Friday, December 15, 2006


Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) People's attitude toward animals has changed over time, especially in the last 10 years, but Taiwan still faces barriers that impede the practice of animal protection, scholars said in an international forum Monday.

"Animal protection is a policy that cannot be delayed," said Chen Shei-saint, chairman of the Animal Protection Association (APA) of the Republic of China at the opening ceremony of the 2006 International Companion Animal Welfare Forum.

The two-day forum, co-organized by the APA, Life Conservationist Association and the Department of Veterinary Medicine at National Taiwan University, is taking place in Taipei with scholars from 11 countries meeting in a "dialogue between Taiwan and the World."

David Fraser, a Canadian professor at the University of British Columbia who also works for the Office International des Epizooties (OIE, World Organization for Animal Health), offered a global perspective on animal welfare in a keynote speech.

It is amazing how quickly people's opinion could change in 30 years toward animals, Fraser noted, adding that the animal protection movement is looking for a more global reach in the 21st century.

However, there are new challenges ahead, including the rising production of meat -- especially in developing countries; the human impact on wildlife species, and increasing cases of domestic animals living in human communities, Fraser said.

Briefing the audience on the animal protection movement in Taiwan, Shih Chao-hwei, a Buddhist nun, followed up Fraser's viewpoints with her concerns.

Taiwan's animal protection movement has a long way to go, said Shih Chao-hwei, a professor at Hsuan Chuang University.

"The [animal protection] law in Taiwan has been in place. All we need now is the improvement of law enforcement. Too many times we have allowed unlimited generalizations of cultural diversity, tourism and sacred sacrifice to impede the practice [of animal protection] in Taiwan," she said.

Twelve theses will be presented at the forum.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Taipei, Dec. 8 (CNA) Anti-trafficking legislation is desperately needed if Taiwan is to prevent its human trafficking problem from worsening, Taiwan and U.S. officials said Friday in a video conference.

Taiwan was listed on the Tier 2 Watch List in the 2006 U.S. Trafficking in People Report published in June, primarily because it failed to show increased efforts in fighting trafficking during the past year, said James Husky, chief of the political section at the American Institute in Taiwan Taipei Office.

Human trafficking is seen as the modern-day slavery, which is very different from slavery in the past, said Washington-based John Miller, Director of U.S. State Department's Office of Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP) , in the conference that gathered public prosecutors, officials and law enforcers from Taipei and Kaohsiung.

About 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders each year, which does not count millions trafficked within their own countries, said Miller, whose office coordinates the U.S. efforts in the global fight against modern-day slavery, including forced labor and sex exploitation.

Being listed on the Tier 2 Watch List means Taiwan does not comply with the minimum standards and requires special scrutiny because of a high or significantly increasing number of victims and a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking.

Miller said the "Three Ps" principle -- prevention, protection and prosecution -- should be used when dealing with trafficking issues.

The national action plan to fight trafficking, which was initiated by the Executive Yuan, was a great first step for Taiwan, said Mark Taylor, Senior Coordinator for Reports of G/TIP.

Legislation makes sure the traffickers will be punished, but the implementation of the law is equally important as well, Taylor noted.

Public prosecutors and officials from Taipei and Kaohsiung mentioned the difficulties under the current system to define trafficking cases and identify victims.

"If a person ends up losing his freedom, it's a trafficking case, "Miller said, adding that government agencies should also work with non-government organizations.


Taipei, Dec. 7 (CNA) Rotarians in Taiwan have made a great contribution to Taiwan society and communities over the years, Rotary International President William Boyd said in an interview with the CNA Thursday.

Taiwanese Rotarians donated an average of US$138 per person per year to the Rotary Foundation, which is one of the highest figures in the world, Boyd said on the first day of his three-day visit to Taiwan. He added that membership in Taiwan has been growing strong, with a 10-percent increase this past year.

The most satisfying fact, according to Boyd, a New Zealander who is visiting Taiwan for the first time, is knowing that Rotarians in Taiwan have been helping communities and people through collaboration with government agencies and various organizations.

Boyd made the comments on the heels of an anti-drugs and anti-AIDS campaign in Taipei.

Rotary International is an organization of more than 32,000 Rotary clubs located in more than 200 countries. Its members are known as Rotarians. The purpose of the group is to bring together business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace around the world.

Boyd, who was invited to join the Rotary club in 1971, said he has always been interested in helping people. Being a Rotarian has helped him expand his vision and get involved in many international events. As the current president, he has been able to travel with his wife Lorna to different countries and meet different people, he said.

In Uganda, Boyd met a young man who lost his arm in an accident and was later able to make a living as a cab driver after receiving an artificial arm, which was donated by a Rotary club and cost only US$50.

"It's amazing to see what a difference a little effort can make," he said.

Boyd, whose term as president will end in June 2007, has made "water, hunger and health" the three main areas for Rotarians around the world to work on in 2006 and 2007. Stressing his philosophy of "local Rotary clubs know best," Boyd said that he only sets a general direction and then lets local clubs make decisions on specific areas they want to work on.

Boyd said he believes Rotary International's role will increase in the future, adding that it is gratifying to see so many international organizations, such as UNICEF, actively approach Rotary International for collaborate on projects.

What Rotary International can do to help the world is not limited to its 1.2 million members, Boyd said, pointing out that several of the organization's programs involve women and youth as well and that Rotarians usually bring their family members along to participate in community services.

"The future of Rotary International is looking as good as ever, " Boyd said.


Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) A pair of Canadian indigenous leaders shared experiences and expertise with their Taiwanese counterparts in a workshop on Canada's aboriginal self-governance and economic development Wednesday in Taipei.

"In terms of aboriginal relations and development, Canada was far from perfect -- it even made some mistakes in the past. But it can share its experience in aboriginal affairs with Taiwan," said David Hamilton, director of general relations of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) at the workshop, which was co-organized by CTOT and Taiwan's Council of Indigenous Peoples.

From 1870-1950, Canadian aboriginals went through a long period of discrimination just like aboriginals in other countries, said Larry Chartrand, a professor at the University of Winnipeg who also serves as the director of Canada's Aboriginal Governance Program.

It wasn't until 1969 that aboriginals in Canada mobilized and responded through massive protests and pushed for a new relationship between the Canadian government and aboriginal people. After three subsequent constitutional amendments in 1982, the Canadian government began to negotiate one by one with aboriginal tribes on self-governance issues, he said.

However, Canadian aboriginals still face great challenges today such as land claims, the scope of self-governance, and continuing poverty and discrimination, Chartrand noted.

"It's our belief that what you do today will affect seven generations later," said Romeo Crow, a Blackfoot tribe chief of the Siksika Nation, who also serves as president of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association.

The Blackfoot tribe, a group of nomads that followed buffaloes in the past, has been trying to build its own business, increase the group's educational enrollment rate while at the same time preserving its tradition and culture, Crow said.

Self-governance is one thing, a vision to plan for the future instead of dwelling on the present is another, he said.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) A homosexual group announced its endorsement of five candidates in the upcoming Taipei city council elections Tuesday and demanded more homosexual-friendly policies from the Taipei and Kaohsiung city governments.

Based on candidates' past records and public statements, the Taiwan Tonzhi Hotline Association (TTHA) said it will endorse Pan Han-shen, Chan Ming-chou, Dai Hsi-chin, Lin Yi-hua and Chou Po-ya in the Dec. 9 election for Taipei city councilors.

Of the candidates, Pan is from the Green Party, which has been known for supporting homosexual rights, while independent candidate Chan Ming-chou claimed he is the first out of the closet homosexual candidate in Taiwan's election history.

"The homosexual population accounts for as much as 10 percent of the population. Votes of homosexuals are going to be critical and that is why candidates should not ignore the importance of these voters, " said Kao Ying-chao, convener of the TTHA's human rights group.

The organization did not endorse any candidates in the elections for Taipei and Kaohsiung city mayors or Kaohsiung city council, which will also be held Dec. 9, as most candidates either failed to answer questionnaires submitted by the group or lack past records for review.

However, Kaohsiung city mayoral candidate Chen Ju did mention common-law partners and families of gay people in her White Paper, while Taipei mayoral candidate Clara Chou is also listed as a homosexual-friendly candidate.

In the survey, most candidates were hesitant to specify their views or policies on homosexuals, said Kao.

Homosexual groups have submitted their recommendations and endorsements in elections from as early as 1995, TTHA Public Relations Director Wu Hsu-liang said, adding that they endorsed candidates such as current legislators Hsiao Bi-khim, Cheng Yun-peng and Joanna Lei in past elections.

"Our surveys and endorsements are non-partisan. All we care about are candidates' track records and whether they are homosexual-friendly, " Wu said.


Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Health leaders from more than 40 countries met in a global forum in Taipei Monday to discuss health sustainability and Taiwan's participation and roles in international health affairs.

The forum, with the theme of "Sustainability of Global Health" is taking place at the National Taiwan University Hospital International Convention Center from Dec. 4-6.

