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.


Taipei, Oct. 28 (CNA) Women journalists and writers from all over the world gathered in Taipei Saturday to discuss media in the Internet age in a two-day congress.

The 17th World Congress of the World Association of Women Journalists and Writers (AMMPE) will discuss the theme in four topical seminars: television and broadcasting, e-papers, print media and e-writing.

"The Internet has brought significant changes to the ways people send messages between people and countries. It makes communications more instant and more interactive. However, it also brings about certain dangers and blind spots, " said AMMPE International President Jennifer Shen, who is an anchorwoman of China Television Company (CTV).

AMMPE, a member of the non-government organizations of the United Nations, was incorporated by founder Gloria Salas de Calderon in Mexico in 1969.

International participants of the event came from Chile, Canada, Japan, Mexico and Hong Kong.

Topics to be discussed in the open seminars included Taiwan's media reforms and women's activism, Internet journalism in Latin America, how the print media copes with online fashions and trends and challenges, and opportunities of online reading.


Taipei, Oct. 28 (CNA) Vice President Annette Lu said in a speech Saturday to women journalists that the pubic have three rights, which she described "as the right to know, the right not to know, and the right not to be known."

Lu made the remarks in a keynote speech of the opening ceremony of the World Congress of World Association of Women Journalists and Writers in Taipei.

"The time has come for women to be in charge. Can women play an important role in media? Of course they can, " Lu said.

"But before that can happen, women have to be professional, independent. We have to be equipped with gender awareness and the courage to innovate and break through, " she said.

Lu, an important figure in the history of Taiwan's women's activism, also claimed that "world history has been written by men for thousands of years" because the word is spelled "his story."

It's time for women to write history as "her story, " she said.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) An ice hockey team that represents Taiwan but is comprised of Canadians has won three straight games in the Land of Smiles international ice hockey tournament in Thailand.

The Taiwan Typhoons are now one win away from the semifinal of the annual charity tournament, which is taking place in Bangkok Oct. 25- 29 and includes teams from Russia, Switzerland, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Shanghai.

Led by team captain Mark Paas, who is based in the central city Taichung, the team is made up of 14 Canadians living in Taiwan, where ice hockey is not at all popular.

The Typhoons play in the Chinese Taipei Ice Hockey League, a league of seven teams that launched its regular season's play last week in Taipei.


Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) Well-known British conservationist Jane Goodall is visiting Taiwan to promote ecological conservation awareness with a series of speeches and events, officials from the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) Taiwan said Friday.

Visiting Taiwan for the ninth time since 1996 for an eight-day tour from Oct. 26-Nov. 2, Goodall will deliver topical speeches in schools and various organizations, and will participate in the 2006 Roots and Shoots Animal Parade Oct. 28, along with local conservation and animal rescue groups such as Animals Taiwan, a charity group that specializes in combating the stray dog and cat problem through catch-neuter-release programs and animal adoptions.

The visit has special meaning for JGI Taiwan -- which was established in 1998 as the first JGI branch in Asia -- as the organization is approaching its 10th anniversary.

The United Nations "Messenger of Peace" will share her thoughts on environmental and conservation issues with students at all levels, making speeches at schools such as National Taiwan University and Chiayi Girls' Senior High School.

Goodall, 72, is a primatologist and anthropologist best-known for her 45-year study of chimpanzee social life. She established the institute bearing her name in 1977 in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.


Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Shoring up national defense will benefit Taiwan literally and figuratively, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei Office Director Stephen Young said in a press conference Thursday.

Urging Taiwan's legislature to pass a robust defense budget in the autumn session, Young said that by shoring up its defense, Taiwan can boost its self-confidence in a wide-range of cross-Taiwan Strait discussions and send a message to China at the same time.

"Taiwan cannot win its arms race with China, but it doesn't need to, " said Young, who took office in March to serve as the top U.S. representative in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries.

"Taiwan can just send the message that if China wants to attack Taiwan, Taiwan is able to defend itself... and China knows that the U.S. will respond if it attacks Taiwan, " he added.

In addition, defense is more efficient than offense, which is why Taiwan has to be smart in the weapons it buys, according to Young.

Responding to a media question about a cross-strait peace agreement, Young said he believes most political leaders in Taiwan intend to sign such an agreement with China but that "terms" will be the ultimate problem.


Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Taiwan should speed up normalizing economic relations with China to ensure its economic survival and future prosperity, the European Chamber of Commerce Taipei (ECCT) said Thursday in its annual Position Paper.

"With US$14.6 billion in investment, European business is the largest foreign investor in Taiwan and we have a keen interest in ensuring that Taiwan faces reality and secures its prosperity, " ECCT Chairman Ralf Scheller said in a press conference.

The position paper, titled "Facing Reality: Normalize Regional Economic Relations to Secure Taiwan's Prosperity, " claims that Taiwan's economy has not gained in competitiveness over the past year by making the necessary reforms that should have led to an economic transformation.

The ECCT, which represents over 600 members from 400 companies and organizations, is concerned that other economic areas in the region, including South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and China's Guangdong Province, have become more competitive through measures such as market liberalization and tax incentives.

Speeding up cross-strait business normalization is listed among the ECCT's 2006-2007 priority issues, which also include eliminating over-regulation, complying with World Trade Organization commitments, accelerating the development of the service industry and creating a favorable tax climate.

The paper expresses regret that recent domestic political turmoil and impasse has stifled economic reforms and cross-strait business normalization, while the most urgent and critical suggestions were side-stepped at the Conference for Sustainable Economic Development.

