Saturday, April 23, 2011
Ma Ying-jeou (traditional Chinese: 馬英九; simplified Chinese: 马英九; pinyin: Mǎ Yīngjiǔ; born July 13, 1950) is the 12th term and current President of the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, and the Chairman of the Kuomintang Party, also known as the Chinese Nationalist Party. He formerly served as Justice Minister from 1993 to 1996, Mayor of Taipei from 1998 to 2006, and Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) from 2005 to 2007. Ma was elected Mayor of Taipei in 1998 and re-elected in 2002. He was elected Chairman of the Kuomintang by party members on July 16, 2005. He announced his resignation on February 13, 2007, after being indicted by the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office on charges of misuse of mayoral funds during his tenure as the mayor of Taipei; he was later cleared of all charges. Ma subsequently won the presidency by 58.45% of the popular vote in the ROC presidential election of 2008. He was sworn into office as president on May 20, 2008, and sworn in as the Chairman of the Kuomintang on October 17, 2009.
While often nicknamed as "Teflon pot" for his extreme preservation of personal image, Ma was nonetheless caught in some political controversies. A series of mishaps during his tenure as the Mayor of Taipei, including the administration problems that enlarged the extent of the Typhoon Nari (納莉風災), the Shutdown of Hoping Hospital (和平封院事件), the Phosgene Incident (捷運光氣事件), the Scalping Incident (捷運扯頭皮事件) and the Human Ball Scandal (邱小妹人球事件), impaired Ma's reputation. However, Ma maneuvered through these incidents relatively unscathed.
One of Ma's most satisfactory mayoral construction was the Maokong Gondola. However, the frequent breakdown of the gondola caused the residents' distaste of the new transportation system. One poll showed only 14% of the Taipei City residents were satisfied with it, and it even led to protests. The Taiwan Environmental Information Center (台灣環境資訊協會) states that the choice to use the gondola used in the temperate zone in the tropical zone shows the failure of the Taipei City government led by Ma.
Vincent C. Siew Wan-chang (traditional Chinese: 蕭萬長; simplified Chinese: 萧万长; pinyin: Xiāo Wàncháng; Wade–Giles: Hsiao Wan-ch'ang; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Siau Bān-tióng) (born 3 January 1939) is the incumbent Vice President of the Republic of China. He was the first Taiwanese-born Premier of the Republic of China and former vice-chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT).
Siew, along with Ma, was sworn in on May 20, 2008 in Taipei.
On September 4, 2008, Siew embarked on his first overseas trip as Vice President, visiting Swaziland for a four days. Siew's trip aimed to cement further the ties between the two countries, and to celebrate King Mswati III's fortieth birthday. Foreign Minister Francisco Ou accompanied Siew on the trip.
Siew had 2 cancerous lung tumors removed on May 20, 2009.
On April 11, 2008, Vincent Siew departed Taiwan to attend the Boao Forum for Asia, held in Boao, Hainan, which is administered by mainland China. Siew is a founding delegate of the forum from 2001, and he attended once again in his capacity as chairman of the Cross-strait Common Market Fund. Siew had met with Chinese president Hu Jintao in Bo'ao in 2001. However, his special status as the vice president-elect in 2008 made his attendance more significant, but also more controversial in Taiwan. His meeting with Hu Jintao was the highest level exchange between Taiwan and mainland China since the 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China. The level of reception for Siew in Hainan was scaled accordingly and was equivalent to that reserved for Lien Chan in 2005.
Wu Den-yih (traditional Chinese: 吳敦義; simplified Chinese: 吴敦义; pinyin: Wú Dūnyì born January 30, 1948) is a Taiwanese politician of the Kuomintang Party, and the current Premier of the Republic of China.
Wu Den-yih was the appointed mayor of Kaohsiung between 1990 and 1994, and he served as the mayor again from 1994 to 1998 by election. He was defeated by Frank Hsieh in the mayoral election in 1998. Wu was the general secretary of KMT from February 2007 to October 2009.
Wu was designated to succeed Liu Chao-shiuan as Premier of the Republic of China on 8 September 2009 by President Ma Ying-jeou. Liu and his Cabinet resigned en masse on 10 September, with Wu succeeding the post the same day.
