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Entries in Taiwan (6)

Wednesday
Mar272013

Camera Found off Taiwanese Coast, Six Years Later

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- After 2,000 days at sea, a camera dating from 2007 was found on the other side of the world, and with it, memories Lindsay Scallen thought she would have trouble reliving without her photos.

“I am absolutely astounded, blown away about all that has happened,” Scallen said. “This camera [that] I lost during a night dive when it fell off of my wrist, it survived and drifted to the other side of the world.”

Taiwanese native Douglas Cheng found the barnacled and seaweed-covered camera on the beach on Feb. 13. He uploaded the photos to his camera and realized that although the camera itself did not function, the photos were still intact.

Cheng then went to Tawainese police to figure out where the photos came from.

“The police realized the photos were taken in Honolulu, and they reached out to local news media,” Scallen said. “The article then made national news this past Sunday, and my friend saw it and sent it to me, and said, ‘Hey, someone found your camera.’”

Scallen said she spoke to Cheng via Skype on Tuesday, and he told her he found the camera on Chinese New Year, which marked a special day in his culture.

“It was really cool, we spoke about 45 minutes, and we discussed how he found it, how much it meant to Taiwanese culture to find it on this day, and how he believes in destiny,” she said. “He said it was really important for him to find me, because he was curious about my story and wanted to get the memories back to me.”

All the photos from the camera survived and contain pictures of tropical fish and marine life, along with photos of Scallen with friends. China Airlines has offered to pay room, food and board fees for Scallen to visit Taiwan, as an “honored guest of Taiwan.”

“They are going to fly me and a guest on June 2 for about a week, and I am so excited,” she said. “I feel really honored. This came at a really good time in my life, and is an extra blessing because 2013 has been a great year so far, and this added to it. It is truly unbelievable.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr252012

Two Arrested in Alleged Plot to Smuggle US Military Tech to China

U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Kasey Close(WASHINGTON) -- An international plot to provide China with highly classified U.S. military technology has been foiled, U.S. federal agents said.

Two Taiwanese nationals were arrested after they told American undercover agents they were working for "associates" in the Chinese intelligence community and wanted to buy a surveillance drone and stealth technology related to the U.S.'s F-22 Raptor fighter jet, the FBI said in court documents released Wednesday.

The plot was uncovered during a previous investigation into the pair's alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar counterfeit goods smuggling scheme and crystal methamphetamine operation. The pair, 45-year-old Hui Sheng Shen, also known as "Charlie," and 41-year-old Huan Ling Chang, also known as "Alice," have been charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act along with related drug charges and could face life in prison.

"The charges... illustrate starkly why we do this work, and what is at stake when the security of our ports is breached for any reason," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. "National security isn't an a la carte enterprise. The same conduits that bring knockoff sneakers flood our communities with illegal drugs and establish dangerous criminal relationships."

According to the FBI's account, a drug smuggling middleman in Hong Kong unknowingly led undercover agents to Shen and Chang who apparently acted in the U.S. on behalf of a larger drug syndicate. In the summer of 2011, the pair discussed drug smuggling operations with the undercover agents, but it wasn't until September of that year that they brought up the drones, the E-2C Hawkeye surveillance aircraft, which they called the "big toy," and the F-22 stealth technology.

At a meeting held in Las Vegas, an undercover agent told Shen he "would prefer not to make money on something that would hurt the United States," the FBI said.

Shen replied, "I think that all items would hurt America."

When the agents tried to learn who exactly Shen and Chang worked for, Chang began to say they had "special status" and could not travel to countries like the U.S. and the U.K., but Shen interrupted and said, "They are spies."

The undercover operation came to a close in February 2012 when FBI agents met with Shen and Chang to "finalize" a major drug deal and allow the pair to take pictures of some sensitive U.S. military technology.

"The pair planned to avoid law enforcement detection by taking photographs, deleting those photographs, and bringing the memory cards back to China, where a contact had the ability to recover deleted items," the FBI said in the criminal complaint. "The defendants took the photos, but FBI agents were there to arrest them before the photos could be deleted."

The F-22 Raptor is America's most advanced, and expensive, fighter jet. The Chinese have reportedly begun testing their own prototype for a next generation stealth fighter, known as the J-20.

