Nine administrative directives related to allowing US imports of pork containing ractopamine residue were submitted to a joint session composed of five committees at the Legislative Yuan for review amid a cross-party consensus yesterday. The administrative directives were introduced after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Aug. 28 announced that the government would lift bans on US pork containing ractopamine residue and US beef from cattle more than 30 months old. The policy is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1 next year. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has planned to allow the import of US pork through an administrative order that, according to the Administrative Procedure Act (行政程序法), requires a 60-day period for public comment before it can go into effect. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has said that the issue must undergo a further, substantial review by the relevant legislative committees. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that he is not opposed to the proposed policy being put to review at legislative committees. As the DPP caucus yesterday did not object, cross-caucus consensus was reached to put the issue to review at the legislative Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, the Economics Committee, the Foreign and National Defense Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Education and Culture Committee. The administrative directives include regulations on levels of ractopamine residues in pork products; the labeling of the origin of pork products to be sold to consumers and food suppliers; quarantine and examination procedures for imported beef; and rules for imports of US and Canadian beef. Meanwhile, the Council of Agriculture is looking for the best logo for Taiwanese pork products, with winning logos from the preliminary round now in an online vote. The vote would run until 6pm on Monday next week, the council said. Additional reporting by Chien Hui-ju and CNA
The leaders of Haiti and Nauru on Thursday thanked Taiwan for its help in fighting COVID-19 and voiced general support for Taiwan on the third day of the general debate of the 75th UN General Assembly. Five of the nation’s 15 diplomatic allies have so far spoken up on Taiwan’s behalf during the annual debate, which is to last until Tuesday. Haitian President Jovenel Moise thanked all partner countries that have helped Haiti manage the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the Republic of China (Taiwan). “It is time for the world to recognize Taiwan’s right to existence and give the country its rightful place in international forums, especially at the UN,” he said. Nauruan President Lionel Aingimea expressed his appreciation to “genuine friends” for their valuable support in responding and containing pandemic. As those friends, he named Taiwan, Australia, India, Japan, the US and New Zealand. Aingimea said that the UN Charter was drafted based on the principles of universality and equality, and that it was not enough to proclaim the virtues of multilateralism if UN member states failed to strengthen their commitment to upholding the charter’s core principles. “We therefore call on the United Nations to fulfill our commitments to the human family and ensure that the 23.5 million people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) enjoy the same rights as the peoples of other nations,” he said. “While the world grapples with the COVID pandemic, the people of Taiwan must not be left behind, nor should its exemplary response to the global pandemic be ignored,” he said. “Taiwan is an important partner in the world’s response to this pandemic. More than ever today we need inclusivity and solidarity in responding to the global challenges.” Both leaders addresses were pre-recorded. None of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies spoke on
NO ‘SIGNIFICANT RISK’: Frequent ADIZ incursions by Chinese aircraft could be seen as messages aimed at a domestic audience and at the US, the experts said
China has been intensifying its military maneuvers in the region, including sending warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), because the leadership in Beijing faces domestic pressure, academics said on Thursday. Lin Ying-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Institute of Strategic and International Affairs, said that pressure on the leadership in Beijing has been growing, especially since it initiated large-scale military reforms in 2016. Reforms of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) included merging several units and scrapping others, Lin said, adding that the PLA is trying to show its members and the Chinese public that the reforms have successfully beefed up China’s military might. The Taiwan Strait is seen as a perfect venue for the PLA to demonstrate its reformed might and for Beijing to ease internal pressure, Lin said. As Taiwan has in the past few months strengthened its ties with the US, China’s military has raised the frequency of maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and surrounding areas, he said, adding that this included the PLA Air Force making incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ or crossing the Taiwan Strait’s median line. Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a senior analyst at the Institute of National Defense and Security Research, agreed with Lin that the moves were to demonstrate strength to the Chinese public. Crossing the Strait’s median line is an attempt to demonstrate strength, but it does not significantly increase the risk of all-out war in the region, Su said, adding that the PLA is operating in a gray area. The PLA has also engaged in several small-scale exercises in open seas or near China’s coast, Su said, adding that these must be understood as propaganda, rather than as genuine military threats. The crossings of the median line can also be understood as reactions to the US’ role in the
The High Court on Thursday sentenced a retired army lieutenant colonel surnamed Lan (藍) to two years and three months in jail for supplying China with the names and activities of personnel at intelligence agencies. The verdict reversed an earlier ruling of a suspended sentence. Lan, 60, was convicted of contravening the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the National Intelligence Services Act (國家情報工作法). In May, the Pingtung District Court found Lan guilty, handing him a term of two years and six months, but suspended the sentence. The Pingtung court said that Lan’s spying activities took place in 2005 and 2006, adding that his activities “did not cause real damage to Taiwan’s national security.” The High Court ruled that “the penalty was too lenient and has no deterrent effect,” adding that “the leaked intelligence materials were highly sensitive and resulted in serious harm to Taiwan’s national security.” His sentence includes a mandatory two-year prison term, while the further three month sscan be commuted to a fine. Lan served in the Republic of China Army Logistics Command and held positions at the Ministry of National Defense before teaching at several military-affiliated universities. He retired in 1996. Investigators said that Lan in 2004 went to China to work for a Taiwanese business, with stints in Shanghai, Fuzhou, Shenzhen and Nanning. Lan befriended Chinese government officials, including two men from intelligence agencies surnamed Li (李) and Huang (黃), the investigators said. Li and Huang plied Lan with money and arranged sexual services in exchange for espionage work, the investigators said. Lan returned to Taiwan for several months in 2005 and 2006, and obtained highly sensitive materials, including information on four officers at the National Security Bureau and the Military Intelligence Bureau: their ranks, work units, details of office and field activities, as well as their education and training background, the investigators said. He also attempted to