President Chen Shui-bian said in an opening address that while Taiwan is not a World Health Organization (WHO) member or observer, it would be able to make a greater contribution to global health if it were allowed to take part in more WHO activities.

Taiwan and the rest of the world did not realize the importance of public health and the impact of a major disease until the SARS outbreak of 2003, Department of Health Minister Hou Sheng-mou claimed.

According to him, it was not until then that the world came to know that a major disease could affect global economic development.

Taiwan and the world are facing "unprecedented challenges" in terms of public health as the issues of AIDS, SARS, avian influenza, other diseases and suicide have either worsened or could return at any time, Hou said, making global collaboration necessary.

The forum discussed topics such as strategic planning for major diseases, regional and global health security, opportunities and challenges facing the health sector, international health law and policy, and Taiwan's participation and roles in global health.


Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) As an emerging democracy, Taiwan should play an active role in China's democratization for the benefit of both people in Taiwan and China, a Chinese human rights activist said Saturday.

"Only by participating in the process of the democratization of China and the deconstruction of the Communist Party of China (CPC) can God truly bless Taiwan," said Li Dayong, who works for the Global Service Center for Quitting CPC, on the sidelines of a parade opposing state-led persecution inside China.

The rally gathered thousands of participants in Panchiao, Taipei County to support a movement calling on CPC members to quit the party, and opposing China's suppression of Falun Gong and dissidents.

Views of Taiwan's future commonly held among Taiwanese people -- unification, independence, and the status quo -- will not work because they are all based on interaction between cross-strait governments, Li said.

"But can you really trust the Chinese government and the CPC, based on its track record?" asked Li, who is one of the founders of Future China Forum, a democracy-advocating Internet forum.

Eastern European countries didn't start their democratization process until the Communist Party of Soviet Union was deconstructed, Li said, adding that it provided a perfect example for both Taiwan and China.

"Most people know that Taiwan is in a stalemate politically, especially in cross-strait relations. The real question we have to ask is how to walk out of it," he said.

"In my opinion, only by helping Chinese people break away from the control and suppression of the CPC can Taiwan secure its future and break away from China's military threat," he said.


Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) Thousands of Taiwanese rallied in a parade in Panchiao, Taipei County Saturday to oppose persecution in China and voice support for a movement urging Chinese to withdraw membership from the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"In two years, almost 16 million Chinese people have submitted statements withdrawing from the CPC or its affiliated organizations. The numbers show the Chinese have spurned the CPC because of its severe persecution inside China and repeated violations of human rights," said Lee Ching-mei, a parade spokeswoman.

During the rally, Falun Gong members carried out an exercise that uses five meditations, and something the Chinese government deems an illegal activity.

The parade was the second time a massive Taiwan rally was organized in support of the secession movement since Epochtimes, a Falun Gong affiliation newspaper, published "Nine Commentaries on the CPC" and launched the movement in 2004, Lee said.

Braving the cold air and light rain, participants held cardboard and banners with anti-CPC slogans, which included "CPC is not China," "Oppose organ harvesting," "Support Chinese human rights activists," and "A democratic China will not exist before the elimination of the CPC."

History shows in Russia, more than 4.2 million members withdrew from the Communist Party before the Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991. And the CPC may collapse as well, with the secession movement gaining steam, said Li Dayong, who works for the Global Service Center for Quitting CCP.

Li said most people don't realize that behind all the rapid economic growth and development of big cities, the Chinese government has illegally kidnapped and detained dissidents, writers and reporters, suppressed Falun Gong members, and ignored the problems of corruption, discontinued education, unemployment and an ineffective health care system, among many other areas.


Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) As thousands pack the exhibition hall for the 2006 Information Technology (IT) Month, Taiwan can look back at the past year and forward to the future with a sense of accomplishment, organizers and officials said Saturday.

"Entering its 27th year, IT Month has become the most compelling and significant year-end event for Taiwan's IT industry and consumers. We estimate more than two million visitors will visit the fair this year, " said Frank Huang, president of the Taipei Computer Association, IT Month's main organizer.

About 350 companies set up more than 1,700 booths at the fair, which is taking place in Taipei from Dec. 2-10, and will head south for shows in Taichung Dec. 15-20, Tainan Dec. 28-Jan. 2 and Kaohsiung Jan. 11-16, 2007.

While consumers care most about cheap computer prices, the fair also provides Taiwan's IT industry a chance to look back retrospectively as well as consider future prospects.

And the results are not disappointing. Despite all the theories of economic "hollowing out" in news reports, Taiwanese companies have been doing well in global markets, manufacturing more than 98 percent of computer motherboards and controlling the manufacture of about 87 percent of laptop computers, said Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Ruey-long.

Taiwan's brand development and industrial design has received much positive feedback over the past year, winning 146 international industrial design awards and boosting Taiwan's confidence in its value-added efforts. Taiwan has been doing well in foundry, packaging tests, and flat panel sectors as well, Chen added.

However Taiwan will be facing challenges in the upcoming year.

"We'll see a lot of changes in the upcoming year, with the launch of a new Microsoft computer system, Vista, and emerging development of 3G mobile phones, " said Frank Huang, adding that Taiwan needs to devote more energy to digital content development to catch up with South Korea.

"Without a doubt, the IT and digital industries will be Taiwan's lifelines in the future," Huang said.


Taipei, Dec. 1 (CNA) Taiwan needs to step up efforts to develop its creative industry as its output in the field pales in comparison with leading countries, a representative of the Institute for Information Industry (III) said Friday.

Taiwan's 2004 output in the creative industry was US$17 billion, only slightly more thanone-tenth of the U.K.'s output of US$160 billion. The numbers indicate Taiwan has a long way to go in developing the industry, said Ho Wen-hsiung, director of III's Industry Support Division.

China's creative industry output is US$220 billion annually, while Japan checks in at US$130 billion, only slightly less than its well-known auto industry, Ho added.

With its reputation in creative industries throughout Asia, Taiwan should do better than that, he said.

Taiwan is capable of turning the tide in the sector of the digital creative industry, given its advantage in information and communication technology and rich cultural assets, Ho said.

It's never too late to start developing the creative industry, which makes up an integral part of a knowledge-based economy. And it is a route that Taiwan has to take because its output in the computer hardware industry went from US$20 billion in 2001 to US$10 billion in 2004, Ho noted.

"In fact, the creative industry is not a new industry. It is just a new integration of value chains," Ho pointed out.

III was established in 1979 as a non-profit organization, jointly sponsored by Taiwan's government and dozens of prominent private enterprises, for the purpose of growing and strengthening Taiwan's information industry development.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) Taiwan's future belongs to its people, and the people of Taiwan have the right to find "their real selves, " Taiwanese-American filmmaker Will Tiao said in an interview with CNA Thursday.

"Taiwanese have the right to find themselves... because they have never had the chance to develop and articulate their own selves, " Tiao said on the last day of a two-week promotion tour of a film titled Formosa Betrayed.

The movie, which Tiao plans to shoot next year and release in 2008, is about the story of the 1982 murder of a Taiwanese professor who was killed for speaking out for an independent and democratic Taiwan.

Many people in Taiwan have shown enormous support for a movie they think is long overdue, said Tiao, who was born in Kansas and comes from a family with strong pro-Taiwanese independence views.

While stressing his position as a foreigner and trying to stay away from political analysis during his visit, Tiao said he still believes Taiwan's future should belong to its people and that Taiwan is "a democracy that is coming into its own."

"Taiwan is slowly starting to realize that it does have to deal with the past if it wants to move toward becoming a normal country, " he said, adding that people of this generation are probably not as aware of history as they should be.

For a long time, Taiwanese have been told by others about who they are -- first the Japanese and then the Chinese. But Taiwanese have the right to define themselves and explore what Taiwan identity is, Tiao said.

People of Taiwan have to know and reconcile the past before moving forward. Only by doing so can they learn to deconstruct those arguments of "conventional wisdom" and look at the world in a new perspective, according to Tiao, who spent 10 years in Washington working for the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, a pro-independence lobby group.


Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) Taiwanese-American filmmaker William Tiao was glad to learn of enormous positive response to a promotion tour of Taiwan for a movie planned for 2008 to be titled Formosa Betrayed, which looks to "shine the spotlight on Taiwan."

He told CNA Thursday that he was happy with the public and private support for the movie in Taiwan, adding that many local businessmen have shown interest in investing in the movie, which will have a US$12 million budget.

Inspired by a true story, Formosa Betrayed aims to "enlighten a global audience" with the story of the murder of a Taiwanese professor who was killed for his courage in speaking out for an independent and democratic Taiwan.

"I think this is a story that nobody else can tell except me, because most people don't know the story, " said Tiao, who gave up a political career in 2002 after 10 years in Washington, D.C. and moved to Los Angeles to start his entertainment business.

Born in Kansas, Tiao said he heard a lot of stories about Taiwan's White Terror period from his parents, who had always been active in Taiwan's independence and democracy movements. Tiao said he knew from the age of six that he would work in politics.

