Taipei

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Posted by bender 04/02/2009 @ 16:07

Tags : taipei, taiwan, asia, world

News headlines
China turns to Taiwan LED makers to save electricity - Reuters
By Dan Nystedt - IDG News Service\Taipei Bureau China plans to tap Taiwanese companies to put LED (light emitting diode) technology into street lights in 10 Chinese cities, groups from both places said Thursday. The project aims to cut electric bills...
Taipei's Hua Kuang to get face-lift - Taipei Times
Officials from the Council of Economic Planning and Development, the Ministry of Justice, the Taipei City Government, Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) and Chunghwa Post (中華郵政) also participated in the meeting. The MOI and Chunghwa Post agreed to move...
Asus launched new netbooks at Computex 2009 in Taipei - BBC News
Jonney Shih, chairman of Taipei-based Asus, said he was not surprised by the speed with which competitors rolled out their own versions of the original netbook: small and lightweight laptops that cost just a few hundred dollars....
Taipei Arts Festival presents new Shakespeare - eTaiwan News
By Hermia Lin The forthcoming Taipei Arts Festival will engage and enchant the widest possible audience with Shakespeare's dramas in new, modern and original ways. Works of the most famous English playwright such as "Macbeth," "King Lear" and "Hamlet"...
COMPUTEX TAIPEI Wraps-up with Record Size, Scale & Turn-out - YTN
Seoul (Korea Newswire) June 09, 2009 01:25 PM -- For five days the organizer of COMPUTEX TAIPEI had only one fear; that the dreaded swine flu would strike at and possibly shut down their event, the world's largest ICT procurement hub....
Taipei shares close down 1.81 percent - eTaiwan News
Taiwan share prices closed down 1.81 percent yesterday on selling in large-cap stocks as investors took advantage of gains from the previous session, dealers said. The weighted index fell 119.14 points to 6448.23 on turnover of NT$128.85 billion...
Russian envoy gratified with close Taipei-Moscow ties - eTaiwan News
Taipei, June 11 (CNA) The top Russian envoy to Taiwan praised relations between Taipei and Moscow Thursday, saying the two countries have close ties not only on the economic and trade fronts but also in many other fields such as science and technology,...
Taiwan should not agree to China offices in allied nations: scholar - eTaiwan News
Taipei, June 13 (CNA) A scholar from a top local university warned Saturday that the government should not entertain the idea of China setting up representative offices in the countries that are Taiwan's diplomatic allies because Beijing might...
DPP slams Taipei 101 appointment flip-flop - eTaiwan News
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party yesterday accused the government of illegal practices in its appointment of a former Kuomintang lawmaker as chairman of Taipei 101. On Wednesday, Cabinet officials first said former legislator Hsu Shu-po...
KMT group in clash at East Gate - Taipei Times
By Mo Yan-chih A small group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members yesterday clashed with police when they tried to hang banners bearing the KMT emblem on the East Gate in a show of protest against the Taipei City Government's decision not to...

Taipei

Taiwan ROC political division map Taipei City.svg

Taipei has been the de facto capital of the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, since the Chinese Civil War in 1949, and the capital of Taiwan since Japanese rule that began in 1895. It is situated on the Danshui River, almost at the northern tip of the country, about 25 km southwest of Keelung, which is its port on the Pacific Ocean. Another coastal city, Danshui, is about 20 km northwest at the river's mouth on the Taiwan Strait.

Taipei lies in the relatively narrow, bowl-shaped valley of the Danshui and two of its main tributaries, the Jilong (Keelung) and Xindian (Sindian) rivers. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north, where it reaches 1,120 metres at Cising Mountain (七星山). The climate is humid subtropical, with hot, muggy, rainy summers and cool, damp winters. It is also the political, economic, and cultural center of the country.

Taipei City, Taipei County, and Keelung City together form the Taipei metropolitan area but are administered under different local government bodies. Taipei City is a special municipality administered directly under the Executive Yuan, while Taipei County and Keelung City are administered as part of Taiwan Province. Taipei commonly refers to the whole metropolitan area, while Taipei City refers to the city proper. Taipei's city government is headed by a mayor who is elected by direct popular vote. A secretary-general assists the mayor.

