Beijing’s incentives for Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in China are only intended to lure them across the Taiwan Strait, after which they receive no real support, an expert said on Sunday. Over the past few years, Beijing has been offering a number of incentives that “benefit Taiwanese in name, while benefiting China in reality,” a cross-strait affairs expert said on condition of anonymity. Strategies such as the “31 incentives” are intended to lure Taiwanese talent, capital and technology to help address China’s economic issues while also furthering its “united front” efforts, they said. Local governments in China do not offer much practical help once Taiwanese move there, leaving many nearly destitute if their ventures fail, they added. There are a few hundred thousand such people in China, creating an issue for Chinese authorities, the expert said. Beijing does not mention the risks at the outset, they said, urging Taiwanese to consider the risks before moving across the Strait. There is an entire category of Taiwanese in China who moved there to start a business and later failed, and are now unwilling to return home out of shame, a Straits Exchange Foundation official said. Some longtime residents have cut ties with loved ones in Taiwan, making it even harder to return, they said, adding that the foundation and Taiwanese business associations handle many cases in which families are unwilling to travel to China to handle funeral arrangements once the residents pass away. For Taiwanese, there is considerable risk involved in starting a business in China, Cross-Strait Policy Association researcher Wu Se-chih (吳瑟致) said. China in the past few years has set up many business parks offering incentives for Taiwanese to start businesses or work there, but after they arrive, many find that the offerings fall short of their expectations, Wu said. Taiwanese entrepreneurs must also compete with Chinese in
A group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers arrived in Cambodia yesterday, aiming to meet with Taiwanese investors and private groups there to set up an initiative to rescue Taiwanese who are being held by human trafficking rings. KMT Legislator Cheng Cheng-chien (鄭正鈐), founder of the Republic of China-Cambodia parliamentary friendship association, said his office had received petitions calling for the rescue of Taiwanese trapped in Cambodia. As Taiwan and Cambodia have no diplomatic ties, the trip is aimed at holding discussions with Taiwanese investors and private groups to develop a rescue initiative, Cheng said. Cheng, joined by KMT legislators Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷) and Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷), left Taiwan on Tuesday last week and visited Singapore and Malaysia before their stop in Cambodia yesterday. In Taipei, KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) urged Taiwanese to stay vigilant against such scams. Citing media reports, Tseng said many Taiwanese had been lured to Cambodia with promises of high-paying jobs, not realizing they were scams operated by human trafficking rings. They were held upon their arrival in Cambodia, and some even had their organs removed and sold, he said. Cambodia is not the only place where such operations have flourished, as there are similar scams in other Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, as well as Dubai, he said. Tseng urged the government to do its best to rescue victims and ensure their safety. Although the government has spent a lot of money to promote its New Southbound Policy, this has not prevented Taiwanese being cheated and abused, he said. The policy is aimed at enhancing trade and exchanges with 18 countries in Southeast and South Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand, to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on China. Wallace Chow (周民淦), head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said the ministry
‘SELF-ORCHESTRATED CRISIS’: China’s drills were preplanned and Beijing chose Nancy Pelosi’s visit as an excuse to launch them, Taiwan’s envoy to the UK said
The US and its allies should jointly respond to China’s live-fore drills designed to intimidate Taiwan by holding “freedom of navigation” operations in the Taiwan Strait, Representative to the UK Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) said. In an interview with the Guardian, Hsieh also called on the UK to uphold the principles of rules-based international order, and forge closer trade and security investment relations with Taiwan. He welcomed the decision of British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Liz Truss to condemn China’s intense drills from Aug. 4 to 7 in the wake of a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan on Aug. 3, the first visit by a sitting US House speaker since 1997. Hsieh said the events in Hong Kong had changed the views of many in Taiwan about China. “There is a new generation of young Taiwanese voters who have been hugely affected by China’s treatment of Hong Kong and have come to realize the Chinese promise of ‘one country, two systems’ was simply a facade or a joke. Many of these young voters are politically active, and are determined not to suffer the same fate as Hong Kong’s civil society movements,” Hsieh said. “For decades, China has promised it will not interfere with Taiwan after unification, but since 2020 that is not credible,” he said. “The scale of these drills were different to what has happened before, and could not have been prepared, and all those resources lined up, in a very short period of time. It was premeditated, preplanned. It was only a matter of choosing the timing, and they just chose Pelosi’s visit. It was a self-orchestrated crisis,” Hsieh said. However, he said the Chinese response would not intimidate Taiwan or stop its supporters from visiting the country. A British foreign affairs select
Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) said that ministry of digital affairs officials would be able to sign documents online, allowing them to work outside of their offices using smartphones or tablets. The ministry of digital affairs is to be inaugurated on Aug. 27 and Tang is to serve as its first minister. Tang has said she hopes to gradually change the working environment in the public sector. She said in an interview on Tuesday last week that hackers often target leaked passwords, so users might have to repeatedly reset their passwords or set more complicated ones, which is inconvenient. Some people compile their passwords in a single file and store them in a public cloud or write them on a piece of paper and stick it on their desks, she said. “Developing good information security habits becomes difficult when the process is inconvenient,” she said, adding that the new ministry would “simplify procedures” as the first step in innovation. People with Citizen Digital Certificates would be able to sign in to the ministry’s system using digital signatures or fingerprints and sign official documents, she said. By designing a convenient process, Tang said she hopes that everyone can “foster good information security habits naturally.” If the policy is successful, it would be introduced at other agencies, she said. Agencies would not be forced to immediately adopt official documents, Tang said. All possible problems would be ruled out first, she said. “It has to start somewhere, so we [the digital ministry] will start,” she said. The ministry would find and develop helpful technologies, she said, giving as an example technologies surrounding Web3, which have good information security, and could be used in identification and presenting awards. The ministry should integrate resources from government agencies to help industries digitalize, she said, adding that it would take technological trends around the world as reference to
The South Korean air force’s “Black Eagles” aerobatic team is scheduled to land in Kaohsiung to refuel after performing at an aviation show in the Philippines this week, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday. An undisclosed number of the team’s T-50B trainers are expected to arrive at Kaohsiung International Airport at about 11am on Thursday to refuel before taking off at about 3pm to continue on their way to South Korea, the source said. Taiwan’s military declined to provide more details, only saying that it accommodates all foreign military aircraft stopovers in accordance with international rules. The Republic of Korea Air Force aerobatic team has performed at national ceremonies on various occasions. The permanent team was initially formed on Dec. 12, 1994, and flew six Cessna A-37B Dragonfly airplanes. The team disbanded temporarily after the 2007 Seoul Air Show and reformed upon the arrival of new T-50 Golden Eagle aircraft codenamed T-50B in 2010. The Philippine military has said that the aerobatic team was to perform at the Basa Air Base in Floridablanca yesterday to highlight the strong relations between the Philippines and South Korea. The team has performed in the skies over the UK, Poland and Egypt as part of its world tour this year.
HOMEBOUND: Instead of ‘one person per residence,’ travelers can stay at their home for the four days of self-disease prevention under the ‘one person per room’ rule
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced an easing of its “3+4” — three days of quarantine and four days of “self-disease prevention” — policy that would allow inbound travelers, from Sept. 1, to spend the last four days at their home under the “one person per room” principle. At present, travelers can stay at a quarantine hotel or at home under the principle of “one person per residence” for the four days of self-disease prevention. “In principle, the room for the ‘one person per room’ should be equipped with an independent bathroom,” said Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the center, adding that people cannot move to a non-quarantine hotel during those four days. In addition, “people who return home for the following four days will no longer need to apply to change location with the local government,” Wang said. “Other requirements of the ‘3+4’ policy remain the same.” The policy change was announced early to give travelers time to reconsider and make changes to their quarantine hotel reservations, he said. The CECC will observe the changes in quarantine hotel occupancy for about two weeks next month before deciding whether to further raise the cap for inbound travelers, he said. As returning home and staying in a room for those four days would increase the risks of infection for family members, the traveler should thoroughly follow disease prevention regulations, including avoiding direct contact or eating meals with their family during this period, he added. The CECC also reported 15,596 new local infections and 196 imported cases, and confirmed 33 moderate-to-severe cases and 22 deaths. Wang said the new Omicron BA.5 subvariant of SARS-CoV-2 is expected to spark a surge in local cases in about two weeks, and the center’s simulations predict that the daily local caseload might increase to between 30,000
EPA REVIEW: An EIA was concerned about Ho-Ping Power Plant’s plan, which could increase heavy metal contamination and adversely affect health and the environment
