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January, 5, 2017

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US, China aircraft carriers could cross paths in January
The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Aircraft carriers from the United States and the PRC could cross paths in the West Pacific area later this month, escalating tensions between the two countries, a military observer has speculated.

The Global Times newspaper cited a military expert as estimating that the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson would arrive in the West Pacific around Jan. 20, with the possibility of meeting Beijing's Liaoning carrier, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.

The expert told the Global Times — a Chinese government organ — that it remains to be seen whether the Pentagon will pick this sensitive time to escalate military tensions in the area. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is due to be sworn in on Jan. 20.

The U.S. navy on Tuesday announced that the Carl Vinson battle group is leaving its base in San Diego, California this week for the Asia-Pacific area to replace the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, which is scheduled to return to the United States for maintenance.

The Liaoning currently is performing exercises in the South China Sea and speculation has arisen that it will return to its eastern base in Qingdao by passing through the Taiwan Strait after completing the training.

The Liaoning could pass through the Taiwan Strait between Jan. 5 and Jan. 15 when President Tsai Ing-wen is away on an official visit to Central America, media reported

The Liaoning is believed to have sailed down the seas east of Taiwan after leaving Qingdao, and by going through the Taiwan Strait it would complete a full-circle voyage around the island.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) Wednesday declined to comment on speculation regarding the Liaoning's return route, but maintained that it has been keeping a close eye on the aircraft carrier's movement.

The MND said it would respond to situations arising from the Liaoning's voyage.

A PRC foreign ministry spokesman on Tuesday declined to elaborate on the motives of the Liaoning exercises when asked whether they were meant to assert Beijing's sovereignty claims to the South China Sea.

"You can ask the military for details about the aircraft carrier. As for China's position on the issue of the South China Sea, it is very clear and there is no need for me to repeat it here," said the spokesman, Geng Shuang, at a regular press conference.

The CNA cited Geng as declining to confirm the return route of the Liaoning. Geng said the Liaoning was carrying out plans to conduct scientific research and training in the South China Sea and to examine the capabilities of its weaponry systems.

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Swift action needed to end decline in tourist arrivals
The China Post news staff

Authorities last week blamed the sharp decrease in the number of Chinese tourists in 2016 on increasingly strained cross-strait relations, but they fell short of announcing concrete measures to deal with the likely continuation of the trend.

As expected, government officials grumbled in front of cameras that they were preparing "for the worst," meaning that they didn't have a clue on how to reverse the slump in the months to come.

This typical response to the rhetorical question — "Why people don't come to Taiwan anymore?" — got even more creative when officials from the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council mused that they welcomed Chinese tourists, although such tourists could not come due to the politicization of cross-strait affairs.

According to figures from the National Immigration Agency, Chinese visitor arrivals in December were 44 percent lower year-on-year, with the number of group tourists dropping 50.4 percent from the same period last year.

In 2016, Chinese tourist arrivals declined by nearly 18.5 percent, with the number visiting in tour groups falling 29.9 percent, highlighting the steady decline in the number of Chinese tourists since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016.

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Dramatic cliffhanger for George Lucas' museum

SAN FRANCISCO -- George Lucas is no stranger to epic struggles on the big screen, but he didn't expect one off-camera when it came to his art collection.

For nearly a decade, the filmmaker has tried to build a museum to house an extensive personal collection that includes 40,000 paintings, illustrations and film-related items. But legal entanglements and other complications have thwarted his efforts.

After several false starts, Lucas and his art team say they will decide later this month whether to put the museum in San Francisco or Los Angeles, a strategy that has stirred a California rivalry.

The prize is big, and both cities want it badly.

"This is the largest civic gift in American history," LA Mayor Eric Garcetti told The Associated Press. "I think Los Angeles is the natural home for it" — a notion that San Francisco officials enthusiastically contest.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, as it will be called, promises hundreds of jobs and a high-profile attraction — and it's essentially free.

The "Star Wars" creator is financing the project himself. He plans to spend more than US$1 billion to build the museum, endow it and provide a trove of initial artworks valued at over US$400 million. Together with Chinese architect Ma Yansong, Lucas has proposed a sleek, futuristic design looks like a cross between the Guggenheim and a galactic starfighter.

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Bilingual News
台境企業上櫃案獲OTC通過 迅得IPO案今再闖關
The China Post news staff , 記者張欽發/鉅亨網

證券櫃檯買賣中心於昨 (3) 日召開上櫃審議委員會,通過台境企業 (8476-TW) 申請上櫃案;而 PCB 及自動化設備廠迅得機械 (6438-TW) 的上櫃申請案今送入上櫃審議委員會審查。

  台境企業主要從事環境保護工程顧問與施工、土方資源再利用處理、環境檢測採樣及檢驗,申請時資本額 2.92 億元,董事長為張耿榕,推薦證券商為宏遠證券、兆豐證券及統一綜合證券。

  台境企業 2016 年前 3 季合併營業收入為 5.94 億元,稅後純益為 3535 萬元,每股純益為 1.24 元。

  今天 OTC 上場審議的迅得機械 IPO 案,董事長官錦?,總經理王年清,申請時股本為 4.62 億元。

  根據櫃買中心資料顯示,迅得機械 2015 年合併營收 23.82 億元,稅後純益為 2.51 億元,每股純益為 5.41 元。其 2016 年前 3 季合併營收為 16.11 億元,稅後純益為 1.11 億元,每股純益為 2.38 元。

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