Seventy-five restaurants and street vendors in Taipei and Taichung made the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list this year, including 47 that were listed last year, the Tourism Bureau said yesterday. Insepctors from the Michelin Guide started rating restaurants and street vendor food in the nation’s capital in 2018. For the third edition this year, inspectors would evaluate the gourmet scenes in Taipei and, for the first time, Taichung. Before revealing the list of Michelin-starred restaurants, the guide first discloses its Bib Gourmand list, which contains restaurateurs and food vendors that serve high-quality three-course meals at a total cost of NT$1,000 or less. Thirty-one restaurants and 23 street vendors in Taipei, and 21 restaurants in Taichung made it onto the Bib Gourmand list, the bureau said. Inspectors explored various eateries hidden deep in alleys or that are not easy to locate in both cities, the bureau said. Some of the restaurants in Taichung that were chosen for the Bib Gourmand list serve Taiwanese cuisine, including urn-roasted chicken, braised pork knuckles, porridge served in casseroles, hotpot with beef and beef noodle soup, it said, adding that the dishes are worth the cost. “Restaurants in northern and southern Taiwan might serve food that fill people up, but one has to go to Taichung for real gourmet food,” Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said. “All eyes are now on the Bib Gourmand list, particularly the local dishes on the list. Each of them has a rich story to tell. This is the greatest recognition of the Tourism Bureau’s efforts over the years to promote tasty and exquisite local dishes to international tourists,” Lin said. “The food scene in Taichung reflects the convergence of cultures from different places in the nation. I am proud of the city’s performance, considering its evaluation by the Michelin
ACADEMIC ETHICS: Universities should improve their mechanisms to ensure the quality of graduate theses and hold faculty accountable for breaches, the MOE said
Although some universities have been requiring students to take full responsibility for breaches of academic ethics, their thesis advisers should still be held accountable for such breaches, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday. Amid rising cases of thesis plagiarism in Taiwan’s higher education, many universities have begun requiring students to sign an affidavit prior to the oral defense of their thesis to state their willingness to take full legal liability should any breaches of academic ethics be found in their theses or written reports, the ministry said. However, thesis advisers are still liable for the responsibilities related to their position, regardless of whether a student has signed such an affidavit, given that they are required to conduct regular meetings with students and keep them on the right track, it said. Academic institutions also need to accept accountability to improve their mechanisms for quality assurance for graduate theses in the face of ethics breaches, it added. The ministry would take into account universities’ performance on thesis quality and addressing academic dishonesty when determining their student quota and evaluating a school’s application to establish a new department, it said. The ministry said that it would reveal the information on how universities discipline departments to uphold academic ethics and the outcomes. National Taiwan Normal University has said that it revised its Degree Conferral and Graduate Degree Exam Regulations in May 2016 to demand that graduate students submit an affidavit to take responsibility for their research and writing. The university said that it also has mechanisms in place to hold to account advisers who have been implicated in breaches of academic integrity. To combat thesis plagiarism and writing by proxies, the ministry on July 8 unveiled eight measures to ensure the quality of graduate theses, including establishing a mechanism to investigate schools that fail to properly evaluate theses or hold to
Customs officials yesterday said they on Monday seized 7,350 Chinese-made masks falsely labeled as “Made in Taiwan.” Taipei Customs said it seizes falsely labeled masks imported from China on an almost daily basis, but Monday’s seizure — which comprised 13 separate shipments — was its largest single-day seizure of the masks to date. The office said it has stepped up checks for counterfeit masks imported through regular mail and courier services since Aug. 1, adding that Monday’s seized shipments all came by courier. The shipments were also sent with false labeling, it said. All of the shipments were being sent to individual recipients, rather than companies, but appeared to be ordered for the purpose of resale, the office said. People have been found to import masks at low cost and sell them at roadside stalls or at night markets, it added. The Chinese-made masks were labeled as made in Taiwan to mislead consumers, as Taiwanese-made masks are of a higher quality, it said. Government regulations prohibit the import of foreign-made goods that have been mislabeled to misrepresent the country of manufacture, either through text or representative markings, it said. Products suspected of contravening the regulations are turned over to the Bureau of Foreign Trade, it added. If confirmed to have contravened the regulations, importers of the goods who resell them with false labels can be fined up to NT$3 million (US$101,588), it said. Those who want to import medical-grade masks for use in medical facilities or resale must obtain authorization from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the office said. Failure to obtain authorization could result in fines under Food and Drug Administration regulations, it said.