Wu was born in Tsaotun, Nantou County, Taiwan. He earned a BA degree in history from the National Taiwan University in 1970.
Wu is married with Tsai Ling-yi and the two have three sons and one daughter
Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%. Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.
Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high speed rail. A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit and contain credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken. The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.
Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway, as well as a rapid transit line to connect the city with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan County.
Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project. The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of Banciao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train. The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.
An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation. Riders of the city metro system are able to the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.
Taipei Songshan Airport or Taipei Sungshan Airport (IATA: TSA, ICAO: RCSS) (traditional Chinese: 臺北松山機場) is a midsize commercial airport and military airbase located in Songshan, Taipei, Taiwan. The airport covers an area of 182 hectares (1.82 km2).
The civilian portion of Songshan Airport, formally Taipei International Airport (traditional Chinese: 臺北國際航空站; pinyin: Táiběi Gúojì Hángkōngzhàn), has scheduled flights serving Taiwan, mainland China, and Japan, with almost all international flights out of the Taipei area served by Taoyuan International Airport.
Songshan Airport is also the base of certain Republic of China Air Force units, formally the Songshan Air Force Base (traditional Chinese: 空軍松山基地). The Songshan Base Command's main mission is to serve the President and Vice President of the Republic of China.
Songshan Airport is seen to have the potential to attract business travelers within Pacific Asia due to its location in downtown Taipei. Flights to Bangkok-Don Mueang, Jakarta-Halim, Kuala Lumpur-Subang Airport, Nagoya-Komaki, Osaka-Itami, Seoul-Gimpo, Shanghai-Hongqiao, and Tokyo-Haneda are especially attractive since these airports are also in the central areas of their respective cities, and all these cities have larger far flung international airports. The airport is currently in the process of expansion to better accommodate international flights.
This kind of "city-to-city" flights have already been established between Seoul-Gimpo and Tokyo-Haneda, and between Shanghai-Hongqiao and Tokyo-Haneda. Seoul to Tokyo direct flights in particular, take only 1/3 the total travel time over their international counterparts (from 4.5 hrs to 1.5), when ground transport is included.
On March 6, 2009, Japan and Taiwan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the revision of Taiwan-Japan bilateral traffic. Four carriers (EVA Air, China Airlines, Japan Airlines and ANA) will be able to operate from Songshan Airport to Tokyo-Haneda.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (IATA: TPE, ICAO: RCTP) (traditional Chinese: 臺灣桃園國際機場; simplified Chinese: 台湾桃园国际机场; pinyin: Táiwān Táoyuán Gúojì Jīchǎng) is an international airport located in Dayuan Township, Taoyuan County, Taiwan. It is one of four Taiwanese airports with regular international flights, and is by far the busiest international air entry point amongst them. It is the main international hub for China Airlines and EVA Air. Opened in 1979, the airport was known as Chiang Kai-shek International Airport or CKS International Airport until the name was changed in 2006 to its current name.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is one of two airports that serves Taipei and the rest of northern Taiwan. The other is Taipei Songshan Airport, located within Taipei City limits, which served Taipei as its international airport until 1979. Now, it serves chartered flights, most of which are to and from mainland China (see Cross-strait charter), domestic flights, and some international flights.
On November 28, 1987, South African Airways Flight 295 crashed in a catastrophic fire on the Indian Ocean off Mauritius bound to Jan Smuts Airport (now OR Tambo International Airport) in Johannesburg from Chiang Kai-Shek Airport, as it was known then. All 159 passengers and crew were killed.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was one of the airports targeted by the failed Project Bojinka plot in 1995.
On February 16, 1998, China Airlines Flight 676, which was arriving from Ngurah Rai International Airport, Indonesia, crashed into a residential area while landing in poor weather, killing all 196 people on board and six on the ground.
On October 31, 2000, Singapore Airlines Flight 006, which was on a Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore-Taipei-Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles route rammed into construction equipment on a closed runway 05R during takeoff from Taipei. The aircraft had lifted off and crashed with 82 fatalities. At the time of the incident, the northern runways were designated 05L and 05R (parallel); the latter has since been reassigned as a taxiway.
