DIPLOMACY
Slovakia delegation to visit
A 10-member delegation led by Deputy Speaker of the Slovak National Council Milan Laurencik and President of the Bratislava Region Juraj Droba is to visit Taiwan from Sunday to Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The pair will be joined by five Slovak lawmakers, including Peter Osusky, chairman of the Slovakia-Taiwan Parliamentary Group. Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) is set to honor Osusky with the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy in recognition of his promotion of bilateral relations, the ministry said, adding that Wu would also sign an agreement on judicial cooperation in civic matters with the delegation. This is the second contingent Slovakia has sent to Taiwan in six months, after a 43-member delegation led by the country’s deputy economic minister visited Taiwan in December last year.
CULTURE
Australian arts deal inked
The National Culture and Arts Foundation and the Australian Office in Taipei have signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance exchanges in the fields of art and culture. The agreement was signed in Taipei on Wednesday by Australian Representative to Taiwan Jenny Bloomfield and foundation chairwoman Lin Mun-lee (林曼麗), they said in a joint statement. The countries have agreed to establish programs to support and encourage exchanges between Taiwanese and Australian artists, especially those from indigenous backgrounds. They are also to support cooperation in a range of other areas, including the visual and performing arts, literature and professional education. Bloomfield said Australia and Taiwan have a long history of arts and cultural cooperation, adding that “First Wave,” an upcoming indigenous fashion exhibition scheduled to run from next month to September, would showcase the strong links between the indigenous arts, culture, and creative industries of Australia and Taiwan.
HIGHER EDUCATION
Local schools ranked
Six Taiwanese universities have been ranked among the 100 best in Asia, with National Taiwan University (NTU) placing in the 21st, the UK-based Times Higher Education said on Wednesday. Other top-ranked local schools include Taipei Medical University (29th), China Medical University (35th), Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (44th), Tsing Hua University (59th), and Asia University (78th). NTU dropped one spot from last year, while the number of Taiwanese universities in the top 100 decreased from eight to six. The report’s top 10 universities in Asia included Tsinghua University and Peking University in China, National University of Singapore, University of Hong Kong and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
CRIME
Photos of minors net jail term
The Taiwan High Court on Wednesday ruled that a man given a 104-year sentence for soliciting nude photos from girls as young as eight must serve at least six years in prison. The Supreme Court said that 26-year-old Lin He-chun (林和駿) enticed 81 girls to send him nude and obscene photos. Lin was handed an additional 34-month sentence for nine other offenses, including sharing nude photos of underage girls and committing sexual indecency with minors. The High Court ruled that Lin should serve a minimum of six years of his sentence, in addition to 18 months of the 34-month sentence, which can be commuted to a fine.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000

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