The Kaohsiung Harbor Police Department yesterday at the harbor seized 50 smuggled long-tailed chinchillas valued at NT$7.5 million (US$253,970). The rodents, each worth NT$150,000 on the pet market, were seized after police officers Pan Shih-ying (潘詩盈) and Shen Ya-chin (沈雅欽) found them in a minivan at a harbor checkpoint, the department said. The minivan’s driver, surnamed Yang (楊), appeared nervous and the officers heard animal noises coming from the back seat, prompting them to search the vehicle, the department said. The animals were likely smuggled from China, it said, adding that it was the largest number of illegally imported chinchillas the department has ever seized. The department said it would hand over Yang, who has been detained, to prosecutors over contraventions of the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保護法) and the Act for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease (動物傳染病防治條例). While chinchillas bred in captivity are not considered endangered animals in Taiwan, they must be checked for diseases by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine before they can be legally imported, according to the Forestry Bureau. Chinchillas are native to the Andes mountains in South America, and live in rock crevices and caves at high elevations, the Taipei City Animal Protection Office said. The rodents need extensive care, as their food has to be carefully selected and the temperature of their environment needs to be controlled, the office said. Chinchillas are adapted to living in temperatures of 16°C to 18°C and have thick fur covering their entire body, and could die of heatstroke or heat exhaustion at higher temperatures, it said. They can jump as high as 1.8m, so owners shold provide them with plenty of space, the office added. Chinchillas have gained popularity in Taiwan in the past few years due to their docile disposition and appearance, which people liken to Totoro, the titular character from
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday banned the prescription of opioid painkiller tramadol to people with hypoventilation, after the drug reportedly caused the death of a patient. Tramadol, a prescription drug that is used to treat severe pain, is sold under 32 brand names in Taiwan, the agency said. It can be taken orally or injected and about 100 million doses are dispensed in the nation each year, it said. In 2017, after the FDA learned that the drug could lead to slow breathing and other respiratory problems, it mandated that manufacturers list the side effects on the package inserts, it said. However, the agency on Monday said that it banned the prescription of the drug for patients with hypoventilation — breathing that is too shallow or slow — after it received reports that the drug had caused the death of a patient in Taiwan and breathing difficulties in two others. Hypoventilation can lead to abnormally high amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood, the US National Institutes of Health has said. The FDA advised people who use tramadol to talk to their doctors or contact the National Adverse Drug Reactions Reporting System if they experience breathing problems.
SUPPRESSION: The need to extend help to the residents of the two territories has become more urgent following the arrest of democracy advocates, the party said
The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday called on the government to amend legislation relating to Hong Kong and Macau following the arrest of tycoon Jimmy Lai (黎智英), founder of Next Digital group. The government should push through proposed amendments to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations With Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) to make it easier to offer help to residents of the territories, it said. The article stipulates that the government can offer help to residents of Hong Kong and Macau whose security and freedom are endangered due to political reasons. Lai’s arrest on Monday and the subsequent arrests of Hong Kong democracy advocates, which has severely harmed press freedom and free speech in the territory, has made the need to assist Hong Kong residents more urgent, it said. Following Lai, Hong Kong police arrested advocacy group members Andy Li (李宇軒) of Hong Kong Story and Lee Tsung-tzu (李宗澤) and now-disbanded Demosisto founding member Agnes Chow (周庭) on charges of colluding with foreign forces. “We strongly condemn this misuse of the Hong Kong National Security Law to suppress dissidents,” the NPP said. It called on legislators across party lines to pass a new amendment to the article in the upcoming interim session to set clear conditions and procedures for Hong Kong and Macau residents to apply for asylum in Taiwan. Separately, the party said that it would elect a new chairperson within three weeks, after former chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) quit the party on Aug. 1 over his alleged involvement in a corruption and bribery case. The scandal drove the party to the brink of implosion after the departure of Taipei City Councilors Huang Yu-fen (黃郁芬) and Lin Ying-men (林穎孟) on Tuesday last week, followed by the resignation of all 10 members on its Decisionmaking Committee a day later. Addressing speculation that former NPP