Previously, unknown hackers believed to be based in China were blamed for stealing secrets of America's other next generation stealth fighter, the F-35, in what America's Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, called the "egregious pilfering of intellectual capital and property," according to a February report by Aviation Week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb192012

Knicks Star Jeremy Lin's Roots Traced to Zhejiang Province

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post(NEW YORK) -- South of Shanghai, in Zhejiang province, China is a four-lane highway that runs the coastline of the East China Sea.  This is Yangtze River Delta territory. The wet land and accessible port make this part of China attractive to a whole host of industries. Some say that in Zhejiang province the land is so fertile even the farmers are rich.

Jeremy Lin, the overnight star of the New York Knicks, can trace his roots to Zhejiang province through his maternal grandmother, Lin Chu Muen. The area has been attracting immigrants for hundreds if not thousands of years. One of them was Jeremy Lin’s great-grandfather.

Lin’s grandmother left Pinghu in the late 1940S to settle in Taiwan. She calls Taiwan home, but she has never forgotten Pinghu. She has made sure that her hometown, now known as the City of Hope, also has a place in her grandson’s heart.

The road into Pinghu is where Lin-Sanity begins.

In a city of an estimated 800,000 people, according to the local government guidebook, 3,000 attend Pinghu High School.  It is a massive, concrete campus without central heating.  Open-air hallways are frigid and students stay bundled throughout the day.  But mention the name Jeremy Lin and the warmth in their hearts is obvious.

Members of the basketball team are his biggest fans.

“Crazy Lin!” says the team captain, Zhee Chen.

“Super Lin!” says his teammate.

“Lin Shu How!” says the principal.

Lin Shu How is Jeremy Lin’s Chinese name.  According to the principal, it translates as “undefeated.”  The principal, also a chemistry teacher, says that when Lin’s NBA games are broadcast on CCTV everyone in Penghu turns out to watch them, no matter what time it is.  Pinghu is 13 hours ahead of tipoff in New York’s Madison Square Garden, so this makes for some early morning cheering in the Yangtze River Delta.

Last May, Lin came to visit Pinghu High School with his family.  His grandmother created a scholarship for needy students at Pinghu long before Jeremy was famous.  His visit last year also happened to be long before his image graced the cover of any national sports page.  Just 10 months ago, it is possible more people in Pinghu knew his name and connected it to basketball than in New York.

That is no longer the case, but in Pinghu they still feel a connection.

“Although he was born in America,” says English teacher Yan Hai Bin, “they feel he is a part of Pinghu.”

He agrees it is exciting to watch a ‘hometown hero’ reach the highest levels of the NBA.

“What inspired students most I think was his love of the sport, of basketball. Students are all impressed by his dream, by his persistent spirit,” he says.

The captain of the Pinghu High School Boys Basketball team agrees.

“I think he really loves the game and he likes his teammates, and he loves New York,” says Zhi Chen.

He is not alone.  Students asked cited Lin’s hard work, his kindness and his determination.  They are principles that fit in well with the school.

“We have the same principles,” says the head of the school Zhung Zhon Lia.  “Our focus is on teamwork and cooperation.”

In a classroom on a Thursday afternoon the students, like any teenager in America, are growing weary.  Everyone stops to participate in the mandatory eye rest and massage that takes place every day in Chinese high schools.  In row after row the students stop to rub their eyes and face for five minutes.

When they are finished they are asked, “Do you know who Jeremy Lin is?” And each and every one of them says, “Yes, of course.” Is he a hard worker? “Yes, of course!” Is he handsome? Pause.  The formerly prim and proper audience bursts into giggles.

Handsome or not, Jeremy Lin is popular at Pinghu.  He instills a special kind of confidence, the kind that comes with knowing that something very big (namely, the Knicks’ latest phenom) will always be a part of something a world away but nonetheless connected.

On this frigid day the courts are crumbling, the nets are frayed and the hoops are rusty. But none of that matters. The basketball players shed their winter coats and stay on the court for hours.

Jeremy Lin may be a brand new super star, but in Pinghu he is an old friend.

“We are proud of him,” says Zhi Chen.

