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Taiwan’s ornamental shrimp industry is thriving due to innovation and quality
 
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Can you believe that one tiny shrimp can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of NT dollars? In recent years, the popularity of ornamental shrimp has spread around the world. Taiwan is playing a leading role by producing six out of every 10 such shrimp. Tonight we visit a special research and development center where new shrimp varieties are being developed. Located inside the Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park is this facility operated by Su Yao-long. It is a research and development center where a broad variety of shrimp is being raised. The space contains thousands of tanks, making it one of the largest centers for crystal shrimp production in Taiwan.Su Yao-longCrystal Shrimp ProducerThey are very beautiful. Their beauty can be appreciated through the lens of a camera and when these pictures are posted online. When this crystal shrimp is enlarged to fit the whole screen, there is an incredible amount of detail and expression.39-year-old Su was a photographer for a number of print publications. His sensitivity for color and composition inspired him to enter this entirely new field. Su Yao-longCrystal Shrimp Producer You can see this type of shrimp in typical aquariums. At a price of around NT$50-60 they’re affordable. These crystal shrimp, which measure less than 1 centimeter in length, look almost identical, though their color and unique striations can lead to shockingly expensive prices.Su Yao-longCrystal Shrimp ProducerRed and white crystal shrimp are more valuable if the color is richer and if they have some special expressions. Prices could rise to NT$1,000-2,000.Crystal shrimp are typically red and white or black and white. Only through selective breeding and gene hybridization are these fine bands of color able to form. Su and his employees can instantly identify shrimp types, even in juveniles that are as tiny as half a centimeter.Ornamental crystal shrimp command a higher price if their color is richer and more intense, and if special shapes or lines appear on their shell. Prices can jump from NT$3,000 to NT$10,000 or more.Su Yao-longCrystal Shrimp ProducerAt the moment, our company’s greatest accomplishment in researching and developing crystal shrimp is this type called galaxy fishbone pinto shrimp.This black and white galaxy fishbone pinto shrimp took Su three years to research and develop. A first place winner in an international ornamental shrimp contest, it starts at NT$50,000.In the process of developing new varieties of shrimp there can be many failures. If unwanted shrimp are released into the environment, they can pose a big ecological concern.Jeng Ming-shiouAcademia Sinica Biodiversity CenterCultivation of (these shrimp) around the world has led to the introduction of alien species. At the beginning, people enjoy raising these shrimps, but when they get bored, they dump them into a river, which could alter ecological biodiversity.As for whether imported crystal shrimp will be classified as an invasive alien species that poses a threat to local ecology remains to be seen. This concern isn’t stopping businesses from developing new varieties to capture potential market share.In order to prepare shipments for the European market, employees at this aquaculture farm in Pingtung are busy at 7 in the morning.Wang Yeh-haoOrnamental Shrimp ProducerIf the shipment is intended for Europe, we usually include four pieces of ice. If it’s going to Japan, we put in just two.Wang Kuo-chung has 30 years of experience breeding and raising ornamental fish. His son, Wang Yeh-ho, took freshwater cherry shrimp commonly found in drainage ditches in the countryside and transformed them into colorful cherry shrimp.Wang Kuo-chung Ornamental Shrimp ProducerAnother company within this industry caught a black-shelled shrimp in the river and discovered this variety sometimes includes reddish variations. After we saw this, we were surprised that this black shrimp could contain a range of different genes for colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple.Wang transformed common freshwater cherry shrimp into a variety he calls "five element shrimp," with exports to Japan, Korea, Singapore and Europe. Wang says the market can further expand, particularly among women.Wang Kuo-chungOrnamental Shrimp ProducerWhy are women attracted to the ornamental shrimp market? It’s because they don’t like how larger ornamental fish give off an odor when they die and have to be disposed of. Older shrimps hide in the plants. When they die, they’re eaten by other shrimp in the middle of the night.In recent years, the outlook for the ornamental shrimp export market has become promising. In Kaohsiung and Pingtung alone last year there was an increase of 6,000 new crystal shrimp cultivation tanks. Experts worry that the constant pursuit of new varieties means breeders could introduce exotic types from abroad for hybridization, which could involve some risk to native shrimps.Jeng Ming-shiou...
Views: 7264 Formosa EnglishNews
Local entrepreneurs tout the benefits of eating gold
 
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Gold is highly valued and in ancient times was even considered a type of Chinese medicine. Nowadays, people are experimenting with the nutritional benefits of gold, but what are the effects on the human body? From desserts to pharmaceuticals, we look at how gold plays in a role in the foods, beverages and medicines we consume. Opening the Compendium of Materia Medica, written by Ming dynasty Chinese medicine master Li Shizhen, you can find a detailed description of the use of gold to treat ailments. Wu Ming-chuChinese Medicine DoctorRaw gold has toxins that are removed through processing. Gold processed into gold leaf or foil can then be used as medicine. It can aid the spirit, harden bone marrow, and remove pathogens from the five internal organs.In ancient times, Chinese medicine doctors used gold as an expensive type of medicine. Nowadays, however, people are using gold as a food ingredient. Some fine dining restaurants feature gold leaf to lure in customers. “It’s so unusual because I have never had anything with gold leaf on top. It dissolves as it enters the mouth. The feeling was quite exciting.”Yu Jian-chungRestaurant OperatorWe use it to highlight the ingredients and make the dish more presentable.In recent years, some businesses have been putting gold into alcohol.Hsu Rui-chiDistillerThis is our gold brewing equipment. The clear liquid is the alcohol, and the fine pieces inside are the gold foil. This system allows us to mix the gold in quickly.Taking a closer look, we see the gold foil floating inside. Few people know the hard work behind production.Shih Hui-minBrewery StaffEach type of alcohol is a little different, so it has a different type of interaction with gold. We need to carefully control the gold volume, fermentation period, temperature and pressure.Many businesses use gold as a selling point, but few actually explain what effect gold has on the body. The Food and Drug Administration says regulations existed long ago governing the use of edible gold leaf.Wang Hui-yingFood and Drug AdministrationGold is often used for its decorative color and can be used for cakes, candy and chocolate in suitable amounts. We ask that gold for food use have a purity of over 90 percent, with a silver content below 7 percent and copper content below 4 percent.Yen Tzung-haiChang Gung Memorial HospitalIf you look at the chemical structure of pure gold, you will see that it has no toxins. What we fear most is that businesses aren’t clear and use gold compounds or gold chloride, which can cause skin inflammation, gastroenteritis or acute renal failure.The Ministry of Health and Welfare doesn’t have a limit on the use of gold as a pigment.Wang Hui-yingFood and Drug AdministrationFor decoration, you just need a little layer to cover the top, meaning it shouldn’t exceed proscribed volumes. For gold used as a food product, we will have to make another assessment. Most edible gold takes the form of gold leaf. Traditional gold leaf is made by hand.Tang Shang-wenNanogold ResearcherTraditional gold leaf can be pounded to 100 nanometers, but it’s difficult to control the thickness. It may be 110 or 150 nanometers, and there won’t be any uniformity.Tang Shang-wen has been researching gold for 30 years. He entered a printing company as one of his first jobs and became interested in gold after seeing a technique for stamping business cards with gold. He would later stumble into nanotechnology.Tang Shang-wenNanogold ResearcherFirst we take out the nanogold foil so we can hold it in our hands and lightly rotate it. Can you see the gold seem to disappear? Now we take a look at traditional gold foil. If we rub it, flecks start to come out. Because it was hammered to this thickness, it doesn’t have a molecular structure.Nanogold foil has 100 percent absorption and can be accurately measured. Its use in medicine could help increase Taiwan''s competitiveness in biotechnology.Chen Chia-nanNanogold ResearcherIt’s not labor-intensive and doesn’t require a large plant, but you need trained experts and a small team which can assist in the development of medicine and patent applications. If we are able to make these drugs, the technology can be transferred to international pharmaceutical companies.From medicinal uses in ancient times to nanotechnology today, the uses of gold are diverse and likely to increase in the future.
Views: 12094 Formosa EnglishNews
Inside North Korea: Relations With Russia and a Rare Glimpse of Their Joint Border
 
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un never completed plans to travel to Moscow for an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Despite the cancellation, there was still important symbolic meaning behind the young leader’s choice of Russia for his first overseas trip as head of state. FTV’s Anne Hu takes a closer look at the warm relations between the two states. The Tumen River stretches more than 500 kilometers, though only the last 15 kilometers before the mouth serves as a border between Russia and North Korea. Along this section are two coasts, two countries and two very different places.Su C. F.FTV ReporterOn my right is Russia. If you look further down to the right you can see North Korea’s Tumengang.Anne HuFTV News ChiefWe are at the North Korea-Russia border in the North Korean village of Chosal. Across the Tumen River is the Russian town of Khasan.Heading upstream from near the river mouth at the bank of the Tumen River at Chosal Village, we reach Tumengang neighborhood. There are close to 1,000 homes, each with gray roof tiles and blue window shutters.Tumengang Neighborhood GuideEverybody lives his or her own life. Doctors treat patients and teachers teach students.North Korean GuideThe first time I visited, my uncle was alone at home. I asked what he did. He said he managed, cleaned and served as a guide. As a youth I was curious, so I went to see the victory platform and use the binoculars.Farmers grow potatoes and corn along the border each year, but sowing of seeds will have to wait for rainy season. Life isn’t tense or busy like many other border towns, but the tranquility is broken each Tuesday and Friday when the Korea-Russia cross-border train arrives and undergoes customs inspections. Anne HuFTV News ChiefFrom Tumengang neighborhood you can see the Korea-Russia Bridge, which passes over the border. In the past, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il’s father, crossed this bridge by train.North Korea founder Kim Il-sung’s fear of flying led him to choose rail transit when visiting the Soviet Union. These journeys from Pyongyang to Moscow contributed to the close historical connection between the countries and paved the way for desperately needed assistance.When North Korea was still a colony of Japan during World War II, Kim Il-sung relied on the Soviet Union for support in his fight of resistance. The Soviet Union provided assistance again in 1945, when the Workers’ Party of North Korea was founded, and on Sept. 9, 1948, when Kim Il-sung founded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In the 1950s and 60s, support from the Soviet Union led North Korea to have a rate of industrial development that was second only to Japan in Asia. When the Soviet Union dissolved, this generosity abruptly ended. Desperate for support in the face of international sanctions, as North Korea began to drift away from the Soviet Union, it turned to China. While Russia is still North Korea’s third largest exporter, proportionally it is far behind China, which places first in terms of both exports and imports. The discrepancy is apparent by looking at flight schedules. There is one daily direct round trip flight between Pyongyang and Beijing and no regular direct flights between Pyongyang and Moscow. In terms of the most widely spoken foreign languages in North Korea, Russian trails English and Mandarin.Former StudentKim Il-sung UniversityOf course English is the official language of the world. But in our country, China and Russia are so nearby. So we must study English first, after that we need to study Chinese and Russian as a second foreign language.North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had chosen Russia as his first foreign state to visit since taking power. While the trip was later cancelled, it still carried important symbolic meaning. Recently, Russia has proposed building a railway that cut across North Korea from north to south and links to the Trans-Siberian Railway. This would provide easy transport of coal, iron, petroleum and natural gas. Early interest from North Korea points toward more opportunity for cooperation in the future.This is FTV’s Anne Hu, Su C. F. and Yeh Chun-hao with an exclusive report from China, North Korea and Russia.
Views: 57821 Formosa EnglishNews
Reporter visits wind tunnel to experience typhoon-level winds
 
