US veterans could leverage their influence to push for broad-based cooperation with Taiwan, furthered by closer personal ties that would be fostered by a Veterans Affairs Council (VAC) mission soon to open in Washington, an analyst said. While meeting a US congressional delegation in Taipei on Friday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) announced that an official VAC mission would be established early next year. The move is aimed at helping Taiwan “better coordinate and expand exchanges in health insurance, quality healthcare, employment assistance and long-term care for veterans,” Tsai said. The council has in the past had limited interaction with senior US Department of Veterans Affairs officials, said Wong Ming-hsien (翁明賢), director of Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies. However, civic veterans’ organizations in the US have long maintained close contact with Taiwan, even flying the Republic of China flag in some cases, Wong said in an interview on Saturday. Since Tsai took office in 2016, three major US veterans’ groups — the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and AMVETS — have sent representatives to Taiwan, he said. In 2019, Tsai delivered a video address at the national convention of the American Legion, the largest veterans’ organization in the US, he added. Lee Che-chuan (李哲全), a researcher at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, agreed that the VAC mission would bolster interaction between Taiwan and the US. It would also lead to more comprehensive exchanges in the manner of normal diplomatic relations, he added. As it has a relatively low profile, the council could through its Washington mission assist from the sidelines in reforming the nation’s reserve forces, Lee said. Veterans, in addition to active-duty personnel, play an important role in national defense, he said, adding that this is a crucial part of military exchanges with the US. The VAC mission, paired with an
Italian Representative to Taiwan Davide Giglio has praised the nation as a “silent giant” of the global supply chain, saying he is looking forward to establishing closer cooperation with Taiwan’s world-leading semiconductor sector. “Taiwan’s role in global production chains has largely gone unnoticed until recently. This may have to do with the fact that Taiwanese companies do not always enjoy strong brand power,” Giglio said in an interview with the Central News Agency. However, a global chip shortage has brought to light Taiwan’s strength in such a strategically important sector, he said. Italy, a leader in the automotive sector, was quick to realize that the strong position of Taiwan in semiconductor production made it an asset that all countries were interested in working with, the head of the Italian Economic, Commercial and Cultural Promotion Office in Taipei said. Taiwan’s advantage is not exclusive to semiconductors, Giglio said, citing a joint venture launched by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and automaker Stellantis in May, when the two firms announced the establishment of a company to provide smart cockpit solutions for vehicles. Giglio took up the post in Taipei in July 2019. Months after his arrival, the COVID-19 pandemic began and Italy became an epicenter of the disease in Europe. Rome implemented a number of strict measures to contain the disease, including banning flights from Taiwan, which caused resentment in the nation. Explaining the decision, Giglio said the “extraordinary circumstances demanded quick actions aimed at preserving public health” and that Italy had to take “far-reaching measures.” The ban was temporary and was lifted in July last year, he said. Since then, Taiwanese carriers have been free to decide when to resume flights to Italy, he said. However, no local carriers have returned to their previous flight schedules. Giglio said Italy has been encouraging a change of attitude by Taiwan. “In order
MONITORED BY JETS: Chinese aircraft included Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, suggesting that China refueled its short-range jets during flight
The air force scrambled again yesterday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Ministry of National Defense said, the latest increase in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the nation, often in the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). Over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1, when China marked its national day, Taiwan said that nearly 150 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft entered its ADIZ, not territorial airspace, but a broader area Taiwan monitors and patrols that acts to give it more time to respond to any threats. The latest Chinese mission included 18 fighter jets plus five nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, as well as, unusually, a Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, the ministry said. The bombers and six of the fighters flew to the south of Taiwan into the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan proper from the Philippines, then out into the Pacific before heading back to China, according to a map the ministry provided. Those aircraft were accompanied by the refueling aircraft, suggesting China refueled the shorter-ranged fighters inflight, a skill that China’s air force is still working to hone to enable it to project power further from China’s shores. Taiwan sent combat aircraft to warn away the Chinese aircraft, while missile systems were deployed to monitor them, the ministry said. There was no immediate comment from China, which has in the past said such moves were drills aimed at protecting the country’s sovereignty.