‘CORRUPTION’: Over 60 percent of the public holds a negative view of the DPP government’s performance because of four recent scandals, the KMT said
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) should take responsibility and apologize to the public over a series of corruption scandals that have tarnished the government’s image, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday. A public opinion poll of 1,081 people conducted via telephone through random sampling from Aug. 6 to Aug 7 showed that more than 60 percent of respondents hold negative views about the government’s role in four corruption scandals, KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairperson Alicia Wang (王育敏) said. The results reflected the public’s strong opposition to the corruption and abuse of power by the government led by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Wang said. Asked whether it goes against the principle of conflict of interest to have General Association of Chinese Culture deputy secretary-general Lee Hou-ching (李厚慶) sit on a committee evaluating government bids in which SET-TV (三立電視), where his wife works, won a tender for the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum’s branding project, 62.2 percent of respondents said yes, Wang said. Asked whether Su should be held accountable for appointing Jason Liao (廖燦昌) — who had been associated with a financial scandal involving Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co — as First Financial Holding Co chairman, and then removed from his post after he was implicated in another scandal involving Far Eastern Air Transport Corp (FAT), 61.4 percent of respondents agreed, she added. The survey also showed that 62.6 percent of respondents agreed that the government should not pay certain media outlets to promote itself, she said. In addition, 72 percent of respondents disapproved of Taiwan Railways Administration spending NT$15.49 million (US$524,518) to hire Haruru Design to improve its brand image, while owing many employees overtime pay, she said. Young respondents aged 20 to 39 largely responded in line with the survey’s overall results, which showed that they are losing faith in the
Kaohsiung City Councilor Jane Lee (李眉蓁), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate for the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election on Saturday, yesterday said that having members of former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) administrative team help with her election campaign highlights her campaign’s main theme of being corruption-free. Lee made the remarks as speculation mounts on whether former officials under Han’s administration have been maneuvering to return to power by helping her campaign. In a Facebook post yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Wen-yi (黃文益), spokesman for DPP Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), accused Han of taking Kaohsiung residents’ passion and kindness for granted, coming to and leaving the city at will, and said that Han’s team had slowed the city’s progress during his one-and-a-half years of administration. It seems that Han’s team is trying to return to power through the by-election on Saturday, Huang wrote. He urged Kaohsiung residents not to waste the ballots they cast on June 6 to recall Hall. In another Facebook post yesterday, Huang cited former Kaohsiung deputy mayor Chen Hsiung-wen’s (陳雄文) remark that Han’s former administrative team had remained in Kaohsiung, and wrote that the “Hans” are returning one by one. He said they have been hiding behind Lee’s campaign team, giving her “imaginative” policy proposals such as building rum distilleries and using seawater to flush toilets, just like Han’s campaign proposals to drill for oil on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島), build a Love Ferris Wheel or promote horse racing in the city. Lee has asked Han to show his support for her in public, a person close to Han said, adding that although Han is not sure how he can help Lee in the by-election, he is certainly going to vote on Saturday. As Han’s former administrative team, led by Chen Hsiung-wen, have publicly showed their support
Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Independent Councilor Lin Liang-chun (林亮君) on Monday formally accused Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and former Taipei City Government secretary-general Chang Jer-yang (張哲揚) of trying to illegally benefit Taipei Dome contractor Farglory Group. Chien and Lin accused the city government of not only overlooking Farglory’s contravention of Article 97 of the Building Technical Regulations (建築技術規則) — which calls for firebreaks around fire escapes — and Article 127 — which should prevent the Taipei Dome hosting concerts — but also helping it resolve the issues. The city government was aware of the issues as early as 2017 and asked Minister Without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森) to intervene, but to no avail, as Farglory protested the difficulty of carrying out the city’s requests, the councilors said. When Chang