This is a paradoxical moment for sex in Taipei. In a city where women pose half-clothed to sell cars at shows and betel nuts on the street, the Taipei EasyCard Corp. (悠遊卡) was able to inflame the public by printing new limited-edition smartcard sleeves featuring Yui Hatano, a Japanese actress in the adult film industry.
"(Cross Strait relations) won't be smooth sailing all the way from now on." Those were the stern words Chen Deming (陳德銘), president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), delivered at the talk between cross-strait top negotiators in Fuzhou, Fujian yesterday, an occasion usually marked by optimistic comments of "cross-strait brotherhood" from the both sides.
Based on the most discussed issues in the national news last week -- whether printed, broadcast or online -- one could be forgiven for thinking that a former president's awareness of national identity or a certain rich wife's tour of an Apache hanger were the most important issues in the nation.
Ideologically speaking, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je may belong to the so-called deep-green, pro-independence fundamentalist camp, but his ideology seems to have seldom gotten in the way of his pragmatism, which was on display in his just concluded trip to China.
Basketball has always been one of the most popular sports in Taiwan and one of the few sports on the island to have regular professional/semi-professional leagues.
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) recently cut its forecast for Taiwan's economic growth for 2015 drastically down to 1.56 percent from its previous estimate of 3.28 percent. The DGBAS also revised downward the already low second-quarter forecast of 0.64 percent to 0.52 percent.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a speech yesterday, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War (終戰記念日). Abe expressed "profound grief" for all who perished in World War II and admitted that Japan inflicted "immeasurable damage and suffering" on innocent people during the war and apologized.
China cut the yuan's value against the greenback on Wednesday after an abrupt 1.9-percent devaluation on Tuesday, taking total reductions from this week to 3.5 percent. It is the largest devaluation since the 1990s when China inaugurated its modern foreign exchange system and cut the yuan by 33 percent in a single stroke.
Legislators from the Taiwan Solidarity Union raised some concerns on Tuesday at the announcement of a possible merger between Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. Ltd. and China Network Systems Co. (CNS).
Cross-strait relations are once again in the focus as the electorate gets ready for a quadrennial election for the nation's highest office. Beijing is nervous, and has been making assumptions and statements about the importance of the coming election on bilateral ties, with Xi Jinping's words that "a new important juncture" has been reached and then Taiwan Affairs Office director Zhang Zhijun last week making a statement challenging Tsai and the DPP on their stance, saying that "responsible parties must clearly state their positions.' on the "core issue of the '1992 Consensus,' which states that Taiwan and the mainland belong to one China."