A referendum, by textbook definition, is a democratic right that provides people an opportunity to engage in public policy and express their opinions on issues of national importance through a direct vote. However, how often do people truly let their voice be heard without their ballot being hijacked by political parties? To be fair, political parties are not to be blamed. A responsible party in a democracy is duty-bound to make known to the public its stance on a matter being put to a vote. In the case of the upcoming referendum, each of the nation’s major parties has done exactly that. On the ballots on Dec. 18 are to be four referendum questions, asking voters if they agree that the government should ban the importation of pork containing traces of the leanness-enhancing additive ractopamine; relocate a planned liquefied natural gas terminal to protect algal reefs off Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音); activate the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮); and hold referendums alongside national elections. The Democratic Progressive Party on June 30 passed a proposal allotting a special budget of NT$57 million (US$2.05 million at the current exchange rate) for a promotional campaign urging people to vote “no” on all four items. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has called on people to vote “yes” on the two items initiated by its lawmakers, namely the proposal on pork imports and the motion on referendums, while saying that it respects and would assist the campaigning of the other two referendum proposals brought by civic groups. The New Power Party said it is only opposed to the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, while the Taiwan People’s Party has called on people to vote “yes” on banning the importation of ractopamine pork and protecting the algae reef, while urging them to vote “no” on the
ROLLOUT SLOWING: The full vaccination rate in two risk groups — older people and long-term care recipients — lingers at about 65 percent, the health minister said
People who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 should do so as soon as possible, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Despite worldwide jitters over the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 and the nation expecting many Taiwanese returning for the Lunar New Year holiday, there are no plans to tighten border controls, he said. The Omicron variant, which was first reported in southern Africa and is deemed a “variant of concern” by the WHO, has been detected in several countries. Chen made the remark on the sidelines of a forum on traditional Chinese medicine held by the Consumers’ Foundation in Taipei. Case numbers are increasing on four continents, most significantly in Europe, while the new variant adds to worries over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Taiwanese should not worry too much, he said. The CECC is watching reports on the Omicron variant closely, especially to see if it would render vaccines less effective and reinfects people who have recovered from the virus, he said. There are no direct flights to Taiwan from the six southern African countries most affected by the new variant, he said, adding that quarantine and testing requirements for travelers from there have been tightened. Chen told the forum that Taiwan’s COVID-19 situation is under control, with no new domestic cases reported in 23 days. However, this has led to fewer people getting vaccinated in the past few weeks, he added. In case of an infection, vaccinated people are 10 times less likely to develop severe symptoms or die, he said, urging people who only had their first dose to get their second, instead of waiting for a domestic outbreak to occur. Taiwan’s first-dose vaccination rate has reached 77.46 percent and the full vaccination rate has reached 51.75 percent, he said. However, the full
The Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) plan to procure the oral antiviral drug molnupiravir remains unchanged, even though a final analysis of clinical tests showed that the drug was less effective against COVID-19 than hoped for, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said on Saturday. Molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization and death among high-risk cases by 30 percent, Chen said, citing drugmaker Merck’s final analysis of data from 1,433 trial participants. Initial data released last month showed an efficacy of about 50 percent. The CECC has a ordered the drug from the US company and does not intend to change its plans, Chen said. Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman, on Nov. 10 said that the center would purchase molnupiravir for the treatment of about 10,000 cases and has signed a letter of intent with Merck, which developed the drug in cooperation with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) on Saturday said that her agency would complete the review of Merck’s emergency use authorization application for molnupiravir by the middle of next month. The drugmaker filed the application earlier this month, she said. US drug regulators are still reviewing a similar application Chang Gung University Research Center for Emerging Viral Infections director Shih Shin-ru (施信如) said he hopes that the FDA would grant approval to the drug so that it could be imported by the end of the year. As reports of vaccine breakthrough infections in other countries increase, the drug might play an important role in efforts to curb the spread of the virus, Shih said. For people who are not recommended to get vaccinated against COVID-19 due to other health conditions, the drug might reduce the risk of developing severe symptoms in the case of an infection, she
The Taipei City Government yesterday unveiled works by artists with Prader-Willi syndrome that are to be displayed on the sides of 30 public buses running between New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止) and the Taipei’s Yuanshan MRT Station. In an early celebration of Friday’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the city government yesterday opened the exhibition at Taipei City Hall’s Civic Plaza. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) told the event that the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index this year gave Taipei a high score in the educational resources category, but the city scored lower in international art and cultural events, prompting his administration to work on enriching Taipei’s art scene. As the city government regularly places public service advertising on buses and MRT trains serving metropolitan Taipei, it decided to include works by artists with the genetic disorder that causes intellectual disability and obesity, Ko said, adding that the project would further their inclusion in the city’s art scene. The works would be displayed through the end of this year on the sides of Kuang-Hua Bus Co’s Red 2 route, which runs between Shehou (社后) and Yuanshan MRT Station, the city government said. One of the designs displayed at the ceremony showed a green dinosaur chasing a vehicle, while another design shows colorful fireworks in front of a night sky. Su Yi-ho (蘇亦禾), who painted the fireworks piece, is a recipient of the President Educational Award. Su said she was inspired by the Busan Fireworks Festival when creating the piece. Prader-Willi Syndrome Association Taiwan founder Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠), who is a Taipei city councilor for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), said that artists have told him about talented children living with the syndrome who might become great artists if trained professionally.
