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2018
08/16
Taipei Culture Award winners announced
Peking opera performer Chu An-li, writer and filmmaker Lei Hsiang and Taipei City-based Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture are the winners of the 22nd Taipei Culture Award, the Taipei City Government announced Aug. 13.   The three were chosen for their long-term contributions toward enriching the city’s cultural landscape as well as for encouraging more residents to get involved in arts-focused activities, TCG said.   Chu, a leading actor with state-backed GuoGuang Opera Company, is being honored for dedicating more than four decades of her life to Peking opera and invigorating the tradition by working with contemporary forms including experimental theater and a percussion ensemble.   Lei is credited for his impressive output of award-winning books and films and his work as an arts educator, the city government said. Born in 1939, he has published 35 books and produced around 300 documentaries, TV shows and short films. Lei is an adjunct arts professor at Taipei National University of the Arts, taught filmmaking and literature at community colleges, and has conducted painting classes for the hearing impaired.   TCG said it chose the foundation because it established the Taishin Arts Award in 2002 and for its efforts to strengthen Taipei’s creative landscape by holding dozens of exhibitions and music concerts every year.   The winners will receive their award certificates and a cash prize of NT$500,000 (US$16,229) from Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je at the end of October. (CPY-E)
2018
08/16
10 Taiwan design brands showcase products at New York trade show
A total of 10 Taiwan cultural and creative brands are showcasing designs Aug. 12-15 in New York at NY NOW, one of the largest exhibitions for gift, home and lifestyle products in the U.S.   The firms’ wares are on display at the Fresh Taiwan pavilion, titled for a Ministry of Culture-organized program. Overseen by the government-supported Taiwan Design Center, the initiative aims to enhance the global profile of the country’s creative businesses through facilitating their participation in leading international trade fairs.   Items on show at NY NOW include aluminum stationery by Beyond Object; biodegradable dessert plates and trays by Studio Lim; coffee drip stands by bi.du.haev; fashion accessories by Magi-Steel; and glowing Bluetooth speakers by Daqi Concept.   The pavilion is also presenting jewelry trays by Yenchenyawen Design Studio; lacquered leather wallets by Parsec Design Studio; lightweight LED lamps by Singular Concept; tea mugs by HMM; and wooden pelican mobiles by Eguchi Toys.   According to TDC, this is the third consecutive year Fresh Taiwan has participated in NY NOW, with the previous two editions delivering significant business opportunities for local firms. This year’s attendees have already garnered interest from major international buyers, including e-commerce giant Amazon as well as hoteliers Four Seasons and the Mandarin Oriental, the center said.   As part of ongoing efforts to promote the development of innovative Taiwan brands, TDC said it will erect a Fresh Taiwan pavilion at the Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair, a leading trade show in Southeast Asia running Oct. 17-21. (KWS-E)
2018
08/16
President Tsai departs on state visit to allies Paraguay, Belize
President Tsai Ing-wen departed Aug. 12 on a nine-day state visit to allies Paraguay and Belize, reaffirming the commitment of the government to strengthening Taiwan’s ties with the world while promoting regional peace, stability and prosperity.   It is the responsibility of Taiwan’s head of state to use official trips abroad to expand the country’s international space and show the global community how it embraces democracy and freedom, Tsai said. They also serve as invaluable opportunities to personally thank allies for supporting government efforts to secure Taiwan’s meaningful participation in multilateral organizations, she added.   According to the president, the government will continue deepening and expanding relations with Taiwan’s allies in line with steadfast diplomacy and the spirit of mutual assistance for mutual benefits.   Scheduled to arrive Aug. 14 in Paraguay, Tsai will attend the inauguration of recently elected President Mario Abdo Benitez, meet outgoing President Horacio Cartes and hold bilateral talks with visiting heads of states and other dignitaries. She is also expected to preside over the plaque-unveiling ceremony for the planned Taiwan-Paraguay industrial and technological university, meet with members of Taiwan’s technical mission and host a banquet for expatriates based in the South American country.   After touching down Aug. 16 in Belize, Tsai will participate in talks with Governor-General Colville Norbert Young and Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow, receive a state honor and attend an official banquet and private dinner function staged by Barrow. She is also scheduled to address the Belize National Assembly, oversee an award ceremony for Taiwan Scholarship Program recipients, visit a vocational and training school, and hold an evening event for Taiwan expatriates before departing Aug. 18 from the Central American nation. The visit, Tsai’s fifth abroad since assuming office in May 2016, includes U.S. stopovers in Los Angeles and Houston on the outbound and inbound legs, respectively. She will touch down Aug. 20 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in northern Taiwan. (SFC-E)
