Wednesday, 30 July 2014

16-Year-Old Girl Uses LINE App to Organise Prostitution Business

As Apple Daily reported, a 16-year-old Taiwanese girl and her boyfriend have been arrested on charges of human trafficking after the police discovered they were using the popular social App LINE to lure customers. 

According to the newspaper, 16-year-old Xiaoya [fictitious name] used LINE, an app owned by the Korean company Naver, in order to lure male customers with whom she had sexual intercourse. Because her 'business' was increasingly successful, she couldn't handle it all by herself and decided to find other young girls to work for her. 

5 girls, all of them between 15 and 17 years old, agreed to have compensated dating for money. Xiaoya would contact the potential customers through LINE, and then would arrange a meeting with one of the girls. Each client paid 3000 NTD (around 75 Euros), of which Xiaoya took 50%. Xiaoya's boyfriend worked as a pimp and bodyguard for the girls. However, after one of the girls went to the police and claimed to have been sexually assaulted, the authorities launched an investigation and discovered the illegal business. Xiaoya and her boyfriend were arrested and face a sentence of up to seven years imprisonment. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Experimental Farm of National Taiwan University

On one of Taipei's hot and sunny day there's nothing better than finding a shadowy place to take a rest and eating a delicious ice cream. If you're looking for a such a place you may consider visiting the campus of National Taiwan University (NTU).

About one and a half years ago a Taiwanese friend of mine showed me for the first time the campus. She took me to a small shop - a nice one-storey building with a few tables outside and protected from the sun by trees. She explained that all the products sold in that store are made through crops grown on NTU farmland. I bought an ice cream in that shop, and it was one of the best I've ever eaten (not surprisingly, on weekends, when many families go to the campus to walk and relax, this ice cream is often sold out).

The Affiliated Experimental Farm to the College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture of National Taiwan University, as it is officially called, is a place of teaching, research and practice for students of the said department as well as for students from nearby high-schools. It originated from the Practice Farm of Taihoku (Taipei) High School of Agriculture and Forestry, established in 1924 during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945). 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Loss of Face for Taiwan? - 2 Taiwanese Tourists Damage Hotel in Japan

I am Taiwanese and I am working in a hot spring hotel in Japan. Our hotel cares a lot about Taiwanese people and we are very nice to them. Our hotel hopes to offer them a top-level service, and we also care about the habits and customs of our Taiwanese guests. However, yesterday evening two Taiwanese guests have repaid the kindness of the Japanese this way [shows the pictures of wrecked furniture]. Four Japanese-style doors and two windows in one of the rooms have been damaged. When we told the boss's wife about it she was so angry that she cried....

This is a passage from a Facebook post published by a Taiwanese user who calls herself MikiJuan. The post was soon shared thousands of times. Several Taiwanese newspapers wrote articles about it. Many netizens reacted angrily. "Taiwanese abroad should not do things that put Taiwan to shame"; "Tell us the names of these people so we can understand what kind of parents and schools taught them to do this sort of things"; one netizen who commented on Liberty Times Net wrote: "When did Taiwanese become like Chinese people? What a loss of face!

MikiJuan said that two Taiwanese were about 10 years old. Except for damaging hotel's property they were also seen putting their feet on the table. They had travelled to Taiwan with a tourist group, but their parents had not travelled with them. "Will our international etiquette (國際禮儀) allow us to be proud of saying 'I am Taiwanese'?" she asked. "I just hope that after seeing this Taiwanese people will think about that." She added that the two Taiwanese had apologised and paid for the damage.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Two-Faced Friends - Discovering a Person's Other Self

One day I searched the name of a friend of mine on Facebook. She'd been having a difficult time and I wanted to send her a message to ask how she was doing. But when I typed her name into the search bar not one, but two profiles appeared: the one which was familiar to me, and another one, of which I'd known nothing. 

This person - I'll call her J. - had always been nice to me and we spent quite a lot of time together (she is not Taiwanese; I met her in another Asian country). She had told me quite a lot about her personal life, but since we'd been knowing each other for just a few months I was aware that I did not know her deeply. 

She had always acted in a cute, friendly and open way, and she seemed very well-behaved and quiet. Her Facebook profile reflected my impressions of her. But, as often happens, people are not what they seem, and what they show to others is not necessarily how they really are, but how they want to be perceived. 

As I looked at her second Facebook account I was astonished. Not only was she in a relationship (something she had never mentioned to me, but, of course, why should she, as we are just friends?) But two other things were strange: her job was not exactly what she had told me, and she had joined several night club groups - and when I say night clubs, I mean the kind which advertise themselves through pictures of half-naked girls. Among her friends there were many girls with heavy make-up and sexy dresses.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The 'USA Taiwan Government' Occupies Taiwan's Provincial Government Building

In the afternoon of July 7 two tourist coaches took around 200 supporters of the USA Taiwan Government (UTG, Chinese: 美國台灣政府) to the seat of the Taiwan Provincial Government located in Zhongxing Xincun (中興新村) in Nantou County. The leader of the UTG, Cai Mingfa (蔡明法), and his followers entered the building through the toilet and occupied it. They raised a banner of the UTG in the office of the Governor of Taiwan Province, Lin Zhengze (林政則), who was in Yilan that day. 

Cai Mingfa declared: "We should not allow the government-in-exile of the Republic of China (流亡的中華民國政府) to use illegal and violent methods against the Taiwanese people. We urge the Taiwanese people to regain possession of their own rights."

The UTG was founded on April 25, 2013, in Washington DC by Cai Mingfa, a 58-year-old native of Guanmiao District (關廟區), Tainan City. He lived in the USA for 11 years and has an American passport. 

The UTG believes that the legal status of Taiwan after World War II was never determined in favour of the Republic of China (ROC), and that the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty as well as the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty of 1952 do not explicitly state that Taiwan is part of the ROC. They therefore believe that Taiwan is still under the occupation of the United States, and that the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act sanctions Washington's military protection of the island. The UTG has 2000 members.