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday demanded that the coal-fired Ho-Ping Power plant in Hualien County submit additional documents for further environmental review over its request to increase coal imports from Australia. The agency made the remarks after an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Committee convened earlier in the day to discuss the plant’s plan to import more Australian coal. The plant has been searching for new sources of coal since a self-imposed ban on coal imports from Russia and Indonesia’s ban on coal exports have reduced the nation’s coal supplies. The plan to import more Australian coal would be necessary to maintain the plant’s operations, it said. Over the past decade, Australia exported 42.4 percent of the world’s coal, while 43.4 percent came from Indonesia, 14 percent from Russia and 2 percent from South Africa, the plant said. The plant requested more flexibility in coal sources to ensure a stable supply of electricity, as coal that produces medium to low levels of the particulate pollutant coal ash is difficult to source. The plant estimates that the firing process of Australian coal, which contains a high level of coal ash, would lead to a one-third increase of bottom ash and fly ash byproduct. It requested the coal ash cap be raised from 12 percent to 16 percent, adding that the additional bottom ash and fly ash byproduct would be reused by the nearby Hoping Cement Plant to minimize the environmental impact. However, EIA committee members stated that as pollutants increase, the plant would need more electricity and vehicles to remove the waste, which would contribute to carbon emissions. The committee added that it was concerned about the impact of heavy metal contamination on local health and the environment, as the amount of lead and cadmium contained in Australian coal is still not entirely known. The committee asked the plant to
Taitung Railway Station has become the nation’s first railway station that can generate additional revenue by producing solar energy, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The agency said it had installed solar panels on the roofs of 12 buildings within the parameters of the Taitung Railway Station in accordance with the government’s policy to develop green energy, conserve electricity and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Taitung has the unique advantage of developing solar energy as it has sufficient and unimpeded sunlight, the TRA said. In addition to roofs, solar power panels have been installed on shades over sidewalks, parking lots and taxi stops, it said. The total area covered by solar panels at the station is 8,652m2, with a power-generating capacity of 1.51 megawatts, it said. The production of green energy helped reduce carbon emissions by about 820,517kg per year, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide that can be absorbed by two Daan Forest Parks in Taipei, the TRA said. It can generate an annual revenue of NT$870,000 per year by selling the green energy to the Taiwan Power Co, it added. Taxi drivers and passengers accessing the train station benefit from solar panel-covered shades that shield them from rain or sunlight, it said. The success of the Taitung Railway Station in producing solar energy has motivated the agency to install solar panels in other railway stations around the country, it said.
While welcoming Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC) expansion, environmental campaigners yesterday called on the Central Taiwan Science Park Administration in Taichung to raise the proportion of renewable energy use at the park by 10 percent each year to reach 100 percent by 2030. TSMC has applied for a phase 6 expansion plan for its facility in Taichung to build a 2-nanometer fab, which is to undergo a second phase of environmental impact assessment next month after being required to submit more documents, Air Clean Taiwan executive secretary Chao Hui-lin (趙慧琳) said. “We represent many mothers with their families in Taichung, and we support TSMC’s new plan, as the company is the ‘silicon shield’ protecting our nation. However, at the same time, we also want zero carbon emissions to protect our city and our children’s future,” Chao said at a rally in front of the Taichung City Government. “So we request Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) to work with TSMC to safeguard Taichung residents in joint efforts to combat global climate change and mitigate local air pollution,” she said. Chao listed three major demands by environmental advocates: first, slow the pace of the development of its park, which currently producees about 3.51 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year; second, require that at least 40 percent of the energy at the park be derived from renewable resources by 2024, with the ratio increasing by 10 percent each until it reaches 100 percent by 2030; and third, Taichung must join national energy-saving, renewable energy and energy storage efforts, while requiring TSMC to supply all its own energy needs from renewable resources. “Taichung has experienced power and water shortages in the past few years, which show that all resources are finite, and unlimited production expansion is not possible,” Chao said. “It is time for the government to guide