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As Typhoon Matmo barrels through Taiwan, it is bringing ferocious winds. To demonstrate their strength, an FTV reporter visited a wind tunnel today. FTV sent a reporter into a wind tunnel that produces up to level nine winds. While it was tough to gain a solid footing in these conditions, Typhoon Matmo will present an even greater challenge. Forecasters predict it will have gusts of up to level 15.The umbrella broke before it was even opened. Objects placed on the ground scattered, and the reporter was sent flying.Lo Yuan-lungTamkang UniversityTyphoon Matmo is bordering on the strength of a strong typhoon, with winds moving at over 50 meters per second. They could damage homes, ancillary structures, signs or freeway billboards.Professor Lo Yuan-lung warns against travel to remote regions during the storm. When in urban areas, he recommends staying under building arcades when possible and avoiding trees and signs.
Views: 7412 Formosa EnglishNews
Typhoon Trami emerges, expected to bring rain to Taiwan as early as Friday
 
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A new typhoon has formed. Although Typhoon Trami is currently classed as a moderate typhoon and is more than 1000 kilometers from Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau forecasts it could gather in strength to become a severe typhoon on Tuesday, when it can be better determined if it will hit Taiwan. Temperatures in the morning in Taitung broke the 36 degree mark, but starting in the afternoon, a northeasterly wind gathered in strength. It began to rain in parts of eastern and northern Taiwan. Later, Typhoon Trami is expected to impact Taiwan on Friday at the earliest,Chen Chien-anCWB forecasterIt looks as if there will be relatively obvious signs of rain in Taiwan''s northern and eastern regions tomorrow. Some areas may see eruptions of heavy rainfall. In the coming week, there is likely to be intermittent rainfall in the northern and northeastern regions. By Tuesday, Typhoon Trami will be in the vicinity of the Ryukyu Islands and this will be the crucial time for determining if it will hit Taiwan. Chen Chien-anCWB forecasterA Pacific high pressure system will renew in strength and Trami will renew its acceleration. After this, it will move comparatively westwards, in a north-westerly direction. If that happens, it will have a comparatively greater influence on Taiwan. After Trami emerged on Friday evening, in less than 36 hours it had already become a moderate typhoon. The Central Weather Bureau estimates that in the next 72 hours there is a chance it could become a strong typhoon. Chen Chien-anCWB forecasterRegardless of whether it''s the influence of a direct impact or peripheral winds, currently it seems that at least Trami will bring sustained rainfall to areas in the central and northern regions, along with the eastern seaboard. In any case, starting on Friday, Typhoon Trami will affect Taiwan for at least three days. With the mid-Autumn festival over, it will be necessary to step up preparations for possible natural disasters.
Views: 3673 Formosa EnglishNews
Special Service Command Center hosts exercise to demonstrate protection for presidential candidates
 
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With campaigning for the 2016 presidential election heating up, the Special Service Command Center under the National Security Bureau today held a military ceremony to mark the formation of a new security team for protecting presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Aside from showing off all kinds of weaponry and equipment, the new team also displayed dare-devil combat skills. And with Tsai Ing-wen being the leading presidential candidate, the group doubled its number of female bodyguards. During this exercise, secret service officers drive a car that comes to a quick stop. The security team fires shots and huddles around an officer standing in for the presidential candidate, forming a human shield, protecting him and shuttling him away from the scene. Gunfire can be heard everywhere as the Special Service Command Center holds this live shooting drill. Each exercise simulates likely scenarios for an attack on Taiwan’s president as officers cannot afford to be careless. In addition, they proudly display new equipment. There’s a blast from a gun but it shoots a net instead of a bullet. In addition, stun guns were put to use, which can immediately subdue criminals. The team of 220 specialists was selected from the ranks of the police and military. It will be responsible for the security of the three presidential candidates and their deputies. As there is a female presidential candidate, the numbers of female security guards has been doubled. Among them, a Taiwanese SWAT team member Jian Ling-chen will be Tsai Ing-wen’s personal bodyguard. Jian Ling-chenSWAT Team MemberThe goal of absolute security will become our standard duty. The display of combat skills and equipment today shows that Taiwan’s secret service is fully ready for any threat that may befall presidential candidates in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.
Views: 2989 Formosa EnglishNews
Farmer brews coffee-like concoction from okra seeds
 
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A Yunlin farmer has found an innovative use for okra. Kuo Chi-chang roasts then grinds seeds of the okra fruit then brews them to make a beverage similar to coffee. Okra can be blanched then dipped in soy sauce for a tasty snack. While this is a typical cooking method, an unusual technique involves using the okra plant as a substitute for coffee beans. The idea came to Taiwan from farmer Kuo Chi-chang. Disappointed at seeing okra classified as inferior if the fruits are too long or too short, last year when a cold spell affected his crops Kuo began searching for new ways of preparing the plant. Online, he saw that okra can serve as a coffee bean substitute. Kuo then experimented to find the best combination of drying, peeling, seed selection and roasting.Kuo Chi-changVegetable FarmerAfter an hour or so of low-temperature roasting, the seeds are grinded then ready to be made into coffee.Compared to regular coffee from this convenience store chain, apart from a lighter color and lack of caffeine, the okra drink is similar."I can't taste any flavor difference."Kuo also adds okra to starch then makes noodles and steamed buns. Dishes such as these increase demand for the crops he grows.
Views: 2280 Formosa EnglishNews
Chinese fighter jets circle Taiwan for the second time in two weeks
 
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A fleet of around a dozen Chinese military aircraft yesterday morning flew over strategically important waterways near Taiwan and Japan, and proceeded to circle Taiwan. While the aircraft remained outside Taiwan''s air defense identification zone, fighter jets from both Taiwan and Japan scrambled to the air to conduct patrols. Taiwan''s Defense Ministe Feng Shih-kuan personally directed operations from the Heng Shan Military Command Center. DPP Lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng says he fears that in future such flyovers may become commonplace. Within the last two weeks, China has twice sent a fleet of military aircraft to fly around the perimeter of Taiwan. This time the fleet flew from north to south in a clockwise direction according to information released by the Ministry of National Defense. Voice of Chen Chung-chiMinistry of National Defense SpokesmanOur Minister Feng has gone to the Heng Shan Military Command Center and is personally directing operations with a full understanding of the situation. China’s fleet of over ten military aircraft included ones with electronic surveillance equipment. In addition to monitoring the nation’s airspace, Taiwan’s F16 and IDF fighter jets set off on patrols from eight bases across the island in response. Lo Chih-chengDPP LawmakerWe think that in future such (Chinese exercises ) may become routine. The target (of these exercises) is not necessarily Taiwan. China wants to break through the first island chain and second island chain. The intent behind this strategy is very clear. In order to strengthen the nation’s air defenses on the eastern side of Taiwan, (given that the jets are flying around the entire island), the Ministry of Defense has deployed Sky Bow II and Sky Bow III surface-air-air anti-ballistic missile systems.
Views: 17838 Formosa EnglishNews
Chinese tourists stopped at airport for taking away too many stones
 
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Aside for an affinity for milk powder, Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan also seem to want stones from Taiwan's beaches. But picking up a load of stones is not allowed, as a Chinese couple heading home found out yesterday morning. They were stopped at the airport with 5 kilos of stones collected at Chishingtan (七星潭) Beach in Hualien and had to give them up. An X-ray machine detected the 5 kilos of stones after the Chinese couple checked in their bags. When airport workers pulled them aside, they fumed, insistent that the stones were not prohibited goods. But Tourism Bureau staffers then intervened and got the couple to leave after explaining Taiwan's regulations. In fact, guides often remind Chinese tourists not to pick up stones in Taiwan, but the message doesn't always get through.Airport
Views: 102682 Formosa EnglishNews
Toxicologists recommend chicken feet and pig skin to fight toxic starch
 
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A local toxicologist says foods such as chicken breast, chicken feet and pig skin can counter the effects of toxic starch. Lin Chieh-liang credits the glycine in these dishes for helping metabolize maleic acid. Few people know that these stewed chicken feet and pig skin can help rid the body of toxins. "I didn't know this. We usually eat pig skin because of the collagen.""I was unaware. If it's true, then I will go buy some chicken feet."This piece of pigskin is about 50 to 60 grams and rich in glycine. Consumption of just 40 grams can help in the discharge of toxins. And eating 30 grams of chicken feet or 55 grams of chicken breast can also lead one to metabolize maleic acid.Lin Chieh-liang ToxicologistMaleic acid can cause problems in the production of renal tubular cells, resulting in a
Views: 2490 Formosa EnglishNews
Japanese horseradish cultivation will soon be banned in Alishan
 
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High-end Japanese restaurants frequently offer freshly-ground Japanese horseradish -- also known as Wasabi -- to accompany the sushi or sashimi they serve. In Taiwan it is hard to find the right environmental conditions for Wasabi to thrive. Alishan is one of the very few places in Taiwan suited to its cultivation. Wasabi produced in Alishan is both of high quality and of high price and it has become Alishan’s main cash crop. However, the Forestry Bureau is expected to completely eliminate its cultivation by the end of the year on the grounds that Wasabi farmers have been illegally occupying state-owned land, and its cultivation has created problems with soil and water conservation. Visitors to Alishan are attracted to this store display rack featuring mountain products advertised as genuine Alishan Wasabi. However, many of these products contain cheap Western Wasabi. Where can genuine, fresh Alishan Wasabi be found? Most Wasabi fields are located in the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area. According to regulations, cultivation of Wasabi must first be approved and checked by the Forestry Bureau. These days, Wasabi crops are flourishing, with many farmers busy digging it out and carefully separating the roots, seedlings, leaves and stem. Alishan with an altitude above 2000 meters meets the rare environmental conditions needed for Wasabi to thrive. It has become the only place in Taiwan that produces Wasabi. Wu Hsiang-tseAlishan Wasabi FarmerYou see how loose Alishan’s soil is. See how slippery it is. Our soil is so good, it’s so slippery, it can easily turn into a ball when squeezed. The reason why other places, including Hehuanshan and the Central Mountain Range, are not so good is because their soil is different from ours. It is all gravel and rock and water drains too quickly. Alishan’s Wasabi is actually a foreign non-native species. During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese came to Alishan to carry out logging and brought Wasabi from their hometowns. Originally it was cultivated in small-scale areas, but in the 1980s with the opening of the Alishan Highway, large-scale cultivation of Wasabi began. Cultivation of Wasabi yields several times the profit of other vegetables, causing farmers to gradually drop other crops in favor of Wasabi. Huang Chien-mingFarmerIn the past, many people were involved (in this cultivation) probably around 500-600. People farm in Alishan’s high-altitude locations.Most of the Wasabi is exported to Japan, making it still difficult to find in Taiwan. Huang-Lu Shih-yiChef of Japanese CuisineOnly a limited amount is produced here, and it’s quite rare and very expensive. One kilogram is a couple of thousand New Taiwan dollars. While the cost of real Wasabi produced in Alishan is quite high, Wasabi packages are sold commercially throughout Taiwan. They are mostly made in factories with chemical additives. Huang-Lu Shih-yiChef of Japanese CuisineNatural wasabi is a lighter green and has a moist taste. The Wasabi with chemical additives of course will look better and brighter. Much pigment is added and it looks very green. Its taste is also drier. However, although regarded as expensive and exclusive, cultivation of Wasabi is destroying Alishan’s environment. Lai Lung-huei Alishan Station Director When cultivating Wasabi, there’s typically a special ditch created that leads water to runoff. That can also cause soil erosion and damage to the park.To increase the sunlight on the Wasabi crops, branches and leaves from cedars on the mountaintop have been removed, but this is having an impact. Lai Lung-huei Alishan Station Director Rain now falls directly on the ground and can cause the loss of soil and water. It’s probably why the soil is so loose. The canopy down to middle-level shrubs down to the ground with grass cover, prevents the rain having a direct impact on the soil. In addition, these Wasabi fields are in state-owned forestlands and (the farmers) are classed as engaging in illegal occupation. The Forestry Bureau in September 2015, sent a formal letter to inform Wasabi farmers that the government will reclaim all the Wasabi fields by the end of 2016. The Wasabi farmers produced contracts signed with the Forestry Bureau showing that over the past 20-30 years they had obtained the government''s permission to farm this land.Yang Hung-chihForestry Bureau Deputy Director GeneralIn fact, Wasabi cultivation has produced many negative effects. From 2008, we continually tried to encourage these Wasabi farmers to transfer to other work within the forest recreation area.The Wasabi industry is not only related to the farmers’ livelihoods, but is also integral to tourism in Alishan. People are thinking of new ways to balance the conflicting interests of farmers, tourism, and soil conservation.Alishan Wasabi can only grow at areas which have average temperatures of eight degrees and it...
Views: 1817 Formosa EnglishNews
Opportunities for learning as Muslim population of Taiwan grows
 