If Taiwan does not start normalizing its cross-strait economic relations soon, headquarters of European companies have indicated that they are not interested in further substantial investment in Taiwan, Scheller warned.


Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei Office Director Stephen Young said Thursday that it is important to build democratic institutions in Taiwan and he claimed that democracy has been one of Taiwan's greatest exports to China.

"It is important to build democracy institutions and values, such as rule of law, a responsible media, NGO activities, freedom of assembly and cooperative work within the government, " Young said, offering his view on recent political developments in Taiwan.

But overall, "Taiwan's democracy is doing just fine, " he said in his second press conference since he took office in March.

Citing the examples of recent political turmoil in Thailand and Hungary, the de facto U.S. ambassador said it is also important to avoid setbacks.

Not only Taiwan but also the U.S. is still learning about democracy, even though its democratic system has been established for over 200 years, he said.


Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei Office Director Stephen Young called Thursday for Taiwan's legislature to pass the defense budget and various arms procurement packages this autumn, in one of the strongest and clearest messages AIT has publicly expressed in years.

"Act now to pass the robust defense budget this fall. Don't do it for the United States. Do it for Taiwan, " Young said in his second public press conference since he took office in March.

Young returned from Washington in early October after meeting senior officials in the White House, State Department, Defense Department and Congress.

"As an indispensable partner of Taiwan, the U.S. needs to speak its mind, " Young said, claiming that the U.S. is the only country willing to help Taiwan with arms sales according to Taiwan's defensive needs.

Taiwan needs to pass the robust defense budget, which will increase from 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) this year to 3 percent in 2008, in the legislative session this autumn, he said.

The next concrete step is that the long-stalled arms procurement package "should pass through the Procedure Committee in the Legislative Yuan so an open debate can begin, " he said.

It has been five years since U.S. President George W. Bush approved the sale of the arms package to Taiwan in April 2001, Young said, adding that China has never stopped its military buildup during that period.

"The gap between Taiwan and China in terms of military capability has been growing, " he went on.

Young said that now is the best time to pass the arms bill and defense budget because the U.S. will be reviewing its commitments and policies after the presidential election in 2008 and a new administration takes office.

The U.S. wants to help Taiwan with its defense not to "alienate Taiwan and China" but in the belief that a stronger Taiwan will "allow Taiwan to discuss political issues with China without fear of threat or coercion, " he said.

The de facto U.S. ambassador said he has met with major political figures since returning from Washington. Prior to meeting opposition People First Party Chairman James Soong the previous day, he met with President Chen Shui-bian, Premier Su Tseng-chang, opposition Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, former President Lee Teng-hui, Defense Minister Lee Jye, Foreign Affairs Minister James Huang and
Legislative Speaker Wang jyng-ping.


Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Taiwan media's credibility is in jeopardy, dropping to a "trust rating" of only 1 percent among major business stakeholder groups, according to the results of an annual survey on Asia Pacific business stakeholders released Tuesday.

Alan VanderMolen, president of consulting and public relations firm Edelman Asia-Pacific, claimed of the finding in the Regional Stakeholder Study 2006 that "Taiwan media is in trouble."

The survey was based on interviews with 1,050 consumers, employees, investors, media members, government officials, non-government organization (NGO) workers and business executives -- the seven stakeholder groups -- in various countries including Taiwan, Japan, China, South Korea, India and Singapore. It polled 70 people in Taiwan.

The Taiwanese respondents gave the media only 1 percent in trust rating with regard to credibility. Government, NGOs and businesses -- the other institutions rated -- all received trust ratings of 11 percent.

The survey also found that the trust rating of local mainstream media in Taiwan is lower than foreign mainstream media, Web-based media, and even bloggers, VanderMolen said.

Only 3 percent of the respondents in Taiwan believe what the media prints about corporations, according to the survey results.

Among the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan's media credibility was ranked last, with Australia second from the bottom, the survey shows.


Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Businesses should move with the changing times and start paying attention to "people power" in terms of business communication, a consultant told European and American businessmen Tuesday.

Businesses in Taiwan should realize that the old business communication model of "pyramid of authority, " in which information is passed to the audience from experts, is no longer working today, said Alan VanderMolen, president of Edleman Asia-Pacific.

With today's sophisticated information technology, businesses should adopt a new "sphere of cross influence" model, in which institutions such as media, business, consumers, non-government organizations (NGOs) and government interact with each other, he said.

Especially in Taiwan, where media credibility has dropped to a new low point according to an annual survey conducted recently by Edelman and blogging familiarity and usage is very high, foreign businesses are encouraged to communicate through various channels.

The "Regional Stakeholder Study 2006" survey was based on interviews with 1,050 consumers, employees, investors, media members, government officials, NGOs and business executives -- the seven stakeholder groups -- in Taiwan, Japan, China, South Korea, India and Singapore, among other countries. It polled 70 people in Taiwan.

Citing the survey results, VanderMolen also noted the difficulties for businesses in hiring qualified employees in Taiwan, as 19 percent of the survey respondents in Taiwan listed employee development and benefits as the first thing they noticed that makes companies stand out.

"At the end of the day, products and services remain king, " he said.

But businesses also should hand "power to the people, " get employees engaged, apply multi-channel communication and pay attention to corporate social responsibility to operate smoothly in the Asia-Pacific region.


Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Due to a talent shortage and wage inflation, it has been hard for Taiwanese employers to find professional staff during the past six months, a human resources survey said Tuesday.