A developer yesterday apologized and promised to cover rental costs for affected people after a construction site overseen by the firm in Kaohsiung caused the surrounding roads to partly collapse, risking the safety of seven buildings. The collapse on Sunday was the second such incident in less than six months at the site managed by Tungchin Yusuo (東金御所) on Cianjin District’s (前金) Zihciang First Road, after a water pressure imbalance in March caused the surrounding roads to sink. The company at the time said it had repaired the damage, but on Sunday afternoon the surrounding roads collapsed further. The collapse affected seven nearby buildings, three of which were visibly slanted. Twenty people in seven households were evacuated and relocated to temporary housing. In an initial inspection on Sunday, the Kaohsiung Public Works Bureau and consultants determined that the metal sheets lining the retaining walls were not fully sealed, causing water and sand to leak through, lowering the level of the surrounding ground. The bureau labeled the seven affected buildings as danger zones, imposed a fine of NT$90,000 on the contractor and supervisor, and ordered that construction be halted. The area has been placed under strict contingency rules with round-the-clock surveillance. Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮) while visiting the site yesterday said the water pressure stabilized on Sunday after more than 5,000 tonnes of water was pumped into the ground. Hourly measurements of the three slanted buildings also shows that their angles have not changed, meaning they are in no immediate danger of collapsing, he added. Lu Yan-lung (呂彥龍), vice chairman of the Taiwan Professional Geotechnical Engineers Association, said that Cianjin District is built on loose sediment, while the construction site is near the Love River (愛河) estuary. Two days of torrential rain caused groundwater levels to rise, resulting in the incident, Lu said. A company representative surnamed Kuo (郭) yesterday
The National Immigration Agency (NIA) yesterday said it arrested 38 suspects accused of buying or making and selling fake residency permits and other forms of identification. The suspects, including 34 buyers of fake documents, were arrested over the past few months and have been referred to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for investigation into suspected forgery, fraud and organized crime, the agency said in a statement. The NIA said it learned of the forgery ring through social media advertisements offering to “make, sell and mail” Republic of China (Taiwan) identification cards, resident permits and national health insurance cards. An investigation found that the ads were being posted by a forgery operation run by an undocumented Vietnamese migrant worker identified as Mei (梅), the agency said in a statement. Mei, who is in her 30s, was allegedly running the operation from an apartment in Taipei, along with three other suspects — another undocumented Vietnamese and a transnational married couple, the agency said. The four suspects, one of whom is a Taiwanese man, were allegedly forging the documents using high-end computers, photocopiers and laminators, the agency added. Mei was allegedly charging NT$3,000 to NT$8,000 (US$100 to US$266.76) for each document, and over a two-year period, the ring had allegedly earned about NT$10 million from a large number of undocumented migrant workers, it said. The NIA had surveilled the four suspects for about eight months, before arresting them in a raid on the apartment on July 28, it said. During that period, the agency arrested 34 undocumented migrant workers, who had obtained forged documents from the suspects, it said. The NIA said that the maximum fine for knowingly employing an undocumented migrant worker is NT$750,000. About 70,331 undocumented migrant workers live in Taiwan, 39,927 of whom are from Vietnam, Ministry of Labor data showed.
Orders for whole roast pigs by indigenous communities in Nantou County for the Mid-Autumn Festival have risen to near pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, a vendor said yesterday. Caterers specializing in roast pigs in the county were hit hard by COVID-19 outbreaks over the past two years. Roast A Pig catering services had no orders in 2020 and last year, said Tien Ya-hui (田雅惠), who began offering the services more than six years ago. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Tien received up to 20 orders for roast pigs around the Mid-Autumn Festival — a time when Taiwanese typically gather for outdoor barbecues or gatherings. Such gatherings were generally prohibited under COVID-19 restrictions, but with the situation improving this year, Tien said she has received 12 orders for whole roast pigs for the festival, which falls on Sept. 10 this year. Nantou is well-known for the traditional indigenous delicacy, which usually takes eight to nine hours to cook, and the county’s Indigenous Peoples’ Bureau established a certification system in 2020 to maintain high standards for the product. A total of 45 chefs have been certified to date, and they are required to undergo refresher training every year. The bureau has also taken other steps to help caterers grow their businesses, including working with industry professionals to develop more offerings, such as vacuum packed roast pork and boxed meals.
Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, center, attends a ceremony at Cihui Temple in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District yesterday. He joined other worshipers in celebrating the birthday of the Queen Mother of the West, the principal deity of the temple, and wished for Taoyuan’s prosperity and for the COVID-19 pandemic to end soon.
President Tsai Ing-wen, front row second right, waves at onlookers on board the 2,629-tonne research vessel Legend as she attends the launch ceremony of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development in Taiwan at the Port of Keelung yesterday.