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Last Sunday we were introduced to Nouf, a travel blogger who led a group from the Middle East around Taiwan. Some businesses here are starting to cater to Muslim consumers, who may be locals, immigrants, or visitors. But many in Taiwan still see Islamic cultures as mysterious and unfamiliar. Tonight we''ll look inside the daily lives of Muslims in Taiwan, and explore how these different cultures can be bridged. Here''s part two of our Sunday special report.Chen Kai-ticomes from Indonesia. She’s making one of her homeland’s classic family dishes, telurbalado, or eggs with chilli sauce. After some efforts in the kitchen, an array of tempting dishes appear on the table – but none contain pork, because all Kai-ti’s family, including her Taiwanese husband and children, believe in Islam.Chen Chia-yaoHusband of Chen Kai-tiI used to be Taoist. Because of meeting my wife, I converted to Islam.Chen Kai-tiIndonesian immigrantMuslims have to marry someone of the same faith.Kai-ti’s husband acknowledges that at first it was not easy to convert from Taoism to Islam. But now, like every other practising Muslim, he prays on the allotted hour every day, five times a day.Chen Chia-yaoHusband of Chen Kai-tiIn Taiwan, you could say there exists a kind of veil of mystery over Islam. We didn’t know it well enough. It was only because I met my wife, and then joined Islam, and started going to the mosque, that I gradually got to understand their Islamic laws.The main religions of Taiwan are Taoism and Buddhism. So although there are now 260,000 Indonesians living in Taiwan, mostly either students, workers, or spouses of Taiwanese citizens, most Taiwanese people have quite a limited idea about Indonesian culture and religion. But from a business standpoint, it would be foolish to ignore the chance to cater to the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.Ma Hsiao-chiFormer imam of Taipei Grand MosqueThe government wants to pursue its New Southbound Policy. In Southeast Asia, the vast majority, more than two- out of five-hundred-million people are Muslim. If you want to do business with them, or even befriend them, on every level, in every industry, you will come across Islamic culture.This biotechnology firm based in Hsinchuset its sights on the Muslim market in 2017. It has already established a presence in Malaysia and Indonesia, which has helped its overall performance grow by somewhere between 5% and 10%. Their success in cornering the market is thanks to the great effort they put into understanding Muslim consumers.Richard TuBiotech firm executiveLots of collagen or extract of animal placenta may come from pigs, for example, it might be collagen extracted from pig skin. So because followers of Islam are not so keen on that, we can’t use it, we can’t use any of the ingredients made from pigs.But as Taiwan is not a Muslim country, it takes more than just a ‘Halal’ label to get a good enough grasp of Islamic culture to corner the market.This is Taipei Grand Mosque. Every Friday Muslims come here for a weekly congregational prayer.Ma Hsiao-chiFormer imam of Taipei Grand MosqueFriday is the day we gather to pray together. It’s called “Jumu''ah”. Jumu''ah is the greatest favor given by Allah, the most graced day in the whole week. In Islamic countries, Friday is the day of rest: if you want to travel or even do business, you might have to watch out, you might not be able to find anybody on Friday, because they take Fridays off.Muslims must perform a ritual purification before prayer – and there’s quite an art to it. You wash various body parts considered unclean, such as the soles of the feet, and you should only touch your body with your left hand, not your right.Ma Hsiao-chiFormer imam of Taipei Grand MosqueThere are also rules about the left and right hands. When you take someone’s hand, or a business card, use your right hand. You don’t need your left hand for picking things up, giving gifts, handing over business cards, or eating.Islamic cultures have very specific rules of etiquette, which if not properly understood, can make it easy to cause offense, or even trigger conflict.Ma Hsiao-chiFormer imam of Taipei Grand MosqueYou can use the Western logic, and say “You Muslims are backward, don’t come in, you’re scary”. Then you make it very hard to do business in this area, you’ve closed that door.With the growing numbers of overseas students and migrant workers, not to mention international marriages, in Taiwan, there are more and more people wearing headscarves on the streets. Only with mutual understanding can people from different backgrounds cultivate mutual respect.In December, a Halal market was held in Daan Forest Park in Taipei, attracting many to try a taste of Islamic culture.HouTsung-yuMember of the publicI think – to be honest I really don’t understand Islam, even though I took some classes on Arabic culture. But really in our d...
Views: 2311 Formosa EnglishNews
Two junior high school students create award-winning solution to keep escalator handrails ...
 
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Taiwan is back on the international stage once again. Two brothers who are students at Ilan’s Huey Deng Junior High School have created a product that earned them a gold medal at this year’s “World Genius Convention” in Tokyo, Japan. That product: an ultraviolet machine that disinfects the handrail on escalators. One commonly shared space among the city’s residents is the escalator. Whether at a shopping mall or on the subway, escalators are used by a constant flow of travelers and visitors. With so many users, germs are an inevitable presence hiding in the escalator handrails. Relying on workers to clean the handrails can be costly, both in terms of money and human labor. Enter this solution created by two junior high school students, Kao Ching-yan and Kao Yin-chan. The pair, who are brothers, spent half a year developing the “Escalator Ultraviolet Ray Disinfectant Machine.” The device uses electrical power generated by the escalators themselves to kill germs left on the handrails. Kao Yin-chan InventorWhen the handrail belt on the escalator moves downward, it produces mechanical energy on this gear cog [in our machine], which is converted into electric power when the belt moves upwards. The electric power is then converted into ultraviolet light, which kills the germs. In addition to winning a gold prize at the World Genius Convention in Tokyo, the brothers have also received a patent for their work with several manufacturers expressing interest in mass producing this device.
Views: 828 Formosa EnglishNews
Miaoli County residents say Taiwan High Speed Rail noise is causing insomnia and mental di...
 
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Residents of Miaoli’s County’s Tongsiao Township’s Chengbei Village are upset by the lack of soundproofing measures undertaken by the Taiwan High Speed Rail. Residents complain passing trains are so loud it is causing them to suffer from long-term insomnia and mental health disorders. Recently, the EPA decided the railway should pay compensation of NT$8.33mn to residents living nearby. However, the high speed rail is challenging this judgment and has filed a suit with the Miaoli District Court.The sound of this passing high speed rail train is causing many residents to complain.As the train exits the tunnel there is a booming sound which is in excess of 80 dB. What’s worse is this kilometer long bridge doesn’t have any soundproofing walls, which may be a factor behind the noise complaints emanating from Chengbei Village. Chan Chun-wangChenbei Village ChiefThis area is a basin and the sound may resonate and cause an echo.As many elderly and children go to bed early, they are disturbed by trains that pass after 11pm each evening. This has led many to develop insomnia and mental disorders. Chengbei ResidentIt’s so loud that I cannot sleep. I even get up and walk around in the middle of the night as many people have almost gone mad here. From the start of the high speed rail in 2007, some 200 residents of Chengbei have complained about noise and vibrations caused by passing trains, launching a petition years ago asking for NT$42 million in damages. Last month, the EPA ruled the high speed rail must compensate residents a total of NT$8.33 million.The decision is being disputed by the high speed rail who says noise caused by passing trains only measures 70 dB and is within the 80db standards required by class 2 control areas. For this reason, the railway didn’t install soundproof walls and the reason why it will appeal the ruling in a local district court.
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Taiwan’s anthem and flag song make breakthroughs abroad
 
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Taiwan’s national anthem is rarely heard overseas. Sometimes even Taiwan’s flag song is deliberately omitted from sporting events. Recently in South Korea, a group of Taiwanese dancers were able to win back airtime for Taiwan’s flag song, thanks to help from local supporters.With Taiwan’s national anthem playing over a loudspeaker, a Taiwanese freighter slowly enters the Port of Hamburg in Germany.For many years, the Port of Hamburg has maintained its custom of playing the national anthem of any ship entering its waters. The port’s command center plays the anthem of the country that the ship is registered to, which in this case signifies Taiwan’s recognition as a country. Elsewhere, too, Taiwanese have had support overseas as they tried to get their anthem heard.The dance troupe Charm Belly Dance recently participated in the IDO Korea World Dance Cup, winning three golds, one silver, and a bronze. Two years prior, Taiwan’s national anthem had deliberately not been played during the competition’s awards ceremony. Taiwan’s dancers came prepared this year. Erin KuoDance troupe leaderThe competition staff told us dancers that they hadn’t received our national anthem. One of our members is an old hand. She dashed to the break room and grabbed a CD that had the flag song on it. When we went onstage singing with the national flag, our flag song was playing and we looked at each other and felt a bit teary-eyed.Despite China laying on constant pressure, the people of Taiwan are, step by step, working hard to earn international acceptance and a seat at the world table.
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Taiwan Lottery jackpot grows to record NT$3 billion
 
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The next jackpot for Taiwan Lottery will be NT$3 billion. The record amount has many people dreaming of becoming a billionaire. Taiwan Lottery has seen no winners for the past 29 drawings, leading the jackpot to grow to an astounding NT$3 billion. It’s already reached a historical high with the bigger jackpot attracting even more interest from those eager to get rich quick.Many hope the God of Wealth will use this opportunity to provide them with good fortune. Seniors show little hesitation when it comes to buying lottery tickets and office workers are being creative by pooling their money together and then carefully selecting numbers to win.Even seemingly easy numbers picked on Monday resulted in no winners for a 29th consecutive drawing. The higher jackpot means many are now lining up to purchase an opportunity to become the next billionaire, leading to good business at many lottery ticket outlets. Hsing Chi-fanLottery Outlet OperatorMany people have never purchased a lottery ticket before but they are coming. Even some foreigners are taking their chances.Lotto fever is expected to increase as the next drawing takes place on Thursday.
Views: 25288 Formosa EnglishNews
Taiwanese envious of South Korea’s minimum wage hike
 