Taipei is part of a major industrial area. Most of Taiwan's textile factories are here, and other products include electronics, electrical machinery and appliances, wires and cables, and refrigeration equipment. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung east of the city. Railways and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by the Chiang Kai-shek International Airport west of the city in Taoyuan. The freeway system is excellent.

Taipei was founded in the early 18th century and became an important center for overseas trade in the 19th century. The Japanese acquired Taiwan in 1895 after the First Sino-Japanese War and made Taipei the island's capital. The Republic of China took over the island in 1945 after Japan's defeat in World War II. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek declared Taipei the provisional capital of the Republic of China in December 1949 after Kuomintang (KMT) was defeated by Communists during the Chinese Civil War. The KMT retreated to Taiwan and the jurisdiction of the Republic of China was limited to Taiwan while the Communist Party founded the People's Republic of China on mainland China.

The spelling Taipei derives from the Wade-Giles romanization T'ai-pei, which is pronounced IPA: /'taɪ'peɪ/ by English speakers.

In Mandarin Chinese, however, the pronunciation is slightly different (in IPA notation, it is IPA: /'tʰaɪ'peɪ/). Under the official Hanyu Pinyin romanisation scheme, as well as the previously used Tongyong Pinyin system, the city's name is romanised as Taibei.

In recent years, Taipei City and other government authorities have made efforts to convert signage and other official spellings to conform with Hanyu Pinyin and, previously, also Tongyong Pinyin. However, due to the prevalence and international recognition of the "Taipei" spelling, the City government, as well as other government authorities, have retained the original spelling of "Taipei" as an exception.

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument that was erected in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. The monument, surrounded by a park and a large square incorporating the National Concert Hall and National Theater, stands within sight of the Republic of China's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is a memorial to one of the most recognizable founding fathers of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen, and was completed on May 16, 1972. From the opening of the hall, majority of the exhibits displayed were revolutionary events of the national founding fathers at the end of the Qing Dynasty. However, recently its function moved toward a multi-purpose social, educational and cultural center for the Taiwanese public. The Memorial Hall is within walking distance to Taipei 101.

The National Palace Museum is an art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after). Both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War. The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest assemblies of artifacts from ancient China.

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in December 24, 1983. It is also the first modern art museum. The artworks in the museum are mostly done by Taiwanese artists. There are more than 3,000 artworks in the museum. Most of them are done after 1940 by Taiwanese artist, and are organized into 13 groups. In 2000, there were exhibitions of digital technology arts in the museum. In 2001, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (台北當代藝術館;MOCA Taipei) was established in the Taipei City government old building.

The National Taiwan Museum is the oldest museum in Taiwan. It was set up by the colonial government of Japan on October 24, 1908 to commemorate the inauguration of the North-South Railway during the Japanese rule in Taiwan. The colonial government of Japan set up the Taiwan Governor Museum. The museum had a collection of over 10,000 items in its initial stages. In 1915, the new building of the museum in Taipei New Park was inaugurated and became one of the major public buildings during Japanese rule.

The Armed Forces Museum is the only military styled museum in Taiwan.

Most areas of interest are easily accessible from the transit system. The MRT (Taipei's Metro Rapid Transit System) has well-marked signs, in both English and Chinese, throughout the stations to get you to your destination quickly. They have above and below ground lines. The above ground lines are particularly good, and cheap, for sightseeing. An automated system tells you each station's name when approached in Mandarin, Taiwanese, Hakka, and English. The city has the highest wireless penetration in the world, with the internet being accessible through a city wide Wi-Fi network consisting of over 20,000 access points.

A popular recreation area is nearby Yangmingshan (陽明山). Both the mountain and the town of Beitou at its base are known for their hot springs. The Maokong area of Taipei's mountains has since 2007 been served by a gondola that takes visitors to mountaintop tea houses. (The gondola is currently closed pending the results of safety inspections.) Bitan (Green Water) in Taipei County is a popular location for boating and water sports.

The National Palace Museum is a leading art gallery and cultural landmark. The museum hosts a number of international exhibits as well as hosting its own historically unique collection (see discussion above).

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as Taiwan's first museum of modern art. The collection features over 3,000 works, mainly by Taiwanese artists since the 1940s. The collection is organized into 13 groups. In 2000, there were exhibitions of digital technology arts in the museum.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (台北當代藝術館;MOCA Taipei) opened in 2001. Its building originally housed offices for the Taipei City government.