BLENDING SEASONS: The change of seasons from summer to winter has become less obvious, while typhoons will grow stronger more quickly, an expert said
A greater number of international companies are to be invited to participate in the Asia Pacific Forum and Exposition for Sustainability (APFES) next year, Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy chairman Eugene Chien (簡又新) said in a ceremony in Taipei yesterday held to thank the participating schools, companies, city governments and nongovernmental organizations that took part in this year’s event. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not invite many international firms to come to the exposition this year… We hope it can become a bridge to connect domestic firms with other international companies and facilitate exchanges on sustainability issues,” he said. The exposition provides the public with an opportunity to interact directly with firms, universities and non-governmental groups to learn about the efforts they are making to achieve sustainability, Chien said. A sustainable operation is defined as one that ensures social justice and environmental protection in the process of developing the economy, he said. Environment, social and governance (ESG) criteria — which measure the positive and negative effects of business practices on society — have since 2020 been more warmly embraced by corporations, he said, adding that the EU and the US are regulating businesses that claim to follow ESG practices. Taiwan Integrated Disaster Prevention of Technology Engineering Consulting director Chia Hsin-hsing (賈新興) spoke at a forum at the exposition about the effects of climate change. “In the US, there has been flooding, drought and wildfires occurring simultaneously. Meanwhile, Europeans were overwhelmed by heat waves this summer,” he said. In Taipei on Aug. 8, 2013, the Central Weather Bureau recorded a record temperature of 39.3°C. On July 24, 2020, a record high of 39.7°C was reached, Chia said. In 2020, Taipei had nearly 60 days where temperatures reached 35°C or higher, he said, adding that the city now has a warmer winter and longer summer, and the change
Taiwan’s population has grown month-on-month for the first time in two-and-a-half years, data released on Wednesday by the Ministry of the Interior showed. Taiwan’s population as of the end of last month was just more than 23.19 million people, which reflected a “natural increase” of minus-7,265 people, and a “social increase” of 11,051 people, for a net positive growth of 3,786 people since June, the data showed. It is the first time positive population growth has been recorded in the country since February 2020, but is still a decrease of 280,569 people compared with July last year. The “natural increase” of the population is calculated by subtracting the number of deaths from the number of births. The population’s “social increase” is calculated by subtracting the number of emigrants from the number of immigrants. The government recorded 10,950 births last month, representing 5.56 births per 1,000 people. That was seven more births than in June, but 859 fewer births than in July last year. Last month, there were 18,215 deaths, or 9.25 deaths per 1,000 people — a decrease of 2,818 deaths from June, but an increase of 2,692 deaths from July last year. There were 101,555 new immigrants to Taiwan last month — an increase of 15,687 people from June and 21,887 more than a year earlier. The number of emigrants was 90,504, which was 4,826 more people than in June and 2,326 fewer than in July last year. Meanwhile, there were 9,327 marriages last month, of which 205 were same-sex couples. That represents 4.74 marriages per 1,000 people. The government also recorded 4,476 divorces — or 2.27 divorces per 1,000 people — of which 50 were same-sex couples.