Twenty-two percent of Taiwanese employers who responded to the survey, which was conducted by Manpower Inc., said they would have hired more staff over the last six months if candidates had been available.

The survey also found that wage inflation caused 18 percent of Taiwanese employers to pay higher salaries for professional positions, which typically require a university degree, compared to the previous year.

"Taiwan was not alone, because this is a global phenomenon as companies have been paying higher wages to compete for professionals due to a global talent shortage, " said Dennis Lee, general manager of Manpower Taiwan.

The survey results show that sectors that have been most affected by the phenomenon are mining and construction, in which 27 percent of employers found it hard to hire permanent professionals, and the service sector, in which 24 percent of employers paid higher salaries as compared to a year ago.

Nearly 32,000 employers in 26 countries responded to the August survey.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) It is time to question the real facts behind Taiwan's "retrocession, " said a pro-independence civic group on the eve of Taiwan's 61st Retrocession Day, which falls on Oct. 25.

"The real retrocession did not begin on Oct. 25, 1945, when Japanese rule of Taiwan officially ended. In fact, the retrocession never happened, " said Chet Yang, secretary-general of the Taiwan Society.

Taiwan was never given back to the people of Taiwan because the Kuomintang (KMT) took over after Japan pulled and started yet another period of "colonial rule," Yang claimed.

True freedom was not restored in Taiwan until the late 1980's, when the world's longest period of martial law was finally lifted and people's right to assembly and demonstration was protected, Yang added.

"Even today, Taiwan is limited to only partial democratic reform because of political stalemate and media chaos," he said.

"What happened during the Double Ten National Day ceremony gave us a legitimate reason to question the factuality of Taiwan's retrocession," claimed Taiwan Society President Wu Shuh-min.

Wu was referring to an Oct. 10 incident in which several opposition legislators protested during the celebration ceremony while President Chen Shui-bian was making a speech.

All the chaos of today has resulted from different national identities among the people of Taiwan, Wu said.

"A concensus on national identity will not be reached before a common cultural identity. It is why we hope to revive the Taiwan people's awareness and recognition of Taiwanese culture, " Wu said.


Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) The increasing number and broader themes of films featured in the 2006 South Taiwan Film and Video Festival show Taiwanese filmmakers have a "never say die" attitude, an encouraging sign in Taiwan's film industry, a veteran Taiwanese director said Monday.

"The film entries this year are full of vibrance and diversity, which tells me this is a promising film festival and that these young men just refuse to say die to the awful environment in Taiwan's film industry," said Lee You-ning, a former director who serves as a festival juror.

The themes of the 10 films nominated for the category of best documentary range from Taiwanese history, environmental issues to the story of an Internet writer.

In addition, stories of sex workers, a college student facing graduation and a child who lost her father are some of the eight nominations for best film.

"The film festival was established to provide independent filmmakers with an additional outlet to present their work. Judging from the festival's increasing popularity, I'm glad to say we did just that," said the event's main organizer Huang Yu-shan, also a director.

The success of independent films in recent years has boosted young filmmakers' confidence, something not seen among Taiwanese directors before because of a long "down period" in Taiwan's film industry, which has been suffering since the mid-1980's, Huang added.

The South Taiwan Film and Video Festival, established in 2001, is devoted to showcasing new independent films. The 2006 event will be held from Nov. 3 - Dec. 9 in various central and southern cities.


Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) The 2006 South Taiwan Film and Video Film Festival announced 26 nominees in three categories Monday, as the festival featuring independent films looks to rival the mainstream Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival.

Entering its sixth year, the film festival that began as an experiment has been attracting more and more attention and applications, main organizer Huang Yu-shan said, as a record-breaking 213 films were entered this year.

The festival, which takes place Nov. 3- Dec. 9 in the southern cities of Kaohsiung, Tainan, Chiayi and Taichung, was established in 2001 to encourage independent filmmakers and the film culture in south Taiwan, where "you can see a huge 'visual arts gap' compared to the north of Taiwan," said Government Information Office (GIO) minister Cheng Wen-tsang.

Winners of best documentary, film and animation categories will be announced at the award ceremony Nov. 26 in Tainan's Chihkanlou, built during the Dutch occupation of Taiwan.

Over the years, the festival has distinguished itself from its northern counterpart, Huang said. Several independent films, such as "Let it be" and "Jump! Boys," came out of the festival, achieving relative box office success and local accolades.

"It's encouraging for numerous local filmmakers, especially young people who are passionate about making films. It was a driving force that encourages them to keep on producing films," she said.

This year is no different. The opening film, "The Road in the Air," directed by Isaac Lee, and the closing film "Exit No. 6" directed by Lin Yu-hsien -- the same director who directed "Jump! Boys" -- have been the festival's most talked-about independent films of the year.

Dozens of foreign films will be screened during the festival, as well as a feature created by two promising young directors -- Cheng Yu-chieh and Ho Wi-ding.


Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) Having a diverse mix of cultures has helped the state of Washington understand "the Taiwanese way" better than any other state in the United States, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire said Saturday.

"We are fortunate to be a diverse state. And we have a large community of Taiwanese. All of that has helped us as a state because we understand the culture of Taiwanese. We understand how business is done here in Taiwan," Gregoire said on the last day of her visit here.

"Not all states can do that," she added.

Gregoire led a delegation of more than 70 executives to Taipei from Oct. 19- 21 to further trade, tourism, investment, education and cultural relations between Washington and Taiwan.

Taiwan and the northwestern U.S. state have been enjoying a wide range of exchanges for more than 35 years, as Taiwan is the state's third-largest agricultural export market while Washington's exports to Taiwan totaled US$3.1 billion in 2005.

