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Lai visits National Archives Administration on 37th year since lifting of martial law

July 15 marks 37 years since the lifting of martial law in Taiwan. President Lai Ching-te visited the National Archives Administration, to inspect the declassification of documents from Taiwan’s authoritarian past. He ordered the archive’s managers to ensure that the documents are fully open to the public.

President Lai Ching-te peers at a declassified document from the Martial Law era. It lists one of his favorite Jin Yong novels as a banned book.

It’s been 37 years since martial law was lifted in Taiwan. During the Martial Law era, many written works and musical pieces were banned. Even today, many truths surrounding the period’s political events remain unclear.

Lai Ching-te
President
These documents are proof of how the authoritarian dictatorship planted false evidence against people and persecuted them. Blood was shed over these issues. And these documents show how people fought for democracy back in the day.

During his tour of the archives, Lai inspected the preservation of national documents and their declassification. He urged the National Archives Administration to be proactive in collecting documents concerning national security, law, and human rights, and to make them truly accessible to the public.

Lai Ching-te
President
The National Archives Administration is not a library. And it’s not a museum that receives collections passively. Files with important information sent in from government agencies must not be covered up for any reason. We can’t have openness in name only.

Lai urged the public to fully recognize and appreciate Taiwan’s hard-won democracy.

Lai Ching-te
President
People must know the truth in order to prevent history from repeating itself. I hope that no one in our democratic society will use democracy as a tool against democracy itself. We also don’t want to see people who once sided against the public and stood with totalitarianism try to drag our country back to the past.

Security was heightened during the visit, following a recent assassination attempt on former U.S. President Donald Trump. The chief of the Presidential Office’s security department was on the scene, watching for irregularities. Guards were stationed at entrances to check all people entering or exiting, leaving no room for incidents.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

Time:2024-07-15

最新消息 Latest News

Security tightened for top officials following Trump assassination attempt

Taiwan has stepped up security measures for top officials, following an assassination attempt on former U.S. President Donald Trump. From Sunday night to Monday morning, President Lai Ching-te and Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim made two joint public appearances. No selfies with the officials were permitted, and the use of flash photography was restricted. At a Monday business event that Hsiao attended, even participating lawmakers were subjected to a security check.

Lai Ching-te (July 14)
President
I had thought, since Premier Cho is already in attendance, should I even come? Because I do have concerns about personal security.

Johnny Chiang
Legislative Yuan deputy speaker
When Vice President Hsiao sat down, I asked her whether security seemed tighter today. She said that it was, because of what happened in the U.S. yesterday, the attempted shooting of former U.S. President Donald Trump. This has indeed put our security units on heightened alert.

Ho Hsin-chun
DPP lawmaker
Even as a legislator, when you go through the security check, there are female personnel holding up metal rods for screening. Usually there are one to three security personnel at the vice president’s side. Today I saw more, at least twice as many.

At each public event, there was a heightened presence from the National Security Bureau as well as local police units. Strict entry controls were enforced, with everyone undergoing a metal detector screening.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-15

Chinese doctor recalls harvesting organs from live teen

A lawmaker is urging a bill to combat forced organ harvesting. At a Monday press conference, DPP lawmaker Hsu Chih-chieh said Taiwan should stand with the world to the illicit organ trade. Abusive trade is especially prevalent in China, under the CCP. Speaking at the press event, a Chinese doctor shared his firsthand experience with this dark industry.

As Chinese doctor Zheng Zhi recalls events from over two decades ago, he trembles and fights back tears.

Zheng Zhi
Witness to live organ harvesting
The military doctor who stood opposite me ordered me to hurry up and remove one of his eyeballs. I looked, and I saw two eyes staring right up at me. His eyelids were twitching. I couldn’t force myself to do it.

It was 1994. Zheng was at a hospital in Shenyang, China, working as a medical intern. One day, his medical team was ordered by its superior to harvest the organs of a live teenager.