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Taiwan''s minimum hourly wage will rise to NT$140 next year, but many are comparing Taiwan''s economy unfavourably with those of other East Asian countries. South Korea''s minimum wage for hourly work will rise to the equivalent of about NT$210 in 2018 -- 50% more than in Taiwan. Economists blame a lack of investment and an unstemmed brain drain for Taiwan''s ongoing culture of low pay.Ms. Wu is a casual worker in this Luwei shop, where she prepares the ingredients before opening time. The news that Korea’s minimum wage for casual workers will rise by 16.4% next year, to about NT$210, elicits a sigh of envy. She says that even if you work hard in Taiwan, you can’t amass any savings.Ms. WuCasual WorkerThat’s so high! A student working part-time in Taiwan can maybe earn, if you work really hard, altogether maybe a bit over NT$20,000 a month. After you’vepaid all your rent and bills, you can’t save anything.Incomes in Taiwan are much lower than in South Korea. The income per capita is also far from that of other East Asian regions like Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Economists are predicting Korea’s income per capita could be US$30,000 next year, and its GDP growth 3%. But multiple Taiwanese analysts say that Taiwan’s GDP growth will do well to stay above 2%.Liang Kuo-yuanYuanta-Polaris Research InstituteWe can see an extremely serious brain drain at the moment. Manufacturing is returning to the US now. Lots of countries are trying to entice their skilled workers to come home. Things are changing: businesses are not going to continue outsourcing all their production to other countries. Taiwan needs to recognize this fact.Some economists say that if the government wants to raise the nation’s low wages, it needs to attract foreign investment and stem the brain drain. They say GDP growth of 2% is nothing to be complacent about.
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Researchers and engineers collaborate in project to reintroduce fireflies to Taipei
 
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Environmental and light pollution made fireflies a rare sight in Taipei many years ago, but city authorities last year embarked on a plan to reintroduce them in three parks across the city. Bringing back fireflies to Taipei was easier said than done, however, as the bugs need a suitable habitat with proper food sources. The sensitive issue of light pollution has also been a big sticking point. Here’s a look at what Taipei’s ecological park project has achieved to date. The tiny points of light occasionally poking out of the darkness are just what these two men are looking for tonight – fireflies. They plan to take the fireflies they collect here in the suburbs of Taipei and reintroduce them to new habitats within the city itself.Wang Yi-jieh is concentrating on a pipette while feeding a recently caught firefly. He is the student of professor Yang Ping-shih, whose nickname is the “NTU Godfather of Fireflies.” Wang explains that fireflies are carnivorous insects which breed in water.Voice of Wang Yi-jieh NTU Entomology Dept.Fireflies are actually a type of insect that is prone to killing others of its kind. It’s easy for fireflies which are smaller or trying to shed their skin to be eaten by bigger ones.Today, Wang is moving firefly larvae from the laboratory into their new home in nature.A group of kids are on hand at Rongxing Park to help out. They first let a bit of pond water into the paper cups to help the firefly larvae adapt to the water temperature, then slowly pour the contents into the pond. The operation ends in success.The nonprofit organization Society of Wilderness began construction of Rongxing Park’s ecological pond in January 2015, marking the first step in reintroducing fireflies back to Taipei. Similar projects in Daan Forest Park and Muzha Park followed soon afterward.Huang Li-yuanTaipei City Parks and Street Lights OfficeFireflies are a symbol of this city, and an important indicator of whether we take the issue of ecological integrity seriously. Experts have suggested that we, the Taipei City government, start our repopulation efforts in these three locations because the likelihood of success is greater.In the past, fireflies were found throughout the Taipei Basin, but light pollution and environmental contamination contributed to the disappearance of the insects’ habitat and a sudden decline in their population. Yang Ping-shih NTU Entomology Dept. Professor Today there are isolated remnants of firefly populations in Four Beasts Mountain and in the other hills surrounding Taipei. Because of Taipei’s development, firefly habitats disappeared, so where did they go? They’ve shrunk down to only the areas around the mountains now.To welcome fireflies back to Taipei, volunteers have been working diligently to renovate and maintain the ponds, so that the small insects can once again illuminate dark city nights.Ho Chien-rungNantou Endemic Species Research InstituteFireflies use their light to communicate, and especially to fulfill their mission of finding a mate and reproducing. The females light up when near the ground, and when a male sees the female’s light while flying around they will descend almost as in free fall and land next to the female.During firefly breeding season in April and May, Rongxing Park has undergone special preparations to make it a better environment for the bugs. Voice of Liu Ching-ying Society of Wilderness VolunteerSo as not to affect the safety of pedestrians, the park shut off 12 lamps specifically in a bid to help us promote firefly breeding. We’ve taken other steps to limit light, such as painting this bathroom window black.Bringing fireflies back to Daan Forest Park, the biggest park in metropolitan Taipei, represented an even more difficult task. High-rises surrounding the park create severe light pollution, and workers faced the challenge of preparing proper water and food sources, including snails, a favorite of fireflies.Wu Chia-hsiungNTU Entomology Dept.In the middle we’re making a small reservoir to collect rainwater, and after it’s done it will be used as a backup for the ecological pond.With the water conditions under control and the snails breeding properly, the job of creating a firefly habit in the heart of the city still has to overcome another sensitive problem – that of light pollution.To address the problem of light pollution in Daan Forest Park, Wu Chia-hsiung worked with researchers from local lighting company Everlight in a search for a solution.In the open areas near the ecological pond in Daan Forest Park, removing streetlamps could affect public safety, so the firefly repopulation team instead switched the light bulbs in the lamps to a type which was designed specifically not to disturb the fireflies. Liang Chia-haoEverlight Lighting CompanyWe’re not bugs, so when we wanted to switch to a firefly-friendly lamp, we needed to have people go out a...
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Officials say no bitcoin ban in effect as local convenience store chain prepares for its usage
 
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Although bitcoin has yet to become a legal currency in Taiwan, a local convenience store chain is now willing to indirectly accept the virtual currency. Consumers will soon be able to use bitcoins to purchase coupons and have them printed at the shop to pay for goods. This convenience store chain launched a program last year that allowed consumers to top up their bitcoin wallet. Now consumers can even pay by using the digital currency saved in their e-wallet.Titan ChengBitoEx Founder, CEOThere are many foreigners in Taiwan. We hope they can conveniently purchase and use bitcoins. However, accepting such payments is controversial as bitcoin is not a legal currency regulated by the central bank.Tseng Ming-chungFSC MinisterIf bitcoin reverts to being considered a commodity rather than a currency, then the (FSC) and the central bank won’t need to regulate it. This convenience store chain is launching the service to attract consumers with Financial Supervisory Commission Minister Tseng Ming-chung saying there’s no law preventing such an action as long as no banks are involved.
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Signs of prosperity emerge in Pyongyang's fashionable corners
 
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The arrival of the Kim Jong-un era in North Korea has coincided with measures to improve people's livelihood. From entertainment to fashion, North Korea is gradually entering the 21st century. On this Pyongyang summer night, the colorful lights of the Changjon Apartment Complex overshadow the moon and the stars overhead. Changjon is more than a city landmark. It embodies the start of a new urban trend. At the beginning of 2013, a year after the complex opened, North Korea's first 24-hour cafe debuted in Pyongyang. When evening arrives so do families who come to share a meal and young adults enjoying a date. There are foreign exchange students and groups of female friends dressed fashionably in luxury wear, here to chat and enjoy western fare. Anne HuFTV News ChiefIt costs 450 North Korean
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26-year-old Horret Wu wins honor for Taiwanese magicians in international competition
 
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In July of this year, 26-year-old Horret Wu became the first Taiwanese to win a top prize at the World Championship of Magic. Wu is also the first Asian to achieve such honor. While he’s now enjoying the spotlight and spoils that come with this honor, there’s no denying the fact that many magicians in Taiwan struggle in their chosen profession. We now look at what it takes to survive in this unique field of performing arts. Horret Wu is seen here displaying oversized poker cards. They seem to magically shrink in his hands. The audience claps enthusiastically for this magic trick.In 2015, Horret Wu performed this trick at the FISM World Championship of Magic in the close-up card magic competition. His creativity and innovation won him the champion title in this category. Wu’s initial exposure to magic came when he purchased magic props as a junior high school student.Horret WuMagicianIn high school, we had a reunion of junior high school mates. Talent performances were sort of mandatory at the event. So I thought I would do some magic. For this show, I went back and chose some props which I bought in junior high school and did some poker tricks. My magic tricks amazed everyone and the reception was very good. Wu soon fell in love with magic and wanted to bring magic to more people. He began to study magic tricks from the Internet and DVDs. He became deeply in love with card magic and would sometimes spend the whole day in his room practicing card tricks. But his mother didn’t support his decision to pursue this field in the beginning.Chen Tung-chingWu’s MotherI wanted him to pursue a legitimate career, as magic is just a sideline. This means that you can always be a happy magician during your leisure time. You can feel free and don’t have to do things under pressure. I’d prefer him that way because at the time I never thought he would become a world champion.In 2014, Horret Wu was crowned champion by the Taiwan Magic Association, qualifying him to compete in South Korea’s FISM Asia Competition in Inchoen, where he won second place. This victory allowed him to qualify for the 2015 FISM magic competition which is held every three years and is widely considered by many to be the “Olympics of Magic.” In the close-up card magic competition he debuted this trick involving large poker cards, enabling him to become the first Asian to win this competition. Horret WuMagicianEverybody says magicians need sleight of hand skills and big hands to pull off tricks. I wanted to break this myth so I used large poker cards. That meant I couldn’t hide anything and had to rely purely on magic.Wu’s win in the international competition was not about prize money because there was none. The only thing he got was the respect from the international magic scene. As far as Wu is concerned, performing well in the competition was a sort of certification exam. Here in Taiwan, his win definitely has a big impact.Horret WuMagicianIn terms of Taiwanese magicians, I think they will have more confidence and begin to believe that they have an opportunity to move forward to the next level. Before, they probably were never able to think that they could progress to the level of an international competition and win these awards.For a long time, magic shows in Taiwan have an awkward position as some considered magic a warm-up segment for commercial shows and not a true performance art. Unfortunately, these magic shows weren’t able to achieve large scale commercial success and magic shows in Taiwan didn’t benefit from a supportive environment. This comes despite the fact that magicians such as Huang Po-han were frequently invited overseas to perform.Huang Po-hanMagicianMany cruises, casinos and hotels abroad employ magicians and people are willing to spend money to buy tickets to see magic shows. But most magic performances in Taiwan are commercial shows such as end of year parties. People spend their time eating rather than watching the show, and the quality of the show is not that good. Aside from Horret Wu, who is very much a professional magician, many magicians in Taiwan make a living by performing in commercial shows. For example, one magician named Joker adds comedic elements to entertain his audience.Joker has been in the magic profession for the past 29 years. During the 2008 global financial crisis, many companies canceled their end-of-year parties, hurting his income and almost forcing him to quit the profession. JokerMagician The magic industry is very strange. It’s sort of like the entertainment industry. Out of 100 people about 20 will make money and others will need to think of other ways to earn money. However, these 20 will make a lot of money, so the public may feel that doing magic is a good way to earn a living when in fact that’s not the case. Real life concerns have interrupted the dreams of many Taiwanese magicians who still hop...
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Pricing and delivery information available for new Gogoro electric scooters
 
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A revolutionary new electric scooter will soon become available. It will have a starting retail price of NT$128,000 and begin delivery on July 25.At a press event for the latest electric vehicles to arrive in Taiwan, the company’s chief executive said that more than 200,000 people have visited the flagship store and close to 10,000 have signed up for a test drive.An app that links to the scooter’s control panel informs users whether there are any problems. The color of the dash illumination changes easily.The vehicle shell can also be changed using suction equipment. Power comes from a pair of batteries that can be switched at battery swap stations. The control panel lets you know when power is running low.The vehicle reaches speeds of up to 85 kilometers per hour, similar to the typical 125 cc scooter.Peng Ming-iVP of MarketingThe more we sell the better, but we don’t have any special expectations. In this business model, we must change people’s behaviors. It’s a new product and a new way of consumption that requires gradual understanding and acceptance among our customers.The company hopes to win over users of conventional gas-powered scooters. Currently, it has 32 battery swap stations in Taipei and New Taipei. By the end of the year it hopes to have expanded this number to 150.
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New Trends in Fashion in North Korea But Same Old Problems Remain
 
