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The subject of free trade agreements (FTA) has been in the news lately, as the government warned about the ramifications of a recently inked accord between mainland China and South Korea.
The other day, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu vowed to restructure the city's economy, removing all high-polluting and high-risk industries from the area. The vows were apparently made in the wake of some outrageous and deadly developments in the city: the pollution of a river by wastewater released by a major semiconductor firm last year and the gas explosions this summer that left 31 dead and more than 300 injured.
Propaganda is a political tactic used everywhere in the world, both domestically and at times internationally. The truth is that propaganda, whether used to promote a certain politician or to besmirch the name and reputation of another, is always deployed to the advantage of an individual or an entire group of people.
Taiwan has a nuanced linguistic landscape that sees two major cross-currents: a privileged official lingo and the widely used Hokkien, a southern dialect of Chinese now also called Taiwanese. Academic, government, scientific and public institutions are dominated by Mandarin, but in daily life much of the population uses Hokkien.
As a consequence of their status as public figures, the daily lives, whether public or private, of politicians, businessmen and celebrities are constantly put under a microscope.
Dr. Yang Liyu, professor emeritus of Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey suggested that President Ma Ying-jeou go to Beijing to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before he steps down in May 2016.
The High School Basketball League (HBL, 高中籃球聯賽) just concluded its qualifying round matchup last week when 19 teams from around the country fought for eight spots that will give them a chance to compete with eight other top-seeded teams for the championship HBL title.
After waiting 13 years in vain for the United States to deliver on a promise to sell it diesel-powered submarines, Taiwan seems to be now seriously looking at possibly the only option left: building the vessels on its own.
Last week's 2014 Taipei International Travel Fair (Taipei ITF, 台北國際旅展) became the largest in history in terms of visitor volume with more than 320,000 visitors, making the annual travel expo a bigger, smarter and safer.
A public debate on TV among candidates for public office is a talk show where they try to outsmart one another to get more voter support, and of course, it can scarcely help determine the outcome of an election.
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