But Gregoire wants to further cultivate bilateral ties, for example by stepping up student exchanges and fostering business partnerships.

"That can make people understand each other more," she said.

"I want [the State of Washington] to be seen as a very friendly state. It's a state with a very diverse culture and a high quality of products, from airplanes and apples to coffee," she said.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) A peace promotion conference organized by ten non-government organizations (NGOs) and called "The Taiwan Peace Season: Peace and the Grassroots Movement," began in Taipei Friday.

The program, which runs until Oct. 23 and focuses on cross-strait relations as well as peace in East Asia, includes an international peace conference, an "I love peace" concert and training programs for young peace ambassadors.

Part of the international conference will be held in Kinmen, previously a warzone in the 1950s, on Oct. 23.

Allen Houng, the commissioner of the movement and chairman of the Constitution Reform Alliance in Taiwan, said the concept of peace is easy to understand but difficult to apply.

The realization of peace cannot rely on politics or forceful coercion, he said. The only solution is to promote peace through the grassroots movement, Houng said.

Five international peace movement promotors, including scholars and grassroots leaders from the United States, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Mongolia will also attend the conference to facilitate a regional alliance on peace promotion.

"The timing of this movement could not be better as domestic political controversies, chaos and the North Korea nuclear issue have unfolded before us," said chief organizer Tang Kwang-hua.

Tang also described the movement as the "third stage" of a civic peace movement in Taiwan, following the Taiwan Strait crisis in 1995-96 and the arms procurement debate in 2004.


Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) South Korea's relationship with North Korea is similar to that of Taiwan's with China, with all parties facing similar concerns although the issues are different, a South Korean scholar said Friday in Taipei.

Always facing the constant threat of the Chinese military, people in Taiwan have divided opinions on the issue of reunification and independence. South Koreans are in a similar situation, said Shim Young-hee, a sociology professor at Hanyang University.

The majority of South Koreans still think North and South Korea should one day become an integrated country, but they are also very concerned about North Korea's nuclear program, Shim said on the sidelines of an international peace conference being held in Taipei.

"It's a problem of when and how," Shim said of the North/South Korea reunification issue.

The economic situation after a reunification is also of great concern for South Koreans, Shim said, adding that South Korea understands very well the case of Germany, which is why South Koreans don't want to see a "quick reunification."

Regarding international relations, Shim said that isolating and pressuring North Korea is unhelpful and that South Korea's sunshine policy on government transparency should be kept.

"North Korea has no other option [but to keep developing its nuclear program] because the regime is threatened. We should provide North Korea with an exit," she said.


Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) will celebrate its 20th anniversary in a concert Oct. 23 featuring the works of Richard Strauss, a spokesman announced Thursday.

Led by Music Director Chien Wen-pin, more than 100 NSO musicians will perform in the anniversary celebration, which is titled "The Richard Strauss Cycle" and will take place at the National Concert Hall.

NSO has also commissioned local composer Pan Hwang-long to write anew symphony for the occasion. Titled Hetevophony Concerto for Orchestra, Pan combines beiguan (a form of traditional Chinese music) with Western orchestration to create a fusion of Eastern and Western musical styles.

"The NSO's overall improvement as a group in recent years has been astonishing, " Pan said, adding that he believes the NSO is capable of performing any high-difficulty work now.

In addition, Ricardo Morales and Daniel Matsukawa, the woodwind principal players of the Philadelphia Orchestra, will team up with the NSO to perform Richard Strauss' Duett Concertino.


Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) The American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) Taipei office hopes a new online scheduling system can provide better consular service for U.S. citizens, AIT consular officials said Thursday.

Beginning Nov. 6, applications for all services will be accepted by appointment only using the free online scheduling system, which will begin accepting appointments on Oct. 23, said Charles Bennett, AIT's Consular Section chief during a press conference.

The full-scale online system will cover appointments regarding passports, notarial and social security and consular reports of births abroad, he said.

More than 70,000 U.S. citizens are currently living in Taiwan, Bennett said, adding that extensive bilateral exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S. are making the AIT in Taipei the busiest office in Asia in terms of consular services.

The office deals with as many as 200 applications per day during the busiest season, said Grace Liu, who works in AIT's American Citizen Services.

The new system does not necessarily help the AIT handle more daily applications, Bennett said, but it helps cut down applicants' waiting time and visits to the office.

Consular assistance is always available without appointment in case of emergencies such as life-and-death situations, arrest and indigence, Bennett noted.

More information is available on the AIT's Web site: www.ait.org.tw/en/uscitizens.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) An exhibition on biodiversity and humanity presented by the French Institute opened Tuesday at the National Taiwan Museum in the hope of "reviving" awareness on environmental protection in Taiwan, according to the organizers.

The exhibition, which will run through Dec. 17, features photographs, posters and various images on 10 biodiversity-related topics including environmental protection, health, fishing, forestry, tourism, fresh water, climate and society, in an attempt to advocate the close relationship between humans and the environment.

The exhibition is specifically targets children, said Jean-Claude Poimboeuf, director of the French Institute.

"I have noticed that more people in Taiwan -- and those in France as well -- understand that we need to respect nature and the environment, which is a good sign, " Poimboeuf said.

He also noted that in France, environmental protection not only helps nature but the people as well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) Tensions have mounted in the international community as a result of North Korea's nuclear test, especially in Japan and South Korea, reminding the people of Taiwan of the importance of national defense, scholars said in a forum Monday.