With that he takes the ball from a friend, and takes a shot.

 

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb152012

Is ‘Linsanity’ Driving the Chinese Government Crazy?

Chris Chambers/Getty Images(BEIJING) -- New York Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin may be an overnight sensation in Asia, but could he be a problematic poster child for the Chinese government?

Lin's instant athletic star appeal has fans in Asia cleaning out store shelves once stocked with his jersey, and “Linsanity” is taking hold with a fervor not seen since the frenzy over Yao Ming, the Chinese basketball player who found fame with the Houston Rockets.  Ming’s retirement left a gaping hole for basketball fans in Asia that no one guessed would be filled so soon.  Now, Lin’s fansite on Weibo already has more than 1 million fans.

But there are signs not everyone agrees that everything about Lin is 100 percent lin-tastic.  The problem is not what Lin does on the court, but what he does off it -- and it has nothing to do with bad behavior. In fact, Jeremy Lin’s squeaky clean behavior is drawing comparisons to Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos’ devout Christian quarterback, rather than Yao Ming.

Like Tebow, Lin is public about his Christianity and has reportedly spoken in the past about one day becoming a pastor.  The Chinese government maintains strict control over the Christian church in the country, and some followers have faced religious persecution in the past.  Skeptics fear the government believes the growth of Lin’s legend through social media is giving faithful fans a way to celebrate a sports star and Jesus at the same time.

State-run Chinese television, CCTV, did not broadcast Tuesday night’s Knicks' game against the Toronto Raptors.  Instead, it ran pre-recorded footage of a football match.  Chinese fans are asking why.  If not his faith, the online community wonders, maybe it is his ancestry.

Lin is an American of Taiwanese descent.  His grandmother reportedly fled Zhejiang province outside Shanghai to Taiwan in the late 1940s as the Chinese civil war came to a close.  His parents were born there, and Lin was born in the U.S. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province and many in the government expect to see it absorbed back into China’s borders one day.  For Chinese to celebrate a Taiwanese superstar is a sensitive proposition.  Online forums are awash in speculation that the Chinese government does approve of fans waving Taiwanese flags during Lin’s games.

One Weibo one fan wrote that it does not matter what you call Lin or what he calls himself.  Another was more direct:  “You are the miracle, you are the God, Jesus is with you!”  Christians may have to go without watching Lin play live in China, but he is giving them a new reason to praise God.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb022012

Steve Jobs Spoofed in Commercial for Taiwan’s Action Electronics

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(TAIPEI, China) -- Steve Jobs became iconic in American life, alone on a stage in jeans and a black mock turtleneck, introducing the iPad or iPhone, or something else that was destined to change modern technology.

Now, a Taiwanese company has created a takeoff. It’s a commercial in which an actor, alone on a stage in jeans and a black mock turtleneck -- plus a halo and wings -- introduces a tablet called the Action Pad.

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The commercial has been posted on YouTube -- and widely “disliked” on the site’s voting system.

There have been comments in defense of the ad -- “haha this is awesome,” or, “If you don’t see the funny side to this then there is something seriously wrong with ya.” But they were outnumbered by people who were offended, some of them using obscenities, others insulting people from Taiwan.

“Beyond distasteful … boycott company,” said one.

“This is ridiculous. Show some respect for Steve Jobs,” said another.

Action Electronics defended itself when asked about the ad.

“Steve Jobs always promoted things that were good for people, Apple products, so his image can also promote other things that are good,” said Chelsea Chen, a company spokeswoman.

Apple, reached by ABC News, said it did not have a comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct222010

China Braces for Deadly Typhoon

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SUAO, Taiwan) -- South China could be hit next after Typhoon Megi swept over Taiwan this week, killing dozens of people, leaving more missing and triggering landslides that have now killed three.

Buses carrying tourists are missing and searches are underway throughout Taiwan. The devastation began earlier in the week, on Monday, when the storm rolled over the Phillipines, leaving 200,000 people homeless.  Heavy rains from the storm caused severe floods in Viet Nam, killing scores of people.  In south China's Fujian province, flights are cancelled, 100,000 people have left their low-lying homes and fishing boats are recalled to port. 

The storm is said to be the worst in many years.  It is gathering strength.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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