Zheng Zhi
Witness to live organ harvesting
We took two kidneys and one eyeball. I was on the verge of a breakdown. Because I was thinking, he’s not even 18 years old yet, he’s almost my age. I thought, this is a person’s life.

Tormented by his experience, Zheng left China and began telling the world what the CCP was doing. During Monday’s press conference, U.S.-based doctor Zhiyuan Wang furnished figures showing the extent of forced organ harvesting in China. The reality is worse than you’d imagined, he says.

Zhiyuan Wang
World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong
Before 1999, there were only 135 liver retrievals over 20 years. What about after 1999, what was the annual average? More than 1,700 retrievals a year.

Hsu Chih-chieh
DPP lawmaker
Many people disappear after being tricked into going to China. What’s more, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2023. So the global community is moving in this direction, and we want Taiwan to stand with the world.

There have long been reports of Taiwanese nationals being offered a chance to work in China, only to have their organs forcibly removed. Hiroaki Maruyama, the head of Japan’s Association to Consider Organ Transplantation in China, urged Taiwan’s government to take action against organ trafficking.

Hiroaki Maruyama
Japan’s Association to Consider Organ Transplantation in China
Through this press conference, we hope to encourage Japan and other nations to pass legislation that protects citizens from getting entangled with this criminal activity.

Lawmaker Hsu Chih-chieh said bipartisan cooperation was needed, to pass a dedicated bill to fight forced organ harvesting. He urged Taiwan to work with democratic nations worldwide to end a crime against humanity.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-15

Sperm whales spotted off Hualien’s coast for three straight days

Whale watchers, listen up. Sperm whales have recently been spotted along Hualien’s coast. One lucky tour boat encountered them three days in a row. With whale watching season in full swing, Hualien tourism is bouncing back from the April 3 earthquake.

Whale watchers pull out their phones, snapping photos of sperm whales close to their boat. As if to show off, one whale emerges to the surface before lunging back to the sea, blowing up water to the delight of the crowd.

This rare sighting was on a Sunday. For three days in a row, one tour boat was lucky enough to encounter sperm whales off the coast. One passenger brought her dogs to enjoy the sight.

Visitor
We came to see the whales. It’s the first time for these dogs.

Chiu Hsi-tung
Whale watching tour operator
The whales probably came to Hualien’s waters because it’s breeding season for small and large neritic squid and South China Sea squid. They probably came over to look for food. Since there’s food here, of course they’re not going away.

Amid the summer travel season, Ministry of Agriculture vouchers that launched on July 1 have drawn visitors back to Hualien. Whale watching tour operators say business is slowly recovering from the blow of the April 3 earthquake.

Chiu Hsi-tung
Whale watching tour operator
The Ministry of Agriculture program and the accommodation subsidies have been quite beneficial for Hualien as a whole. There’s been an increase in business of more than 20%, driven by the agriculture ministry vouchers.

With government efforts underway, Hualien has high hopes for a tourism comeback.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53






2024-07-15

Octopus breeding season delights fishers in Hualien’s Qixingtan

Qixingtan in Hualien County is internationally known as a must-see tourist destination. But during octopus breeding season, it’s not just the tourists who flock here. Many fishers can also be found along the coast, angling not for fish, but for tiny octopi. They say if they’re lucky, they can catch 30 to 40 in just two hours. But they also have to be careful—a venomous blue-ringed octopus might be on the other end.

Anglers utter cries of surprise as they grip their fishing rods, ready to reel in a wriggling octopus.

Chao Yung-po
FTV reporter
Qixingtan is a popular tourist destination in Hualien. With the Pacific on one side and the Central Mountain Range on the other, the beautiful scenery attracts many visitors. It’s also a mecca for anglers. You can see some here out for a day of fishing.

Countless octopi writhe around in these plastic boxes. One angler says that if he’s lucky, he can catch 30 to 40 in just two hours.

Mr. Liang
Angler
You can use any kind of rod. Many people use steel, but you can also use flexible ones. A beach fishing rod is also OK. It’s up to you. If you want to cast further out, you can use a longer one.

