Stories from Quick Reads and Taiwan (ROC)
Court Fines the Taiwan Immigration Authority for the Denied Entry of a Foreign Visitor Ahead Anti-nuclear Protest
Two years ago in March 2013, Daniel Andres Helmdach was detained and deported from Taiwan because the immigration suspected that he visited the country to join the anti-nuclear protest. The German youth had done nothing illegal in Taiwan before, he merely worked as a volunteer on conversation projects back in 2011. He sued the immigration office for the unreasonable treatment and finally the Taipei District Court ruled on July 30, 2015 that the immigration authority should pay a compensation of NT$125000 (US$4200) to Daniel for his plane ticket and as consolation payment.
Daniel's case has been considered a typical example of the Taiwanese authorities abusive use of power in clamping down dissent activities. Two Japanese people from Fukushima were warned by the country's immigration office immediately after they gave a speech at an anti-nuclear demonstration on April 30, 2011 in Taiwan.
As a subtropical/tropical island, Taiwan usually covers with wetness and green. However, last year, there were only two typhoons, the island is now facing the worst drought in a decade.
Independent reporter Chu Shu Chuan reported that the storage of 12 major reservoirs is reduced to less than 50%, according to the Waer Resources Agency on its February 8 press release. 8 municipalities in Taiwan have started second stage water restrictions since Feb 26.
Chu's follow-up report highlighted that the storage of one of the major reservoir, the Shinmen Reservoir has dropped to 27% and the water supply of its major industrial users will be reduced by 7.5% from March 13.
If the drought cannot be eased when rains come in spring, the industrial parks in Taiwan may face the shortage of water that cannot be simply solved by adjusting the manufacturing schedules.
In the anti-nuke protest on March 8, 2014, a demonstrator promoting marriage equality held a sign saying: “Why can 23 millions citizens in Taiwan decide whether we can get married and why cannot the same 23 millions people decide whether we want the fourth nuclear power plant or not?” The LGBT community demanded legislation to allow same sex marriage, but the second read of the bill on marriage equality was delayed because the leading legislators said it was too controversial. The demonstrator use the same government logic to challenge its position on Nuke 4.
Sinica Podcast held a discussion about Taiwan from their personal experiences. The discussion explores Taiwanese's personal identity, their culture, media situation, health care system, as well as Taiwan's political relations with the mainland.
When Italian Catholic Father Alberto Papa came to Taiwan in 1963, he learned that face tattoo is an important culture for many aboriginal tribes in Taiwan. For example, in Atayal culture, only respectable person would have face tattoo. To deliver the idea that Virgin Mary is a holy figure, the father decided to add a golden face tattoo on the statue of Virgin Mary in his church.
More photos showing Taiwan aboriginal women with face tattoo can be found here.
More than 50,000 protesters are demonstrating outside the President Office in this year's National Day of Republic of China on October 10 in Taiwan. They were demonstrating against the 4th nuclear plant [zh], the protest [zh] against the present referendum law and against the top government officials, including the president, vice president and prime minister for the controversial service trade agreement with China and the recent wiretap scandal.
The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan has launched a new campaign to gather 100 million signatures. Their online petition, in eight different languages, calls on Japanese government to offer an official apology and legal reparations to the victims and asks the international community to join their cause. Over 743 thousands have already joined online.
The first online dictionary of the native language used by the aboriginal peoples [zh] in Taiwan had its debut on August 5, 2013. The first stage of this online dictionary includes the native language of the the Bunun people, the Tao people, the Truku people, the Saisiyat people, the Thao people, and the Tsou people. This dictionary is planned to includes 16 languages in the future.
On March 29, Taiwanese celebrity Janet Lee, along with some other people, was brought to see AH-64E Apache helicopters, the latest model of Apache attack helicopters.
These Apache helicopters were delivered to Taiwan in 2013, as part of a $6.4 billion arms deal with the U.S. signed in 2008.
After Lee posted several photos of her posing with the helicopters on Facebook, the Republic of China Army was criticized for letting unauthorized people enter the off-limits zone, where sensitive technology information is stored.