STELLAR PERFORMANCE: The drama took home four prizes, including best film, while the movie with the most nominations only won one single award
Family drama The Falls (瀑布) on Saturday claimed four Golden Horse Awards, including the most prestigious prize in the Best Narrative Feature category. Nominated in 11 categories, The Falls also won Best Leading Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Film Score, making it the night’s biggest winner. The movie is centered around a mother and her teenage daughter. It tells how the mother’s mental illness affects their relationship as they quarantine together during a COVID-19 outbreak. The Falls has been selected as Taiwan’s entry in the best International Feature Film category at next year’s Academy Awards. Accepting the award, director Chung Mong-hong (鍾孟宏) said: “This award tells me that I can continue to make movies next year, the year after and again the year after. I want to keep making movies each and every year.” Alyssa Chia (賈靜雯) won the Best Leading Actress prize for her role as the mother. Meanwhile, Chang Chen (張震) won in the Best Leading Actor category for his portrayal of a prosecutor who tackles a high-profile murder case while also battling cancer in the neo-noir science-fiction film The Soul (緝魂). Tying The Falls’ 11 nominations, The Soul took home two more awards, for Best Art Direction and Best Film Editing. Till We Meet Again (月老) and American Girl (美國女孩) also won three awards each. Till We Meet Again, which was also nominated for 11 prizes, won in the Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Effects and Best Makeup and Costume Design categories. American Girl, which was nominated in seven categories, won the awards for Best New Director, Best New Performer and Best Cinematography. Drifting (濁水漂流), beating all other films with 12 nominations, only won one award, in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Clara Law (羅卓瑤) was awarded the Best Director best director prize, her first Golden Horse after being nominated seven times. The jury praised Law for using
Filmmaker Kiwi Chow (周冠威) on Saturday won Best Documentary Feature at the Golden Horse Awards for Revolution of Our Times (時代革命), which documents mass protests in Hong Kong in 2019 and is intended to offer solace to Hong Kongers everywhere. Addressing the event in a prerecorded video message, Chow said that the film, which follows protesters marching against a controversial extradition bill, belongs to each Hong Konger who “has a conscience, a sense of justice and has shed tears for Hong Kong.” One of the people interviewed for the film is a 16-year-old student Chow accompanied during a police siege at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the filmmaker said. As the student’s involvement in the siege was widely known, returning to class was a terrifying experience for him, Chow said. The student feared reprisals, but everyone in the classroom, including his teacher, gave him a hug, Chow said. “I hope Revolution of Our Times can be like this hug. I cried a lot throughout the making of the film. Many times, I relied on it for comfort, and to release my anger and hatred,” Chow said, adding that making the film also helped him cope with fear and trauma. “For those who are still in Hong Kong, including me, the many people who are in exile overseas and our compatriots in prison, even if you don’t have a chance to see the film, I hope and I pray to God, that the mere existence of this film can provide a sense of solace and be a hug. Thank you,” he said. The documentary, which runs two hours and 32 minutes, was released in July and screened at the Cannes Film Festival. It traces the protests against a proposed extradition bill that many Hong Kongers felt would allow China to encroach on Hong Kong’s judicial independence. The film highlights the
Livestock buildings that have solar panels installed on the roof can be expanded in size by 30 percent as soon as next month, following the passage of the Council of Agriculture’s (COA) amendments to the Regulatory Standards for Animal Farms’ Primary Facilities (畜牧場主要設施設置標準). The amendments introduce regulations on how big quail coops should be after the council previously said quails would be considered a kind of poultry. Considering the trend toward renewable energy, the amendments state that livestock buildings with rooftop solar panels can be bigger than previously allowed, council officials said. The government’s green energy policy hopes to lead to 20 gigawatts (GW) of energy generation, and rooftop solar panels are expected to contribute 6GW, they said. The council said it is encouraging farmers to install solar panels on roofs of buildings that house livestock. Of the 15,702 registered livestock buildings, 3,017 have solar panels on their roofs, the council said, adding that it expects all livestock buildings in Taiwan to have solar panel rooftops by 2025. COA Department of Animal Industry Deputy Director Chiang Wen-chuan (江文全) on Saturday said that while farmers are willing, renewable energy installations on farms must take Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) feeder lines distribution into consideration. Many livestock facilities in rural areas often do not have feeder lines in their vicinity, he said. The council is discussing with Taipower about setting up more feeder lines, he added. Chiang said the amendment also bans the use of battery cages for ducks. Multilevel cages must not exceed three stories and should conform with regulations on the maximum space they can occupy, he said. While fewer than 30 farms in the nation use cages to keep ducks, the council hopes to keep abreast of international trends, with the EU banning battery cages and other countries leaning toward reducing their numbers, Chiang said.
