recent boom in food delivery apps meant customers were already used to having restaurant quality meals quickly delivered to their homes. To meet that demand a growing number of restaurants set up delivery only kitchens — also known as “cloud kitchens” — or rented space in ones. Then the pandemic struck, ending dining out for billions. “It really drove the whole industry into sort of hyper growth, so that really helped us,” said Jason Chen, the chief executive officer of JustKitchen. JustKitchen started operating Taiwan’s first ghost kitchen early last year — now it runs 17 across the island, as well as one in Hong Kong and is aiming to expand into the Philippines and Singapore by the end of this year, he said. Regional delivery giants like Singapore-based Grab and Indonesia’s GoJek have also jumped on the trend. Grab opened 20 new cloud kitchens in Southeast Asia last year, up from 42 before the pandemic. The global ghost kitchen industry is expected to grow more than 12 percent each year to be worth some US$139.37 billion by 2028, according to a report by Researchandmarkets.com. Asia Pacific, home to 4.3 billion people, already accounts for some 60 percent of the international market. For many in the region’s densely populated cities, where living space is at a premium, eating daily from cheap restaurants or food stalls is more affordable and viable than cooking at home. CULINARY GOLD RUSH Research group Euromonitor estimates there are some 7,500 cloud kitchens now operating
Afghan youth rights activist Wazhma Sayle says she was shocked to see a photograph online, apparently of women dressed in black all-enveloping niqabs and gowns, staging a demonstration in support of the country’s new Taliban rulers at Kabul University. The 36-year-old, who is based in Sweden, later posted a photograph of herself on Twitter dressed in a bright green and silver dress captioned: “This is Afghan culture & how we dress! Anything less then this does not represent Afghan women!” “It’s a fight for our identity,” Sayle said in a telephone interview. “I don’t want to be identified the way Taliban showed me, I cannot tolerate that. These clothes, when I wear them, speak for where I come from.” Other Afghan women overseas have posted similar pictures, striking a chord in Kabul. “At least they are able to tell the world that we, the women of Afghanistan, do not support the Taliban,” said Fatima, a 22-year-old in the Afghan capital. “I cannot post such pictures or wear those kind of clothes here anymore. If I did, the Taliban would kill me.” Many women said they believed the purported protest, which has appeared on social media and in Western media, was staged and that several people dressed in the head-to-toe black burqa gowns were men. Reuters has not verified the authenticity of the pictures. “It is good our women (overseas) were able to protest about it,” said Khatima, another young woman in Kabul. “The reality is, the burqa is not representative of women in Afghanistan.” When the Taliban was in power two decades ago, women had to cover themselves from head to toe. Those who broke the rules sometimes suffered humiliation and public beatings by the Taliban’s religious police. While the new Taliban regime has promised to allow women more freedoms, there have been reports of women being barred
As we packed up our riverbed camp on a sunny Sunday morning, we looked upstream to the unknown terrain ahead, wondering what surprises lay there. Would we come out on the other side? Or would we be forced to turn around and return to the start, heads hanging low? We had come to the end of the road and were now about to blaze our own trail through over 40km of wilderness to the foot of Jade Mountain. The day before we had gotten a ride up Provincial Highway 29, which follows the Nanzihsian River (楠梓仙溪) through rural Kaohsiung all the way until it dead ends at an Aboriginal village, Tangaanua, in Namasia District (那瑪夏區). Anyone who has hiked Jade Mountain has seen this river up near its source: it is on the right side of the trail all the way up to the peak. We would attempt to follow this river from the end of the road up to the Jade Mountain trailhead, praying all the way that we would not encounter any slot canyons, waterfalls or other insurmountable obstacles that would force us to turn back. This was above all an experiment, and I was thankful to have my trusty hiking partner Cory along for the walk. The going was easy at first, as the riverbed was over 200 meters wide and the grade nearly flat. Originally, Provincial Highway 29 was intended to continue through this valley to Provincial Highway 21, connecting Kaohsiung with Sun Moon Lake and Puli. This is more obvious on old maps, where Highway 29 is actually numbered as 21. When the dream of connecting the two parts of 21 was abandoned, the southern section was finally renumbered as 29 and the river valley left undeveloped. Despite there being no roads or villages back here, we still
B: Did your niece receive the birthday card? A: I have no idea. It’s been over two weeks, so I assume it has arrived, although there are still postal delays due to the pandemic. B: She must have got it. Since you made the effort to go and buy the card, include a handwritten message and send it, she could at least have shown some appreciation. She could have e-mailed or phoned. If I were you, I wouldn’t put myself through the trouble on her behalf next year. A: Give her a break. She’s only three. B: 你的姪女收到生日卡了嗎？ A: 我不知道，已經兩星期了。雖然郵件還是會被疫情延誤，我猜應該寄到了吧。 B: 她一定收到了，既然你特別去買卡片，親筆寫上賀詞才寄出，她至少也該表達謝意，寫封電子郵件或打通電話給你。像她這種表現，我要是你的話，明年才不會這麼麻煩寄生日卡給她咧。 A: 她才三歲，你就饒了她吧。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩譯） Audio recordings for Speak Up! dialogues will be suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
A: Hey, will you look at this Web site? I’m choosing a card. They have options for all occasions! B: Wow, they have all bases covered, don’t they? Let me see: they have cards for father’s day, mother’s day, passing your driving test, passing exams and graduation. A: Yes, and also for other major occasions in your life, like congratulating you on the arrival of a baby or retirement. A: 嗨，你能過來看一下這個網站嗎？我在挑選卡片，所有場合的卡片他們都有喔！ B: 哇，真是應有盡有，不是嗎？讓我看看︰有慶祝父親節的、母親節的、考到駕照的、考試及格的，還有畢業的卡片。 A: 對，還有其它人生大事呢，像是祝賀第一個寶寶出生，或退休。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩譯）
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