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host a non-stop series of events by performers from Taiwan and every region of the world. Other leading concert venues include the historic Zhongshan Hall at Ximen and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

A new cultural landmark, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is slated to open in 2013. The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market across from the Jingtian MRT station. The Performing Arts Center will house three theatres for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design will be determined in 2009 as the result of an international competition. Construction is expected to take place from 2010 to 2013. The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.

Taipei has many night markets, most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District of the city. The surrounding streets by Shilin Market get extremely crowded during the evening. Most night markets in Taiwan open around 4 p.m. as students begin returning home from school, crowds reach their peak between 8 and 11 p.m. Businesses continue operating well past midnight and close around 1 to 2 a.m.

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall and a historic cinema. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores. The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens.

The Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of the Taipei 101 building, a prime tourist attraction famous for being the world's tallest building. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, New York New York shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinema (formerly known as Warner Village).

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guanghua Bazaar (electronics and comics market), and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is famous for its large ferris wheel and Imax theater.

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park.

Yangmingshan (only 10 km north of the central city), famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, sulfur deposits is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

Bitan has boating and water sports. Danshui is a popular resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, located in the Wanhua District demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen in older buildings in Taiwan.

Xinsheng South Road is known as the road to heaven because of its high concentration of temples as well as shrines(literally called “Pure Truth Temple” in Chinese). Several blocks away from Xinsheng South Road is the beautiful, pristine Daoist Temples.

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common, and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei, including the Taipei Lantern Festival and Double Ten Day. Common locations for festival celebrations include Memorial Square, Taipei 101, and the Zhongshan plaza in Xinmending. In recent years some festivals traditionally held in Taipei, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, have increasingly been hosted by other cities in Taiwan.

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan. It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south, and the Danshui (Tamsui) River on the west. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area ranked sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

Cising Mountain is located on the Datun Volcano Group and the tallest Mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin. Its main peak is 1,120 m tall (above elevation).

Mt. Datun's main peak is 1092 m tall. It is defined as an area in the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area contains the marshy Datun Pond.

Taipei has a humid subtropical climate. The average annual temperature is 23.6 °C (74.5 °F), with a summer average of 29.4 °C (84.9 °F) and a winter average of 11.0 °C (51.8 °F). The Pacific typhoon season occurs between June and October.

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. The levels of fine particulate matter, including PAHs, are consistently more serious in the mornings as there is less air movement; sunlight helps clear up some pollutants, which tend to be trapped close to the ground.

The region known as the Taipei basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century. Han Chinese mainly from Fujian province of China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709. In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade port, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea exportation. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture (臺灣府) and incorporated into the new Taipei Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Chinese government (Qing Dynasty). Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangkah and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (城內), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (during the Qing Dynasty) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Danshui County of Taipei Prefecture and the prefectural capital. In 1886, when Taiwan was proclaimed a province of China, Taipei city was made the provincial capital. Taipei remained a temporary provincial capital before it officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894. All that remains from the old Qing Dynasty city is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government. During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General.

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture (台北縣). It included Bangka, Dadaocheng, and Chengnei among other small settlements. The eastern village Matsuyama (松山區) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.

On December 7, 1949, the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek, after being forced to flee mainland China by the Communists at the Chinese Civil War, declared Taipei as the provisional capital of the Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (then romanised as Nanking).

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province. In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages.

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung. In 1990, 16 districts in Taipei City were consolidated into the current 12 districts.

Currently the city has a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards (500m sides). However there is little uniformed planning within these blocks, therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel to street) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular, and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

As the capital of the Republic of China, Taipei has been at the centre of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components. This is part of the so called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of more than $500 billion (100 G$) in 1999. Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2007, the nominal GDP of the core city of Taipei has accrued to an amount of nearly US$160 billion, while the metro region of Taipei has a GDP (nominal) of around US$260 billion, a record that would put it at the 13th position in the GDP of cities in the world. The GDP per capita of Taipei is US$ 48,400, and the second highest in asia behind Tokyo, which has a GDP per capita of US$65,453.

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan. Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and wearing apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy.

