A meeting between Taiwanese and US representatives to the WTO reflects the closeness of bilateral ties, which have been unaffected by a transfer of power at the White House, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Taiwan’s permanent mission to the WTO said in a news release on Friday that Representative to the WTO Lo Chang-fa (羅昌發) on Feb. 11 met with David Bisbee, charge d’affaires ad interim of the US mission to the WTO in Geneva.
They exchanged opinions about reform at the global trade body, and their expectations from new WTO Secretary-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and US President Joe Biden’s administration, as well as Taiwan’s position on trade negotiations, it said.
Photo: CNA / Permanent Mission of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu to the WTO
“Pleased to have a nice discussion with the US on many WTO issues and glad to know the US re-emphasizes the importance of multilateralism,” the mission wrote on Twitter.
Asked if their meeting means that the Biden administration would follow former US president Donald Trump’s policy of lifting restrictions on dealing with Taiwan, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday that the ministry could not speak for the US, but it is glad to see the two countries deepen relations and jointly promote trade multilateralism.
The development also reflects that Taiwan-US ties are “rock solid,” which are not affected by the transfer of power in Washington, she said.
Kristen Grauer, consul-general at the US Consulate in Marseille, France, on Wednesday last week met with Shin Chi-chih (辛繼志), director-general of Taiwan’s representative office in Aix-en-Provence, Ou said.
As for Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on Monday calling on the US to “stop conniving at ... separatist forces for Taiwan independence,” Ou said Beijing has no right to comment on Taiwan’s interactions with other countries.
The Chinese government’s use of various methods to suppress Taiwan does not benefit cross-strait relations, but only increases Taiwanese’s ill-feeling toward Beijing, Ou said.
Beijing’s suppression would not alter Taiwan’s determination to advance on the global stage, she said, adding that the nation would continue to work with the US and other like-minded partners to contribute to peace, prosperity and stability in the region.
MAKING A MOVE: Starting on Monday, short-term business travelers can apply for shorter quarantine periods, while transits of up to eight hours would be allowed The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced an easing of restrictions that would from Monday next week allow foreigners to visit or make a transit flight in Taiwan. A policy allowing short-term business travelers from countries with low or medium risks of COVID-19 infections to apply for shorter quarantine periods is also to resume that day. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to be extended after the end of this month, special conditions for foreign nationals to enter Taiwan would be restored from Monday. Foreign nationals
‘UNFRIENDLY’: COA Minister Chen Chi-chung said that Beijing probably imposed the sanction because the pineapple production season is about to start in Taiwan More than 99 percent of pineapples sold to China passed inspections, the government said yesterday, after China earlier in the day abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from the nation, which Taipei called an “unfriendly” move. From Monday, China is to stop importing pineapples from Taiwan, the Chinese General Administration of Customs said. The regulation is a normal measure for ensuring biosafety, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said in a news release later yesterday. Since last year, Chinese customs officials have repeatedly seized pineapples imported from Taiwan that carried “perilous organisms,” Ma said. Were the organisms to spread in China, they would
CONTINUED VIGILANCE: People would still be required to wear masks at eight types of public spaces and border controls would continue, Chen Shih-chung told reporters The government’s autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to continue beyond Sunday, but eating and drinking on high-speed trains would be allowed from Monday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while there were no new confirmed cases in Taiwan yesterday, the global COVID-19 situation remains serious, so the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program would be extended beyond its Sunday deadline. “Border control measures, including requiring a negative polymerase chain reaction test result obtained within three days of boarding a plane to Taiwan, and undergoing quarantine in a
MORE RISK? Three Taiwanese family members were found to have the Brazilian variant, which CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo said might be more infectious From Wednesday, all travelers who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days are required to be quarantined at a centralized facility after arriving in Taiwan and undergo a COVID-19 test upon ending quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting from 12am on Wednesday, all travelers arriving from Brazil, including those who have transited through the country in the past 14 days, would have to stay at a centralized quarantine facility. “They will be tested for COVID-19 upon completing the 14-day quarantine, and they