last year met with Farglory vice chairman Frank Chao (趙文嘉), Chang decided that the contravention of Article 97 could be addressed when the project obtains a user’s license, the councilors said. Chang also allowed Farglory to circumvent Article 127 by applying to host concerts on a per-event basis, the councilors said. In September last year, Chang said that the company’s failure to enact a fully simulated evacuation model the previous month should not be attributed to a “system hang” as reported by the local media, and suggested that Farglory disabled some of the original parameters for the computer simulation, resulting in the project being approved in October, they said. The city government has set a bad precedent by allowing Farglory to make “corrections” before issuing a license, Lin said. Chien said that the city government’s about-face in its treatment of the project could mean that an under-the-table deal might have taken place. Lawyer Chan Shun-kuei (詹順貴) said it is interesting that the order to suspend the project’s construction, which was issued
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday wished Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero a quick recovery after she tested positive for COVID-19 a day earlier. “Earlier this evening, I received a positive test result for COVID-19. I have been in home quarantine since this weekend and will be isolated pending my recovery. I remain in good health despite exhibiting moderate symptoms of the virus,” Guerrero wrote on Twitter on Monday. As of 5pm yesterday, the Pacific island with a population of nearly 168,000 had reported 434 cases and five deaths, data provided by the US territory showed. “We wish @louleonguerrero a quick return to full health. The governor & people of #Guam will overcome this challenge with signature courage, determination & resilience,” the ministry wrote on Twitter yesterday. In a statement released by the Office of the Governor on Monday, Guerrero said she and her husband last week had received a negative test result after she had come into contact with a close relative who had tested positive for COVID-19, but she still wore a mask, limited travel to essential functions and practiced social distancing as advised. After exhibiting some symptoms on Saturday last week, she was tested again and received a positive result on Monday evening, Guerrero said. “Lieutenant Governor Tenorio and the Acting Chief of Staff both tested negative for COVID-19,” she said. “Together, we are monitoring the budget talks, and I will continue to lead the fiscal and COVID response teams from home.” “I implore everyone to use my experience as a reminder of just how serious and contagious this virus is. Help our island protect our loved ones. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing,” she said. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam was closed in 2017 due to budgetary and personnel allocation issues. The ministry is preparing to reopen the
Three Control Yuan members on Monday said that they would investigate regulations on applications for hiring migrant fishers after a broker in Yilan allegedly contravened human trafficking laws. The investigation was launched after last week’s arrest of a broker surnamed Huang, Control Yuan members Wang Mei-yu (王美玉), Wang Yu-ling (王幼玲) and Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容) said in a statement. Huang applied for migrant workers through legal processes, but then allegedly directed them to the lucrative illegal labor market. “The act has seriously violated the country’s human rights protection policy,” the statement said. The Control Yuan is the government body responsible for investigating and censuring improper behavior by public officials or public agencies. In this case, the three members said the laws regulating applications for hiring migrant workers need to be investigated to see if they can be improved, the statement said. Government agencies responsible for managing brokers for migrant workers might not have a proper management mechanism in place, the statement said, adding that central and local authorities might not be effectively sharing their responsibilities. Huang applied for migrant workers to serve on fishing boats, but then sent the workers to illegal jobs, the Yilan District Prosecutors’ Office said on Tuesday last week. He would also apply for more workers than were needed, and channel the extra workers into illegal labor, prosecutors said. Huang avoided detection by having the migrants work on boats and fish farms outside of Yilan, the prosecutors said. However, after a tip-off, police and immigration officials found evidence such as account books and summoned 11 suspects, including Huang, for questioning, they said. Huang was on Wednesday last week arrested and charged with fraud, as well as for breaches of the Employment Service Act (就業服務法) and the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (人口販運防制法), they added. In related news, a mobile exhibition in Taipei
RARE OCCURRENCE: Most sea turtles go to beaches in Siaoliouciou, Orchid Island or Penghu to lay their eggs, and do not often visit Dawan Beach, a veterinarian said