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While the North Korean government is known for clamping down on virtually all facets of life, it has not been able to completely stop the tides of change. At times it even encourages change, such as when it founded an all-female music group that has indirectly let the women of North Korea know that high heels and mini-skirts are acceptable. Some things have not changed, however, whether it’s the water shortages during dry season or frequent, crippling power cuts. For years Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il lorded over North Korea. One change afoot is the joint placement of their statues. This makes it easier for people to pay tribute, a custom universally observed on wedding days and the arrival of tourists in new cities.On May 1, nearly 10,000 workers gathered in Kim Il-sung Square for a Labor Day performance. North Korea excels at such mass movements and engages in them frequently. Its demonstration of the power of collective force is a thing of beauty.Ascent of the third generation Kim dynasty leader, Kim Jong-un, has coincided with policies that advocate better livelihood and entertainment. One example is the Moranbong Band. The band has grown quickly in the three years since its founding, and this year even reached the status of national band. Concerts rebroadcasts can be seen in restaurants and hotels and on airplanes.High-heeled footwear has become popular among North Korean women. Bright styles can be seen on the streets of Rason, Chongjin and Pyongyang.Kim Eun SimPyongyang GuideHigh-heeled shoes are very attractive, so we wear them in formal and public settings.Another change is the rise of smartphones. Typically, these are domestically branded Arirang or Pyongyang phones used for playing games, going online or reading news. Of course these phones can only access North Korea’s official networks.Urban renewal underway in Pyongyang is leading to the demolition of low-rise buildings in favor of high-rises. Buildings 30 to 40 stories high can be completed within as little as one year.Anne HuFTV News DirectorNorth Korea provides a home to people in designated occupations and to those who make important contributions to the nation. These two brown buildings are dormitories for professors of Kim Il Sung University. The blue building across the street is a dormitory for employees of the central broadcasting station.News anchor and national icon Ri Chun-hee lives here. With her furniture and furnishings provided by the government, she enjoys greater luxury than the average citizen.Hwang CheolPyongyang GuideResidents of this buildings all work for the central broadcasting station. Included among them is Ri Chun-hee, a famous news anchor who reports on major stories. Her furnishings are especially beautiful.Under Kim Jong-un’s orders, pink, green and blue buildings along the banks of the Taedong River have been completed. Since they will house professors of the Kim Chaek University of Technology, the residential block they will form is being called “scientists’ row.”With rainy season yet to arrive, water levels in the Taedong and Potong rivers are low. A resulting lack of hydroelectricity has led to blackouts.Kim Eun SimPyongyang GuideOur country is facing severe power shortages.Sacrifices are being made all around. As citizens collect water, goldfish at train stations have seen aquarium levels cut in half. During normal working hours and after midnight, power is cut to residential buildings. The bright lights that used to illuminate Changjon community are no more. When midnight arrives, it becomes another anonymous part of the sea of black that bathes Pyongyang city. North Koreans have responded to these setbacks by installing solar panels. We don’t hear the people complain. Unlike selfishness common in other countries, they seek to help the nation overcome challenges. They save electricity wherever possible, and thank the government for providing the utilities it can at rates that are close to nil.The darkness ends with the arrival of dawn as the people prepare to work on the country’s behalf for another day.This is FTV’s Anne Hu, C. F. Su and Chun-hao Yeh with an exclusive report from North Korea.
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China slams Japan for including “Taiwan” in the name of its de facto embassy
 
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China’s foreign ministry has lashed out at Japan’s decision to change the name of its de facto embassy in Taiwan and is urging Tokyo to abide by the one China principle.Tokyo’s office in Taiwan had been called the “Interchange Association, Japan” but starting Sunday its title will be changed to the “Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association,” a name implying that Taiwan is a country. Starting on January 1, the institution managing bilateral ties between Taiwan and Japan will be known as the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, signifying that Japan is willing to handle its relations with Taiwan on a “country-to-country basis.” This has touched a raw nerve with China. Hua Chin-yingChinese Foreign Ministry SpokesmanWe express our strong dissatisfaction over the negative measures adopted by Japan in relation to the Taiwan issue. China urges Japan to adhere to the principles set forth in the Japan-China Joint Communique and honor the promises it has made to China, uphold the ‘one China’ principle and refrain from sending false signals to Taiwan and the international community, thereby causing new problems to China-Japan relations.Eleanor WangMinistry of Foreign Affairs SpokeswomanThe position of our foreign ministry is that we will do what we need to do. So now we will focus on how we can strengthen exchanges between Taiwan and Japan and then let the meaning of our institutions be fully reflected in their names. Japan’s decision to change the de facto embassy’s name is a major indicator of increasingly warning ties and represents a diplomatic breakthrough for Taiwan. It is still undecided, though, if Taiwan will change the name of its de facto embassy in Japan to substitute the word “Taipei” in the title to “Taiwan.” Hsu Ching-hsiungJapan specialist, Tamkang UniversityWe should not only change the name to Taiwan Representative Office, but also formally become a nation. We must stand up and create our own country. This is the only way for Taiwanese people to have dignity. Taiwan’s de facto embassies abroad use the wording “Taipei” to describe themselves not only in Japan, but also in every other country in the world that is not a diplomatic ally of Taiwan. Polls from Taiwan Thinktank have found that 66 percent of the public supports changing the wording of the names of de facto embassies from Taipei to Taiwan, reflecting hopes that the government will address the situation.
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EVA Air adds 26 jets to its fleet, demands more safety supervision at Taoyuan Airport
 
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Taiwan’s second largest airliner EVA Air added 26 new jets worth at total of NT$260bn to its fleet. But the airline is unhappy with the Taoyuan International Airport’s safety standards. One of its planes was damaged last month during takeoff when pieces of asphalt flew into the air. EVA Air Chairman Chang Kuo-wei blasted the structural problems associated with Taoyuan Airport. Taiwan saw its first-ever Boeing 787 aircraft, the latest procurement by Eva Air. The local airliner is spending NT$260bn to purchase 24 787-10 Dreamliners and two 777-300ERs. While Taiwan’s second-largest airline is happily welcoming its new jets, the company has some issues with the Taoyuan International Airport. The tail of an EVA aircraft was damaged as asphalt flew off the runway. This incident caused a 10-hour delay. Although the Ministry of Transportations and Communication asked the airport to improve tarmac conditions within a limited time or face a penalty, the airline thinks this threat is useless.Chang Kuo-weiEVA ChairmanThe airport paid a penalty after a mistake. But mistakes keep happening. When there are casualties, ministers or bureau chiefs are always asked to step down. We don’t want that because prevention outweighs reaction.Chang said that the Civil Aeronautics Administration fails to function as a supervisor as it is parallel in stature to the Taoyuan Airport.
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US senators introduce bill to support Taiwan in fight for diplomatic allies
 
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Four US senators have introduced a bill that seeks to help Taiwan counter the Chinese campaign to poach diplomatic allies. The bill is called the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative, or the TAIPEI Act. It asks Washington to support countries that continue to recognize Taipei, and to punish those that switch to Beijing. El Salvador last month ended ties with Taiwan and switched its allegiance to China. Four US senators are hitting out at Beijing by introducing Senate legislation that helps Taiwan retain its 17 remaining allies.Stanley KaoRepresentative to USEveryone is looking at Beijing''s actions, some of which are very predatory and very manipulative. There is clearly a widespread sense of concern and wariness.TAIPEI stands for "Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative," and the bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. It calls for the US to engage with other nations in a way that supports Taiwan''s diplomatic recognition and strengthens unofficial ties with Taiwan. For nations that switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China, it authorizes the US State Department to downgrade US relations with that country, or to suspend or alter US foreign assistance.Stanley KaoRepresentative to USWe would like to thank the senators, both for their moral support and the practical aspects of their assistance.As China keeps courting nations in the US'' backyard, there are concerns that Taiwan''s number of allies will continue to dwindle. Amid the threats and promises from Beijing, four US senators are calling for tough measures in support of Taiwan.
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Solomon Islands Deputy PM says alliance with Taiwan is number one priority
 
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President Tsai Ing-wen was in the Solomon Islands today, where she was warmly welcomed and gave an address in parliament. Although the current prime minister of the Pacific island nation is facing a vote of no confidence, senior political figures say that whoever holds power in the future will continue the country''s long-standing alliance with Taiwan. The prime minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, asked everyone to smile to lighten the mood. But minutes later he got a frog in his throat as he spoke.Tsai’s visit has coincided with the Solomon Islands’ parliament initiating a vote of no confidence in their PM, which could result in a change of leadership. Tsai Ing-wenPresidentSince I became president, I’ve received many friends from the Solomon Islands, including Prime Minister Sogavare, who I met in September this year.Tsai gave an address in the country’s parliament, and though the house may be adjourned during the political upheaval, many members of parliament still showed up just to welcome Tsai. After her speech, the instigator of the no confidence vote, Deputy PM Manasseh Maelanga, reiterated that the two nations’ alliance will be unaffected by any reshuffle.Manasseh MaelangaSolomon Islands Deputy Prime MinisterBecause it is a long relationship that we’ve had, and I think any government that comes up on Monday, it will continue to maintain that relationship.After leaving the parliament, Tsai visited a farm to see how well Taiwanese technicians and local farmers are working together. She and Maelanga planted vegetables together. Tomorrow she’ll depart the Solomon Islands and stop in Guam on her way home.
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ITRI develops new device to detect and measure pesticide residues on agricultural products
 
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A new device developed by local researchers promises to let consumers detect and identify the type and concentration of common pesticides found on agricultural products. Taiwan''s Industrial Technology Research Institute, or ITRI, is behind the technology, which uses wavelength detection and analysis to tell the user if the residues on their fruits and vegetables are within safe levels.This new device developed by ITRI works in conjunction with a smartphone app to let users measure the level of pesticide residues found on fruits and vegetables.Voice of Chu Chun-hsunITRI Smart Microsystems Technology CenterWhen it detects pesticide residue, it will show up here at the bottom (of the screen). We can also detect a change in concentration.The instrument integrates multi-wavelength detection technology with a database of wavelengths for common pesticides compiled by the development team. This way, changes in the wavelength reading can be correlated with a specific type of pesticide.Lin Ching-yuanITRI Smart Microsystems Technology CenterRegulations state pesticides are harmful to humans at (or above) concentrations of 10 ppm. Our system can currently detect concentrations as low as 0.5 ppm.The pesticide detection equipment may go into mass production, allowing more consumers to feel at ease when consuming fruits and vegetables.
Views: 1259 Formosa EnglishNews
Daughter of American diplomat attends local Taiwanese school
 