Beginning in the 1960s, many older, low wooden buildings in Taipei began to be replaced with high-rise apartment houses and office buildings. Because of the population influx and the priority given to office and industrial construction, an acute shortage of housing developed in the city. The government has taken steps since the late 1960s to build affordable public housing, but overall real-estate costs have remained high. Much new construction has occurred in the city center, particularly in the area of the Presidential Building and the Nationalist Party headquarters, and broad boulevards now radiate from there to all parts of the city. Among the more notable commercial projects was the Taipei 101 (Taipei Financial Center) building which, when its framework was completed in 2003, became the world's tallest building, reaching 508 m.

In the 1960s, foreign investment in Taiwan helped introduce modern, labor-intensive technology to the island, and Taiwan became a major exporter of labor-intensive products.

On July 1, 1970, to further develop Taiwan international trade activities, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) were established as economic growth was accelerating. The Taipei World Trade Center was completed in 1985.

In the 1980s, production in Taiwan shifted toward increasingly sophisticated, capital-intensive and technology-intensive products for export and toward developing the service sector. At the same time, the appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar (TWD), rising labor costs, and increasing environmental consciousness in Taiwan caused many labor-intensive industries, such as shoe manufacturing, to move to mainland China. Taiwan has also invested heavily in mainland China estimated to total more than $100 billion.

However the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), was established in 1986 to provide a single, modern venue that would combine exhibition space, conference facilities, offices, and hotel accommodation for international business. It is located in the city's Xinyi District, TWTC combines every possible service that brings together a vast consulting service on trade-related issues, trading partners, suppliers, and markets.

The International Trade Building was completed in 1988 and the International Convention Center completed in 1989.

The current mayor of Taipei City is Hau Lung-bin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.

The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally-administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994. The position has a four-year term. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-Jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing over to Hau Lung-bin. Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of Republic of China.

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition); however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.

Ketagalan Boulevard, where Republic of China's Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations and public festivals.

All scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan County. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city serves mostly domestic flights, with the exception of some charter flights.

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 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. Customer satisfaction with the Taipei Metro, at over 94% in 2008, ranks it as possibly the best public transport system worldwide.

Taipei Main Station serves as the comprehensive hub for bus transportation, the Metro, Taiwan Rail, and Taiwan High Speed Rail.

The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of Banciao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro. Sometimes buses require payment upon boarding, sometimes upon exiting. Many routes, due to length, require payment upon both boarding and exiting. Riders of the city MRT system are able to use their MRT passes on buses. The pass, known as Easy Card, contain credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken. The Easy Card, Taipei's equivalent to Hong Kong's Octopus Card, is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and need not be removed from wallet or purse.

Motor-scooters are ubiquitous in Taipei (and much of Taiwan). Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. While there is little respect for traffic laws there are increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

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.

The National Taiwan University 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 Taipei County) 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 of the many night markets in Taipei.

Due to Taiwan being under American and Japanese influence over the years, the sports of baseball in particular and basketball have become popular in the city. Taipei, like the rest of the country, has featured most prominently in baseball and has often been the venue for the Asian Baseball Championship since the 1960s.

The Taipei Arena is located in the city home to baseball with a capacity of some 15,000. It is located at the site of the former Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium (built in 1958, opened 1959, demolished 2000). It was designed by Archasia, an architectural firm established in Taipei. The arena was opened on December 1, 2005. It is currently operated by the Eastern Media Group (東森集團), which won the bid to operate the arena for 9 years.

The main arena has an adjustable floor space: its minimum floor space is 60 m x 30 m, and can be extended to 80 m x 40 m.

The Chinese Taipei Ice Hockey League (CTIHL) plays out of the auxiliary arena, which is a 60 m x 30 m ice skating rink.

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.

Taipei has the only football-specific stadium in Taiwan, Chungshan Soccer Stadium, which hosts the national football team. It hosts qualifiers for the FIFA World and AFC regional cups, and finals of school football tournaments. As there is no professional football league in Taiwan, no other sporting events are held there.

As the capital, Taipei City is the headquarters for many television and radio stations in Taiwan and the centre of some of the country's largest newspapers.

Television stations centred in Taipei include the CTS Education and Culture, CTS Recreation, CTV MyLife, CTV News Channel, China Television, Chinese Television System, Chung T'ien Television, Dimo TV, Eastern Television, Era Television, FTV News, Follow Me TV, Formosa TV, Gala Television, Public Television Service, SET Metro, SET News, SET Taiwan, Sanlih E-Television, Shuang Xing, TTV Family, TTV Finance, TTV World, TVBS, TVBS-G, TVBS-NEWS, Taiwan Broadcasting System, Videoland Television Network and Taiwan Television.