Frustrated by Taiwan's lack of international recognition and support during his time in Washington, Tiao decided to take a different path in 2002 and moved to Hollywood, where he learned from scratch about acting, writing and filmmaking and came up with the Formosa Betrayed plan two years ago.

With his childhood memories, political skills, and Taiwan's presidential election and Beijing Olympics in 2008, Tiao thinks 2008 will be perfect timing for the release of the film and hopes it will be a time for the whole world to take a good hard look at Taiwan and "start a discussion" on Taiwan's rich history and culture.

The movie also seeks to offer an opportunity for Taiwanese to "reconcile with the past before moving ahead" and to reflect on Taiwan's history "from a fresh perspective as a third-party observer, " Tiao added.

The movie takes its title from a book published in 1965 by former U.S. Consul George Kerr, who documented his observation of the 228 incident of 1947, in which the beating of a Taiwanese woman selling unlicensed cigarettes by then-ruling Kuomintang (KMT) police led to rioting that spread all over the island and was brutally crushed by KMT troops sent over from China -- the start of the KMT's infamous White Terror purge of "dissidents."


Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) A consistent, clear policy and reliable database are needed for Taiwan's renewable energy development, a delegation of British renewable energy experts said Thursday at a seminar organized by the British Trade and Cultural Office and the Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

With a long history and expertise in renewable energy development, Britain is keen on sharing this expertise with Taiwan, said delegation leader Richard Brooks, who serves as the head of Business Development 2010 Target Team under Britain's Department of Trade and Industry.

It is impossible to replace all energy with renewable energy, he said, adding that the key lies in the balance of resources.

Taiwan needs to understand what its natural resources are and then identify what indigenous industry is capable of doing before deciding on its policy on renewable energy development, according to Richard Whiting, a representative from Garrad Hassan and Partners Limited, a British company specializing in wind energy. It must keep its policy consistent so private corporations can explore opportunities and develop, he added.

In wind energy development, a high-quality and reliable data reference system is also critical to speed up the process of deciding the location of wind farms, he said.

Taiwan is keen to diversify its power supply and the Taiwan government has been promoting the importance of green energy over the past few years. Since 2004, the government has provided Taiwan Power Company with the goal of developing the renewable energy sector in Taiwan.

The government has set a target of achieving a cumulative renewable energy capacity of 3,300 megawatts by 2010, including self-producing 2,600 megawatts and external procurement of 700 megawatts. Taiwan is planning to install at least 285 wind power generation units over the next two years.

Based on the Energy White Paper of 2003, Britain has adopted targets for generating 10 percent of its electrical power from renewable sources by 2010, rising to 20 percent by 2020. At present, renewable energy accounts for 4.5 percent of Britain's total energy, Brooks said.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) While entertainment is still the top use for digital product home users in Taiwan, more users see home security as one of the most important functions when buying digital products, according to the results of a survey released Wednesday.

Entertainment is the main reason users use digital products when they are home. When they are away from home, home security issues become the primary concern and they expect to constantly monitor home security with new digital technologies, according to the survey commissioned by the Office of Committee for Information Industry Development (OCIID) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The survey, which was conducted by the Topology Research Institute (TRI) and focused on identifying the needs of digital product home users in Taiwan, polled 500 users aged between 25 and 45 and conducted focus group interviews in the span of five months before releasing the final results.

"The results told us that home security and distance home care will be the future trends, " said TRI researcher Lo Wen-ying.

The top three products on users' wish list are Internet-connected televisions, smartphones/PDAs and home entertainment computers, the survey found.
It also found that brand has become the leading factor when users buy home digital products, as 31.1 percent of respondents said it was their No. 1 concern. Functionality was the No. 2 factor in the category at 28.7 percent.

Users in southern Taiwan were more willing to buy home digital products than people in northern and central Taiwan, according to the survey results.

TRI Vice President Huang Li said mobile phones are expected to be the main device for people to monitor home security and control home equipment in the future.


Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) A U.S. FBI program combining the efforts of government agencies, academia and the private sector can be an example for Taiwan in fighting cyber crime, representatives from law enforcement agencies said Tuesday.

Representatives in Taipei and Kaohsiung attended an 80-minute digital video conference in which FBI Cyber Division Deputy Assistant Director Raul Rolden discussed cyber crime issues with panelists from the two cities.

Rolden found out after his brief on cyber crime basics that his audience were most interested in the "InfraGard" program, which Taiwan badly needs, according to the attendees.

InfraGard, which began in 1996, is a partnership between the FBI, the private sector, academic institutions, and state and local law enforcement agencies, Rolden said.

It is an information sharing system and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members, he said. InfraGard currently has more than 15,000 members.

Rolden said InfraGard can be described as an FBI outsourcing program that "lets companies bring in the information, analyze it...and identify the crime" because the expertise in the private sector is far more advanced than that of the FBI.

The FBI Fusion Center, which is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is able to tackle cyber crime with the help of the program and has received relative success, Rolden said.

Cyber criminals are very creative and can even be called "innovators, " Rolden noted.

The conference, titled "Emerging Cyber Crime Trends and Enforcement Approaches, " was hosted by the American Institute in Taiwan.


Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) Partisan politics should not hinder the development of regional and inter-city integration, two senior executive officials said Tuesday in Taipei.

Not until the 3-in-1 local elections last year, when the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) swept almost every mayoral and magistrate election in northern Taiwan, was northern Taiwan regional integration possible, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou claimed in a forum focused on the integration of northern Taiwan cities.

Ma said the plan to bring Taipei City and Taipei County into joint collaboration was stalemated prior to 2005, as Taipei County was governed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), while Taipei City was under the KMT.

Local development should be a non-partisan effort, Taoyuan Magistrate Eric Chu said.

Chu urged the central government to take note of the global trend of decentralization, which he claimed was the key factor behind China's rapid economic development.

Local governments will benefit a lot, Chu said, if the central government reviews the effectiveness and fairness of the distribution regulations for centrally allotted tax revenues.

Taipei City receives a large proportion of tax revenues, which is unfair to most local governments, Chu added.


Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) An organization of eight northern Taiwan cities is pursuing greater development through regional cooperation and initiated a dialogue with cross-strait counterparts in a forum Tuesday.

Led by Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, the Northern Taiwan Development Commission (NTDC) held two panel discussions on metropolis integration with representatives from the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Nanking and Suzou.

The NTDC was initiated by Taipei City in 1998, established in 2004 and consists of Taipei City, Taipei County, Keelung City, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, Miaoli County and Yilan County.

"Facing the competition of globalization, no city can afford to think about itself only. Only an integrated metropolitan economy will be able to embrace the challenges of the future," Ma said.

The discussions reviewed cases surrounding the integration of China's Yangtze River Delta, which comprises 16 cities, and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) in the U.S. state of California.

The Yangtze River Delta integration began in 1996 with 15 cities and later expanded to 16, said Lin Xiang, director of Shanghai's Office for Cooperation and Exchange Affairs.

After 10 years of hard work, the region -- which takes up one percent of China's territory and six percent of its population -- now accounts for a quarter of annual national revenues and is one of China's fastest growing regions, Lin added.

The NTDC hopes for similar results through regional collaboration and believes Northern Taiwan is capable of achieving that goal.

Northern Taiwan has become the most important region in the nation, Ma said, noting it boasts global marketshares of more than 70 percent of laptop computers and more than 30 percent of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.


Taipei, Nov. 28 (CNA) The annual Information Technology Month (IT Month) will be in Taipei Dec. 2-10 on the first of four stops around Taiwan, organizers said Monday.

Cheap computers and accessories probably come to mind when average consumers think about IT Month -- one of Taiwan's largest IT-related events -- but there's more to it than that this year, organizers said.

In addition to computers and electronic gadgets, the event will focus on the theme of "Embrace the digital life," displaying all the latest technology and hardware that will shape the future "digital home," and held in Exhibition Hall I and III of the Taipei World Trade Center.

The month-long fair, which last year registered more than 720,000 visitors in Taipei alone, will then go south for shows in Taichung Dec. 15-20, Tainan Dec. 28-Jan. 2 and Kaohsiung Jan. 11-16, 2007.

Various technologies, such as 64-bit dual core computing and global positioning system (GPS) applications -- as well as the latest mobile phones and mobile computer trends -- will be showcased in a Digital Life theme pavilion to give a glimpse of what the future digital home will be like.

While away from home, people will be able to monitor almost every piece of household electronic equipment with mobile phones and enjoy a home multimedia center featuring high-definition audio and video, organizers said in the preview of the fair.

A new type of "mobile computer," which is similiar to the combination of a Personal Data Assistant (PDA) and a laptop computer, is also expected to be one of the future "killer applications," organizers said.

IT Month was organized by the IT Month Event Committee, which consists of computer associations throughout Taiwan.


Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) An exhibition that is part of the upcoming Information Technology Month (IT month) will showcase Taiwan's achievements in an e-Government campaign, organizers said Monday.