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American diplomats stationed in Taiwan frequently choose to send their children to the Taipei American School. But the AIT’s Economic Section Chief Joshua Cartin is an exception. He sent his daughter, whose Chinese name is Tian Ge, to a Taiwanese primary school. Now she can not only speak fluent Mandarin Chinese, but she is also familiar with the history of Taiwan. Tian Ge, who is playing the guitar and singing Taiwanese songs, could not speak a word of Chinese when she came to Taiwan three years ago. Her father, an American diplomat, placed her in Xinsheng Elementary School. Tian Ge Daughter of AIT OfficialSometimes when I don’t understand, I ask the student next to me. Once in class it all felt like a daze. There is also a lot of pressure to study. I spend over one-and-a-half hours doing homework every day. Joshua M. CartinEconomic Section Chief, AITBeing stationed in Taiwan is a fantastic opportunity for children to learn Mandarin Chinese in a Taiwanese educational environment. The first six months are more difficult and this was the case for our family. Over the past three years, Tian Ge has not only leant Chinese, but Taiwanese history has become one of her strengths. Joshua Cartin is very satisfied with his decision. Even though Tian Ge will return to the US with her family in July, Taiwan-US relations will remain rooted in her childhood.
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Speculation on which of Taiwan’s remaining 19 allies will be next to break diplomatic ties
 
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After the Dominican Republic abruptly severed its 77-year-old ties with Taiwan, many are now asking which of Taiwan''s remaining allies might be the next to protect their relations with China. Despite particular scrutiny over the relationship with Haiti, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says officials are more concerned about the status of ties with Honduras, the Vatican, and Burkina Faso.A sad sight: Taiwan’s flag being lowered at the embassy in the Dominican Republic, after the two nations severed diplomatic ties. The day before the relationship ended, President Tsai Ing-wen hosted a visit from Antonio Rodrigue, the Foreign Minister of Haiti – some see the alliance with Haiti as the next one in danger.Joseph Wu (May 1)Foreign MinisterThe Foreign Minister of Haiti has been in Taiwan over the last few days. The purpose of his visit was to arrange a visit to Taiwan by their President, JovenelMoise. So, in light of this, I don’t think there is any crisis in our diplomatic relationship with Haiti. Presently, what we see is, apart from the situation with the Dominican Republic which was rather out of the ordinary, what we see at the moment with our other diplomatic allies is that relations seem to be stable.Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says there is nothing to worry about in relation to Haiti. But the ministry admits it is keeping a beady eye on Honduras, the Vatican, and Burkina Faso, all of whom have been getting increasingly chummy with China lately.Wang Ting-YuDPP LegislatorI don’t think Haiti will break ties, because the Haitian president is just about to visit. Right now in Latin America, it’s true there is another country with a warning light flashing over it, which means we need to pay close attention. I believe our team on the frontlines in the Foreign Ministry, and senior national security personnel, are doing all they can to consolidate these ties.Legislator Wang Ting-yu also revealed that the Foreign Ministry has at least two nations lined up as potential candidates for establishing diplomatic relations. But when the stakes surrounding national security and regional politics are so high, they will consider Taiwan’s interests carefully before making any hasty moves.
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Conservationist balances needs of farmers and endangered leopard cats
 
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In Miaoli County a conservationist is helping lead an effort to restore leopard cat populations. Among the biggest steps she has made is encouraging farmers to use environmentally friendly practices as a way of ensuring safe habitats and food sources for the endangered species. To see a leopard cat in the wild, you typically need to visit a special conservation area. It helps to have a guide.Chen Mei-ting has taken a special interest in wild cats. After graduating from university with a history degree, she soon switched gears and began studying wildlife conservation in graduate school.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistWhen I began graduate studies in wildlife conservation, Taiwan only had two species of wild cats. One was the Formosan clouded leopard and the other was the leopard cat. No one had seen the clouded leopard in a long time, so I decided to study the leopard cat.The leopard cat is adaptable to different environments and can pass through areas covered in gravel or cement. But it prefers to stay where people are rarely seen. It may travel along dirt roads and is difficult to spot.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistThe leopard cat typically avoids the daytime and moves about from dusk to dawn. Its night vision and sense of smell are much better than ours. When it senses people, its immediate instinct is to hide, so it can be difficult to spot a leopard cat.The leopard cat’s nocturnal nature and alertness mean surveillance cameras are typically needed to capture its image.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistWhen doing our research, we look for feces. This tells us what type of animals are in the area and lets us know what the animals ate.Leopard cat feces indicate popular routes that the animals travel upon. If one is fortunate enough to collect fresh feces, it tells researchers about leopard cat DNA.In the past, when leopard cats were caught in traps or poisoned, they were often delivered to Chen. She would rehabilitate the animals then release them back into the wild, but not until she had recorded their vital details and affixed them with radio transmitters. Even with this tracking equipment, leopard cats continued to be elusive.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistUsing a radio transmitter to track the cats can tell us how many meters away they are, but they’re still difficult to locate.The leopard cat is quite active, making it hard for Chen to trace them even when using a radio transmitter. Sometimes, when she returns to a place where she released a leopard cat, they may appear when they hear her call. Unfortunately, one leopard cat which responded to her call has since disappeared. Chen did find the remote transmitter, leading her to fear that this leopard cat was captured.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistEvery time one disappears, I feel like giving up. But my friends encourage me to continue because there are too few people doing this wildlife research.To encourage locals to join the conservation effort, Chen taught farmers about the benefits. This even led to the creation of “leopard cat rice.”Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistWhat is “leopard cat rice?” It is rice that has been cultivated in an environmentally friendly way. Only this type of rice qualifies for the special leopard cat rice designation.No toxins are used in cultivating this rice to ensure that the mice and rabbits that eat it are healthy. These animals are an important food source for the leopard cat. Chen invited an organic agriculture promotion foundation to teach local farmers about toxin-free rice cultivation. But the transition to organic farming wasn’t always as smooth as anticipated.Hsu Hsin-kaiCommunity Re-development DirectorOf course there have been challenges. First many elders laughed at us and said we wouldn’t be able to achieve a harvest.Su Mu-rongOrganic Foundation DirectorBefore they sprayed weed killer. This isn’t too difficult to change, but if we don’t spray anymore, the weeds have to be pulled by hand. The farmers said it was difficult and tiring. Sometimes they felt so fatigued that they sought treatment.Chen Mei-tingLeopard Cat ConservationistThis led me to think of how good some people are. I can’t just speak from the position of the wildlife. I also need to think about these farmers. And I want to clarify that there hasn’t been any conflict. We are trying to find a balance point.Farmers willing to pursue organic farming hope that leopard cat rice will not only help this endangered animal but also win over consumers. It’s a win-win situation that can balance the environment and local communities. It may also save the leopard cat from extinction.
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Chef teaches how to make your own oil from pork fat and chicken skins
 
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The recent food scare is creating new interest in homemade oil. Follow our report as we teach you how to make edible oil from pork fat and chicken skins. As the edible oil food scandal spreads to more types of products, some consumers believe that making their own cooking oil may be the safest choice. If you don't have a non-stick pan, simply add a little water and some pork fat. It's best to cook over a small flame so the mixture doesn't burn. Stir to gradually separate oil from the solids.Wu Yu-long ChefIt's important to see bubbles. This is what it should look like. If you turn up the heat too much it will smoke and won't create these bubbles. As long as there are bubbles the moisture is being cooked out of the oil. It''s that simple.It takes about 20 minutes to turn 2 kilograms of pork
Views: 11281 Formosa EnglishNews
US congressman submits resolution urging formal ties with Taiwan
 
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Taiwan-US relations marked a new milestone yesterday when US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher submitted a formal resolution calling for the US to restore its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. This unprecedented proposal will go up for consideration by other US lawmakers, who only recently passed a pro-Taiwan defense policy bill and the breakthrough Taiwan Travel Act. Dana Rohrabacher (March 22, 2008)US House of RepresentativesI have supported Taiwan’s right to be in the United Nations. I think it’s up to the people of Taiwan to determine what name they want to give themselves.Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is no stranger to Taiwan and has spoken up publicly for Taiwan’s right to join the UN. Yesterday, the congressman extended his longstanding support with a resolution urging the US government to abandon the “One China” policy in favor of a “One China, One Taiwan” policy. The resolution, submitted in the US House, called for the US to restore normal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, recognizing it as an independent, sovereign country.Regine ChenForeign Ministry, North American AffairsWe are very grateful to Taiwan’s friends in the US and in the US Congress. We have made a note of this matter and asked our representative office in the US to pay close attention to its developments.Tsai Shih-yingDPP legislatorFrom this we can see that Taiwan-US relations are now the best they’ve been since the termination of official ties. Of course, reestablishing diplomatic ties can’t be achieved right away, but I believe that the US representative office in Taiwan, the AIT, will begin to serve a more substantial function, exactly the same as official US embassies in other countries. Rohrabacher’s resolution is the first ever to float the idea of restoring official ties. Daunting hurdles stand in the way of it becoming law. But this small step is one of several in the last six months, giving cause for optimism on progress in the Taiwan-US relationship.
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Snow in Taiwan
 
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The worst cold wave to hit Taiwan in 44-years sent the mercury today plummeting to a mere 2.8 degrees in the early hours of the morning in Hsinchu. In Taipei it has plunged to 4 degrees. Described as “emperor-grade cold,” the weather has caused snow to fall in many places across Taiwan, as our images reveal.Snowfall on TaipingshanAfter a night of snowfall, Taipingshan, a mountain in Ilan County, had over 40 centimeters of snow. Snowfall on Wuling Farm was also 15-centimeters deep. A mountainous highway connecting Taipei and Ilan County became so snowy and icy, that there were repeated reports of car breakdowns keeping the police busy all night. A section of the highway was also closed off due to snow and ice, the first time in Taiwan. Snowfall on LalashanIn Fuxing district and Lalashan in Taoyuan, it began snowing at around 6pm on Saturday, causing snowfalls 15-centimeters deep, the heaviest in 20 years. In Rugushan, 400 meters above sea level in Taoyuan’s district of Longtan, tea farmers were afraid that the snow and frost could affect next year’s tea production. They braved the cold to go on up in the highlands to remove snow from the tea plants. Snow in Greater Taipei It snowed in many mountainous areas in Taipei and New Taipei City. Areas on Yangmingshan, such as Zhuzihu, 600 meters above sea level, and Xiaoyoukeng, became icy wonderlands. In New Taipei City, mountainous areas in Wulai, Pinglin and Sijhih also saw stunning snowscapes.
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Swaziland King Mswati III pays visit to Shih Chien University to visit son
 
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King Mswati III of Swaziland continued his five-day visit with a trip to Shih Chien University to see his son who is in Taiwan to study international business. A motorcade led by Foreign Ministry vehicles brought Swaziland’s King Mswati III and his wife to Shih Chien University where they received a warm reception.The king, his wife and son all stand together wearing traditional Swaziland clothing. It’s been six months since the parents and the child have seen each other. H.M King Mswati IIISwaziland King To continue promoting and sharing good information that you continue to share not only with Buhlebenkhosi and those coming from the kingdom, but also the rest of the world. I thank you very much.Michael ChenShih Chien University PresidentThe school has arranged for visits with businesses. If there’s an opportunity to see scenic attractions, I will definitely join and accompany him.Despite his royal lineage, this Swaziland prince gets along well with his classmates, enjoying coffee, hiking and even a bit of sport. This is the king’s 15th visit to Taiwan.
Views: 2733 Formosa EnglishNews
Illustrator Jimmy Liao opens exhibition in Yilan
 
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Renowned illustrator Jimmy Liao has opened a painting exhibit in Yilan. It is one of many ways that Liao gives back to his hometown. This is Jimmy Liao's latest exhibit. The interior design of the Luodong Cultural Working House adds three-dimensional appeal to his colorful and playful works."The paintings are simple," says this person. "But the scenes they depict make me feel warm inside."Liao had mixed feelings upon seeing his first painting plastered on a piece of transparent glass.Jimmy LiaoIllustratorAll my works began from this painting, says Liao. I knew I could paint, but I didn't know I could create a picture book. One quiet morning I was sitting at my desk and I began to paint these trees, one stroke by another.Liao charged about NT$10 million to curate a similar exhibition in Bei
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Local collector amasses some 3,321 piggy banks in personal collection
 