Newspapers include Apple Daily, Central Daily News, The China Post, China Times, Kinmen Daily News, Liberty Times, Mandarin Daily News, Matsu Daily, Min Sheng Bao, Sharp Daily, Taipei Times, Taiwan Daily, Taiwan News, Taiwan Times and United Daily News.

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Taipei Songshan Airport

Taipeiairport.jpg

Taipei Songshan Airport (IATA: TSA, ICAO: RCSS) (Traditional chinese: 台北松山機場 or 臺北松山機場, simplified chinese: 台北松山机场, Hanyu pinyin: Táiběi Sōngshān Jīchǎng), is a midsize commercial airport located in Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan. The airport covers an area of 1.82 km². Because of its location and that it mostly serves domestic scheduled flights, Taipei Songshan Airport is commonly referred as Songshan Airport or Songshan Domestic Airport. Besides civilian usage, this airport is also the base of certain ROC Air Force units, including the Songshan Base Command whose main mission is to service the President and Vice President of the Republic of China.

Service to Taichung and Chiayi was stopped in mid-2007 after the load factor dropped significantly due to Taiwan High Speed Rail start of revenue service in January 2007. Also because of this, starting from March 1, 2008, Uni Air suspended its service to Kaohsiung, and Far Eastern Air Transport suspended its service to Tainan. TransAsia Airways decided to stop flights to Tainan and Kaohsiung after August 1, 2008.

The airport has its origins as a Japanese military airbase, the Matsuyama Airdrome, during Japanese rule. After World War II, in 1946, it was taken over by the Republic of China Air Force. Before the end of the Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the airport provided flight routes between Shanghai and Taipei, occasionally via Fuzhou.

Shared military and civilian use—both domestic and international—began on April 16, 1950 in the reconstructed Civil Aeronautics Administration Taipei Airport (交通部民用航空局台北航空站). Domestic destinations have been Kaohsiung, Hualien, Taichung, Makung, and Tainan. The first international destinations were Seattle, Tokyo, Pusan, Manila, Bangkok, and Hong Kong. The first international airlines included Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, and Garuda Indonesia. Later, the airport became too small to handle an increased number of passengers, even after a series of expansions. This later worsened when new wide-body jets became common at the airport. Therefore, all international activities were relocated to Chiang Kai-shek International Airport (now Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport) after its inauguration on February 26, 1979.

Regular cross-strait charter flights to mainland China started on July 4, 2008, with Songshan receiving majority of flights. The original Terminal 1 was converted to serve cross-strait flights only, while all domestic flights was moved to the adjacent Terminal 2, which had been unused for many years.

Direct flights to mainland China was an issue of contention. Then mayor Ma Ying-jeou had been pressing to make Songshan Airport Taipei's main cross-strait terminal, citing that its location close to the city center would make it preferable for business travelers. However, some members of the pan-green coalition cited that allowing mainland flights to land so close to the presidential headquarters would cause a security hazard.

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.

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. Conversely, Manila-Clark is farther, but relatively unused, though it would also have this potential when Clark finally replaces Ninoy Aquino as the main international airport.

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. To date, no affirmatie schedule is set.

After Taipei City's continuous development the Songshan airport nowadays is located in the very downtown. This creates certain convenience for travelers but the city also significantly suffers the noise, pollution and restrictions on urban planning it brings about. In the 2002 and 2006 Taipei Mayor Election DPP candidates Ying-yuan Lee and Frank Hsieh both proposed the plan to demolish this airport, and turn the land it occupied into huge park or sports arena: the Taiwan High Speed Rail would quickly take up the traffic load among western Taiwan cities, and the remaining service to outlying islands and eastern Taiwan could be easily taken over by the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport after Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT System's scheduled inauguration in early 2010s. This proposal was deferred under the Taipei City Government which has long been dominated by the Pan-Blue Coalition.