"The North Korean nuclear issue has allowed Taiwan's people to understand why Japan and South Korea have made national defense a top priority," said Academia Sinica research fellow Lin Cheng-yi at the Taiwan Forum, an event organized by the Taiwan Thinktank.

The nuclear issue has psychological implications for both Taiwan's government and its people, added Lin, who also lamented lack of discussion on the issue via public platforms such as the media, due to anti-corruption protests and political turmoil in
recent months.

"Taiwan has been more 'inward looking' over the past few months," Lin said, referring to neglect of the nuclear issue on the part of Taiwan's media and public, which have paid more attention to domestic political problems.

Analyzing the issue on a broader scale, Tamkang University professor Shih Cheng-feng said the issue was probably good news for Taiwan, "as long as the People's Republic of China fails to constrain North Korea on its nuclear program."

Some political observers believe the United States was in the past ready to "trade the issue of Taiwan with China in exchange for China's constraint on North Korea," said David Huang, former deputy chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

By now the U.S. understands that China "was only pretending it has influence in North Korea," Huang noted, adding that China has few resources in the region to constrain North Korea at this moment.

Focusing on recent developments in Taiwan's domestic poltics and cross-strait relations, the one-day forum gathered four commentators and foreign representatives in Taiwan.


Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) The Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA) launched an international architectural competition Monday to design the largest performing arts complex in Taiwan -- a NT$6.5 billion (US$200 million) project to create the National Kaohsiung Performing Arts Center (NKPAC).

"We hope the arts complex will be the catalyst to begin bridging the cultural gap between northern and southern Taiwan," CCA vice chairperson Hong Ching-feng said of the center, which will be located in the southern metropolis of Kaohsiung, Taiwan's second largest city.

The NKPAC will occupy the 67-hectare Wei-Wu-Ying Metropolitan Park (a former military base), and include three theaters and one concert hall -- providing a total seating capacity of 5,800.

In addition to the NKPAC's main building, the project includes the design and planning for the surrounding area, Wei-Wu-Ying Metropolitan Park and nearby Zongzheng Park.

Architects from around the world are eligible to enter the two-stage open competition to secure a NT$702 million contract (US$21.2 million) with the best design. The winner will be announced in March 2007, said Lin Cho-hao, director of the NKPAC preparatory office.

"Hopefully the project will be mentioned in the same breath as New York's Central Park and London's Hyde Park," said Hsu Po-yun, who serves as commissioner of the CCA's Committee on Architectural Art and is one of the competition's 10 jurors.

The NKPAC's construction is expected to be completed in 2011, Lin said.


Taipei, Oct. 14 (CNA) An annual film festival featuring movies that talk about peace-related subjects can help Taiwanese look at other parts of the world and reflect on the true meaning of peace, organizers said Saturday.

The 2006 Peace Movie Festival will screen 14 foreign and domestic films and documentaries in Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung and Kaohsiung from Oct. 14 to Nov. 19. The opening film -- a Norwegian movie title "Gervenkt" -- premiered Saturday in Taipei.

Movies selected in this year's festival feature peace-related issues from countries such as Norway, Sweden, Serbia, Hungary and the Baltic countries, said Chien Hsi-chieh, chief executive officer of the Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan, the festival organizer.

"I think the Taiwan people can learn a lot from these films. As the debate on independence and reunification is going on around Taiwan, we should ask ourselves whether there is a third option, " Chien said.

"Everyone has a different definition of peace. However, the foundation of peace lies in understanding the differences [of both parties], " he said, adding that the timing of the festival couldn't be better as the mass rally against President Chen recently halted after more than a month.

"The highest realm of culture is that a person understands how to reconcile with himself, others and nature harmoniously. Peace can be a hard lesson to learn. It is going to take time and wisdom, " said Sebastian Liao, commissioner of the Taipei City government's Department of Cultural Affairs.

Among the films being shown at the festival are some well-known movies that created an international buzz in recent years, such as "Hotel Rwanda" and "Goodbye, Lenin."

Entry to all the movies is free but limited based on seating capacity, organizers said.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 13 (CNA) Australia's sports development experience could provide Taiwan with something to learn from, a visiting Australian university president said Friday.

"Australia wanted to be good at sports internationally. It invested and waited for the results. Along the way, a new industry -- the sports-related industry -- was created, " Brian Stoddart, president of La Trobe University, said in a speech titled "Developing Sports Success: Thinking about Taiwan and Australia."

Australia's failure in the 1976 Montreal Olympics was a turning point, said Stoddart, who has more than 20 year's experience in research on sports culture, journalism and policy-making.

The government decided that the priority was to gain international recognition in sports, so the bulk of sports budget went to the top 3 percent or 4 percent of elite athletes. The results did not show until the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, when Australia climbed up on the medal chart, Stoddart said.

In recent years, the Australian sports administration has shifted more of its focus to grassroots and community-based sports, especially after the success of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, he went on.

In 20 years, Australia has gone from a "sports failure" to a country that exports its expertise to the United Kingdom, where many Australians have been hired in sports administration, Stoddart noted.

Australia's devotion to gain sports excellence is very inspiring for a country like Taiwan, which is also struggling for international sports success, said Peng Tai-lin, director of the Department of Planning of the National Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.


Taipei, Oct. 13 (CNA) The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Taipei office announced Friday a new online appointment scheduling system for services at the American Citizen Services Unit at AIT Taipei's Consular Section.

From Nov. 6, applications for all services will be accepted by appointment only using a free online scheduling system that will begin accepting appointments Oct. 23.