In addition to hundreds of IT company booths, a special exhibition area will also feature the work of more than ten government agencies, as part of the e-Government campaign initiated ten years ago by the Executive Yuan's Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission.

In global rankings, Taiwan has been doing quite well in the past three years. In a global e-Government performance survey conducted on 198 countries by Brown University in the United States, Taiwan ranked No.1, No.1 and No.2 respectively in 2004-2006.

Participating government agencies include the Ministry of Economic Affair's Bureau of Foreign Trade, Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Industrial Development Bureau, Council of Cultural Affairs, National Science and Technology Program of e-Learning, and the National Palace Museum, among others.

Taiwan's government established a unified Web site in 2001 to provide the public with links to all government Web sites, allow rapid searches for all information on government agency Web pages and allow the public to communicate their opinions to the government via the Internet.

Also, the government directed all agencies to actively promote online public services to cover their areas of authority.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) Taiwan should empower its people with more international knowledge so that they can be more "outward looking" instead of "inward looking, " a professor said Saturday in a seminar.

"There is more in this world than the Taiwan Strait and the relations among Taiwan, China and the U.S., " said Chang Hsi-mo, a professor at National Sun Yet-sen University, in a seminar focusing on the topic of international terrorism.

The seminar was a part of the launching ceremony for Chang's new book, titled "The Global War on Terrorism."

"Few people in Taiwan care about the global war on terrorism, " Chang lamented, adding that this is just another example of the fact that Taiwan people are indifferent to global affairs.

"The more we understand the world, the better we can see where we are at and where we are going," he added.

Chang further said that people in Taiwan should not only reach out to the world more, they should also pay attention to the way they see the world.

"Most of the times, we have too many opinions and not enough facts in Taiwan. People rush to make judgement instead of contemplating the subtler issues behind news events, " Chang said.

"For example, how do we define an 'extremist'? How do we define a 'terrorist'? Are all Muslims extremists and terrorists? Obviously not. But you seldom read insightful reports in newspapers in Taiwan on such topics," he said.

"Too many times, Taiwan people take a judgement as a reality, " Chang said.


Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) While international terrorism is not an issue on the minds of most of Taiwan's people, Taiwan can play an important role in the "global war on terrorism, " an official said Saturday.

"Taiwan should never underestimate itself, because it can play an important role in the global war on terror, " said Kuo Lin-wu, director of Executive Yuan's Counter Terrorism Office, in a seminar on international terrorism.

Taiwan has thousands of active and competitive small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) , Kuo said. This fact, coupled with the country's top machinery manufacturing and regional distribution capabilities in the Asia Pacific region, means that Taiwan could easily be exploited by terrorists, he said.

This is why Taiwan can play a big part in the war on terrorism and in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he noted.

And Taiwan should find its place in the global campaign because, contrary to what most Taiwan people think, Taiwan's national security is already threatened by international terrorism, which is spreading through the "globalized network, " Kuo added.

At the same time, Taiwan can learn a lot from taking part in the anti-terrorism campaign. As countries all over the world strengthen their crisis management mechanisms, Taiwan will be able to learn from others' experiences, Kuo said.

Taiwan can even explore new business opportunities in the anti-terrorism process, he said.

"Taiwan will have opportunities to leverage its technology competitiveness and get involved in various homeland security-related industries, " Kuo said.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) Taiwan businesses can be successful in Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan if they conduct in-depth market analysis and manage to find niche markets in the region, academics said at an international forum Friday.

With Taiwan's expertise in agricultural technology and competitiveness in the food-processing industry, businesses in these sectors should seriously consider investing in Central Asia, said Nuraniye Ekram, a researcher at the Turkey National Security and Strategic Institute, Pacific Asia Laboratory.

Ekram made the suggestion in her comments on a thesis by Sophie Huang, titled "Analysis on Kazakhstan food processing industry 2000-2003," at the annual Taiwan-Central Asia Forum, which was held in Chungli, Taoyuan County.

After breaking away from the former Soviet Union in 1991, the average annual salary of Kazakhs has been increasing because of an open economy. And Kazakhs spend more than half of their salaries on food expenses, Huang wrote in the thesis.

However, 80 percent of daily commodities in Kazakhstan still rely on imported products, which makes the food-processing industry a niche market for foreign countries, Huang wrote.

But Taiwan businesses should take note of a couple of things before rushing into Central Asia, Ekrams warned.

They will have to face the first challenge in language. In Kazakhstan, most people communicate with Russian, not English, she said.

Secondly, foreign businesses should understand the eating habits of Muslims, a religion shared by up to 70 percent of the population in Central Asia.

Taiwan businesses are also advised to make an in-depth analysis of Central Asian markets before making investments, as local markets for processed food in Central Asia have been dominated by countries such as the U.S., Turkey and China, Huang said.

If Taiwan businesses manage to meet these challenges, they are looking at a potential market of 56 million people, Ekram said.


Taipei, Nov. 23 (CNA) Taiwan should pay more attention to Central Asia, a region with great business potential and a massive political impact, academics said in a two-day international forum Thursday.

With a population of 56 million and an open economic system since breaking away from the former Soviet Union in 1991, Central Asia is looking at an output value of US$10 trillion in the next 10 years, forum President Fu Jen-kun said at the sixth Taiwan-Central Asia Forum that opened that day at Ching Yun University in Taoyuan County.

Central Asia, which consists of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikstan, is also rich in natural resources such as oil and natural gas -- another reason Taiwan must not ignore the potential in the region, said Fu.

It is probably hard for Taiwan to establish closer political ties with the countries of Central Asia due to the influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization -- an intergovernmental

organization founded in 2001 by China and the five Central Asia countries, but Taiwan must find another way to boost relations with the region, such as sharing agriculture experience, technology and expertise, said Taipei Agriculture Product Marketing Company Director Chang Yong-fang.

Taiwan needs to be involved with Central Asia affairs and expand its knowledge of the region if it wants to establish better ties with the region, Fu said.

The two-day forum has gathered government officials, academics and industry leaders from Taiwan and Central Asia.


Taipei, Nov. 23 (CNA) A two-day annual international forum focused on Central Asia issues opened Thursday in Chungli, Taoyuan County, gathering government officials, academics and industry leaders from Taiwan and Central Asian countries.

Central Asia, which today comprises the independent republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, will be a region of global strategic influence in the future with its rich natural resources, said Fu Jen-kun, president of the sixth Taiwan-Central Asia Forum.

"Taiwan cannot afford to overlook the massive potential of the region, business-wise or politics-wise, although we know too little about it, " said Fu, who also serves as director of the Graduate Institute of Central Asia Studies at Ching Yun University (CYU), the main organizer.

"When we discuss Central Asia, the impact of its neighbors -- Russia and China -- can never be ignored," Fu also noted.

The forum consists of nine panel discussions on an array of topics about Central Asia, especially Kazakhstan.

A total of 29 theses are to be presented at the forum on topics such as the Eastern Turkistan issue, the security challenges of relations between China and Kazakhstan, the situation in the Caspian Sea area, the energy competition of the great powers in Central Asia, and China's maneuvering in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Foreign attendees who shared their views with local academics on the first day included CYU Assistant Professor Erkin Ekrem, Kazakhstan Agriculture Research Center researcher Larissa Geronina, Institute for Comparative Central Asia Studies researcher Nicolay Dombrovsky, Energy Integrated Enterprise General Executive Chary Ernepesov of Turkmenistan and Jenishbek Junushaliev, an academic at the National Kyrgyz Academy of Science.


Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) Located in the heart of Taipei City, the long-awaited Huashan Culture Park will begin operations next June, the Council of Cultural Affairs (CCA) announced in a press conference Wednesday.

The culture park, which went through four years of planning and the tenure of three CCA chairmen, includes an experimental film zone, an area to host a variety of creative cultural activities and exhibitions and a building as a "flagship base" for Taiwan's creative industry, said CCA chairman Chiu Kun-liang.

Public expectations are high for the project. Looking back, it's been a long and winding road since 1998, when a group of cultural workers urged the government to turn the old brewery dating back to 1916 into a culture park, Chiu said.

In 2002, the massive property -- located on Zhongxiao East Road, one of Taipei's busiest streets -- was designated as one of Taiwan's five culture parks. However, little progress has been made since then as public debate has heated up on the park's planning.

Starting June 2007, the culture park is expected to be "a showroom" for all kinds of exhibitions and activities and cross-over artforms, and for all ages, Chiu said, adding that the park will benefit creative and cultural industries as well as non-profit organizations.

The park is an ideal place to host cultural and artistic events because of its location and historical setting, said Liu Wei-gong, a Soochow University professor who was responsible for Huashan Culture Park's research plan.

Taiwan's cultural and creative industry has been rich in producing content while lacking an integrated platform and collective efforts. The industry is currently in fierce competition with China, which has been catching up, Chiu said.

"It's time for Taiwan to move forward and speed up," he said. "Hopefully, with the operation of the Huashan Culture Park and similar projects, Taiwan can establish a network for the cultural and creative industry and increase its global competitiveness," said Chiu.


Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) Culture parks will increase Taiwan's national competitiveness and take its cultural and creative industries to a higher level, just as the creation of science parks throughout the country did in the 1970s, a sociology professor said Wednesday.

"The impact and influence of science parks was one of the most important driving forces behind Taiwan's 'economical miracle' in the 1970s. And that is what culture parks can do for Taiwan," said Liu Wei-gong, a professor at Soochow University, at a press conference that announced Huashan Culture Park (HCP) will begin operation next June.

The cultural and creative industry, one of the most important sectors in a knowledge-based economy, will be Taiwan's pilot industry in the future, given the country's wealth in creative content production, Liu said.

As a strategic alliance -- also called cross-field "mesh up" and considered one of the industry's most important characteristics -- the HCP's departments are not categorized by sector but by type of product, Liu said.

The park's six departments include image development, entertainment development, exhibition and sales development, marketplace development, performance development and cultural/creative education development.

Liu believes Taiwan has the potential to become the leader among Asian nations in terms of cultural and creative industries -- with collective and concentrated efforts.

"Taiwan has long been known for its creative ideas and content. In recent years, however, it has lacked pragmatic action. And that is what Taiwan needs right now, with this project coming up," Liu said.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 15 (CNA) The United States is still the No.1 destination for Taiwanese students studying abroad, but it is facing an increasing challenge to recruit more Taiwanese students, U.S. officials and a group of Taiwanese professors said Wednesday.

According to Open Door 2006, an annual report on international academic mobility published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), 27,876 Taiwanese students are currently studying in the U.S., which is the highest number in four years and an eight percent increase from the previous year.

Although the U.S. education system is widely considered the best in the world, many countries such as Australia and the U.K. are challenging the U.S. in the "international students market, " noted Leung Yanwing, deputy director of the Center for International Academic Exchanges, National Taiwan University (NTU) in a digital videoconference organized by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

Officials from the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. and university representatives in Boston and Taipei all discussed by videoconference the challenges of international exchanges in Taiwan.

"Taiwanese students are looking for a more diversified exchange program," Leung said, adding that today's students are more affluent than in the past and thus have more options available to them.

And many more students are choosing local graduate programs -- which have been rapidly increasing in number in recent years -- for the cheaper tuition, said Leung. In addition, it usually takes only one year in the U.K. to receive a master's degree.

"These factors probably explain why we have seen less NTU graduates pursuing master's degrees in the U.S.," Leung said.

However, the U.S. is still confident that the quality of its education and support system will win out because Taiwan is currently the sixth largest group among foreign students, said IIE deputy executive director Jack Bailey.

Dorothy Mora, senior program officer of the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, admitted that the U.S. is facing tougher challenges from other countries but noted it is "more of a global trend" in diversification.

A common misconception, she claimed, was that the U.S. has been rejecting more student visa applications after the 911 terrorist incident in 2001. In fact, the U.S. "market share" of international students, which was as high as 37 percent in 1995, has been consistently decreasing in the last decade, she said.


Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) Organizers and government officials officially launched Tuesday in Taipei the final 10-day countdown to the 2006 Taipei TV and Film Festival (TTF) , the largest TV and film festival in Asia.

The annual festival, which will be held Nov. 23-25, includes three major events -- the Taipei International TV, Film and Digital Contents Exhibition (TFCOM) , the Taipei International Digital TV, Broadcasting and Film Forum and the Taiwan Film and TV Project Promotion.

"In only its third year, the festival has surpassed three major TV festivals in China and established a leading position in Asia, " said Lai Kuo-chou, chairman and CEO of Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV), the main organizer.

There will be more than 650 booths set up by 75 companies from 10 countries at the TFCOM, which will be held Nov. 23-25 at the Taipei World Trade Center, Lai said. The trade show includes an export-oriented B2B area and a premiere domestic show (B2C area).

The B2B area presents prospect-packed categories such as TV, film and digital content licensing, audiovisual products, publications, animation, post production and other A/V related equipment. Leading foreign companies such as FUJI, NHK, KBS, National Geographic and Discovery will participate in the show, as well as local companies such as TVBS, SETN and CTS.

Licensing deals signed this year are expected to surpass NT$157.5 million (US$4.5 million) , up from last year's US$3.5 million, according to Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Cheng Wen-tsang.

The International Digital TV, Broadcasting and Film Forum will take place Nov. 23, gathering together industry leaders, experts, researchers and government officials to share their creative ideas.

The international Film and TV Project Promotion, which encourages creative projects from all over the world, will be held Nov. 24-25. The winner of the best project will be awarded an NT$1 million incentive payment.

The festival has been integrated by the GIO with the Golden Horse Awards and the Golden Bell Awards, into the Taiwan International Film and TV Expo, which runs Nov. 8-25.


Taipei, Nov. 14 (CNA) Post-disaster recovery has been a learning process for every country, so sharing experience in emergency preparedness is key, international experts said Tuesday in a workshop.

Countries throughout the world have made mitigation of natural disasters and maintaining social stability a top priority after a series of natural disasters in recent years, said Vice Premier Tsai Ing-wen at the opening ceremony of the International Workshop on Disaster Recovery and Rescue.

Taiwan has a lot to share -- as well as learn from the experience of other countries -- after its own experience of the 921 Chi-chi earthquake in 1999, when it began the process of building its own process for post-disaster recovery from scratch, Tsai added.

Experts from eight countries -- including Finland, France, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Italy, the U.S. and Taiwan -- will discuss post-disaster recovery experiences for several events -- the South Asia tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. in 2005 and earthquakes in Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Niigata-Chuetsu, Japan.

In a speech, former education minister Huang Jung-tsun, who now serves as president of China Medical University, made several observations concerning the post-921 earthquake recovery process.

After the disaster occurred, the government and disaster relief agency had to learn to make snap decisions in a situation of uncertainty, Huang said. Taiwan has learned other valuable lessons along the way.

Looking back, he said, a special budget with an emphasis on housing and better management of donations were needed. Also, policy should be improved for more effective emergency response efforts, he said.

Governments should also pay attention to post-disaster psychosocial assistance and services, said Veli-Pekka Ihamaki, who works for the Department for Rescue Services in Espoo District, Finland. Ihamaki added that today, new forms of media -- such as blogs, Web sites, online discussion forums, email, SMS texting -- should be integrated in the rescue and recovery system.

The two-day international workshop was co-organized by the National Disaster Prevention and Protection Commission and the National Rescue Command Center.

The philanthropic Tsu Chi Foundation, which has devoted itself to carrying out many rescue and recovery efforts after the 921 earthquake and South Asia tsunami, will also share its experience with global experts at the workshop.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) School is the best place to teach children the importance of healthy lifestyle habits, making the idea of "health-promoting schools" (HPS) a global trend right now, a group of health experts said Monday.

Health promotion at school is one of the most effective ways for children to learn about making the right choices, said Carmen Aldinger, project director of Health and Human Development Global Programs at the U.S. Education Development Center, during the opening ceremony of the first Asia-Pacific International Conference on HPS.

The concept of promoting public health has undergone dramatic changes since the World Health Organization's (WHO) declaration in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1997, said Hsiao Mei-ling, director of the Bureau of Health Promotion under the Department of Health (DOH).

The focus shifted from promoting personal health to a "setting approach," such as health-promoting activities in schools, offices and communities, Hsiao said.

Taiwan is doing well in this regard, she said, as the Ministry of Education began to push for the HPS program in 2001 and later began cooperating with the DOH. The number of health-promoting schools in Taiwan went from 48 in 2004 to 318 in 2005, then 516 in 2006.

The HPS program seeks to establish a network to share health education resources on issues such as school health policy, health services, personal health skills, the campus physical environment and building community relationships.

The conference is being held in Taipei Nov. 13- 16 with the objectives of presenting results from implementing the HPS model in Taiwan and sharing and exchanging experiences on developing HPS.

Local experts have been invited to participate in the 4-day symposium, as well as experts from the U.S., Japan, Australia and Singapore.


Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) To promote international education and exchanges, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is hosting an International Education Week Nov. 13-17 involving current U.S. Fulbright scholars and recent graduates of U.S. universities.

"AIT and EducationUSA Taiwan team are celebrating International Education Week with activities across Taiwan. Taiwan students clearly appreciate the importance of U.S. education to their careers," said AIT American Cultural Center director Nicholas Papp.

The number of Taiwanese students studying in the U.S. has increased in recent years after a down period in 2001. According to Ministry of Education statistics, 15,525 Taiwanese students received U.S. student visas in 2005 -- the highest number since 2000, and a 36 percent increase from the previous year.

Highlights of the event include a videoconference featuring Taiwan's deputy minister of Education Lu Mu-ling and U.S. Department of State Academic Specialist for East Asia Dorothy Mora, and student-centered programs focused on studying abroad in the U.S., said Papp.

In 2004-2005, Taiwan ranked sixth in the number of foreign students studying in the U.S., behind India, China, Japan, South Korea and Canada, statistics from the American International Education Foundation showed.


Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) More than 50 foreigners currently studying Chinese in Taipei related stories about their life and experiences in Taiwan in a Mandarin speech contest that took place Saturday.

Twenty-nine South Koreans dominated the field of the annual speech contest for foreigners organized by a local Rotary Club, in which all contestants deliver a five-minute speech on a wide choice of topics, in either Mandarin or Taiwanese.

Most participants chose to speak about why they wanted to learn Chinese in Taiwan over other topics, such as the beautiful and ugly side of Taipei or an introduction of their best friends in Taiwan.

Diana Hsu, a second-generation Taiwanese from Los Angeles and one of the few contestants to speak in Taiwanese instead of Mandarin, said she had decided to study Chinese while in Spain.

"There was no one [in Spain] who thought I was an American because I looked so Asian," she said, adding that it was then that she knew it was time to "trace her roots."

"I came to Taiwan with the hope of becoming a Chinese translator back home someday," said Junawan Then, an Indonesian contestant.

"The friendliness and passion of Taiwanese people really helped me a lot in adjusting to a new environment and language," said Ignatius Edhi Khar, who is also from Indonesia.

Jovanovie Wiwana, who formerly worked for the Slovenian Embassy in China, said she enjoyed life and Chinese classes in Taiwan more, and would like to see more exchanges between Taiwan and her native Slovenia.

For those who have been in Taiwan for some time, they were able to do more than speak Chinese.

Kanaya Hiroshi, a Japanese who has lived in Taiwan more than three years, said he had learned from one of his Taiwanese classmates a deep appreciation for "Taike culture," -- a term usually used to describe the profound spirit and culture of Taiwan.

Participants from other countries included the United States, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, Germany and Russia.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) The U.S. state of Louisiana has enjoyed friendship with Taiwan for almost 20 years, but bilateral ties could be strengthened with more business partnerships, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said Thursday in Taipei.

"We're here to build friendships and partnerships, " Blanco said in an investment opportunity seminar that was a major part of her Nov. 7- 9 visit.

Blanco, who is leading a 10-member delegation, encouraged Taiwanese businessmen attending the seminar to invest in the "Gulf Opportunity Zone" (GO Zone) -- the area that was hard-hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita and is now the target of a major rebuilding effort.

Louisiana established a trade office in Taiwan in 1989 and has attracted many Taiwanese investors since then, including Formosa Plastics Corporation.

Blanco expressed her gratitude toward the "outpouring of help" from Taiwan, referring to a US$2 million donation, as well as medical and school supplies, donated to Louisiana in the wake of the hurricanes.

Louisiana is in the midst of the largest recovery in the U.S. history, with an estimated US$50 billion to be invested there, Blanco told about 100 businessmen who attended the seminar.

With GO Zone offering federal and state tax incentives and help from state and local governments, the investment opportunities for Taiwan businesses are "unprecedented, " she said.

The state also plans to expand academic exchanges with Taiwan to make Louisiana the destination for more Taiwanese students wishing to study abroad, she added.

Taiwan is the last stop of a two-week economic mission to Asia, during which Blanco has also visited Japan, China and Hong Kong.


Taipei, Nov. 9 (CNA) The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, regarded as one of the best in the world, will stage two concerts in Taiwan Nov. 10 and Nov. 11, organizers said Thursday.

The Russian orchestra, led by conductor Yuri Temirkanov and consisting of 120 musicians, will perform at the National Concert Hall on its fourth visit to Taiwan.

All proceeds of the Nov. 10 concert will be donated to the Sacred Heart Home, an institution located in Chiayi County dedicated to caring for people who are severely mentally or physically challenged.

The concerts are being sponsored by the Wan Hai Charity Foundation and the Powerchip Semiconductor Corp. Cultural Foundation.


Taipei, Nov. 8 (CNA) Participants from 15 countries and regions walked away from an international meeting in Taipei Wednesday confident of establishing a global e-commerce trustmark alliance in the future.

The initiative that seeks to establish a global online consumer protection network -- "Trustmark Alliance" (TA) -- gathered 30 self-regulatory organizations in the one-day meeting, which was co-sponsored by Asia Trustmark Alliance (ATA) and Taiwan-based Secure Online Shopping Association (SOSA).

To win the confidence of online consumers, the meeting concluded that merchants and organizations need to establish a trustmark or label, an alternative dispute resolution, a privacy protection mechanism and an international collaboration to ensure cross-border online transaction safety.

Governments and law-enforcement agencies should also play important roles in resolving online transaction disputes, meeting participants said.

Participating organizations came from Asia, Europe and America. Among them were BBB Online from the U.S., ECNetwork from Japan, the Korea Institute for Electronic Commerce, TrustSG from Singapore, Certifida from Switzerland, and representatives from Thailand, Germany, and the European Commission.


Taipei, Nov. 8 (CNA) A British railway expert advised Taiwan to step up investment in the railway industry and regain public confidence for the most environmentally friendly form of travel.

"It's good for the people of Taiwan, the economy, and the environment -- the three pillars of railway development," said Len Porter, chief executive of Rail Safety and Standards Board Limited (RSSB), in an interview Wednesday with the CNA. The interview was held on the eve of a seminar entitled "Managing the Safety of Railway Assets and People," to be held Nov. 9 in Taipei.

Overall, the railways are far more environmentally friendly than any other form of transport except for bicycles, Porter said, adding that Taiwan's government should invest more in railway development at this key juncture -- when environmental and energy issues have become the focus of global concern.

Taiwan should be devoting itself to engaging in more railway activities such as establishing railway lines for mass-rapid transportation (MRT) in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung, and a high-speed railway, said Jeremy Candfield, director-general of the U.K. Railway Industry Association.

In fact, increased railway investment was a key factor that helped London win the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, Candfield noted.

The British railway industry, like Taiwan's, had also taken "hits" in the mid 1990s, experiencing a stable decline in the number of railway passengers, he said.

The industry embarked upon a major restructuring plan after a major railway accident in 1999, when the RSSB was established, Porter said.

The industry body spent a lot of time identifying the principle risks in the infrastructure, Porter said, and tried to reduce those risks by improving maintenance, sorting out responsibility and accountability, producing and providing as much information as possible to regain the confidence of British citizens.

The efforts have paid dividends, he said; in three of the last five years there has been no single passenger killed or injured in the U.K.

"You can never say there is no risk [in railway transportation]. And you can never say a railway is totally safe," Porter said.

However, by reducing risks in the network, railway transportation can still become an important part of everyone's daily life -- even in Taiwan, he said.


Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) Riding on the success of previous efforts, Taiwan will once again leverage its advantage in information and communication (ICT) technology at the upcoming informal leadership meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, a government official said Tuesday.

Taiwan will submit an initiative titled the "2006 APEC Cultural Digital Archive Sharing Program" at the summit, which will be held in Hanoi from Nov. 18-19, said John Chen, director- general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of International Organizations.

The objective of the initiative is to help APEC members preserve their cultural assets with Taiwan's advantage in the ICT sector and experience in cultural assets preservation, Chen said.

The campaign is the third consecutive initiative Taiwan will have submitted at an APEC summit, following the "APEC Digital Opportunity Center (ADOC) " in 2003 and the "ADOC plus OVOP (One Village, One Product)" in 2005.

The technology-based initiatives make President Chen Shui-bian's appointment of Morris Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), as Taiwan's APEC representative very reasonable and appropriate, he noted.

To some extent, Taiwan has changed its strategy on its APEC participation after clashing with China on different occasions over the years, Chen said.

APEC was established as an organization that focuses on economy and technology issues, although it has expanded to include other discussions. Taiwan has been concentrated on the economy and technology issues, trying to facilitate regional cooperation and assist other members of the international community, he said.

Since 2003, six ADOC offices have been set up in APEC countries such as Chile, Vietnam, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, with help from Taiwan. The OVOP initiative last year also won praise from APEC members.

"Taiwan has been trying to help its international friends to cross the digital divide into digital opportunities. We believe this is another way to win support and friendship, " Chen said.


Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) For the first time, an international forum on e-commerce will be held in Taipei that will have a stake in determining the future direction of global e-commerce develepment, organizers said Tuesday.

The Global Business Dialogue on e-commerce (GBDe) will be a two-day forum Nov. 9-10 and attended by over 200 e-commerce business leaders, company representatives and government officials from around the world.

"The new age of global e-commerce has arrived and e-commerce will be integrated very soon into our daily activities. And if Taiwan works hard enough in the field, it will be able to play an important role in Asian and global e-commerce, " said GDBe overall chair Ho Chen-tan, who serves as president and CEO of Chunghwa Telecom, the event's main organizer.

Topics to be discussed include the rise of ubiquitous network security, cyber-security threats and countermeasures, the impact of next generation networks, creating a cross-border market, winning the confidence of consumers and the rise of mega media digital content.

Chunghwa Telecom, a key member in the GBDe working group on international micro-payment, demonstrated how it has successfully worked with partners in China and South Korea to develop a cross-border platform and micro-payment measures allowing users to view and download digital content, such as movies, music and animation.