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Chinese Taipei

Flag of Chinese Taipei for Olympic games.svg

Chinese Taipei is the designated name used by the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, to participate in some international organizations and almost all sporting events, such as the Olympics and Asian Games. The international community commonly employs the term "Chinese Taipei" due to several considerations arising out of the complexities of the political status of Taiwan and cross-strait relations. First, the People's Republic of China (PRC) objects to the use of the official title "Republic of China" as lending legitimacy to a government it considers defunct or suggesting that there are two Chinas. Second, PRC objects to the use of the common name "Taiwan" because it suggests that Taiwan is an entity separate from China. Both the ROC and PRC officially claim to be the sole legitimate government of all China, including Taiwan.

The end of active hostilities in the Chinese Civil War left two political entities controlling disproportionate territories. The People's Republic of China, established in 1949, controlled mainland China. The Republic of China, established in 1912, had retreated to recently acquired Taiwan and maintained control of nearby islands and a number of islands on the coast of mainland China. Both regimes vied for international recognition as the sole legitimate government of China. In the 1950s through to the mid 1970s, the Republic of China was recognised as the government of China by most countries of the NATO bloc and most international organisations, including the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations. By contrast, the People's Republic of China was recognised as the government of China by most Soviet bloc countries, members of the non-aligned movement, and a very few Western governments.

After the 1972 normalization of relations agreed between Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong, Western governments increasingly came to accept the PRC's legitimacy and to extend it diplomatic recognition. The China seat in some international organizations came to be occupied by People's Republic of China diplomats in place of their Republic of China counterparts. But in others, the ROC continued to have representation even after accession by the PRC. In these, the ROC's designation going forward arose as a fraught diplomatic issue.

The ROC government under the Kuomintang (KMT) rejected designation as "Taiwan, China" on grounds that this would imply subordination to the People's Republic of China. It also refused the names "Taiwan" and "Formosa (traditional Chinese: 福爾摩沙; simplified Chinese: 福尔摩沙)" as a means of reasserting both its claim as the sole legitimate government of all of China, and its uncompromising rejection of Taiwan independence. Instead, deriving from the name of its capital city, it proposed Chinese Taipei, a term it regarded as both acceptably neutral and hopeful of assent from other interested parties. Its proposal found agreement.

In November 1979, the International Olympic Committee, and later all other international sports federations, adopted a resolution under which the National Olympic Committee of the ROC would be recognized as the National Olympic Committee of Chinese Taipei, and its athletes would compete under the name Chinese Taipei and a flag bearing the emblem of its Olympic Committee against a white background as the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag. It has competed under this flag exclusively at each Games since the 1984 Summer Olympics, as well as at Paralympics and at other international events.

The Chinese Taipei Olympic flag is not used exclusively in unofficial media, however. Exceptions include CBS's association of the Chinese Taipei Olympic country code "TPE" with the national flag of the Republic of China at the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, and the use of animated image of a waving flag of the Republic of China on the Australian Baseball Federation Web site during the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Both sides agree to use the English name "Chinese Taipei". This is possible because of the ambiguity of the English word "Chinese". In 1979, the International Olympic Committee passed a resolution in Nagoya, Japan, restoring the rights of the Chinese Olympic Committee within the IOC, meanwhile renaming the Taipei-based Olympic Committee "Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee". Since then, and until 1989 the PRC translated "Chinese Taipei" as "Zhongguo Taipei" (simplified chinese: 中国台北, traditional chinese: 中國臺北, hanyu pinyin: Zhōngguó Táiběi), connoting that Taipei is a part of the Chinese state. By contrast, the Republic of China government translated it as "Zhonghua Taipei" (traditional chinese: 中華台北 or 中華臺北, Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōnghuá Táiběi) in Chinese, which references the term "China" as the cultural or ethnic entity, rather than the state. In 1981 the former Republic of China Olympic Committee confirmed its acceptance of the Nagoya resolution, but translated "Chinese Taipei" to "Zhonghua Taipei". In 1989, the two Olympic committees signed a pact in Hong Kong, clearly defining the use of "Zhonghua Taipei" . The mainland side had been observing the Hong Kong pact and using "Zhonghua Taipei" in stipulated areas ever since, but on other occasions, the version of "Zhongguo Taipei" was still in use following past practice, especially in official media references . In the Olympic Games opening ceremony, when each country's team normally proceeds in alphabetical order in English, the Chinese Taipei (TPE) team does not follow China (PRC), but instead takes a place in the procession as if its name were "Taiwan," following countries such as Switzerland and Syria instead. In Beijing 2008 it followed Japan and preceded the Central African Republic . This ordering was based on the stroke number and order of each team's name in simplified Chinese, the official script in mainland China.