National Cheng Kung University’s (NCKU) Mandarin Language Association and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) on Saturday rescinded invitations to photographer and internet celebrity Tsai Chun-hsi (蔡俊曦). The announcements came after Tsai on Wednesday published a video of himself disposing of a thank-you note and gift he had received from National Chi Nan University after he had accepted its invitation to hold a talk. Tsai has issued two apologies for the incident after he was chided on social media. Tsai said he shot the video to show it to a friend, but accidentally published it. It was meant to be a joke, implying that the note and gift were not useful to him, Tsai said. He immediately took down the video after realizing the mishap, he said, apologizing for his “grievous error.” NCKU on Saturday wrote on Facebook that Tsai’s talk on Dec. 6 would be canceled, without citing reasons. NTNU’s Photography and Art Club wrote on Facebook that it would cancel a project with Tsai, citing “personal issues of the photographer.” Social commentator Kuang Jen-chien (管仁健) was quoted by the Web site Newtalk as saying that “Internet celebrities sometimes let their quick fame get to their heads.” Kuan said that due to his job as a columnist, he has made more enemies than friends, which makes him treasure the latter more. “If people give me a written commendation, I would mark it with a number add it to my scrapbook,” he said.
Members of International Socialist Alternative hold signs at a protest in front of the Sports Administration building in Taipei yesterday in support of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai. Peng’s whereabouts and safety have become a matter of international concern after she early this month disappeared after she accused former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual abuse.
A cosplay enthusiast attending the two-day Pier 2 Art Center Anime Festival in Kaohsiung’s Yancheng District poses yesterday on a bench with sculptures of three people using mobile phones.
NUCLEAR RISKS: Taiwan is prone to earthquakes, and a nuclear plant would also be a dangerous target if China were to attack, Control Yuan member Eugene Jao said
Taiwan has less funds available and less robust disaster-response procedures than Japan in the event of a nuclear disaster, Control Yuan member Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said on Friday. Tien made the comments while presenting the results of an assessment of the response measures and costs of a potential nuclear disaster in Taiwan, and compared the data with Japan’s response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster on March 11, 2011. Such a disaster at a Taiwanese nuclear power plant could require the resettlement of up to 10 million people, the report said. Tien and fellow Control Yuan members Eugene Jao (趙永清), Lin Sheng-fong (林盛豐) and Wang Li-chen (王麗珍) conducted the assessment. Asked why the Control Yuan had held the news conference just ahead of the Dec. 18 referendum vote — which includes a question on whether to restart construction on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) — Tien said the assessment was a follow-up to a June investigation into the feasibility of activating the plant. The second assessment required more time to complete, she added. The Control Yuan has been assessing the power plant for more than a decade, during which time it has called for corrective actions related to it, regardless of which political party was in power, Jao said, adding that similar findings were reported during the presidency of Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). “It has nothing to do with political stance. We simply present factual information,” he said. In their report, the members found eight issues related to the plant, including the storage of spent fuel rods and the high risk of a nuclear disaster, and suggested that the Executive Yuan and government officials review their findings, Tien said. “No place in the world has solved the issue of dealing with spent nuclear rods. Also,
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is planning a rally and “sleepover” at Taipei’s Liberty Square on the day before the Dec. 18 referendum vote in hopes of bolstering voter turnout, a party source said yesterday. Two of next month’s four referendum questions were proposed by KMT members. KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) spearheaded a referendum on the importation of pork containing traces of ractopamine, while former KMT chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) advanced one asking voters if they agree that referendums should be held on the same day as nationwide elections. The other two referendums concern activating the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮) and relocating a natural gas terminal to protect algal reefs off Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音). In addition to a Dec. 12 rally on Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard by civic groups supporting the relocation of the natural gas terminal and restarting construction on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, the KMT is planning to hold an event on Dec. 17 at Liberty Square in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, a source within the party said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Major party figures were expected to attend the Dec. 17 rally, including former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), and the event would last through the night until the morning when voting is to start, the source said, adding that KMT members would make one last call to increase voter turnout before heading to the polls themselves. KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) would also lead party officials in staging a “sleepover” at the site, the source said. While the Democratic Progressive Party has urged the public to vote “no” on all four referendum questions, a source in the KMT said the opposition party was confident that the two referendums put forth by KMT lawmakers would pass. The KMT would be happy to