Taiwan is set to take delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged from 6 months to 5 years old by the end of this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The doses could help ensure that children are better protected at school, the CECC said, adding that it the three required shots are to be administered over a three-month period. Taiwan last month granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be used for young children, as infants and young children face a risk of severe illness or death amid the spread of COVID-19. The vaccine for the age group will be administered in three 0.2 milliliter doses, each containing 3 micrograms of mRNA, with a minimum interval of 21 days for the first two doses and a period of at least eight weeks before the third shot. Taiwan began offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 6-11 on May 2 and started the rollout of the Pfizer-BNT COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 on May 25. Separately, five million doses of the locally produced Medigen COVID-19 vaccine were purchased by the government, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said in response to opposition lawmakers who questioned the government’s accounting of the shots. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers Yosi Takun and Wan Mei-ling (萬美玲) said that about 780,000 doses are unaccounted for, after requesting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data regarding government supplies of the Medigen vaccine, a local newspaper reported on Saturday. The report said that the FDA’s Web site showed that Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp delivered 5,664,743 doses to the FDA for lot-release testing. The company said it had provided 200,000 free doses to the government before it gained emergency use authorization in June last year, so based on the contract, the company owed the government about 5.2
An expert has warned against eating poisonous fungi after a hiker spotted what he thought was the world’s deadliest fungi, called poison fire coral, but which turned out to be a less harmful species, Clavulinopsis miyabeana. A hiker surnamed Lee (李) on Saturday said that he took a photograph of a cluster of red fungi he saw on his way to Gaoyaoshan (高腰山) in New Taipei City’s Wulai District (烏來) last month. After discussing the picture with a retired science teacher, they concluded that it looked like poison fire coral, also known as Podostroma cornu-damae, which is native to Japan, but has been found as far away as Australia. Lee became concerned that people might pick the bright red fungus for consumption. Fungus expert Lin Tzu-chao (林子超), who published a paper on poison fire coral as a new species in Taiwan, said that the fungus in the picture Lee took is likely Clavulinopsis miyabeana, based on its appearance. Poison fire coral has rodlike, solid, fleshy and reddish orange stromata that point upward and are white inside, Lin said, adding that they are 6cm to 10cm in height and 0.7cm to 1cm in diameter. Clavulinopsis miyabeana is different in that it is hollow and rodlike, and 3cm to 4cm tall, he said. Poison fire coral, a type of saprophytic fungus, grows in scattered patterns on the ground beneath broad-leaved trees, and its spores are dispersed by wind, Lin said. It has been found in China, South Korea, and on Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼), but not on Taiwan proper, he said. While touching poison fire coral is not harmful, it must not be eaten, he said. There was a case in South Korea of two people drinking water cooked with wild lingzhi mushroom they gathered without knowing that it contained a piece of poison fire coral, Lin said. One died and the other
The National Immigration Agency yesterday repeated a call for people not to bring pork into Taiwan from areas affected by African swine fever, citing an increased number of contraventions by foreign nationals over the past two months. Four migrant workers and one foreign businessperson were stopped at airports in Taiwan over the past two months for arriving in Taiwan with illegal pork products, the agency said in a statement. Three migrant workers were denied entry because they were unable to pay the NT$200,000 (US$6,673) fine, it said. The other worker was initially denied entry, but had the fine paid by family overseas, while the businessperson’s fine was covered by the inviting company, it said. These people “planned to work and earn money in Taiwan, and those plans were upset by ham sausages,” it said. Anyone caught bringing or mailing pork products into Taiwan from areas affected by African swine fever could face a fine of up to NT$1 million, as does anyone receiving such packages, the agency said. The reminder came ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival, a significant traditional festival celebrated in Taiwan with barbecue parties and gifts. The festival falls on Sept. 10 this year. There are 72 high-risk areas affected by African swine fever areas, mostly in Africa, Asia and Europe, the Central Emergency Operation Center said, adding that Taiwan has not had any cases to date. The virus does not harm humans, but can be fatal to pigs and could devastate the country’s pig farming industry, which is valued at more than NT$170 billion, the Council of Agriculture said.
FALLING BEHIND: The nation’s IC protection law has not been amended in 20 years, while other countries have been updating their laws to protect the sector
The legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Bureau has called for a legislative amendment to better protect the nation’s semiconductor industry, which it said has been affected by global events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic. The bureau said in a report that the Integrated Circuit Layout Protection Act (積體電路電路布局保護法) should be amended to better protect the industry and spur growth. “Taiwan accounts for 70 percent of total wafer output worldwide, and the output value of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is roughly 19.8 percent of the global total — second only to the US,” it said. Chip production is under pressure from the Ukraine war, which has halted operations of two major suppliers of neon gas — a key material for making chips, the report said. As chips become more important and supply contested, some countries have been amending their laws to protect chip production and related intellectual properties, it said. For example, the US has passed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act to boost semiconductor research and encourage investment in the industry, while South Korea in November last year unveiled its K-Semiconductor Belt Strategy that includes a US$450 billion investment in the country’s chip industry, the report said. India announced a US$10 billion investment in December last year and the European Commission unveiled a similar plan in February this year, which is expected to result in a 43 billion euro (US$44.1 billion) investment in the industry, it said. The government’s strategy for boosting the competitiveness of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry relies primarily on providing subsidies and incentives to companies and individuals, the report said. However, while there have been regular amendments to the Income Tax Act (所得稅法), the Company Act (公司法) and other laws, the Integrated Circuit Layout Protection Act has not been amended in 20 years, it