The name "Chinese Taipei" has spilled into apolitical arenas. The PRC has successfully pressured some religious organizations and civic organizations to refer to the ROC as "Chinese Taipei".. The Lions Club used to refer to the Republic of China as "Chinese Taipei", but it now uses the name "Taiwan MD 300". Both the International Monetary Fund. and the World Bank refer to the Republic of China as "Chinese Taipei", and "Taiwan" does not appear on the member countries list of both organisations. The ICSU also refers to the Republic of China as "China Taipei", right below "China CAST". The Republic of China is a member economy of APEC, and its official name in the organisation is "Chinese Taipei".

In 1998, the government of the People's Republic of China pressured the Miss World Organization to rename Miss Republic of China 1998 to "Miss Chinese Taipei", it has been competing ever since under that designation. The same happened in 2000, but with the Miss Universe Organization. Three years later at the Miss Universe pageant in Panama, the first official Miss China and Miss Taiwan competed alongside each other for the first time in history, prompting the Chinese government to again demand that Miss Taiwan assume the title "Miss Chinese Taipei". The contestant in question, Chen Szu-yu, was famously photographed tearfully holding her two sashes. Today, neither Miss Universe nor Miss World, the two largest pageant systems in the world, allow Taiwan's entrants to compete under the Taiwan label. In 2005, the third largest pageant system, Miss Earth, initially allowed beauty contestant Li Fan Lin to compete as "Miss Taiwan"; after a week into the pageant, however, her sash was updated to "Taiwan ROC". However, as of 2008, the official name for the ROC in this contest is, again "Chinese Taipei".

The title "Chinese Taipei" leads some people to believe that "Taipei" is a country. To reduce confusion, news agencies might remove "Chinese Taipei" references from press releases of international organizations and simply refer to the ROC as "Taiwan". During the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, NBC television clarified each time the name was used that "Chinese Taipei" referred to Taiwan. Japanese and South Korean televisions were more impatient and simply dropped "Chinese Taipei" altogether in its reports, using "Taiwan" instead. For sporting events, the ROC team is abbreviated in Taiwan as the Zhonghua Team (中華隊; Zhonghua being a more cultural rather than political variation of the term China), which, in effect, labels it the "Chinese Team".

Starting around the time of the 2004 Summer Olympics, there has been a movement in Taiwan to change all media references to the team to the "Taiwanese Team", and the mainstream Taiwan Television (TTV) is one of the first Taiwanese media outlets to do so. Such usage remains relatively rare, however, and other cable TV channels currently refer to the ROC as the Zhonghua Team and the PRC as the Zhongguo Team, the mainland team or the mainland China team.

In the International Children's Games 2005 in Coventry, as well as the National Geographic World Championship, the name Chinese Taipei was used. Chinese Taipei was also the term used by Major League Baseball for the ROC team that participated in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the team is also scheduled to use this name for their team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, competing under the Chinese Taipei Olympic flag.

The World Trade Organization officially uses "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu" for the Republic of China, but "Chinese Taipei" is used very often since the official designation is too unwieldy. It is a politically neutral name; there is not any reference to what it is separated from (presumably, the People's Republic of China). Even official documents within WTO refer to the "separated customs territory..." as "Chinese Taipei".

References used in the international context to refer to the Republic of China or Taiwan differ according to the type of the organisation.

International organisations that only admit sovereign states generally do not recognise the Republic of China or allow its membership. Presently, the ROC is recognized by 23 states. Thus, for example, whenever the United Nations makes reference to Taiwan, which doesnt appear on its member countries list it uses the designation "Taiwan, Province of China". Certain web-based postal address programs also label the country designation name for Taiwan as "Taiwan, Province of China". Inter-governmental organisations use a variety of terms to designate ROC. Some non-governmental organisations which the PRC does not participate in continue to use "China" or the "Republic of China". The World Organization of the Scout Movement is one of few international organizations that continue to refer to the Republic of China as "China", and the ROC affiliate as the Scouts of China. This is because such Scouting organizations do not exist on the mainland People's Republic of China.

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Source : Wikipedia