Due to increasing numbers of applications and limited office space, the current application process for passport, notarial and social security services can require several visits to AIT and waiting times in excess of one hour, AIT said in a press release. The new scheduling system will mean customers will need to make just one trip to AIT.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) As global demand for information and communication technology (ICT) rises, Taiwanese ICT companies with expansion and international growth in mind are encouraged to invest in the United Kingdom, which offers great opportunities for Taiwanese companies, British ICT experts said Thursday.

One hundred and seventy-five Taiwanese companies that currently invest in the U.K. primarily do so for the country's "cutting-edge and world-leading R&D capabilities, " said David Percival, head of the Inward Investment Section of the British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO).

Among the Taiwanese ICT companies that have invested in Britain are MITAC Computer, ASUS, D-Link, BenQ, Inventec, Trend Micro and Arima Optoelectronic.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can also make their marks as well, as the British government offers incentive programs such as tax breaks and provides free and confidential assistance in finding partners for foreign investors, Percival said.

Britain is the perfect location for Taiwanese enterprises to expand overseas. Just as foreign investors see Taiwan as a gateway into China and Asia, Britain can be Taiwan's gateway into the European market, said John Davies, an ICT advisor.

Taiwanese companies traditionally rank Europe behind the United States, Japan, China and South Korea in terms of overseas expansion, Davies noted.

As Britain has reinvented itself to move up the value-added chain, it provides Taiwanese ICT companies with a great investment environment to establish global partnerships, he said.


Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) The British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) announced Thursday its annual postgraduate scholarship program for Taiwanese students who wish to study in the United Kingdom.

The scholarships are for postgraduate courses of between three and 12 months and will cover course fees up to 12,000 pounds. Qualified applicants must be between 25 and 35 years old and must not have studied there before.

The applications for the 2007/08 academic year will close Dec. 15.

More information of the program is available on the British Council Web site at www.britishcouncil.org.tw.


Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) Six foreign enterprises were recognized for their investment and contributions to Taiwan's economy Thursday and were awarded a total of NT$5 million (US$150,000) in prizes at a ceremony.

The six companies that won the "Best Investment Partner Award" are: AIG, Citigroup, Corning Display Technologies Taiwan, DuPont Taiwan, IBM Taiwan and Kuozui Motors.

"I want to thank these six companies for their investments, which have made such a vital contribution toward employment in Taiwan as well as to the development and upgrading of our industries," said Chen Ruey-long, head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Recognizing the important role direct foreign investment plays in a country's economy, the MOEA took the initiative to create the award.

"The presence of these six companies in Taiwan is, in fact, mutually beneficial [for investors and Taiwan]," Chen said, adding he still believes Taiwan is one of the best places for foreign investment in Asia.


Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) The Taiwanese know little about the booming state of Western Australia (WA) , and it's about time to change all that, an Australian offical visiting Taiwan said Wednesday.

Most people in Taiwan don't know that Western Australia's domestic economy grew at a rate of 14 percent in the second quarter of 2006, higher than China's 11.3 percent, said Michael Sutherland, deputy mayor of Perth.

Most people know more about eastern Australia, where most Taiwanese tourists visit, Sutherland said.

In fact, Taiwan and Western Australia have already established strong links. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Taiwan is WA's sixth largest export market. In 2005-2006, it exported A$1.2 billion worth of goods to Taiwan, including iron ore, petroleum, nickel, copper, gold and seafood.

In return, Western Australia bought back from Taiwan iron construction materials as well as motorcycles, rubber tires, sporting goods and electrical equipment.

For tourists, Western Australia -- especially Perth -- is also a place well worth the visit, Sutherland said.

"Perth has great scenery, clean air, outdoor living, good food and wine. It is also easy to move around the modern city where there are no traffic jams. It's the place to go for an easy holiday," he said, adding that Perth and Taipei are in the same time zone, another plus.

These reasons are why Perth was ranked in the top five "most livable cities" by the Economist Magazine in 2005, he noted.

The Taiwanese population in Western Australia has been consistently increasing in recent years. Sutherland said local governments in Western Australia will be encouraging people there to learn more about and experience Taiwan first-hand as well.


Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) The development of Taipei City is very impressive compared to the last time he visited, an Australian official visiting Taiwan said in an interview with the CNA Wednesday.

"The city is improving. I can tell by the number of new buildings since the last time I was here, " said Michael Sutherland, Deputy Lord Mayor of the Western Australian city of Perth.

"And of course, the Taipei 101 building is the ultimate tourist attraction, " said Sutherland, who described the tallest building in the world as a "space age building."

Sutherland also was impressed by the National Day celebration he attended a day earlier.

There are some similarities and differences between Perth and Taipei, he said. People in the two cities are friendly, but Taipei is much bigger than Perth and needs to maximize its use of land, he said.

Perth and Taipei established a Charter of Mutual Friendship program in 1999. In addition to bilateral exchanges in urban development, the cities have been engaged in more cultural and art activities in recent years, Sutherland said.

Sutherland, who worked as a teacher and a solicitor prior to his political career, also encouraged Taiwan people to visit Perth.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) The Taiwan International Electronics Autumn Show, the largest electronic trade show in Asia, has transformed into a showcase of the island's latest electronic technologies, organizers said Monday.

In its 33rd year, the "Taitronics Autumn" is spotlighting what the electrical and electronic industries -- two of Taiwan's most competitive sectors -- have to offer in digital, wireless, and green technology from Oct. 9- 13 at the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC).