The Chung Cheng Aviation Museum (Chinese: 中正航空科學館) is located on the south-eastern area of the airport between the main freeway entrance and the terminals. It was built in 1981 by Boeing under CAA contract. Many retired Republic of China Air Force fighters are represented here. Its purpose is to preserve aviation history and provide public understanding of the civil aviation industry.
Located adjacent the Aviation Museum and the convention center is the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, which opened in November 2009. The 360-room hotel is equipped with restaurants, recreation and fitness centers, and a hair salon and spa.
Taipei City is home to 2,607,428 people, while the metropolitan area has a population of 6,776,264 people. The population of the city proper has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated.
In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood was at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age. Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.
Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines. Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008
National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) is Taiwan's oldest university. Originally established in Shanghai in 1896, the University was moved to Taiwan by former Chiao Tung University faculty and alumni in 1958. It is a public university with campuses in both Taipei and Hsinchu.
National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The University governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.
National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Gutting district is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.
Taipei Arena is an indoor sporting arena located in Taipei, Taiwan. Built in 2005, the large multi-purpose stadium can accommodate major international sport events such as ice skating, ice hockey, gymnastics, handball, basketball, tennis, badminton, table tennis, indoor soccer, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo and wrestling. It is currently operated by the Eastern Media Group (東森集團), which won the bid to operate the arena for nine years. However, the Eastern Media Group is involved in the bid scandals. Taipei City Government has cancelled the right of operation.
The Zhongshan Soccer Stadium is Taipei's football-specific stadium that hosts the Chinese Taipei national football team.
Since opening in 2005, the arena has held more art and cultural activities (such as live concerts) than sporting events, which it was originally designed and built for. These have included Disney on Ice and Cirque du Soleil. Moreover, games have to be played with the large-sized electronic scoreboards as they have not yet been set up.
Show Luo was the first singer to hold his concert in the Taipei Arena.
Taiwanese pop star Jolin Tsai (2006 November), Hong Kong singer Jacky Cheung's "Snow Wolf Lake," (2007 March 24).
Olivia Newton-John played Taipei Arena on April 21 and 22, 2007 on her Asia exclusive Body Heart & Spirit Tour.
Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki's Asia Tour, which had more than 10,000 tickets sold out in 1 hour.
Taiwanese Aborigine pop star Chang Hui-mei's STAR TOUR world tour.
Backstreet Boys played Taipei Arena on March 2, 2008 as part of their Unbreakable Tour.
Taipei Arena played host to the inaugural ceremony and celebrations of President Ma Ying-Jeou and Vice-President Vincent Siew on May 20, 2008.
On October 8, 2009, Taipei Arena hosted the first ever NBA game in Taiwan. The two teams were the Indiana Pacers versus the Denver Nuggets.
Taiwanese boyband Fahrenheit held their concert on the 24th and 25 October 2009 for the first time in the Taipei Arena. Their concert is made into a DVD (Fahrenheit's Fantasy World Tour Taipei Special).
Taiwanese pop star Elva Hsiao played Taipei Arena on December 31, 2009, and less than 12 hours later her mother died.
American super boy band Backstreet Boys played Taipei Arena on February 25, 2010 during the Asian leg of their This Is Us Tour.
Super star Coco Lee hold her "East to west world tour" concert in Taipei Arena on March, 27, 2010.
On April 24, 2010, Rainie Yang's first ever concert, named "Whimsical World" was held in Taipei Arena. Her concert tickets were sold out and received great responses from her fans and other Taiwanese artists such as Wilber Pan, Wu Chun, Mike He, Jiro Wang, Ariel Lin and Jerry Yan.
Show Luo also known as "Asia's Dancing King" held his concert (Dance Storm 舞法舞天) in the Taipei Arena on the 15th of May 2010. He is the first ever artist who held 3 concerts in 24 hours. For this concert's theme, he also broke a record which is becoming the first ever artist with a 3D music video for his song Dance Storm 舞法舞天. This concert can be viewed in 3D by using a naked eye.