"With secured online verification, consumers can access the payment system by mobile phones, fixed line phones or the Internet, " Ho said.

Technological development and global integration and cooperation will one day make e-commerce truly borderless, Ho said, adding that the mechanism of micro-payment will benefit non-credit card holders such as teenagers.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) Vice President Annette Lu urged overseas Taiwanese Monday to stand strong against China's united front tactics and to "keep the faith" regarding Taiwan's future.

China has disguised itself as a "peacefully rising" country and implemented numerous strategies to handle the cross-Strait issue, Lu said during an address at the annual meeting of the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission (OCAC).

Since the passage of an "anti-secession law" and rapid economic growth, China has been utilizing multi-faceted "united front" tactics in economic, cultural and religious exchanges to try to pursuade the people of Taiwan that China no longer poses a threat, she said.

But it neither stops repressing Taiwan in the international community nor building up its military capability, she added.

Fortunately, Taiwan has never lost its competitive edge. In recent years, it consistently ranks higher than China, Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries in most global competitiveness surveys.

Overseas Taiwanese play an important role in Taiwan's development, Lu stressed, adding that she hoped compatriots overseas can work together with the government and people of Taiwan to meet any challenges ahead.


Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) Almost two-thirds of Taiwanese teenagers said they wanted to learn more about money management, but they are not provided with such instruction in schools, a survey found.

While 64 percent of Taiwan's teens said they want to learn more about how to manage money, only three percent have received help from school teachers and professors, according to the result of a "Teens and Money" survey conducted by Citigroup.

The results, combined with a deteriorating credit crisis common among students, showed that an educational program in financial literacy is much needed, said Joyce Fang, a National Taiwan University professor.

Schools are not alone in this respect, as government agencies and banks have joined the collective effort. A three-year financial literacy campaign has been launched by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), said Gary Tseng, director general of the Banking Bureau.

Citigroup has also earmarked US$2 million for a worldwide financial literacy program, said Dara Duguay, director of Citigroup's Office of Financial Education.

"Teenagers are taught to make money, and they are pretty good at spending money -- obviously. However, no one is teaching them how to manage money," said Duguay.

The survey, which aimed to analyze the attitudes of Asian teenagers and young adults on money matters and personal finance, was conducted in Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, based on responses of 900 respondents aged between 15 to 18.

Teenagers in Taiwan receive the second highest weekly allowance, -- behind Hong Kong -- and 64 percent rely on their parents as the only source of money, the survey found.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) The ongoing 2006 Taipei International Travel Fair has provided representatives of foreign countries, such as Austria and India, with yet another opportunity to attract Taiwanese tourists to their countries.

Over the last three years, the number of Taiwanese tourists visiting Austria per year has doubled, from 30,000 in 2003 to roughly 60,000 in 2006, said Wolfram Moritz, Austrian trade delegate in Taiwan.

"Hopefully we can make it 100,000 per year very soon, " he said.

Travel trends in Taiwan have been changing, Moritz said, noting that fewer Taiwanese tourists visit Europe on multi-country package tours. "Tourists prefer one-stop travel so they can spend less time on transportation and more time on exploring the destination. According to our statistics, the average stay of Taiwanese tourists in Austria is now ten days."

The Austria Trade Delegation has tried to take advantage of the trend by promoting outdoor activities and special events this year, such as festivals celebrating the Austrian classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 250th birth anniversary, to attract more Taiwanese tourists, Moritz said.

Like Austria, Hong Kong has been going all out with its "2006 Discover Hong Kong Year" promotion campaign, but it has set a more conservative goal in terms of attracting Taiwanese tourists.

"The Hong Kong-Taiwan tourism market is a mature market as more than two million Taiwanese visited Hong Kong last year. It is hard to envision an explosive growth, " said Vivian Chan, senior marketing communications executive of the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

However, the number of Taiwanese visitors to Hong Kong for the first three quarters of 2006 still showed growth of 3 percent over the level for the same period a year earlier, she said.

"It's already a good result for a market like this, " she said.

India has also emerged as a popular destination for Taiwanese tourists, with the number of Taiwanese visiting India increasing 70 percent in the past year, said G. Venkataraman, East Asia regional director of Indiatourism.

With the increased bilateral exchanges between Taiwan and India and better infrastructure and travel arrangements in India, Ventakaraman said he believes more Taiwanese tourists will visit India in the future.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 3 (CNA) Taipei has been ranked as the fourth most livable Asian city out of eight contestants in a survey conducted among European Chambers around the Asia-Pacific region,the European Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (ECCT) announced Friday.

Kuala Lumpur came in as the best place to live with the highest overall quality of life, followed by Hong Kong and Manila, the survey conducted by ECCT over the course of the summer found after collecting 585 member replies from seven European Chambers in the region.

Shanghai/Beijing, Ho Chi Minh/Hanoi, Jakarta and Seoul rounded out the fifth to eighth spot, said Mike Jewell, senior director of Research Department, TNS -- a marketing research firm.

The survey asked respondents to rate the city they currently reside, on a one to five scale, in 53 individual aspects, such as personal safety, the range and quality of housing, emergency service and the quality of banking and air.

Thirty-six percent of ECCT members described living in Taipei as "excellent" or "very good", while Kuala Lumpur emerged on top at 68 percent.

While Taipei was ranked above average in most catogories, among them the educational facility and the availability and quality of internet services, its air quality surprisingly ranked the best among eight Asian cities.

However, Taipei scored below average in catogories such as the overall quality of medical services, housing and banking services.

Several cities, including Singapore, were not included in the survey due to insufficient samples.


Taipei, Nov. 3 (CNA) The government, media and people of Taiwan should be more active in participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum at all levels, professors said in a seminar focused on Taiwan's APEC participation Friday.

Taiwan should maximize its expertise in fields such as public health safety and information and communication technology (ICT) to make it an agenda-setter in APEC, Lin Cheng-yi, a professor at National Chengchi University, said two weeks before the annual APEC Summit, which will be held in Vietnam from Nov. 12- 20.

Local government involvement in APEC activities can also increased, said Wu Fu-sheng, deputy director of the Department of International Affairs of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.

Russia, which will host the APEC summit in 2012, is a good example for Taiwan, Wu said. Russia has been inviting local government officials to its APEC delegations since 1998, he noted.

Taiwan's media and the general public should also pay attention to more than just the special envoy appointed by the president because "APEC meetings means more than that to Taiwan, " Lin said.

"Most people don't realize that APEC is the only international organization in which Taiwan has full membership, " he claimed.

"In fact, APEC is the only multilateral platform for Taiwan in the international community, " said Michael Hsiao, executive director of Academia Sinica's Center for Asia-Pacific Studies.

Taiwan's APEC participation should "emphasize the essence instead of the appearance, " Hsiao said.


Taipei, Nov. 2 (CNA) A record-breaking number of exhibitors from 58 countries and an estimated 160,000 visitors will be attending the largest travel fair in Southeast Asia, as the Taipei International Travel Fair (ITF) marches into its 20th year.

More than 1,150 exhibition booths -- a 40 percent increase over last year -- have been set up for the annual Taipei ITF, which will be held Nov. 3- 6 at the Taipei World Trade Center Hall I.

National and local tourism bureaus, travel agencies, hotels and resorts, theme parks, private tourism enterprises and tourism-related organizations from 60 countries, including first-time participants from Iran, Kenya, Sweden and Tunisia, have registered to take part in the event.

China is the country with the most exhibitors, occupying 200 booths; second is Japan with 69 booths; Malaysia ranks third with 20 booths; followed by Korea (13), Hong Kong (12), Macau (11), Australia (10), Thailand (8) and Singapore (8).

The number of local exhibitors also showed a 78-percent increase over last year, suggesting the tourism market's potential in Taiwan has risen again as Taiwan's economy recovers, said Stanley Yen, chairman of the Taipei ITF Organizing Committee.

The event also pays attention to the rising market for "accessible tourism," also known as wheelchair travel or disability travel, in one of its themed pavilions, Yen said.

The Taipei ITF has been witnessing Taiwan's development since 1987, when the first ITF was held, as Taiwan went from an inbound market to an outbound market in tourism, Yen said.

There were only 800,000 outbound travelers and 1.6 million visitors to Taiwan in 1987. In 2005, Taiwan had 8.2 million outbound travelers and 3.38 million visitors, Yen pointed out.

For the first time, organizers have selected 15 citizen journalists to cover the 4-day event in weblogs to encourage civil journalism and tourism literature.


Taipei, Nov. 2 (CNA) Museums should reposition themselves to keep up with the changing times and play new roles in society, participants in an international conference on museum management agreed Thursday.

"Unless museums can keep pace with socio-political change, they will never fulfill their potential, " said David Fleming, president of the International Committee of Management (INTERCOM) of the International Council of Museums, on the first of the three-day INTERCOM annual meeting.

