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January, 2, 2017

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Countdown letdown Countdown letdown
The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The highly-anticipated fireworks display in front of Taipei 101 once again lit up the New Year's celebrations in Taipei — but turnout proved a damp squib, with attendances down on last year.

This year, the city's public works department set up 18 alternative spots and four riverside parks for viewing the spectacle. These included numerous vistas located on the trails of Xinyi District's Elephant Mountain and Tiger Mountain, as well as along Wenshan District's Flying Dragon trail.

According to the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC), ridership on the city's subway from 6 a.m. Dec. 31 to 6 a.m. Jan. 1 was around 2.64 million, down roughly 390,000 in comparison to the same period last year.

The TRTC attributed the drop to the fact that the New Year's Eve fell on a weekend this year.

Some, however, have expressed concern that countdown shows in Taiwan were losing their spark, as big-name stars opted to perform at New Year's events in mainland China.

Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je downplayed the drop in the ridership numbers, saying that older people had "opted for the hills" while the younger generation stayed behind to watch the fireworks in the city center.

Ko said that the event would continue to be held in the future, saying the celebrations gave the city international exposure.

Stars Opt to Grace the 'Other Side'

While revelers in Taiwan were entertained by such as heavy-hitters as Wu Bai (伍佰), A-Lin, Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Amber An (安心亞) and Cheer Chen (陳綺貞), the absence of several local favorites may have dampened the popularity of this year's event.

Diva Jolin Tsai (蔡依林), JJ Lin (林俊傑), Yoga Lin (林宥嘉) and Wilber Pan (潘瑋柏) and supermodel Lin Chi-ling (林志玲), among others, appeared at an event in Macau hosted by the mainland Chinese Jiangsu Television.

Show Luo (羅志祥) also made waves for performing as his female alter ego at a show in Beijing. Singer A-mei (張惠妹), along with Taiwan heartthrob Wang Leehom (王力宏) chose instead to perform at an event in Zhejiang, China.

Also absent was Jeannie Hsieh (謝金燕) who, having been one of the most popular New Year's Eve performers in Taiwan in recent years, is currently on a break from performing.

To be continued with www.chinapost.com.tw


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Opinions
It's a big mistake to rely on US, Japan in war
The China Post news staff

China's only Liaoning aircraft carrier combat group passed through the seas between Okinawa and Miyako last Christmas Day before heading for the Western Pacific. It patrolled far off the east and south coasts of Taiwan and turned into the South China Sea the following day.

Military commentators are wagging their tongues. They said that so long as the carrier combat group did not intrude into Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), it did not matter. They are wrong: They are like the blind men in the Indian story of "The Blind Men and the Elephant," who each touches a part of the animal and draws an incorrect conclusion about what that animal is.

The fact is that the main specialty of a carrier combat group is its ability to continually launch mobile attacks. It has maneuver capability of 500 to 600 nautical miles a day, making it next to impossible to locate and counterattack the attackers. That means the commentators are advocating a defense within the ADIZ, which is nothing but a handcuffed battle tactic. Needless to say, it is a mistaken military strategy.

To be continued with www.chinapost.com.tw


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Entertainment
Winner ('Rogue One'), loser ('Warcraft')
By Lindsey Bahr, AP

LOS ANGELES -- A forgetful fish, infighting superheroes and some intergalactic rebels led the North American box office in 2016, which, with an estimated US$11.2 billion in earnings to date, has become the highest grossing year of all time — slightly surpassing last year's US$11.1 billion record.

Those top three films, "Finding Dory," "Captain America: Civil War," and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," all had the common thread of being under the Walt Disney Studios banner, which had its own records to celebrate.

In general, the year looked like many others, with tent pole superhero pics, animated features, sequels and reboots overpowering original fare, but there was definitely something for everyone.

"Hollywood built a wild roller-coaster ride at the multiplex in 2016, with films from every genre sparking interest from a very vocal and engaged social media-savvy audience who were able to make or break some of the biggest titles of the year," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore.

A few more notable takeaways from the record-breaking year:

Disney is King, With a Few Rotten Apples

To be continued with www.chinapost.com.tw


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Bilingual News
〈2017跨年〉人潮即錢潮 超商雙雄信義區重點門市備戰
The China Post news staff , 記者王莞甯/鉅亨網

根據網路市調,跨年夜民眾最愛外出參與跨年晚會和欣賞煙火秀,人潮就是錢潮,超商雙雄特定門市備貨量大增,統一超 (2912-TW) 表示,7-ELEVEN 針對熱門景點周邊超過 150 家門市進行備戰,相關商品平均增 2-3 背;全家 (5903-TW) 則在信義區周邊店舖增加 10 倍人力。

  統一超指出,7-ELEVEN 掌握全台跨年熱門景點,包括各縣市政府、台北美麗華、南投清境農場、高雄夢時代、高雄義大世界等周邊超過 150 家門市皆備戰,其中,101 周邊含信義區、松山區近 40 家 7-ELEVEN 門市預估將湧入大量人潮。

  因此,針對熱門的跨年商品結構如關東煮、蒸煮玉米、CITY CAFE、御飯糰、三明治、罐裝飲品、包裝零食、巧克力、iseLect 隨手包、保暖隨身用品、口罩、濕紙巾、娛樂用品 (如撲克牌、骰子)、能量飲和保健食品等,相關商品備貨量增加 2-3 倍。

  全家指出,為因應這波人潮,信義區周邊店舖增加 10 倍人力,並增設收銀機、夯番薯機、咖啡機、關東煮機等熟食機台,尤其夯番薯、甜玉米及零食餅乾備貨逾 10 倍,關東煮、水與飲料備貨更多達 20 倍。

  全家說明,去 (2015) 年跨年夜單日,Fami 霜淇淋銷售成長近 7 倍,美式咖啡成長超過 4 倍、關東煮和點心零食成長 2 倍以上,口香糖、糖果也有 3 成以上亮眼表現,推測是跨年結伴效應湧現,帶動相關商品業績成長。

To be continued with www.chinapost.com.tw


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