The scandal has led to the sacking of 18 military officials as of April 11. Ten of them belong to the 601 Air Cavalry Brigade.
Netizens made fun of the incident by comparing Janet Lee with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. All of them have taken on armies single-handedly, but while the guys did that in the movies, Janet Lee crushed a real life brigade with her Facebook check-in.
Although the focus was translation and interpretation of classic Chinese books, the necessity of learning a new language when studying a culture or being able to use the language in politics were also addressed. Two lecturers caught the interest of Ruiz, Alicia Relinque and Eduardo Daniel Oviedo. About their talks, Ruiz notes:
Relinque, nos explicó muy brevemente su experiencia personal como traductora y cómo a lo largo del tiempo ha ido cambiando su metodología en función de la obra a traducir e incluso a veces por los requisitos impuestos desde la editorial. Seguidamente expuso varios ejemplos de traducciones de otros autores
(Oviedo) trataba del papel que juega actualmente el chino como elemento integrador de la sociedad china, así como la lucha que tiene con otros idiomas para ser la lengua hegemónica a medida que crece el poder político y económico de la República Popular China, mientras expande su influencia a otras regiones del mundo de cara a la formación de una lengua global.
Relinque briefly explained us her personal experience as translator and how as time went by she has been changing her methodology according to the text to be translated and sometimes even according to the requirements by the publisher. She then talked about several translations by other authors
(Oviedo) addressed the role currently played by Chinese language as unifying element in Chinese society, as well as the struggle it has with other languages to be the hegemonic language as Popular Republic of China's political and economic power grows, as it expands its influence to other regions of the world in regards to the formation of a global language.
Now it's time to wait for the second edition on 2016 and the possibility for the Autonomous University of Barcelona to organize it. That hasn't been decided yet.
Leopard cat is listed as a vulnerable species [zh] in Taiwan. Since the big cats live in the forests and jungles in both plains and in hilly areas and their home range is very broad, their habitats in Taiwan are easily disturbed by new construction projects. The Taiwanese environmental evaluation committee had temporally rejected the request from the Miaoli Government to develop an alternative road in Miaoli across the habitat of leopard cats on April 16 2014 after a round of protests and petition. However, this development project was not dropped, and more development projects in this area are coming up. A facebook page [zh] was set up so people who want to protect the leopard cats in Taiwan can be well informed and mobilized.
The Wild Lily student movement took place in March 16 1990 at Freedom Square in Taipei is the most significant historical event that marks the democratic struggle in Taiwan. As a result of the movement, temporary provisions effective during the period of Communist rebellion in Taiwan was terminated and the Taiwanese congress was reformed in 1991.
Twenty-four years have been passed, in March 18 2014, another student movement took place in the Legislation Yuan in Taiwan. The students protest against the government’s black box process of the trade deal between Taiwan and China. On the third day of the demonstration, the media starts calling the action Sunflower student movement when a flower shop owner delivered sunflowers to the protesters [zh] as a form of support. The image of sun reflects people's hope to shed light to the black-box free trade negotiation between Taiwan and China governments.
The Legislative Yuan in Taiwan passed the first reading of the “marriage equality“ bill [zh] on Oct 25, 2013. On Nov 30, more than 300000 people protested against this bill, in particular against the proposal on same-sex marriage. J. Michael Cole, a Taipei-based freelance journalist, described what he observed in this protest in his blog.
Kevin Tang from Hong Wrong translated a series of comics depicting the differences between Hong Kong and Taiwan by a Hong Kong-based Taiwanese artist JIEJIEHK. Below is one of the comparison that vividly shows the difference between the restaurant services in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
A group of 300 individuals in Hong Kong published a statement in Taiwanese newspapers warning the Taiwan society against Sinicisation [i.e. the bad influence of mainland China]. The statement has two versions one published in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan. Dictionary of Politically Incorrect Hong Kong Cantonese has translated the Taiwanese version.
More than twenty thousand people occupied the entrance of the president office on August 18, 2013 against the Land Expropriation Act and forced expropriation. Later at night, five thousand protesters entered the Ministry of the Interior and started their sit-in protest [zh]. They painted inside the building on the struggle between paddy and excavator.