"Museums in Taiwan have taken the first step in repositioning and branding themselves, " said Chiu Kun-liang, chairman of the Council of Cultural Affairs (CCA) , in his opening remarks at the conference that gathered over 250 museum managers from 16 countries.

Museums are no longer places to display tangible and intangible cultural assets only, but should be seen as social enterprises whose social value is pre-eminent, according to Fleming.

The National Palace Museum (NPM) , Taiwan's most prestigious museum, has been trying to do just that, said NPM Director Lin Mun-lee.

"Conventional museums no longer satisfy people's needs and museums in Taiwan, including the NPM, have been trying to re-think their roles and futures, " she said.

"A modern museum should be able to create an intimacy to the public with innovative values and a 'serve the people' attitude like the service sector, " she added.

The conference, with the principal theme of the new roles and missions of museums, will conclude Saturday after discussions on various issues such as the new social relevance of museums, different types and roles of museums, and the local, regional and national identities of museums.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Taipei, Nov. 1 (CNA) The Democratic Party will make gains in the upcoming mid-term elections in the United States, the only question is to what extent, an American scholar predicted Wednesday via videoconference with Taiwanese scholars.

"The Democrats will make a gain. The only problem is how much the magnitude will be, " said Thomas Schaller, a political science professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in a videoconference organized by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

The 2006 general elections in the U.S. -- also referred to as midterm elections -- will take place Nov. 7. Thirty-three of 100 Senate seats, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 36 of 50 state governorships are up for election.

With Iraq and the economy the two key issues in the campaign and the low approval ratings of U.S. president George W. Bush, a Republican, the election's outcome should be in favor of the opposing Democratic Party, Schaller said.

The election can be viewed as a referendum on Bush, whose performance rating in the polls has been hanging low at around 30-40 percent because of his questionable handling of Iraq.

The Democrats have a chance to regain control of the House and the Senate for the first time since 1994, he said.

Interestingly, the results of an unofficial poll conducted by the AIT at the videoconference -- which was held in Taipei and Kaohsiung and attended by about 70 Taiwanese professors and graduate students -- showed a different perspective.

The Republican Party garnered over 60 percent of the vote in Taipei and Kaohsiung, the poll found.

The result revealed the conventional thinking in Taiwan -- that the Republican Party is "more supportive of Taiwan in cross-strait relations," said Yu Pen-li, a professor at Tamkang University.

The Taiwanese perspective on U.S. politics has been probably one-sided, Yu said, adding the Taiwanese should learn more about different positions of U.S. political parties on issues such as stem-cell research, same-sex marriage and immigration.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) With Taiwan's incredible dance talent, Taipei can be the dance capital of the world if it wants to be, and corporates can be of great help along the way, the founder of a U.S. dance group said Tuesday.

"There is such incredible dance talent here on the world level. Taipei can be the dance capital if it wants to, but it needs to make investments, " said Jonathan Hollander, founder of Battery Dance Company (BDC).

"Maybe dance is a key for Taiwan to gain global recognition, " said Hollander, who founded BDC in 1976.

The New York-based group concludes a six-nation Asia tour, which has taken them to Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines and Taiwan in six weeks, with a performance Tuesday in Taipei.

Hollander and the BDC dancers conducted 11 master classes and workshops during their six-day stay in Taiwan.

Hollander has worked with dancers from Cloud Gate, Taiwan's most prestigious dance troupe, and some BDC dancers have worked with Shue Fang-yi, the first Taiwanese principle dancer in the Martha Graham Dance Troupe in New York.

Corporates can also be a great help and a bridge between arts groups and public institutions in a "triangular relationship, " Hollander told about 50 corporate representatives in a speech focused on corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Corporate involvement, both on the company and employee level, in the community and art groups not only helps employees with their networking, personal growth, self-esteem and companies with their corporate pride and image, but also helps those art groups in need of funding, he noted.

"It's important to have that mutual respect between the corporate sector and artists, " he said.


Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) Facing the enormous challenges of global warming and poverty, keep the faith and believe every little thing can help change the world, a British conservationist urged Monday in Taipei.

"Always think about your action, how it can affect people around you, the environment, nature and animals," Jane Goodall told hundreds of students in a topical speech entitled "Change the World."

In a two-hour forum moderated by Taichung City mayor Jason Hu, Goodall discussed a wide range of topics, including poverty, global warming, Africa and world peace, with another guest speaker, Lee Chi-tung, a Tsing Hua University professor.

The current situation regarding global warming and poverty may make people frustrated sometimes, but it is never too late to take the first step, Goodall said.

"Little things like riding a bicycle to work can make a difference. As we make more money, we can make greater changes through buying products such as organic food and energy-efficient cars," she said.

"We cannot just hope for the government and politicians to make changes. It's all up to us," she urged.

"Every single one of us can make a difference every single day," she said.

Goodall, a 72-year-old primatologist best known for decades of pioneering research on chimpanzees in Africa, has not forgotten her "babies."

"We are not the only beings with personalities and feelings. We share 99 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees," she said, adding that after years of research she came to realize that humans have to help themselves first, before saving chimpanzees.

Goodall is on her tenth visit to Taiwan to promote conservation awareness and the Roots and Shoots program, an educational program she established around the world in schools at all levels.

The forum was organized by Rotary International District 3520.


Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) The people of Taiwan should support a message on arms procurement that was delivered by United States official Stephen Young as it serves Taiwan's national interest, a pair of scholars said Monday in a press conference.

On Oct. 26, Stephen Young, the director of the American Insitute in Taiwan (AIT), urged Taiwan's legislature to pass a robust defense budget in its fall session, a message that should be supported by Taiwan's people, said Lee Ming-juin and Yu Wei-hsuan, both members of the pro-independence civil group Taiwan Society North.

"Compared with our Asian counterparts, Japan and South Korea, Taiwan's defense budget has been decreasing in recent years. It is against the global trend and hindering the U.S.' strategic plan in the Asia-Pacific region," said Lee, a professor at Huafan University.

If Taiwan does not raise its defense budget for this minimal requirement, the U.S.' line of defense in the first island chain of the Pacific Rim will have a large gap, Lee noted.

The U.S. offered to sell arms to Taiwan according to the Taiwan Relations Act, instead of "The Republic of China Relations Act," noted Yu, a professor at National Taiwan University.

"Which brings the uncertainty of Taiwan's status to the table," he said.

The U.S. has the right to be upset about the stalemate over the arms package in Taiwan's legislature, Yu said, as the U.S. military force could face casualties if Taiwan fails to defend itself in the event of a cross-strait conflict.

By opposing the robust defense budget and the arms sale, Taiwan will place its national security in China's hands, which could lead to a misjudgement by both the U.S. and China, Lee said.

"China could attack Taiwan relentlessly once it's capable of doing so. And the U.S. could interpret the case of arms procurement as Taiwan's willingness to accept unification and change its Taiwan policy accordingly," he said.


Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) An international conference on museum management will be held in Taipei and gather experts from around the world to discuss the new roles and missions of the institutions, organizers announced Monday.

The International Committee on Management (INTERCOM) 2006 Annual Meeting and Conference of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) will be held at the Taipei International Convention Center from Nov. 2-4, the Council of Cultural Affairs (CCA) announced at a press conference.

"The importance of Taiwan hosting the event has been underestimated because Taiwan is not even an ICOM member," said CCA vice chairman Wu Chin-fa.

Wu added this is only the second instance of an Asian country hosting the annual meeting, which shows ICOM is starting to pay attention to museums in Asia and regional issues in cultural assets preservation.

Museum experts from 11 countries -- such as Kenya, Indonesia and Nepal, among others -- will focus on the main theme of the conference: the new roles and missions of museums. Issues to be discussed include the new social relevance of museums, different types and roles of museums, and the local, regional and national
identity of museums.

A total of 40 theses by 24 scholars will be presented at the three-day conference, which Hsiao Tsung-huang, director of the National Taiwan Museum, described as "a great opportunity to open dialogue between Taiwan's museums and the world."

Established in 1946, ICOM is an international organization of museums and museum professionals that is committed to conservation, continuation and communication of the world's natural and cultural heritage.

It is also a non-governmental organization that maintains formal relations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 28 (CNA) A carnival-like parade of more than 500 participants masquerading as animals was held in Taipei Saturday to promote conservation awareness in Taiwan.

The presence of Jane Goodall, a well-known British conservationist, highlighted the 2006 Roots and Shoots Animal Parade.

"The parade tries to promote animal protection and conservation awareness through observation and understanding of animals in a celebration, instead of in the form of a protest, because it is targeted at children, " said Chen Meng-ke of the Jane Goodall Institute Taiwan, the event organizer.

In most cases, animal abuse results from a lack of understanding of what other people do or the stories behind the scenes, Goodall told hundreds of students in a speech after the parade.

The parade and speeches were a part of the Roots and Shoots program, an educational program established by Goodall to instill environmental and conservation awareness in the younger generation.

Goodall, 72, is a primatologist and anthropologist best-known for her 45-year study of chimpanzee social life. She is on her ninth visit to Taiwan.