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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Breaking up China’s global cartel

After Australia pushed for a WHO probe into the source of COVID-19 at the World Health Assembly in May, China responded by adding an 80.5 percent tariff — consisting of an anti-dumping tax rate of 73.6 percent and a countervailing subsidy margin of 6.9 percent — on Australian barley imports. Beijing also banned four Australian businesses from exporting beef to China, and said that it would ban Chinese tourists from visiting Australia and students from studying there. It also added anti-dumping taxes of 107.1 to 218.1 percent on Australian wine imports.


Taiwan responsible for its isolation

In early April, Taiwan donated batches of masks to several Western countries to help them in their fight to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control. The first batches consisted of a total of 10 million masks.

China Airlines was charged with transporting the donated masks and, of course, had the name China Airlines emblazoned on the fuselage of its aircraft, leading to people overseas unfamiliar with the situation mistakenly believing that the delivery came from China, not Taiwan, leading to frustration and resentment at home.


Education policy has blind spots

The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement has released the results of the quadrennial Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

There was not much change in the results for Taiwan, as students scored high in learning achievement, but low in learning attitude toward mathematics and science, and their sense of alienation toward mathematics and science was higher than the average.

Faced with the results, the Ministry of Education’s K-12 Education Administration simply responded that “students in high-performing countries tend to feel a sense of alienation toward learning,” without offering any further background analysis, which was a pity.


VIRUS OUTBREAK: Government still mulling UK travel ban

A UK government travel ban public notice is pictured at Kings Cross train station in London on Sunday.
Photo: EPA-EFE

The government is considering whether to ban flights from the UK as other countries have done to stem the spread of a new strain of COVID-19 that is reportedly more infectious, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday, adding that the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) would make the final decision on the matter.


Names should represent Taiwan

As the navy’s indigenous submarine program gathers pace, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday attended a naming ceremony for the Ta Chiang (塔江艦), an upgraded production version of the navy’s Tuo Chiang-class missile corvette, at Lung Teh Shipbuilding’s shipyard in Yilan County’s Suao Township (蘇澳). The name Ta Chiang is rich in local symbolism and is a fitting designation to represent Taiwan’s spirit of national defense.

The first character of the ship’s name is taken from the Tawa River (塔瓦溪) in Taitung County, which runs through the ancestral hunting grounds of the Paiwan people, who are renowned for their tenacity in the face of adversity, as well as their bravery and skillfulness in battle. The connection to the Paiwan will be a source of inspiration for the vessel’s crew.


Taiwan pork logic confuses the US

US pork exports grew by 45 percent between 2010 and last year, while those of US beef doubled. Average annual growth of US pork and beef exports during this period has been 4 percent and 8 percent respectively.

US pork has been available in Taiwan for more than 20 years, but because Taiwanese prefer domestically produced pork — freshly slaughtered without being refrigerated or frozen — home-grown pork has a 90.6 percent share of the market.

Out of 2.67 million tonnes of pork exported by the US last year, only a little more than 11,000 tonnes were shipped to Taiwan — a mere 1.2 percent of its pork market.

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Participants toss a huge balloon as they attend a rally in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday evening to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the Sunflower movement.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Multiple rallies were held across Taipei yesterday as the nation commemorated the first anniversary of the Sunflower movement, marking the day when student-led protesters first began to lay siege to the Legislative Yuan in the capital over the government’s handling of a proposed cross-strait service trade agreement.

The participants revisited demands made during last year’s landmark protests, in which activist groups occupied the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber for almost 23 days, while tens of thousands of demonstrators were encamped outside the legislative compound.