Taiwan shows lowest economic impact due to COVID-19 among 38 countries analysed

An analysis of economic downturns in COVID-19 impacted countries showed that Taiwan had among the lowest death-rates, and showed the least economic impact among 38 countries for which the latest GDP figures were available. The analysis by Joe Hasell, published in Our World in Data, showed that Taiwan had suffered a GDP decline of only 0.6% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in the previous year. In comparing the death rates and economic downturns experienced,

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World’s largest container ship docks at Port of Kaohsiung

The world’s largest container ship, HMM Gdansk docked in Kaohsiung Harbor this morning, setting a record for Taiwan’s largest port. The newly built, Korean-owned, Panama-flagged vessel is 399.9 meters long, 61 meters wide with a gross tonnage of 228,283 tons. It has a load capacity of 24,000 TEU (20-foot standard container unit). HMM Gdansk is the largest container ship to have berthed in Port of Kaohsiung. The previous record was set by the Benjamin Franklin, with a total length of

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Driver-less electric buses to begin testing in New Taipei City

Driver-less electric buses will begin plying a 1.2 kilometer route in Tamsui District, New Taipei City tomorrow, April 24, but passengers will not be allowed on board for the first month. Road markings and signage has been completed and the road test will be launched to collect operational information and public opinions. After the first month of testing, a further 6-month-long testing period with passengers will begin. The trial route will connect Tamsui Light Rail Kanding Station with New Square

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Chiayi City rolls out retro-style electric buses

A fleet of new retro-British-style electric buses was unveiled in Chiayi City today, with four colors to ply four routes starting in June this year. “It’s really amazing,” Chiayi City Mayor Huang Min-hui gushed, adding that the buses were a form of mobile art that will enhance urban aesthetics. The fleet consists of 10 regular buses and 12 minibuses colored in red, yellow green and blue. The green buses will begin plying the Zhongshan line in June, with the rest

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US government approves activation of direct USA to Taiwan Internet cable

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) yesterday approved Google’s application to activate the California to Taiwan portion of an undersea Internet cable network that has laid dormant due to security concerns since 2018. The 120 terabit-per-second fibre-optic Pacific Light Cable Network began development in 2016 with funding from tech giants Google and Facebook who touted the project as the first direct undersea cable to connect Hong Kong and the USA. However, a joint Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and

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Helicopter crashes during training exercise in Kaohsiung City

Five people walked away from a helicopter crash unharmed at Kaohsiung City’s Xiaogang International Airport this afternoon, April 7. At 3:35 pm, the National Airborne Service Corps AS-365 Dauphin helicopter suddenly fell onto the tarmac from an altitude of around 30 feet, according to reports in Liberty Times and United Daily News. The aircraft and crew were taking part in emergency response training at the time, and practicing vertical take-off and landing. The aircraft hit the tarmac then landed on

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Supermarket chains launch mobile supermarkets to serve remote mountain districts

Two supermarket chains launched mobile supermarkets to serve remote mountain districts in the last few days, in what is seen as a positive move by residents in the rural areas. On March 30, Carrefour’s Tucheng branch dispatched a mobile supermarket truck to New Taipei City’s Wulai District. The mobile supermarket was set up in the fire brigade parking lot, providing fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, cooked meals, instant noodles, snacks, cleaning supplies, and other consumer goods and daily necessities.

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MOTC proposes NT$30 billion bailout fund, China Airlines issues NT$10 billion in bonds as aviation industry faces virus crisis

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) has proposed an NT$30 billion bailout loan package for Taiwan’s six airlines, but the plan has not yet been approved by the premier, according to Executive Yuan Spokesperson Kolas Yotaka. A previous bailout package was approved to the tune of NT$4.8 billion, but MOTC Minister Lin Chia-lung indicated recently that the figure may be raised to NT$30 billion because the aviation industry requires capital turnover. Today’s announcement comes on the same day that

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Taiwan Vice-President schools WHO Director-General on epidemic prevention and control

Taiwan’s Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁)  called out World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his unprofessional interpretation of data, after world health body claimed a 3.4% mortality rate from COVID-19. Vice-President Chen, a qualified epidemiologist, who helped steer Taiwan through the SARS crisis of 2003 while serving as Minister of Health, made the statement in an interview with Mirror Weekly. Tedros claimed in a speech at WHO on March 3 that, “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19

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Unidentified foreigner who tried to stowaway on outbound flight appears in court

An man who remains unidentified four months after being caught attempting to stowaway on a flight from Taiwan to Palau appeared in court today, but had only one thing to say to the judge. “Dear friend, Jesus is God,” the long-haired, bearded man declared to the judge in fluent Chinese. Other than that statement, and a “thank you,” also spoken in Chinese, “Man A,” as he was referred to during the hearing at the Taoyuan District Court, remained cooperative, but

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Airline warns employees of contingency plans as viral panic causes financial avalanche

Taiwan’s national carrier China Airlines appealed to its 10,000 employees to be considerate and cooperative as the company faces an “economic avalanche” worse than SARS or the 2009 financial crisis. China Airlines issued the statement in an open letter to employees yesterday, March 2, warning that if the company’s operating conditions continue to deteriorate due to the epidemic situation, further contingency plans will have to be made. The airline announced that 49% of flights in March have been cancelled, after

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