MOFA files complaints against lawmakers over scuffle | Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has filed a complaint with police against six legislators and city councilors who tried t

MOFA files complaints against lawmakers over scuffle

MOFA files complaints against lawmakers over scuffle

MOFA files complaints against lawmakers over scuffle

MOFA files complaints against lawmakers over scuffle

MOFA files complaints against lawmakers over scuffle

MOFA files complaints against lawmakers over scuffle
MOFA files complaints against lawmakers over scuffle
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Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has filed a complaint with police against six legislators and city councilors who tried to force their way into the MOFA office building and allegedly hurt a young MOFA officer during a scuffle.

MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the move was made to "protect the rights and dignity of our colleague," who was hurt physically and emotionally" by what Ou described as "verbal and physical violence."

The ministry wants the six legislators and city councilors investigated for coercion and obstructing an officer in discharging his duties, Ou said.

In response to the complaint, the police could summon the lawmakers for questioning, and the MOFA officer could also be called in as a witness to give his side of the story, Ou said.

The incident occurred on Dec. 6, when three opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislators and three KMT Taipei City councilors attempted to enter MOFA headquarters to demand an explanation from Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) of a senior diplomat's suicide in Osaka in September 2018.

The six tried to push their way through the MOFA building's main door that was being blocked from the inside by police regularly assigned as security guards to the ministry.

In a video, they were seen surrounding a young MOFA officer outside the building who was making a video of their actions. They yelled at him, grabbed his arms and threatened to send him to the prosecutor's office.

Ou accused the six KMT politicians of playing politics ahead of Taiwan's presidential and legislative elections in January 2020, saying they did not even bring a petition with them regarding the suicide case.

The case involved the death of Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠), then director-general of the Osaka branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan, who was found hanging by the neck in his residence on September 14, 2018.

His suicide came after the Osaka office and the Foreign Ministry faced a barrage of online criticism for their ineffective response to the shutdown of Kansai Airport after its flooding by Typhoon Jebi just over a week earlier.

They were panned for their inability to evacuate Taiwanese travelers, seemingly in contrast to China, which, according to online posts that later proved to be inaccurate, had managed to send buses to the airport to get its nationals out.

Prompting the recent protests by KMT politicians was the indictment of Yang Hui-ju, a former campaign aide to Taiwan's representative to Japan, Frank Hsieh, and a supporter of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, for financing some of the cyberattacks panning the Osaka office's performance.

The KMT has been critical of MOFA's lack of a detailed accounting of why Su may have killed himself and its failure to hold top officials in charge of Japan affairs responsible for Su's death, and tried to publicize that with a series of maneuvers.

Ou urged politicians not to use MOFA and other government agencies as a place for electioneering.

(By Emerson Lim)

Taiwan shares end lower as 'Apple concept stocks' suffer

Taiwan shares end lower as 'Apple concept stocks' suffer

Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Shares in Taiwan moved lower Tuesday, led by major suppliers to Apple Inc., after the American consumer electronics giant suffered losses on the United States market overnight, dealers said.

In Taiwan, selling of the "Apple concept stocks" came amid concerns over possible additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, including iPhones assembled in China, if Washington and Beijing do not sign a phase-one deal before the Dec. 15 deadline, dealers said.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (Taiex) ended down 32.93 points, or 0.28 percent, at 11,627.84, after moving between 11,607.26 and 11,649.73. Turnover totaled NT$103.31 billion (US$3.39 billion) during the session.

The market opened down 0.11 percent as major Apple suppliers such as chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. came under pressure in the wake of a downturn on Wall Street, where Apple shares fell 1.4 percent Monday, dealers said.

As the Taiex drew closer to the nearest technical support at around 11,600 points, however, the losses were capped and the index moved in a narrow range for the rest of the trading session, they said.

The U.S. has threatened to impose tariffs on an additional US$156 billion worth of Chinese merchandise if the two sides fail to sign a deal by Dec. 15.

"The Chinese goods targeted by the tariffs would include smartphones and notebook computers, which means Apple products made in China would be heavily affected," Mega International Investment Services Corp. analyst Alex Huang said.

"It was no surprise that after Apple shares fell in the U.S., stocks of its suppliers in Taiwan dropped."

He said investors also seized the trade tensions as a reason to lock in their gains from recent sessions.

Among the losing Apple concept stocks, TSMC, the most heavily weighted stock on the local market, fell 0.79 percent to close at NT$313.50, with 20.52 million shares changing hands. TSMC's losses contributed about 25 points to the fall of the Taiex and pushed down the bellwether electronics sector by 0.46 percent.