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While few people use piggy banks nowadays, their image continues to spark fond memories of childhood. Placing a coin into a piggy bank teaches the importance of saving, as well as the anticipation of breaking it open when a goal has been reached. For one individual in Taiwan, collecting piggy banks has become something of a personal obsession which has consumed much of his time and personal wealth. This is 64-year-old Liu Guang-bin, who owns Taiwan’s largest collection of piggy banks. It currently numbers 3,321.He has piggy banks that are of the traditional porcine variety, as well as those fashioned after cartoons, cats, postal workers, soldiers and firemen. He has piggy banks in virtually every imaginable shape and size.Liu Guang-binCollectorThis type is meant to look like a book. When you put money inside (and then put it on a bookshelf), nobody will suspect it is there.Liu’s heaviest piggy bank is this 3.4-kilogram dragon fish. As for which piggy bank can hold the most coins, it’s this old fashioned wooden car. Liu’s tallest piggy bank is a replica of the Tokyo Skytree.Liu has been collecting piggy banks for 20 years. As he shows us his collection, he’s very careful. More than half of the more than 3,000 piggy banks he has came from overseas.Liu Guang-binCollectorI definitely buy them when I travel abroad. I usually make five or six overseas trips for work each year.Asked why he is drawn to collecting piggy banks, Liu’s answer may surprise you.Liu Guang-binCollectorOne of my classmates collected teapots. Every time I would visit him, he would just ramble about them. I thought to myself that I should begin collecting something.From the first piggy bank that he collected to the 3,321st, Liu definitely has a few favorites. With just a quick glance he is able to easily tell the origins of each.Liu Guang-binCollectorThis one is from Latin America, which I can tell from the bold style. If you visit Latin America, you will see that their houses are painted in bold colors and each is quite different.Liu is also able to date each of these piggy banks from just a quick glance.Liu Guang-binCollectorI can tell immediately that this is from around the 1930s. This is because the slot is quite small. Only dimes can be inserted. Anything larger just won’t fit.Cracks reveal the age of this ceramic piggy bank. And there’s this mechanical piggy bank. These were produced starting from the 18th century in the United States.Liu Guang-binCollectorThe United States became independent in 1776. This was during the 18th century, when the industrial revolution was underway. More objects became mechanical.Liu has around 300 small piggy banks which are actually pigs. He has collected piggy banks from almost every country.Liu Guang-binCollectorMany people ask me (who produces the best piggy bank). I have thought about this question for a long time and still have no answer.Lin Ren-guiPiggy Bank MakerPigs are common and their shape is similar to vessels used to store coins. This may be why we frequently choose to use the image of a pig.Lin Ren-gui is the boss of one of the few companies in Taiwan that still continues to manufacture piggy banks.Lin Ren-guiPiggy Bank MakerThe pig is a lucky animal. It even looks like it will bring you good luck.Each week Lin visits this toy store on Tainan’s Anping Street to replenish stock. As fewer children buy piggy banks, this traditional industry has suffered. A few merchants have still managed to survive, however. Lin displayed this unusual bank from the 1960s.Liu Guang-binCollectorThis type requires a key to open. It was usually given as a gift by banks. Afterwards, people who saved money in it could take it to the bank, which had a key to open it. The money would then be put into the bank. It was a type of special promotion.Aside from banks, temples and social groups also distributed piggy banks as souvenirs to members or devotees. This was done with an eye toward increasing donations. Among Liu’s collection there are many piggy banks that he bought second hand.Liu Guang-binCollectorOne has to get to this flea market early. Most shops are eager to sell on the first day, so it’s easier to bargain.For Liu, collecting is a treasure hunt that takes him overseas and throughout Taiwan. He frequently takes photos of piggy banks he sees to keep permanent records.While most people purchase piggy banks to save money, this collector and this manufacturer have an altogether different take on this common item. For them, piggy banks are kind of personal obsession.
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Taiwan to develop Muslim tourism market with friendly services
 
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Taiwan’s tourism industry is now turns its gaze to the Muslim market in light of weaker Chinese arrivals. After direct flight services to Dubai started two years ago, some local hoteliers are getting ready to welcome Muslim guests with amenities catered to their needs along with Halal-certified restaurants. With a sign on the ground to indicate the direction of Mecca as well as Koran and prayer mats available, the hotel aims to provide a friendly environment for a growing number of Muslim guests.Beth TsaiHotel PR ExecutiveNow with direct flight services between Taipei and Dubai, the number of first-time Muslim visitors is increasing. We noticed steady growth of 3 to 5 percent in the past two years.To attract Muslim travelers to visit Taiwan, the Tourism Bureau made commercials featuring Muslim celebrities. Local hoteliers came up with exclusive promotions and set up a special area in the kitchen in order to be recognized as “Muslim-friendly.”In 2014, the number of Muslim travelers around the world reached 108 million accounting for a travel segment worth US$145 bn. But only 1.2 million Muslim travelers came to Taiwan last year, just 2 percent of this larger market which could create many opportunities for Taiwan’s tourism industry.
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Fully electronic toll collection system launches at midnight
 
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Taiwan is just minutes away from launching the world's first fully electronic toll collection system. Starting from midnight tonight toll charges will be based on distance traveled, and there will be a three-day free buffer period for drivers to become accustomed to the change. But those who face the biggest shock are the toll workers who will now need to find employment elsewhere. Demolition of this toll booth has already begun. Freeway tolls will soon be entirely based on distance traveled, though some drivers still aren't clear about the formula to be used.To help, Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection printed half a million copies of a special table. The table calculates charges to within NT$4. Another option is to go online.A link on the National Freeway Bureau website lets you enter
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US-based pro-Taiwan group calls for renaming Taiwan’s representative office
 
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A US-based non-profit called Formosan Association for Public Affairs, or FAPA, is calling for a change in the name of Taiwan''s representative office in the US. Taiwan''s representative office currently goes by the long-winded title of Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S., or TECRO. The non-profit wants to simply call it the Taiwan Representative Office. Their cause has been adopted by Taiwan''s United Nations lobby group, which is currently on a visit to Washington.A 23-member delegation lobbying for Taiwan’s UN participation is in Washington, visiting the headquarters of FAPA and the DPP’s US office.Coen Blaauw FAPA Executive DirectorWe think that TECRO is a bad name for the Taiwanese embassy. What we want to do is to change the name of TECRO to the Taiwan Representative Office. The group hopes that the newly passed Taiwan Travel Act can take Taiwan-US relations a step forward. The group wants to rectify the name of Taiwan’s US representative office and promote formal diplomatic ties between the two countries. It also wants to change the status of the AIT director, or the de facto US ambassador to Taiwan, to be in line with that of regular US ambassadors, who are confirmed by the US Congress. Michael TsaiTaiwan United Nations Alliance President I hope that during our talks, we’ll get down to more concrete issues. Tomorrow when we hold this dialogue with American officials, we will tell them that since Congress has passed the Taiwan Travel Act and President Trump has signed it into law, the Executive Branch should enact its provisions.With its name rectification campaign and its efforts to get Taiwan into the UN, the lobby group has plenty on its plate as it attempts to raise Taiwan’s stature on the world stage.
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Uber set to return to Taiwan this Thursday with new business model
 
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After two months of suspended operations, the popular ride-hailing app Uber has announced it is returning to Taiwan this Thursday, with a new car-rental business model designed to avoid its previous legal issues. Saying it would welcome Uber’s return as long as the company played by the rules, the Directorate General of Highways said it would still seek payment of the NTD$830 million in unpaid fines that Uber owes to regulators. Uber offers a smartphone app that lets users hail rides from private drivers. The company’s illegal recruitment of those private drivers to provide unregulated transportation services earlier led to hefty fines from the Transportation Ministry, and forced the company to take a two-month hiatus from Taiwan. But the firm is reportedly making its domestic comeback this Thursday, much to the delight of some commuters.Uber notified its former drivers that it was planning a return to the market under a new business model similar to that used by car rental services. Details are set to be released this Thursday. AdamUber DriverWe drivers are happy to see Uber coming back. I think the government has made a significant gesture of goodwill to the company.But the company still hasn’t paid a cent of its outstanding NTD$830 million in fines, a point which continues to rankle some in the transportation industry. Cheng Li-chiaTaipei Professional Drivers’ Union President This company violated the law. It hasn’t paid its taxes or its fines, yet it wants to return to Taiwan’s market to make money off of our people?Yuan Kuo-chiTaipei Motor Vehicles OfficeWe will still seriously crack down on (Uber) if it violates any of our transportation laws or regulations.In response to Uber’s announcement, transportation authorities asserted that they will continue to seek payment of Uber’s outstanding fines and will not ease off if the company continues to violate the law.
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World number-one women’s badminton singles player Tai Tzu-ying returns to Taiwan
 
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After successfully defending her world number-one ranking in Dubai, women''s singles badminton player Tai Tzu-ying returned to Taiwan, where she was greeted by crowds of well-wishers. The president of Tai''s college even brought some of the champion''s fellow students to the airport to welcome her with flowers. Tai Tzu-ying received a warm welcome at the airport upon her return to Taiwan.Tai Tzu-YingWomen’s Badminton Singles World ChampionI’ve really been moved by everyone’s enthusiasm.After her win in Dubai, Tai will for the near future retain her top ranking in women’s singles badminton. The position comes with a special privilege that Tai relishes, which is that she can request her opponent change clothing, if it happens the opposite number is wearing a jersey with a similar color scheme.Tai Tzu-YingWomen’s Badminton Singles World ChampionAs the top-ranked player in the world, I won’t have to change my jersey because my opponent will have to make the change. This is probably what I am happiest about.A group of students from Tai’s school, the University of Taipei, led by university President Dana Tai, joined the badminton star’s family members at the airport to greet her.Tai''s next public appearance is scheduled for Saturday morning at the Kaohsiung City Department of Sports where she will host her first autograph session as the world number-one.
Views: 9294 Formosa EnglishNews
New transparent double-deck jet bridge at Taoyuan Airport welcomes arrival of Airbus A380
 
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Taoyuan International Airport Corporation unveiled a transparent double-deck jet bridge for use by the Airbus A380 airliner. In addition to speeding up boarding and deplaning, the new jet bridge will be equipped with smart sensors that prevent incidental contact.This transparent jet bridge allows visitors the chance to enjoy the airport scenery when they board and exit the plane.To service the Airbus A380, a superjumbo airliner which can transport 560 passengers, Taoyuan International Airport not only combined the C1 and C2 boarding gate but also installed this transparent, double-decker jet bridge. The jet bridge can telescope in just one minute. Special smart sensors reduce the possibility of accidents.Sun Hung-binTaoyuan Airport Maintenance Director When replacing jet bridges, we will add facilities like this with smart features.The new jet bridge became a necessity when Emirates Airlines received permission to land the A380, the world’s largest civilian aircraft, on July 19. Providing facilities to accommodate such a large aircraft enables the airport to continue its development into a major transport hub in East Asia.
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On Los Angeles stopover, President Tsai quotes Reagan on freedom
 