Twenty-four baby sea turtles on Sunday night safely returned to the ocean at Kenting National Park’s Dawan Beach with help from government workers and National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium veterinarians. This was the second time since 2017 that baby sea turtles were found in Kenting National Park. The turtles were discovered on Sunday night by Kenting Chateau Beach Resort employees, who quickly contacted the Kenting National Park Administration Office. Representatives from the office, coast guard and the museum arrived at the beach, as the turtles were crawling toward the lights at the hotel. As baby turtles can die of exhaustion if they do not find their way to the sea, staff from the agencies worked to help them along. After measuring their shells and checking their bodies for injuries, staff used a white container to carry the turtles to the beach and carefully released them into the ocean. Museum veterinarian Lee Tsung-hsien (李宗賢) yesterday said that the breeding season for sea turtles is from May to October, with the peak occurring in July and August. Due to topographical changes and abandoned fishnets littering the coastline, sea turtles in the past few years rarely come ashore to lay their eggs in Taiwan proper, he said. Most turtles lay their eggs at beaches on Siaoliouciou Island (小琉球), Penghu and Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼), he said. Kenting is a natural habitat for sea turtles, but not many frequent the beaches in the park, because the sands are often packed with tourists, making it difficult for turtles to dig holes to lay their eggs, Lee said. As such, turtle eggs are mostly found on beaches with relatively few people, he added. Animal conservationists last month found traces that could have been left by sea turtles on Dawan Beach, Lee said, adding that female turtles were probably looking for a proper beach to
The National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) yesterday said that tests of its DNA vaccine against COVID-19 on hamsters was promising, with clinical trials likely to start later this year. The institute on July 1 chose the DNA vaccine among its four vaccine development platforms as its main focus and started animal testing, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology director Liao Ching-len (廖經倫) said. “The vaccine has shown the effect of significantly reducing the viral load and decreasing the damage that the virus caused to the lungs” of hamsters, he said. “With the DNA vaccine, we deliver genetic information [a plasmid containing the DNA sequence encoding the antigens against COVID-19] into the human body, and when it enters the cells, the cells produce spike proteins,” Liao said. He said it is similar to the actual situation of when someone is infected by the virus, stimulating the body’s immune response. In animal testing, the vaccine successfully stimulated the production of neutralizing antibodies, blocking the viral infection, he said. Hamsters that did not receive the vaccine lost weight and general vitality, and their viral load remained high, while those that received the vaccine did not lose much weight or vitality and their viral load dropped significantly to 1 percent of the original volume, Liao said. He said the research team was “amazed” at the results of animal testing. “We hope the experiments can proceed to the first phase of a clinical trial in the fourth quarter this year, finish the third phase of the clinical trial by the third quarter next year, and hit the market as soon as possible,” he said.
The number of furloughed workers over the past seven days fell by more than 7,000, the largest decline since the nation in January reported its first COVID-19 case, the Ministry of Labor said yesterday. As of Monday, 734 companies had placed 19,458 workers on unpaid leave, down 7,627 from a week earlier, ministry data showed. The decline was the largest for any reporting period since the outbreak began in Taiwan, Department of Labor Standards and Equal Employment Deputy Director Huang Wei-chen (黃維琛) said. Most of the decline during the past week came in the manufacturing and retail and wholesale sectors, helped by the resumption of industrial activity in other countries, Huang said. The number of furloughed workers also fell in the tourism and travel sector, as domestic tourism remained strong during the peak summer travel season. Among the companies that still had furlough programs as of yesterday, 282 were manufacturers, 220 were retailers or wholesalers, and 47 were in the service sector, the data showed. The majority of employees on unpaid leave were in the manufacturing sector at 13,577, followed by retail and wholesale with 3,588, and transportation and warehousing at 591, the data showed. Most of the businesses implementing furlough programs are small companies with fewer than 50 employees, the ministry said, adding that these unpaid leave programs typically last for fewer than three months and involve employees taking five to eight days of unpaid leave per month. The ministry updates furloughed worker data weekly. The numbers only include unpaid leave plans put in place by companies that report to the ministry.