FOLLOWING STANDARDS: Taiwan could be left out of trade deals, such as the CPTPP, if it does not allow imports that other nations consider safe, an official said
Allowing the importation of pork with ractopamine residue is a trade matter, not a safety issue, an Executive Yuan official said yesterday, adding that no health problems have been reported since the ban was lifted. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, made the remarks ahead of the Dec. 18 referendum, which includes a question asking voters if they agree that the government should ban the importation of pork products containing ractopamine residue. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is urging the public to vote “no” on the referendum question, which was initiated by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲). The official said that 109 countries allow imports of pork and beef containing safe levels of ractopamine residue, including Japan and the 10 other members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). No health problems have been reported since Taiwan nine years ago allowed the importation of beef containing safe levels of ractopamine residue, the official said, adding that the issue is a trade matter in which Taiwan must reciprocate in bilateral trade with other countries. If Taiwan does not follow international rules, based on science and safety standards, it could face problems joining the CPTPP and other regional trade organizations, the official said. DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) on Friday wrote on Facebook that a Taichung City Government Web site, which shows the results of ractopamine testing, listed only beef products as containing the substance, the importation of which began under former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT. “Just in Taichung, tests found that 70 shops had beef products with ractopamine at levels within international safety standards. This proves that it is not a food safety issue. It is more important to open up for beef and pork imports with safe levels of ractopamine,” Wang wrote. “This way we can secure
Representatives from three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that last week received the Tang Prize for their contributions to the rule of law shared in a lecture series their experiences speaking up for marginalized people and pursuing environmental, social and courtroom justice through public interest litigation. The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) opened the Tang Prize Laureate Lecture series with a discussion on the impact of public interest litigation, which was followed by a talk by Lebanon-based The Legal Agenda and a presentation by Colombia-based Dejusticia. BELA chief executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan said that the vast majority of people in Bangladesh depend on unpolluted fisheries, agriculture and forests to survive, but these resources are also part of the country’s dominant economic sectors. Through public interest litigation, the group extended the interpretation of the Bangladeshi constitution’s “right to life” to include the “right to environment,” Hasan said. As a result, the courts have instructed the government to protect wetlands, restore canals and stop allocating forestland for development, to safeguard people’s rights and interests, and strike a balance between economic development and environmental justice, she said. “We have challenged unregulated urbanization. This has created tension between us and the mighty realtors,” she said. “We have got landmark judgements that have directed realtors to move sand dumped on wetland and fertile agriculture land.” The Legal Agenda cofounder Samer Ghamroun said that the spirit of the rule of law is sometimes twisted to fit the narrative of a rule-of-law system, which is why public interest litigation became an effective means to create public debate and social change, as well as promote political engagement. The Legal Agenda seeks to generate political and cultural momentum to build a sound political system and create the conditions needed for reform, Ghamroun said. “The litigation that can be created through these conditions that I talked about is a strong
AREAS OF CONCERN: A poll found that students believe the job market for degree holders is shrinking, while one-quarter are not studying in a field they are interested in