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President Tsai Ing-wen wrapped up her Los Angeles stopover on Monday with a visit to a library. The president stopped by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, standing before a piece of the Berlin Wall as she delivered a public statement. President Tsai praised the library''s namesake, Reagan, for his unyielding commitment to freedom and for establishing the Six Assurances, which inform Taiwan-US relations to this day. During her stopover in Los Angeles, President Tsai paid a visit to Reagan Library, named after US President Ronald Reagan, who had signed the Joint Communique with China on August 17, 1982. That same year, Reagan also issued the Six Assurances to Taiwan, which had a profound impact on Taiwan-US relations. Tsai Ing-wen President The Six Assurances issued by President Reagan during his tenure remain to this day the foundation of the US policy toward Taiwan. It also laid the cornerstone of a very important promise between the US and Taiwan. The development of Taiwan-US relations has been steady throughout these past decades. The contributions made by President Reagan during his term cannot be erased.President Tsai’s talk took place right in front of the Reagan Presidential Library’s chunk of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the union and reconciliation between East and West Germany. Tsai Ing-wenPresidentThere’s a quote by President Reagan that’s worth thinking about. He said that anything can be negotiated with the exception of our liberty and future, which must never be compromised. I believe this is how the people of Taiwan feel today.Conveying goodwill in front of the Berlin Wall and evoking the words of Reagan, President Tsai delivered a speech that’s being scrutinized for its bearing on the relations between Taiwan, China, and the US.
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President of Haiti Jovenel Moise begins state visit to Taiwan
 
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The President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, is in Taiwan for a five-day state visit. The Tsai administration has reportedly promised him a US$150 million loan for power infrastructure, and Moise is due to meet Taipower officials in the coming days. Haiti shares an island with the Dominican Republic, a former ally of Taiwan that switched its allegiance to China at the start of this month, leading many to wonder if Haiti could be the next ally to drop. A 21-gun salute greeted Haitian president Jovenel Moise, the first head of state of one of Taiwan’s allies to visit since the Dominican Republic and Burkina Faso cut ties earlier this month.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentIn the coming days, we have arranged a schedule of visits to observe agriculture, power-generation and the tech industry. And we will also exchange views with the Right Honorable Mr. Moise, concerning the international situation we face.Jovenel MoisePresident of HaitiAfter my Foreign Minister returned from his last visit to Taiwan, he told me that your nation was willing to assist Haiti’s development. Madame President, both your and my countries share the same political interests.Haiti’s finance minister said that Taiwan will provide a loan of US$150 million to improve power infrastructure, according to Haitian media. But US spectators point out that Haiti and China have offices established in each other’s territory, tipping the Caribbean nation as another that might soon switch to an alliance with Beijing. Perhaps to counter these doubts, Tsai Ing-wen made sure to emphasize Haiti’s track record of taking Taiwan’s side in the international community.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentHaiti has long supported Taiwan’s participation in many areas of global life. Addressing the UN General Assembly last year, the Right Honorable President Moise himself took a stand for justice for Taiwan. This April, the Foreign Minister, Antonio Rodrigue, also wrote a letter to the World Health Organization to advocate for Taiwan.Since the loss of ties with Burkina Faso, there has been a continuous stream of esteemed overseas guests visiting Taiwan. The Tsai administration is doing all it can to consolidate the 18 diplomatic alliances Taiwan still enjoys, and to prevent any more break-ups.
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FTV tours public transit in Pyongyang, North Korea
 
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Tourists visiting North Korea face strict limitations on the transportation they can use, and most are only allowed by the authorities to use cars reserved for foreigners. Meanwhile, public mass transit, and the details of how average people in North Korea get around, has been largely off-limits to visitors, but earlier this year, FTV secured unprecedented permission from the country’s authorities to ride on and film three transit systems in the capital Pyongyang, coming into close contact with its residents. How did North Koreans react to the rare appearance of a foreigner on a tram, a trolleybus, and the subway? Our exclusive report, from FTV News Director Anne Hu and her team in the Hermit Kingdom. Around 3 million people live in Greater Pyongyang, with 1 million commuting from suburbs daily. Most of them use bicycles, a safe and convenient way of commuting given that the city’s streets are wide and traffic-free, even if they don’t have bike lanes. The few motorcycles on North Korean roads are imported electric scooters, mostly because North Korea has discouraged the production of motorcycles and the use of fossil fuels.But Pyongyang itself is host to a wide array of mass transit systems, all of which are powered by the city’s electrical grid.Hello.A single ticket is the same price across all systems, no matter the length of the journey – five North Korean won, about NT$1.5. Anne HuFTV News DirectorThis is the sixth time we’ve come to North Korea, and it’s the first time we’ve been able to ride on the trams used by the general public. [To a passenger] Hello. We need to find a seat to sit in, but the seats at the front are, like those in Taiwan, designated for those in need, such as pregnant mothers or soldiers who have served the government. Regular passengers like us can only sit from here on back, and I’m choosing this seat.From the beginning, we were told not to speak to other passengers without permission, out of concern we might create trouble for them. So we avoided conversation on the train.Every tram had at least three cars, with inspectors in the first and last cars to take passengers’ tickets. Ticket InspectorThe beginning and end of the shift is always the busiest time. My job is to take passengers’ tickets, and then to deposit that money with the state. Completed in the 1990s, Pyongyang’s tram network is one of the city’s newer public transport systems, but it only has three lines at present. The city’s trolleybus network, built in the 1960s, is more extensive. Anne HuFTV News DirectorUnlike in other countries, North Korea developed its trolleybuses before its trams, and manufactured its own trolleybuses. There are no ticket inspectors on the trolleybuses, so (fares) are all put in this ticket box. North Korea trusts its people to put their tickets in the box after boarding. North Korea’s trolleybuses, built decades before its trams, are starting to show their age, but the ten different trolleybus lines connect all of Pyongyang, and have the highest and most frequent ridership.We then descended more than 100 meters to a station on the Pyongyang Metro, ahead of our ride on the city’s subway.Pyongyang Metro Station ChiefDuring the morning rush hour, there is one train every three or four minutes. Between midday and evening there’s a subway train every five minutes.With around five minutes between trains, we let several trains go past before boarding this one, a new model built in Pyongyang and put into service in 2016. Anne HuFTV News DirectorRight now we’re about to board the subway, and the car we’re boarding now is one that North Korea says it has built itself. [pause, to a passenger] Hello.Having found a seat, I realized that this is the closest I’ve gotten to the actual public. But several times, passengers immediately got up or moved away after noticing me as a foreigner. I tried out some simple greetings.(Where are you going?) I’m going to work.I got some brief responses, but nobody was willing to have a chat, reflecting the shyness of North Korean citizens and the language barrier. The new, locally-made subway cars were more comfortable, brighter, and better appointed, and had systems to display upcoming stops and train speed, giving passengers a range of information at a glance. Other LCD screens in the cars played short propaganda films, in the absence of any paid advertisements in the socialist country’s subway. Pyongyang’s lack of vehicles with four or more wheels is an important indicator of the country’s political and economic openness. Under international economic sanctions, North Korea can’t import vehicles from the US, Europe, or Japan, so aside from a few Chinese cars, nearly all the cars on its roads are models like the Cuckoo, Whistle, and Three Thousand Li, made by Pyeonghwa Motors, a joint venture between China and North Korea. Private citizens in the country can’t afford t...
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Indonesian woman becomes Taiwan's first immigrant civil servant
 
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Taiwan today welcomed the country's first-ever new immigrant to test into a civil service position. The new civil servant, who goes by the Chinese name Wang Hui-ling, managed to join the National Immigration Agency thanks to support from her Taiwanese husband's family and her own hard work. President Ma Ying-jeou spoke words of encouragement today and posed for a picture with Taiwan's newest immigration officials, at the first annual ceremony celebrating the completion of their training.Of the 122 new civil servants, the most notable is probably Wang Hui-ling (汪慧玲), a 31-year-old immigrant from Indonesia. She spent two months of hard studying to be the first-ever foreign spouse to become a civil servant.Wang Hui-lingImmigration OfficialMy father-in-law and mother-in-law told me I should gi
Views: 1783 Formosa EnglishNews
AIT opens new complex, celebrating ‘extraordinary friendship’ between US and Taiwan
 
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The American Institute in Taiwan dedicated its new complex in Taipei’s Neihu District this morning, in a grand ceremony attended by major US officials. However, some had hoped that even more distinguished guests would grace the opening of America’s new de facto embassy in Taiwan. Reports claim that Beijing warned Washington not to dignify the event by sending a Cabinet-level official to attend. It was a who’s who of Taiwan’s political scene in Neihu this morning, President Tsai Ing-wen rubbing shoulders with AIT Chairman James Moriarty and the US Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Culture Marie Royce.Tsai Ing-wenPresidentAs we dedicate this building, we have an obligation to work with one another, to defend our values and protect our joint interests. As long as we stand together, nothing can come between us.Marie RoyceUS Assistant Secretary of StateIt’s because of this extraordinary friendship that I knew I had to be here at today’s dedication ceremony. And so I made Taiwan my first stop on my very first overseas mission, in my new capacity. Thank you.The opening of the new AIT headquarters, and the attendance of major US officials, is seen as a confirmation of US commitment to Taiwan. But Washington’s choice of representative was not uncontroversial. Neither AIT Chairman James Moriarty, nor the de facto ambassador Kin Moy, tried to dispel speculation that Chinese pressure prevented more weighty political figures from attending the ceremony.James Moriarty AIT ChairmanI believe that there is actually a lot going on in the region today, and that we need to respect that truth.Kin MoyAIT DirectorI think the guests coming from Washington, from overseas, are absolutely perfect for this occasion. Our guests from Washington are terrific in their field, and they represent all the cooperative areas between the United States and Taiwan.Despite the veneer of informality over US-Taiwan relations, US Congressman Gregg Harper and former AIT directors Raymond Burghardt and William Stanton showed their faces, as did Taiwan’s Premier Lai Ching-te and former president Ma Ying-jeou.
Views: 1109 Formosa EnglishNews
Cherry blossoms are transformed into an attractive display for the home
 
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Cherry blossom season is in full bloom. In Kaohsiung, one teacher of floral arranging shows you how to transform cherry blossoms into an attractive display for the home. These beautiful cherry blossoms not only impress visiting tourists but can also be used to create terrific floral arrangements to be appreciated at home.With 30 years of experience in floral arranging, this instructor knows how to trim cherry branches and place them in a special pot. The instructor makes the branches look as if they grew out of the pot, and even has a technique for bending branches into right angles. Kao Hua-yangFloral Arranger You choose where you want to bend then slowly bend it. Arrange it so it resembles a beautiful cherry tree.Other plants used to create floral arrangements include rapeseed and tomato
Views: 3459 Formosa EnglishNews
Taiwanese research team develops new-generation solar cells
 
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A new type of solar cell made of a calcium, titanium and oxygen material called perovskite is the rising star of the photovoltaics world. A team from Taiwan’s National Central University has developed a new process for making these new-generation solar cells that is very cheap while preserving the high efficiency of the device. As soon as the lights go on, two miniature wind turbines connected to square white panels begin rotating quickly. Driving these small windmills is the black material inside the white panel – new-generation perovskite solar cells developed by a research team from National Central University. Chiang Chien-hungNCU Photovoltaic Center ResearcherThis is our newly developed, high-efficiency perovskite solar cell. It maintains a high voltage even under weak light. With these solar cells, a 100 square centimeter solar panel can absorb any light generated indoors. And its costs are only about 1 percent of the cost of widely used monocrystalline silicon solar cells but they are 80 percent as efficient. Wu Chun-gueyNCU Photovoltaic Center DirectorIt’s especially efficient in weak light, maybe the best in weak light of all existing solar cells. The National Central University team’s results were published in a prestigious international journal. Researchers in several other countries, including Japan and England are also studying these new solar cells.
Views: 878 Formosa EnglishNews

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