Organizers have set up eight themed pavilions along with a cross-strait section. More than 1,100 local and foreign manufacturers are participating in the five-day event and setting up more than 2,600 booths. Organizers estimate the number of participants will exceed 60,000.

Farglory Realty, a Taiwanese realty company, demonstrated the "future digital home" while Shin Kong Security presented the digital security solution for home applications. Together, they have new digital household electronic products that were formerly just a concept but are now available in reality.

The wireless communication and networking section gathers the best of Taiwan's network communication companies and showcases advanced products, which include wireless networking equipments, VoIP gateway, fiber-optic communication products, and Bluetooth products.

In order to keep up with a worldwide trend in environmental protection and green products, the event also actively promoted testing issues regarding digital television, RoHS (restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment), safety regulations, electromagnetic
radiation and telecommunication.

"Taitronics Autumn 2006 hopes world buyers will be impressed and feel they have attained their goal of one-stop shopping," said Rock Hsu, Chairman of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (TEEMA), one of the event's organizers.

As Taiwanese companies tirelessly work on developing electronic technologies, Hsu also claimed that foreign buyers can now have the solid experience of the "one-stop solution," in addition to simply procuring electronic parts and components.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) It will take a collective effort on the part of government agencies and civic organizations to reduce the number of suicides, one of the most alarming social issues in Taiwan, a Department of Health (DOH) official said Thursday in an international symposium.

"Suicide is a global phenomenon. A single government agency is not enough to solve the problem and efforts from civic organizations are needed as well, " DOH Deputy Minister Chen Shih-chung said in the symposium, titled "Suicide is Preventable. "

According to the Taiwan Suicide Prevention Center (TSPC) , a record 4,282 people committed suicide in Taiwan last year, representing an average of 12 cases per day. Suicide has been among the top 10 causes of death in Taiwan for eight consecutive years.

Mental health service quality has to be improved and a community support system has to be organized, Chen said.

A three-stage strategy has been applied to prevent suicide, said TSPC President Lee Ming-been, in which universal prevention focuses on the entire population, while selective prevention focuses on high-risk groups and indicative prevention targets symptomatic and "marked" high-risk individuals.

Suicide prevention is a multi-layer work that includes public health, prevention, clinical therapeutics and health systems and services, said Eric Caines, a psychiatry professor at the University of Rochester, New York.

A "framework" of suicide prevention can only be established with the cooperation of the government and civic groups, according to Caines.


Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) Suicide prevention is a possible yet challenging job as the tendencies of suicidal people vary in different countries and cultures, which means Taiwan has to develop its own suicide prevention program instead of "borrowing" or "importing" one, an American professor said Thursday during an international symposium.

"Suicide prevention is possible, but it's also challenging. A suicide prevention program cannot be exported (to another country), " said Eric Caine, a psychology professor at the University of Rochester, New York, in a symposium titled "Suicide is Preventable."

Suicide is the outcome of multiple risk factors and events, Caine said, adding that cultural forces play a critical role but that it's not clear how to "use" culture to modify suicide rates.

Case studies have shown, for example, that effective alcohol control helps lower suicide rates in Eastern Europe. Young adults account for most suicide cases in Australia, while rural China is the only known exception where the number of female suicides exceeds the number of male cases, Caine pointed out.

He further said that statistics also show, surprisingly, that the suicide rate among African-American females is the lowest of any racial group in the United States, even though they have among the lowest income and social status. "More recent research has shown that this is because most African-American females have strong religious beliefs and supporting family system, " he pointed out.

"It's important for Taiwan to understand what protects the low suicide rate group and develop a suicide prevention program of its own, " Caine stressed.

The media will also be an important part in the suicide program, Caine said, as "it can be helpful and also can be contagious. "


Taipei, Oct. 4 (CNA) Opinions on cross-strait trade relations differed widely in a forum of the World Chinese Traders Convention Wednesday, suggesting a consensus on the long-standing issue still needs to be achieved.

Speaking at the event, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu reiterated the government's priority to enforce the policy of "proactive management with effective liberalization."

Hsieh Chin-ho, chief executive officer of the business monthly Wealth magazine, advocated full-scale liberalization.

Other opinions were somewhere in between.

Traders already investing in China are now facing new challenges as Chinese businesses have become more globally competitive, said Chiao Yu-chun, president of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association.

And they always face the possibility of being affected by the currency exchange for the Chinese yuan, Chiao said, adding that smart traders will use government limitations to their advantage and still reap a profit, instead of simply complaining.

Trade relations between Taiwan and China can be described as a "co-petitive" (cooperation and competitive) relationship, said David Weng, president of Essence Technology.

"In fact, Taiwan has a very good investment environment as it has a solid education system, a highly competitive computer hardware manufacturing industry and top talent in international management and design," he said.

"All we need do is understand what role we should play in a new business model and what leverage we have on the China market," Weng added.


Taipei, Oct. 4 (CNA) A civic Christian group called Wednesday for an immediate halt to the anti-president protest, claiming that it has led to enormous social cost and has created a huge division among the Taiwan people.

"We also urge the anti-graft campaign to terminate its plan of 'besieging' the Presidential Office Oct. 10 in order to ease the tension between both sides, " said Teng Wen-hsiung, secretary-general of the Asia Peace Corps (APC).

Taiwan people have suffered because of the political unrest, said Teng, who is a pastor in the Presbyterian church.

"There is no-one who is an unforgivable sinner. Of course, the authorities should examine themselves at all times, but no-one is entitled to eliminate democracy through protest, " said David Lai, bishop of Taiwan's Catholic Church.