2018
08/16
Tsai makes Los Angeles stopover en route to Paraguay, Belize
President Tsai Ing-wen stopped over Aug. 12 in Los Angeles as part of her nine-day state visit to allies Paraguay and Belize in South and Central America, respectively.   Upon touching down, Tsai and accompanying senior officials were greeted in the presidential charter by James F. Moriarty, chairman of Washington-headquartered American Institute in Taiwan. The warm welcome continued as the president and her delegation were cheered by Taiwan well-wishers while exiting arrivals at Los Angeles International Airport.   Later the same day, Tsai took part in a Taiwan expatriates banquet attended by Moriarty, U.S. Reps. Judy Chu, Brad Sherman and Ed Royce, as well as other dignitaries and officials.   During the event, the president said Taiwan-U.S. relations have gone from strength to strength over the past two years. This is evidenced by the inauguration of the new AIT complex in Taipei City two months ago, signing into law of the Taiwan Travel Act in March and approval of arms sales by U.S. President Donald J. Trump in June 2017, she added.   In addition to closer cooperation in digital economy and the government’s New Southbound Policy, Tsai said people-to-people exchanges between the two sides are on the rise, largely in part to Taiwan’s inclusion in the U.S. Global Entry Program in October 2017.   According to the president, these achievements reflect Taiwan and the U.S.’s shared values and beliefs. They also underscore the robust nature of bilateral ties in the face of an unprecedented challenge to Taiwan’s democracy, freedom and way of life by China, she said.   Regarding Taiwan’s development, Tsai said the government is leaving no stone unturned in deepening democracy, promoting justice and revitalizing the economy.   Examples of this commitment include the amendment to the Referendum Act making it easier for citizens to exercise their direct civil rights, inauguration of the National Human Rights Museum and launch of the Transitional Justice Commission. Others are the Long-term Care Plan 2.0 and initiatives promoting equitable taxation and providing 47,000 social housing units by 2020, she added.   In particular, the president said the government’s plan for energy transformation is attracting investment from businesses in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany and Singapore, while global corporate heavyweights such as Amazon.com Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have all expanded their presence in Taiwan in areas ranging from artificial intelligence and cloud computing to Internet of Things.   As a result of this heightened interest, Tsai said the economy is rapidly changing into one driven by creativity and innovation, adding that private investment is on track to top NT$3 trillion (US$100 billion) for the first time.   Earlier the same day, the president visited the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles for a sit-down with young Taiwan expatriates.   Tsai said the time is ripe for these youtful talents to come to Taiwan and take advantage of the wealth of education, employment and startup opportunities on offer. All relevant agencies and ministries stand ready to provide requisite assistance and information in this regard, she added.   The president, making her fifth official trip abroad since assuming office in May 2016, is visiting Paraguay Aug. 14-16 and Belize Aug. 16-18. She returns to Taiwan Aug. 20 after a U.S. stopover in Houston. (SFC-E)
2018
07/31
Digital learner driver license rolled out in Taiwan
Taipei, July 30 (CNA) A digital version of Taiwan's learner driver license was launched Monday, according to the Directorate General of Highways (DGH). Applicants can choose to receive a digital rather than a printed license, which can be downloaded via an app released by the DGH for a fee of NT$50 (US$1.63), half the price of a printed one. The learner driver license is a limited-period license that allows people to drive on streets before they pass a driver's test and get a formal license. People can apply for a learner driver license at a local motor vehicle office on their own or through the driving school with which they have registered for driving lessons, according to the DGH.