A poll released yesterday said that 40.4 percent of Taiwanese students are doubtful about the value of their higher education, and that 39.5 percent are pessimistic about their economic future after graduation. The survey was conducted by the Professor Huang Kun-huei Education Foundation and announced at a news conference in Taipei. The poll showed that 74.1 percent of the students interviewed are studying in an academic department that matches their interests, and 75.7 percent believed their department to be a good fit for their abilities. As for their plans after graduation, 46.2 percent of the students said that they want to enter the workforce immediately, 18.3 percent said they would like to obtain an advanced degree in Taiwan and 13.3 percent wanted to pursue post-graduate education in other countries. Asked about what they would look for in a job offer, 71.7 percent said they would prioritize fair wages and treatment, 46.4 percent wanted job security, 34.5 percent wanted a job that matches their education and 26.7 percent said they would look for a job that offers career advancement. Regarding the respondents’ top life priorities, 72 percent said they wanted a fulfilling job, 67.2 percent wanted spiritual fulfillment and 62.8 percent wanted a happy family life, it said. In addition, 36.9 percent said they wanted to be wealthy after graduation, 29.5 percent valued making a contribution to society and 9.7 percent said they desired power. Foundation president Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said that Taiwan formed its higher education model to foster upward social mobility and improve the livelihood of families, but universities are struggling to carry out those aims or develop competitiveness. The survey showed that education officials should be concerned that students perceive there to be a declining job market for degree holders, he added. That one-quarter of students in tertiary education are not studying in a field that they
MATTER OF TIME: People taking the less accurate three-hour test would have to wait longer in hospital, putting them at risk of contracting diseases, a study led by NTUH said
An international study led by National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) has found that one-hour tests for diagnosing a myocardial infarction are more accurate than more established algorithms that can take three hours or longer. Lee Chien-chang (李建璋), a professor at NTUH’s Department of Emergency Medicine who led the study, shared its findings at a news conference in Taipei on Friday, after it was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Tuesday. The 2020 European Society of Cardiology guidelines recommend using the 0/1-hour and 0/2-hour algorithms over the 0/3-hour algorithm, as the first and second choices for high-sensitivity cardiac troponin-based strategies for triage of patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction, the study said. After analyzing 32 studies from 11 countries involving 30,066 patients, the study evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of the three algorithms. With the 0/3-hour algorithm, which is more widely used in hospitals, people suspected to have had a myocardial infarction have to receive two cardiac troponin tests, one at the beginning and one after three hours, Lee said. That means they have to wait longer in the emergency room, which not only makes the room more crowded, but exposes them to a higher risk of contracting diseases such as COVID-19, Lee said. The team’s study found that, compared with the 0/1-hour and 0/2-hour algorithms, the 0/3-hour algorithm has a lower precision rate for myocardial infarction, he said. While there is a popular notion in the medical field that the different algorithms only vary in their efficiency, the study found they are also pertinent to the safety of patients, he added. With the 0/3-hour algorithm, up to 15 out of 1,000 patients with acute myocardial infarction could be misidentified as healthy, while the number drops to three when using the newer 0/1 and 0/2-hour procedures, Lee said. New testing methods were launched a few years ago, and their
Kaohsiung’s Hakka Affairs Commission yesterday held a ceremony to honor late activist and author Chung Tie-min (鍾鐵民) and his father, celebrated Hakka writer Chung Li-ho (鍾理和). At the ceremony at the Meinong District (美濃) public library in Kaohsiung, the commission also unveiled a bronze bust of Chung Tie-min, who was known for documenting the changes that occurred in rural Taiwan. “Chung Li-ho was one of the most important Taiwanese writers in the post-war period. You can understand the changes Taiwan went through by reading his books,” commission chairman Yang Jui-hsia (楊瑞霞) said. Chung Li-ho was born in Pingtung in 1915, but moved to Kaohsiung in 1932 to help his father with the family farming and textile businesses. He met a girl while working on the farm, but the two were initially prohibited from marrying as they shared the same family name. In 1940, he and the girl relocated to Shenyang in China — then part of the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo — to marry and live together. He moved to Beijing in 1941 — then Beiping — where he began writing and where his wife gave birth to Chung Tie-min. In 1946, he returned to Taiwan because he had a lung disease, and exhausted the family fortune on treatment. He continued to write, and despite winning a literary award was unable to publish his works due to a lack of funds. He died in 1960 at the age of 46. Chung Tie-min also had health problems starting in the 1950s when he was diagnosed with spinal tuberculosis. He was forced to stay home until 1965 when he finally received treatment and overcame tuberculosis. He lived until 2011, when he died of cardiovascular disease at the age of 70. Throughout his life, Chung Tie-min was an avid writer who followed his father’s