Ho Chiung-wen
Life sciences professor
If octopi come close to the shoreline at the same time every year, our guess is that they’re more likely to reproduce.

Some anglers have discovered blue rings on their catch and worry it could be the highly venomous blue-ringed octopus. But experts say not to worry. The dangerous kind have rings all over their body, not just one. If you do happen to catch one, remember to wear gloves when returning it to the ocean.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-15

Miaoli garden blooms with hybrid crape myrtles in every color hue

A garden in Miaoli is at its peak right now, and is the perfect Mecca for fans of crape myrtles. The gardener Teng Chia-chi has cultivated hybrid crape myrtles of all colors, shapes and sizes over more than a decade. The transplantation expert has even cultivated myrtles with several different colors of flower on one trunk. The garden’s flowers will be at their best from now until mid-September.

A tunnel made of fabulous flowering branches, like something from a dream. Visitors all have their phones out, to catch a snap of this exceptional bower.

Tourist
The flowers are so beautiful, they make the people more beautiful and the mood lift.

This private garden in Miaoli’s Yuanli Township is run by a gardener who simply loves crape myrtles. He crosses Lagerstroemia subcostata with Lagerstroemia indica, and the whole garden has more than 1,000 myrtles big and small. When they’re blooming, it’s as if the entire garden is made of pink.

Teng Chia-chi
Crape Myrtle Garden owner
I’ve been collecting them for more than 10 years. That’s how I’ve collected so many colors. There are 20 colors all patched together. We transplanted 20 trees with 20 different colors.

Crape myrtles are highly resilient and easy to transplant, and this gardener is both a myrtle lover and an expert transplanter. He got them to grow fast, and to grow many healthy and multi-coloured flowers over an extra-long blooming season. The myrtles are in bloom from late May to mid-September.

Teng Chia-chi
Crape Myrtle Garden owner
Just this one tree has three different colors of flower. It’s all done through transplantation.

This myrtle has light purple, bright red and peachy pink flowers. Each color brings a different tone to the garden. Visitors will never forget the sight of all the subtle shades of pink intermingling in this popular local idyll.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-15

Taiwan ensembles win big at World Choir Games in New Zealand

Three Taiwanese choirs made a splash at the World Choir Games in New Zealand. Kaohsiung’s Bao Lai Junior High School Choir won gold for the third straight year in the Folklore and Indigenous Music with Choreography Category. Other winners from Taiwan were the New Taipei City Junior Choir and Kaohsiung’s Kazuhas Chorus.

A beautiful melody fills the auditorium. At the World Choir Games, young Indigenous vocalists from Taiwan captured the hearts of the judges. The Bao Lai Junior High School Choir stood out among more than 250 ensembles from 40 countries, winning a gold medal in the Folklore and Indigenous Music with Choreography category.

It was the school’s third consecutive victory. And it wasn’t the only triumph for Taiwan at the event.

The New Taipei City Junior Choir won a Level III Golden Diploma in the Children’s Choir event at the Open Competition, qualifying for the Champions Competition in 2026. Meanwhile, the Kahuzas Chorus bagged a silver medal in the Children’s Choir event.

Student
Bao Lai Junior High School
We’d like to thank lawmaker Chiu Yi-ying for this clothing sponsorship, which has got everyone to see Taiwan. We won gold, so it seems we won’t have to swim back to Taiwan after all.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai had met the singers before their departure, and joked that they’d have to swim back from New Zealand if they lost. The choir members made a video to show Chen that swimming would not be necessary. They also thanked lawmaker Chiu Yi-ying for their sweaters, which were provided by a Taiwanese clothing sponsor she secured.

Emblazoned with the words “Formosa Taiwan,” the sweaters are the same ones that Vice President Hsiao Bi-khim took to the U.S., during her time as Taiwan’s representative to Washington. The young singers shone bright on the world stage, once again putting Taiwan on the map.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-15

Teahouses, ice cream essential to every Maokong visit

The completion of regular maintenance on the Maokong gondola also means the return of travelers looking to get local specialties like baozhong and tieguanyin tea. Many restaurants add tea leaves to their meals or even make it into ice cream. There’s also the famous Zhinan Temple, although it’s said that couples shouldn’t go there together. Why is that? Let’s find out!