"In a democratic society that guarantees freedom and equality, everyone has the right to have his own political viewpoint. But we also need to know how to relate to others and respect the rule of law, " said Sun Te-hsiung, YMCA Taiwan president.

The group also asked for more media coverage of the brighter side of society instead of political turmoil.

Established in 2004 by a group of Christians, the APC aims to set up a network for humanitarian work such as suicide prevention and counselling, anti-war advocacy and orphanage care.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Taipei, Oct. 3 (CNA) Results of a study released Tuesday show misconceptions and concerns over the economy, as development of the textile industry has been underrated while the service sector has underachieved, according to a researcher.

"The textile industry has often been described as a 'sunset industry' in Taiwan, but statistics show its export values still accounted for 8 percent of Taiwan's annual total exports, " said David Hong, director of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER), at the World Chinese Traders Convention.

"The upper and middle stream of the industry is highly competitive, ranking only behind South Korea, " Hong said, citing a compilation of Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) indexes of different sectors of 10 East Asian countries.

On the other hand, the service sector, which accounted for 73 percent of Taiwan's national gross domestic product (GDP) , ranked bottom among the same countries.

Low competitiveness of the service sector is cause for concern for a country that sets its goal as becoming a global value-added service center, said Hong.

As expected, Taiwan's electric and electronic manufacturing sector outperformed China, Japan and South Korea. However it ranked behind the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, presenting another concern, according to Hong.


Taipei, Oct. 3 (CNA) Overseas Chinese traders are over-dependent on the China market and are advised to seek business opportunities in other markets with a global strategy, a researcher said Tuesday.

"China should be a part of the global logistics management for your businesses instead of your only option, " said David Hong, director of the Taiwan Institute of Economics Research (TIER) in a speech at the World Chinese Traders Convention.

In 2005, Hong said, almost 38 percent of Taiwan's total exports and 71 percent of Taiwan's foreign investment went to China.

China's rapid economic growth and vast market "sucked in" a huge amount of investment from international and Chinese traders, said Hong, who also claimed there is a possibility of a hard landing for China's economy.

A more "reasonable" global strategy is one of segregation of risks, he said. In addition to China, he encouraged traders to consider investing in other developing economies, such as Brazil, Russia and India. He claimed that Taiwan is also a good option.

Taiwan is looking to establish itself as a global value-added service center and to develop human-intensive high technology products, he said.

Hong also gave his opinion on the economic outlooks of different regions such as the United States, Japan, Southeast Asia and the European Union.


Taipei, Oct. 2 (CNA) Japan's rich and successful experience in organizing expositions will serve as an excellent model for Taiwan, which is also seeking to hold an international exposition in the future, organizers of a show on Japanese expos said Monday.

The special exhibition, titled "An Exposition for Taiwan: Through the Japanese Experience," is being jointly sponsored by Uniplan Taiwan Group, Yoshida Hideo Memorial Foundation, Marketing Communications Executives International and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) from Oct. 3 to Nov. 12 at TFAM.

Most of the exhibits come from the collection of the Advertising Museum in Tokyo, and include woodblock prints, posters, print advertisements and memorabilia from Japanese expos over the course of the last century.

"Between 1970-2005, Japan hosted five of the 14 World Expos accredited by BIE (International Exhibitions Bureau), making it one of the most 'expo-crazy' countries, " TFAM director Huang Tsai-lang said.

"Japan was able to promote its wealth and power, build public confidence, invigorate industry and develop tourism by organizing such events and finally walked out of the post-war shadow of World War II," he added.

Specialists who played major roles in Japan's organization of the WorldExpos -- including 2005 Aichi Expo director Shinya Izumi, Fukui Shouhei, Shinji Fukukawa and Akira Fujitani -- were invited to deliver speeches and share their expertise with local officials and curators on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Part of the exhibit focuses on a 1935 Expo in Taiwan when Taiwan was a Japanese colony, and is expected to attract the most attention during the exhibition, said Huang. Historical records show that one-third of Taiwan's population at the time -- 6 million -- visited the landmark event.

The event will help Taiwan make strides in creating the environment it needs to host expos in future, Huang said.


Taipei, Oct. 2 (CNA) A biennial convention for global Chinese traders is being held in Taipei to boost domestic investment and encourage international business opportunities among ethnic Chinese.

The 25th World Chinese Traders Convention, with the theme of "Creating Opportunities through Global Networking," is being held from Oct. 2-5 at the Taipei International Convention Center.

About 600 participants, including more than 300 local traders and over 250 traders representing 28 countries, will take part in the four-day event.

"With this convention, we are trying to create a 'triple-win' situation in which Taiwan, traders and the country of the [traders'] residence all benefit," said Chang Fu-mei, Minister of Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission (OCAC).

Chang pointed out that traditionally Chinese traders have excelled in the manufacturing industry but have gradually made their mark in other sectors as well. By increasing peer cooperation and investment in Taiwan among Chinese traders worldwide, everyone will benefit, he said.

The event seeks to play the role of "matchmaker" in business opportunities, said Hsu Chun-fang, deputy director-general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, adding that 34 one-on-one business meetings have been set up already.

Several high-ranking officials and academics -- including president of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research David Hong and deputy minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Fadah Hsieh -- will deliver speeches and participate in various forums during the event's extensive two-day schedule.

The convention began in 1963 in Tokyo as the Asian Chinese Traders Convention. Later it was expanded and changed to the current name. The host city switched between Taipei and a foreign city biennially.

The previous convention was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2004.