TRADITIONAL SKILLS: Lin Hsien-chao, Fan Kuang-cheng and Ripunu Abalriini were recognized for using a range of construction techniques to build and repair hiking trails
Three trail builders who have for decades created eco-friendly hiking trails around Taiwan, while preserving traditional skills for younger generations, were on Sunday honored with an award in Taipei. Lin Hsien-chao (林先朝), Fan Kuang-cheng (范光政) and Ripunu Abalriini received the 2020 Best Trail Builder/Repairer Award from the Taiwan Thousand Miles Trail Association at a ceremony at the Taipei Mayor’s Residence Art Salon. The nonprofit group launched the awards in 2018 to promote trail building and related traditional construction and repair skills, it said, adding that trail builders are adept at a range of construction techniques, depending on the environment and soil condition of the location. Abalriini, who uses slate and shale to build stone slab houses and trails, first learned masonry from his father at age 10, the association said. “I have to pass down the knowledge and ability that God gave me to the next generation, so that our culture of building stone slab houses and trails will not be forgotten,” he said in a prerecorded video for the ceremony. The 80-year-old Rukai Aboriginal masonry expert from Pingtung County was the only winner unable to attend the event. Fan, a 78-year-old Hakka elder from Hsinchu County, specializes in breaking stone with hammers and crowbars, the association said. “Our techniques are now fading away because we are getting older,” Fan said. “The job is too hard, so young people cannot stand it as we did in the past, but I am willing to teach while I’m still able.” Lin, a 75-year-old Minnan elder from Hualien County, has devoted himself to sharing his masonry experience with younger people. In 2006, he started teaching courses on traditional masonry skills, the association said. “Masonry is a difficult job that looks simple, but it is not easy to learn its main points without doing it in person,” Lin said. “Masonry is simple, yet
The soon to be inaugurated Taipei Music Center, which is to hold its opening concert next month, would become a new icon for popular music in Asia, officials said yesterday. The 8.96-hectare pop music center on Civic Boulevard in Nangang District (南港), which has separate concert and exhibition halls, music classrooms, rehearsal rooms, offices and recording studios, is to be officially launched on Sept. 5, Taipei Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤) told a press conference. The city envisions the center becoming a venue for pop music performances and the pop music industry, as well as a training center for music artists, Tsai said. “The center will be like a diamond that lights up the area,” he said. The angular, shell-shaped concert hall can accommodate up to 6,000 people, while the exhibition hall would be the first in Taiwan to be completely dedicated to pop music, the center said on its Web site. In addition to classrooms and studios, the complex is home to four live music houses that can each accommodate between 200 and 1,600 people, the center said. An outdoor plaza that is 100m long and 35m wide can accommodate up to 3,000 people, it said. First planned in 2008, the center is expected to serve as an important catalyst in the development of popular music in Taiwan, said Tseng Chin-man (曾金滿), head of the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development. “We hope the positive energy generated from the performances at the center can also reach all parts of the country, as well as Asia and the rest of the world,” Tseng said. The center is planning a star-studded cast for its opening ceremony concert on Sept. 5 that is to include Taiwanese singer-songwriters Waa Wei (魏如萱), Lala Hsu (徐佳瑩) and Oaeen, the new name of legendary Taiwanese
At least 14 people were confirmed to have lead poisoning, health authorities said yesterday, in an investigation into heavy metal poisoning from medications prescribed by three traditional Chinese medicine establishments in Taichung. Authorities are testing 191 samples of prescriptions by Lu Shih-ming’s (呂世明) Sheng Tang Chinese Medicine Clinic (盛唐中醫), Hung Chang-hung’s (洪彰宏) Jiu Fu Chinese Medicine Clinic (九福中醫) and Ou Kuo-liang’s (歐國樑) Shin Long Medicine Co (欣隆藥業). The trio were detained and their businesses shut down on Friday following allegations that Lu and Hung had prescribed medicine containing cinnabar and lead tetroxide, although Taiwan has banned both since 2005. The case came to light last week, when Taichung City Councilor Chang Yen-tung (張彥彤) said his family — including his father, former Taichung City Council speaker Chang Hung-nien (張宏年) — suffered from heavy metal poisoning after taking medicine prescribed by Sheng Tang clinic. New Taipei City Councilor Liu Mei-fang (劉美芳) yesterday said her father, former Taiwan Provincial Consultative Council speaker Liu Ping-wei (劉炳偉), who died in April, had also sought treatment at Sheng Tang for oral cancer. “I am certain my father was a victim in this case, as he was good friends with Chang Hung-nien, who introduced him to Sheng Tang, saying it has a reputation for treating cancer with traditional Chinese medicine. My father visited Taichung regularly over the past few years and took medication from that clinic,” she said. Lu is an influential figure in the Chinese medicine industry in central Taiwan, and in 2018, formed a Sheng Tang Chinese medicine network to promote business collaborations and distribution with clinics in other cities and counties, Chang Yen-tung said, adding that there are likely more victims.