Lin Yung-chi
FTV reporter
When you take the gondola to Maokong, what should you do? More importantly, what should you eat? Since it’s summer, your first stop can be for this tieguanyin ice cream.

Packing a strong punch of tea flavor, this ice cream is topped with a cat-shaped cookie made from baozhong. This is because Maokong is a tea-growing region, known for its baozhong and tieguanyin.

Come to Maokong’s first teahouse for a freshly brewed pot. Even when it’s raining outside, its amber color and warming taste make for a singular experience.

Chang Huan-shuo
Teahouse owner
We were basically the first teahouse to open in Maokong. Before we focused only on tea, but over time added some more refined stir-fried dishes.

Fresh waffles with ice cream drizzled with brown sugar boba. Maokong has more than just tea. You can also get a cup of coffee with notes of grape at this scenic cafe. It just opened at the end of November with spectacular views of Taipei 101 and the gondola, drawing many young visitors and families.

Customer
Today is my husband and my anniversary. We brought the kids here because I don’t really love tea, so my husband chose a place that isn’t a teahouse.

Lin Yung-chi
FTV reporter
There’s another destination in Maokong where you can see the entire Taipei basin. It isn’t a scenic cafe, but Wenshan District’s famous Zhinan Temple. It’s usually teeming with worshippers, but there’s also a legend that if a couple visits together, they might break up.

The main deity is Lu Dongbin, one of the Eight Immortals. Temple authorities say his reputation as dangerous for couples is just hearsay. He will actually help worshippers find a good match and only break off bad relationships. Zhinan has 135 years of history and draws thousands every year. Apart from car or bus, you can also swing by while riding the gondola for a quick prayer.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-15

Chinese immigrant finds strength to take on gas company after loss

Today we meet an immigrant from China who has become a cherished member of the community in rural Yunlin. Wu Fengyu moved from Fujian toTaixi Township for marriage, but when she lost her husband, she had to take on the family gas company. The hard manual labor of delivering gas was not a job she had expected to inherit, but with a family to provide for, she found the willpower to learn. Now, delivering heavy gas canisters looks easy when she’s at work.

Gas supplier Wu Fengyu calmly maneuvers an 80-kilogram gas canister that’s almost as tall as she is.

Wu grew up in Fujian, China, and moved to Taixi Township to marry her husband, who ran this gas business at the time. After his untimely death from illness, she had to take over his role in the business. At first, she could barely lift a small canister and would need a week’s rest after one day hauling gas around. But she remembers how one comment from her child spurred her on.

Wu Fengyu
Gas supplier and Chinese immigrant
When my husband collapsed, it was so sudden, I was paralyzed. But my kid came home from school and said, “Mom, I’m hungry, what can I eat?” When I heard that, suddenly a flood of tears came. I thought, “I can’t collapse, I must get up again, for my child.”

It was a tough journey to abruptly take over the business. She couldn’t hire anyone to deliver canisters, so she had to do it herself. To learn the routes, she took a job in a lunchbox store and learned the streets of the town by delivering food. Then she learned how to handle the heavy canisters.

She’s on call all day long, delivering canisters whenever they’re needed. Sometimes she also helps customers sort out miscellaneous problems.

Almost everyone in Taixi knows her now, and everyone respects her capacity to lug the canisters all over town.

Wu Fengyu
Gas supplier and Chinese immigrant
People see me delivering gas, they’re standing at the side, and they mutter to someone, “It’s not just men doing hard labor these days! Look, this woman can do it as well as the men!” I’m very grateful for that.

Wu is full of gratitude to have reached where she is now, after the loss of her husband. She’s grateful to him for her happy years of marriage, and grateful to all her neighbors in Taixi, whose acceptance has given her the courage she needs to face each day with optimism.