Also in the Apple supply chain, Hon Hai, second to TSMC in terms of market capitalization, lost 0.77 percent to end at NT$90.30, metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co. fell 1.77 percent to close at NT$249.50, and smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co. shed 3.01 percent to finish at NT$4,675.00.

The global trade issues also sparked selling in non-tech stocks amid worry that weaker demand would depress prices, dealers said.

Food brand Uni-President Enterprises Corp. lost 0.83 percent to close at NT$71.80; Hotai Motor Co., Taiwan's largest car vendor and the local sales agent of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., fell 0.49 percent to end at NT$612.00; and Formosa Plastics Corp. dropped 0.21 percent to close at NT$96.50. Bucking the downturn, Nan Ya Plastics Corp. finished 0.28 percent higher at NT$71.10.

In the financial sector, which closed up 0.06 percent on the back of companies' solid bottom lines, Cathay Financial Holding Co. rose 0.97 percent to end at NT$41.70, and Mega Financial Holding Co. gained 0.17 percent to finish at NT$30.20.

"I think the Taiex had strong technical support today at around 11,600 points, as it neared the 5-day and 10-day moving average," Huang said.

According to Taiex data, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$2.73 billion worth of shares on the main board Tuesday.

(By Frances Huang)

Artisan lacquer craft exhibited in Taipei

Artisan lacquer craft exhibited in Taipei

Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) A collection of some 50 pieces of handmade lacquer works by master artisan Wang Ching-shuang (王清霜) and his descendants opened Tuesday in Taipei, showcasing three generations of Taiwanese handicrafts.

The "Magnificent. Illustrious -- Lacquer Art Exhibition Presented by National Living Treasure Mr. Wang Ching-shuang and Family" had its opening ceremony at the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute's (NTCRI) Taipei branch.

The artworks include the works of Wang Ching-shuang, two of his sons -- Wang Shien-ming (王賢民) and Wang Shien-chih (王賢志) -- grandson Wang Chun-wei (王峻偉) and granddaughter Wang Yi-ting (王怡婷).

Born during Japanese colonial rule in 1922, the 97-year-old was designated by the Council of Cultural Affairs as a "National Living Treasure" in 2010 for his preservation of lacquer craft.

He also received the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon -- the highest award bestowed to a civilian -- for his dedication and preservation of lacquer arts by former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in 2016.

Wang Ching-shuang received his training at the lacquer department of the Taichung Polytechnics School in 1937 and went to Japan to study lacquer art in 1940.

In 1959, he began producing lacquerware for the mass market and exported his products through his Mei Yen Lacquer Art Co. Ltd. before concentrating more on artistic creations in the 1990s.

Among the works displayed at the exhibition is a flat work titled "Warrior," completed this year by Wang Ching-shuang, depicting bare-chested warriors from Taiwan's indigenous tribes.

Another work on display at the exhibition is "Prosperity and Peacefulness," created by Wang Chun-wei in 2019, which depicts three cows painted in red, yellow and blue.

An earlier version of the piece was given by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a gift to diplomatic ally eSwatini when officials visited the African country earlier this year, he said.

Prosperity and Peacefulness

Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said the exhibition shows the preservation of lacquer art and that the three generations of the Wang family are an important page in Taiwan's handicraft history.

The exhibition will run through April 24.

Master artisan Wang Ching-shuang (王清霜, left) and his grandson Wang Chun-wei (王峻偉)

(By William Yen)

Taipei 101 animation to highlight periodic table of elements

Taipei 101 animation to highlight periodic table of elements

Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Taipei 101 will celebrate the periodic table of chemical elements with a short animation on its LED light wall this weekend, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) announced Tuesday.

The animation, which lasts 30 seconds, will be replayed in a loop from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day from Dec. 13 to 15.

2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the creation of the periodic table by Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, and it has been proclaimed the "International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements" by the United Nations.

To celebrate the anniversary, the MOST, along with the Ministry of Education, National Taiwan Normal University and the Chemical Society Located in Taipei (CSLT), has organized a series of events that highlight the themes "the elements are everywhere" and "cherish resources."

Coincidentally, the chemical element named in honor of Mendeleev, Mendelevium (Md), has the atomic number 101, which is why the CSLT thought of promoting the periodic table on the 101-floor skyscraper, according to CSLT Chairperson Chiu Mei-hung (邱美虹).

Other events being organized include exhibitions in four museums, and some subway trains in Taipei will be decorated based on the periodic table theme.

The trains will start operating Dec. 11 on the Bannan Line and Danshui Line, and will run for two and a half months.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Chiang Yi-ching)


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