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response
The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’ collaboration on health issues. At the ceremony, Yang said that this year “has been a challenging year, as the world has been struck by a public health crisis caused by COVID-19 and an economic slowdown, yet we see Taiwan-US relations continuing to grow stronger.” A US-Taiwan joint statement signed in March related to cooperation on fighting COVID-19 served as a framework for collaboration and exchanges that include research and development of rapid tests, vaccines, medicines and medical technology, she said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also held more than 30 videoconferences with various sectors in the US to share Taiwan’s experience in fighting COVID-19, Yang said, adding that Taiwan has donated more than 12 million Made in Taiwan masks to the US, showing that “Taiwan can help” and “Taiwan is helping.” “Taiwan has much to share with the world on how to manage pandemic diseases, and what has been dubbed the ‘Taiwan model,’” Christensen said. “Taiwan has not only been able to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan, but has also lent a helping hand to others in this effort by donating lifesaving personal protective equipment, including millions of masks to the United States, the EU and other partners around the world.” “The ‘Taiwan
The Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan yesterday urged the government to take advantage of US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar’s visit to press for greater participation in international organizations. Azar’s arrival in Taipei on Sunday marked the first official visit by a high-level US representative since US President Donald Trump on March 16, 2018, signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act. It was also the first high-level US visit to Taiwan since the nations severed diplomatic relations in 1979. Taiwan’s experience with the 2003 SARS outbreak, the government’s effective communication with the public and the cooperation between the public and medical personnel prepared the nation to prevent a domestic outbreak of COVID-19, the foundation said. The government has also respected individual rights and allowed society to operate as normal throughout the pandemic, and as a result the government has been able to assist other nations, it said. Azar praised Taiwan’s pandemic response, and said he hoped his trip would spur closer cooperation on preventing and responding to health crises. The foundation said the government should push to participate in international health-related affairs, and press the US to establish a new health organization, through which the nations could work to combat global health challenges. Taiwan should also continue to press for participation in international organizations under the name “Taiwan,” including in the WHO, UNAIDS, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, it said. Taiwan should also seek involvement in the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, it said. The Japanese-language Sankei Shimbun on Sunday reported on speculations that the US and Taiwan might be in talks to form a new international health organization to replace the functions of the WHO. The report cited an anonymous source as saying that Azar’s trip to Taiwan was likely for
CLAIMS OF CORRUPTION: The KMT said that Chen Chi-mai refused to sign their pledge, as he lacks the ‘courage to challenge’ the DPP’s corruption
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday criticized Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate for Kaohsiung mayor, for not signing an anti-corruption agreement, saying that it was because several members on his campaign team have been implicated in corruption cases. The KMT told a news conference that Kaohsiung City Councilor Jane Lee (李眉蓁), the KMT’s candidate for Kaohsiung mayor, brought up the idea of signing an anti-corruption agreement before Saturday’s by-election in an effort to prevent corruption as was seen when the DPP held the city’s mayoral seat. The conference was held by KMT Deputy Secretary-General Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介), who heads Lee’s campaign spokesperson team; KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang (王育敏); and Kaohsiung Information Bureau Director-General Cheng Chao-hsin (鄭照新), one of Lee’s campaign spokespeople. While Lee has vowed to govern the city with integrity if elected, Chen has refused to sign the agreement, possibly because “he does not have the courage to challenge the DPP’s systematic structure of complicity in bribery and corruption,” the KMT said. The DPP has become “a government that maps out things,” reaping illicit benefits by way of political maneuvering, the KMT said. For example, it said that Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲), who heads Chen’s campaign office, was implicated in a bribery case regarding the construction of the Nangang Exhibition Hall in 2008; Kang Yu-cheng (康裕成), Chen’s chief executive, was found guilty of forging documents to request money for an assistant in 2015; and her husband allegedly defrauded the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) in 2006. Lin Chin-hsing (林進興), the office’s deputy chairperson, was found guilty of defrauding the NHIA in 2008, while Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺), another deputy chairperson at the office, allegedly used her role as a legislator in 2017 to recommend a person to the state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC), which afterward hired them, the KMT said. DPP