This story was provided by the program "We Are Family"
Funded by New Immigrant Development Fund

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53



2024-07-15

Former president Chen Shui-bian weighs in on the shooting of Donald Trump

An assassination attempt was made on the life of former U.S. president Donald Trump, while he was campaigning in Pennsylvania on Saturday. For Taiwanese, the incident was an eerie reminder of shootings that occurred during past elections in Taiwan. Former president Chen Shui-bian, who was the victim of one of those shootings, gave his analysis of how the attempted assassination of Trump could affect the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. However, amid concerns over incumbent U.S. President Joe Biden’s age, Chen says no conclusions can be made yet about the November election.

Former U.S. president Donald Trump, who is again running for election, was at a campaign event on Saturday when the sudden sound of a gunshot rang out.

Several more gunshots followed, and Trump reached for his right ear. Supporters at the rally crouched down and began screaming.

Members of secret service rushed the stage carrying firearms to secure the former president. Trump then stood up with the assistance of his security, raising his fist into the air in defiance.

Voice of CNN anchor
You can see him put his fist up, and you see him doing a fist pump. It appears like he’s saying “fight.” It looks as if there might be blood on his ear.

Trump’s motorcade quickly left the scene, and Trump was rushed to the hospital for treatment. The U.S. Secret Service later confirmed that the former president was safe and in good condition. A spokesperson for the Trump campaign also thanked law enforcement and ambulance personnel in a statement.

Some have drawn comparisons to Taiwan’s 2004 presidential election, when then-president Chen Shui-bian was shot while campaigning for reelection. In that incident, the bullet grazed Chen’s abdomen before he was rushed to the hospital.

Chen Shui-bian
Former president
Similarly it happened during an election event, on the final day while campaigning in Tainan – Taiwan’s cradle of democracy. Pennsylvania, where Trump was shot, could be said to be America’s cradle of democracy. It’s the birthplace of their revolution, so there are a lot of similarities. I was hit in the stomach and he was hit in the ear. I hope this incident also makes us more careful. If it happens in the U.S., we in Taiwan should also watch out.

Chen’s shooting brought an end to campaigning that year, and Chen narrowly won the election by a 0.22 percent margin. Later, in 2010, Sean Lien of the KMT was shot while on stage stumping for a fellow party member during local elections.

Lien Chan (2010.11.26)
Honorary KMT chair
At this time, my son is being treated in the hospital. His condition is still unknown.

The KMT pressed on with campaigning and won seats in Taipei, while keeping its seats in New Taipei and Taichung. Some are now asking whether Trump’s shooting will similarly propel the Republicans to victory in the U.S.

Chen Shui-bian
Former president
It should be disadvantageous for the incumbent U.S. president. However, if the Democrats are forced to replace their candidate, if they choose a female nominee or someone younger, then the election outcome would be harder to predict.

Campaigning for the U.S.’ November election is heating up, and with Trump now the victim of an assassination attempt, it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-14

Steam-operated Mid-Summer Formosa runs first of three summer trips on east coast

Every summer between June and August, the Mid-Summer Formosa, a train pulled by an 81-year-old steam locomotive, runs between Hualien’s Yuli and Taitung on three weekends. This year’s first trip took place on Saturday with a throng of train enthusiasts taking over a station platform to snap pictures of the Steam Queen herself. They also cleared away souvenir bento boxes in just 10 minutes’ time.

With steam puffing out from its engine, Locomotive CT273 slowly entered the station to a hero’s welcome. A crowd of tourists arrived early on the platform to catch a glimpse of the Mid-Summer Formosa.

A long line was also forming around an area that sold souvenirs. Among the merchandise, the 50 limited-edition bentos with the Taiwan Railway logo embossed on the lid were sold in less than 10 minutes.

Tourist
I am very excited and glad to encounter such a great train. It is a very memorable festival.

Member of the public in line
I’m getting the bento and water. I’d like to get five.

The Mid-Summer Formosa, which runs annually on three weekends during the summer, is driven by the CT273 steam locomotive, aka the "Steam Queen." It is hooked up to six Chu-Kuang Express carriages and stops at Fuli, Chishang and Shanli stations along its journey. The reason it attracts so many tourists is that the train only operates on three weekends in the summer every year. On these weekends, the train will travel from Yuli to Taitung on Saturday and make a return trip the following day.

Lin Yu-yu
Yuli Station Master
The section from Yuli to Taitung is very beautiful and scenic. If you want to participate in this event, we have a total of six trains. You can come to Yuli and take part in this event on the Mid-Summer Formosa.

Tu Wei
Taiwan Railway Corp. chairman
We hope that the CT273 will give passengers an enriching journey on a steam locomotive, and that the overall creative development of the Hualien-Taitung region will be further promoted.

After the devastation caused by the earthquake on April 3 this year, Taiwan Railway hopes that the Mid-Summer Formosa can boost tourism in this beautiful region, and help Taiwan’s east coast regain its former glory.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-14

As part of transitional justice goal, honor guard no longer perform within CKS hall

Sunday was the last day that the R.O.C. Honor Guard performed inside the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Many people seized the last chance to witness the changing of the guard, which has been a staple of the iconic memorial since 1980. To remove symbols of authoritarianism and personal veneration, the Ministry of Culture reached a consensus with the defense ministry on ways to carry out transitional justice. Here’s the reaction of some members of the public.

American tourist
As an American, I don’t necessarily have an opinion. I’m not really educated in the matter. But I think that history is important for everybody to realize.

Taiwanese tourist
There should be a more appropriate explanation, telling people why there are guards and why there is such a big statue of Chiang Kai-shek here.

Huang Hsiu-min
Taiwan Youth Association for Transitional Justice
What we need to review is this Zhongzheng temple, the entire hall, the bronze statue, the design of the stairs, the route that visitors take, the exhibits inside, and its overall naming and designation. All are worthy of discussion, not to mention all the Zhongzheng roads and all the symbols of authoritarianism.

Starting Monday, the R.O.C. Honor Guard, which comprises troops from the Army, Navy and Air Force, will be strutting their stuff on Democracy Boulevard in front of the memorial hall every hour from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather pending.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-14

Grandriders on the road again for 10-day round-the-island tour

In 2007, a group of older adults known as the Grandriders broke onto the scene, shattering stereotypes with their scooter adventures. This year, they hit the road again for a 10-day round-the-island trip. Leading the pack is Kuo Shen-sen, a centenarian who proves that age is just a number. The youngest rider is 65-year-old Chiu Chi-hsing, who’s tackling the challenge with a prosthetic leg and a will of steel. We join them on the journey in our Sunday special report.

It’s March 2024, and 29 senior citizens are gathered here with a shared dream. Their average age is 75. Some are hard of hearing, others are cancer survivors. Some of them are living with heart stents. Despite their physical limitations, they’re ready to embark on a 10-day, 1,175-kilometer adventure that will take them around the island.

The 29 Grandriders have trained long and hard for this day, even going on a 120-kilometer test ride one month earlier.

Their helmets and scooters are numbered for easy identification. This way, volunteers can keep track of the group throughout the trip. Today, the Grandriders set off from Taichung and make their way counterclockwise around the island. But the trip starts out bumpy.

Ruan Yi-yu
Grandriders PR coordinator
The main issue was the heavy rush hour traffic. There was a left turn signal and some of our Grandriders got confused. They saw everybody turning left, and so they turned left, too. Later there was some space by the side of the road, and we regrouped there. It’s a good thing that we had our volunteers on hand. They noticed the issue right away and brought our Grandriders back here.

With a cold front pushing south, temperatures are down to about 14 degrees Celsius. The Grandriders face a rigorous test against the cold.

Kuo Shen-sen
Grandrider
The top of a scooter is my favorite place to be. On a scooter, you can ride up to the mountains. You can head down to the water. At my age, being able to ride a scooter to the mountains and the water is great.

Grandrider Kuo Shen-sen tackles life with a smile, and that’s his secret to good health. At the age of 100, Kuo is on his fifth round-the-island scooter challenge. Holding up special stickers made just for him, the centenarian is proof that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.

Kuo Ching-hui
Daughter of Grandrider Kuo Shen-sen
He’s drinking his nutritional supplement. We call his supplements “happy meals.” They keep his energy up and they’re easy to digest.

The older Kuo was assigned No. 1 for the trip. He leads the way, cruising along steadily and surely.

Kuo Ching-hui
Daughter of Grandrider Kuo Shen-sen
I can see all the effort my dad puts into these trips. He prepares the whole year, keeping up his health so that he can ride happily for 10 days. He’s setting a very important example for us kids. He’s working hard in pursuit of his own happiness, to build his own life, even at the age of 100.

Huang Yang-ming
Fu Jen Catholic University psychology professor
They’re riding scooters around the island. That’s a challenge even for a lot of young people. The fact that they can do it has a great deal of symbolic significance. It shows that not all older adults are stuck lying in bed. They can also go out and do very interesting things, very challenging things.

As a young man working for a factory, Kuo went from Taipei to Kaohsiung each week, traveling by scooter. So he’s no novice when it comes to this mode of transport. Even at the age of 100, he still has the stamina and willpower needed for long trips.

Kuo Shen-sen
Grandrider
I’m just 100 years old. I don’t feel old. For me, being 100 years old is normal. I’m no different from anyone else. You see, I’m full of vitality. I just live a normal life. I sleep at 9 o’clock, I eat three meals a day, I go out and exercise, I ride my scooter, I exercise happily. That’s it. I’m happy just doing that.

To help Kuo complete the trip, his son and daughter have both taken time off work.

Kuo Tien-feng
Son of Grandrider Kuo Shen-sen
When dad did his round-the-island trip in 2019, I joined him on a scooter. When he did it again in 2022, I went along in a coach bus. In 2023, she went along in a coach bus.

Kuo Ching-hui
Daughter of Grandrider Kuo Shen-sen
I figured that this time, it was my turn. It’s my turn. So I raised my hand and volunteered to be with him.

Kuo Tien-feng
Son of Grandrider Kuo Shen-sen
It’s a blessing for us children that dad is in such great health. Why’s that? I’m taking time off work to have fun with him. That’s better than taking time off work to be with him in a hospital, right? A lot of people ask us how we can do this. I say, this is a happy occasion.

At 65 years old, Chiu Chi-hsing is the youngest Grandrider in the group. When he was 4 years old, he lost his right leg in a gravel truck accident. Growing up, he endured bullying and ridicule.

Chiu Chi-hsing
Grandrider
People would refer to me as “the cripple.” I got used to it. You have to get used to such things. If you don’t, you end up miserable. There’s nothing in this world that you can change simply by worrying about it. No amount of worrying can make a thing better, so why worry?

With his characteristic candor, Chiu pulls off his prosthetic leg in front of the camera.

He calls himself the “One-Legged Fun Seeker.” With a prosthetic leg and a will of steel, he climbed to the top of Yushan in 2022. In 2024, he’s riding around the island to cross it off his bucket list.

Chiu Chi-hsing
Grandrider
Actually there are a lot of people like me. They can’t come out of their shells. Instead, they just hole up at home. That’s extremely bad for them. I might walk slower than other people, but I can still reach the finish line.

For one older couple, this round-the-island tour fulfills a promise they made to each other 50 years ago.

Wang Chao-ching
Grandrider
When we were young, we said to each other that our finances were the top priority. We couldn’t go out and have fun. We said that once our children were grown and our finances allowed it, we would go on a scooter trip around the island.

Several years ago, Wang Chao-ching saw his brother lose his wife. His brother could only carry a photo of her on a train, to fulfill their round-the-island dream. It was then that Wang and his own wife realized that life was unpredictable, and that they should live with no regrets. So Wang’s wife, Chi Tien-hua, learned to ride a scooter and obtained a license. Together, they signed up for the Grandriders club to make their dreams come true.

Chi Tien-hua
Grandrider
We had wanted to ride on a single scooter. But the association said no, we each had to be on our own scooter. But that’s fine, getting out here is what matters.

The 10-day trip is like the winding paths of life, bringing surprises at each turn. As new challenges arise, the Grandriders navigate the road at their own pace. This sense of mastery over one’s own fate might be the ultimate dream, for both young and old. The Grandriders press on, inspiring those around them at every stop.

During the trip, they even serve as ambassadors against fraud and scams. Smiling wide, they shout slogans in a public awareness campaign.

They cut dashing figures as they go on their way. To these small children, they’re veritable superheroes.

They set off again, bringing along the good wishes of the locals. On this particular journey, every turn is a fresh beginning, and there are many more exciting chapters yet to come.

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2024-07-14

Taiex sheds 473 points to fall below 24,000

Following losses on Wall Street, the Taiwan Stock Exchange plunged 473 points, marking its third-biggest drop so far this year. The Taiex was down by 615 points at its intraday low, but it recovered slightly to close at 23,916. According to analyst Jeff Chang, the market is undergoing short-term consolidation and still has strong long-term prospects. Let’s hear from him.

Jeff Chang
Cathay Securities Investment Trust chair
The AI rally really only got started this year, and it still has plenty of room to run over the long term. After the market has consolidated, we’ll be looking ahead to even stronger profits in 2025. Profit growth over the next year will likely be at least 20%. As a matter of fact, Taiwan still has some NT$58 trillion parked in bank accounts. Saved money is wasted money, because with the inflation rate so high, it’s a shame not to invest it. We’ve seen excess savings over the past four years, of NT$3 trillion to 4 trillion per year. Basically, Taiwan is awash in money. Without proper wealth management, all this money will be eaten up by inflation.

Chang says the Taiex rose by 28% in the first half of the year, ranking No. 1 in Asia. He says the AI rally is just getting started, and that Taiwan’s supply chain is already reaping the benefits. According to the analyst, the market is likely to surpass this year’s growth in 2025.

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-12

Premier says green energy ‘the only way forward’

Premier Cho Jung-tai discussed energy security on Friday, at the annual conference of the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce. He told industry executives that green energy was, quote, the only way forward between now and 2030. The premier was responding to calls for a return to nuclear power generation.

Premier Cho Jung-tai attended an annual industry conference on Friday, to engage with the business community. Energy security was a pressing concern for industry executives. At the Third Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County, the No. 1 reactor is set to be decommissioned as scheduled on July 27.

Cho Jung-tai
Premier
The safety inspections required for an extension were not initiated five years ago. So at present, it’s impossible to extend the unit’s operation past July 27, because safety can no longer be guaranteed.

Cho said the government will ensure that ongoing power projects are completed on schedule. A 10-year, NT$500 billion plan to strengthen the power grid will be expedited under the Lai administration, targeting a timeframe of five years. At the same time, green energy ventures will continue, with the goal of attracting major international corporations to help build an “AI island.”

Cho Jung-tai
Premier
Right now it’s impossible to say what next-generation nuclear energy will look like, although we’re leaving room for various possibilities. At any rate, between now and 2030, it’s clear that we cannot depend on nuclear energy, on adding more nuclear power units. So our only way forward is green energy.

The Presidential Office recently established a climate change committee, with Pegatron Chair Tung Tzu-hsien as deputy convener. Former Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh announced that he would serve as a consultant, saying that he agreed with Tung’s proposal to continue nuclear energy use. On Friday, Tung denied that he was, quote, pro-nuclear.

Tung Tzu-hsien
Pegatron chair
To clarify again, it is inappropriate to describe me with the term “pro-nuclear.” Nuclear energy is a tool. It is not a belief to support or oppose with all of one’s heart. I have not communicated with anyone over this issue, and my views are not shaped by anybody but myself.

Tung stressed that his views were his own, based on his observations of Taiwan’s industrial development.

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Sun to Fri at 9:30 pm on Channel 152
Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

2024-07-12