ANTIBACTERIAL: The Academia Sinica team’s success made them stand out among more than 700 teams applying to participate in this week’s Taiwan Innotech Expo
Academia Sinica research has found that collagencin, an antibacterial peptide from fish collagen, shows great potential in the treatment of burns by accelerating healing and helping to prevent scarring. Five years ago, a team — led by Research fellow Chen Jyh-yih (陳志毅) of the Marine Research Station at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology — found that fish have special body mucus that helps wounds to heal underwater and prevents bacterial infections. Following up on this research, the team found that collagencin from groupers kills bacteria by dissolving their outer and plasma membranes, Chen said on Thursday, adding that the peptide also has mechanisms that infiltrate and disrupt the bacterial cells’ lipid bilayers. In stage 1 of a four-part experiment, collagencin proved to have healing properties on mice burns, which healed in seven to 14 days without scarring, while in stage 2, collagencin similarly helped to heal pig burns, which healed in about 25 days, he said. The success of the first two stages made the team stand out among more than 700 research teams applying to participate in the Taiwan Innotech Expo, an annual exhibition of innovative technologies hosted by the government in Taipei, which opened on Thursday and closes today, he said. In stage 3, collagencin is to be tested on monkeys and the last stage is the clinical trials, Chen said. If all of the stages go well, a collagencin ointment would be developed that could treat burn victims, but it could take about five years to develop the ointment, Chen added. Common causes of death for those with severe burn injuries include decreased blood flow, abnormal nutritional support, and wound sepsis or other bacterial infections, Chen said, adding that collagencin-based treatments help heal wounds by promoting the growth of new blood vessels and preventing scarring. In related news, the Council of Agriculture
CRACKDOWN: The heavy penalty is seen as proof of the health department’s intention to curb illegal manufacturing and to serve as a warning to others
The Kaohsiung Department of Health yesterday fined Jingxin Technology Co NT$2 million (US$68,318) for setting up unlicensed mask production equipment, while the Ministry of Labor said that it would send teams to regularly inspect mask facilities after it received complaints of breaches of labor laws. The Kaohsiung-based Jingxin Technology is part of the government’s national alliance of approved mask manufacturers, but more production equipment had been set up at two off-site locations, which were not licensed, the Ciaotou District Prosecutors’ Office said. Complaints led to the raids, which uncovered machines to equip 22 additional production lines. Kaohsiung health officials said that Jingxin Technology was fined for breaches of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act (藥事法). The heavy penalty is seen as proof of the health department’s intention to crack down on illegal manufacturing and to serve as a warning to others. The company could make more revenue by producing masks beyond its government quota. Alliance members have all agreed to conditions set by the government regarding subsidized pricing for fabric and other needed production materials, and guaranteed sales amounts under the government’s rationing program. The owners of Jingxin Technology are a father and son surnamed Hsu (許). After being questioned on Thursday, the father was released on bail of NT$300,000 and the son on bail of NT$200,000, prosecutors said, adding that they are expected to be charged with breaches of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. Yesterday, the father denied that he intended to illegally produce masks, saying that the off-site locations were only pilot projects for testing production methods and manufacturing sample masks, which were not to be sold in retail outlets. Ministry of Labor officials have said that they have instructed inspectors to make regular rounds of all mask manufacturing facilities. Workers have complained that they were not properly paid for overtime work at mask facilities, as well as other contraventions of the
A Philippine national who entered Taiwan two weeks ago has tested positive for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, adding that the man contracted the infection before he arrived in Taiwan. The new case brings the nation’s tally to 510 infected people, since Taiwan reported its first COVID-19 infection on Jan. 21. The man, who is in his 30s and came to work in Taiwan, was tested upon his arrival on Sept. 10, Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who also serves as the CECC’s spokesman, told a news briefing in Taipei. The man had no symptoms at the time and his first COVID-19 test returned negative, Chuang said, adding that he was subsequently placed in a government-designated quarantine facility. The man experienced diarrhea on Sunday last week and on Monday, and was tested again on Thursday, the day before his mandatory 14-day quarantine would have ended, Chuang said, adding that the second test returned positive and he was transferred to a negative pressure room at a local hospital. Chuang said that since Sept. 7, migrant workers arriving from the Philippines and Indonesia must be tested on arrival and again before the end of their quarantine, as cases in those countries have surged. The CT value of his polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was above 33.6 and his test for IgG antibodies also returned positive, suggesting that he had contracted the disease about three weeks earlier, before his arrival in Taiwan, Chuang said. IgG antibodies generally start appearing two to three weeks after the infection, Chuang added. To date, 418 of the nation’s cases have been classified as imported. Twenty-three remain hospitalized, while 480 have recovered and seven died, CECC data showed. Taiwan’s last domestic infection was recorded on April 12.
Elderly people are encouraged to exercise more and increase their intake of vitamin C, a Taipei doctor has said, citing the high number of elderly Taiwanese with osteoporosis. A growing number of people aged 50 or older, most of them women, have osteoporosis, family physician Shen Yi-ling (沈怡伶) said, adding that in serious cases the condition can lead to a fractured hip or femur. “Bone deterioration is a chronic condition that worsens with age,” she said. From 2016 to last year, the prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol in Taiwan steadily decreased from 25 percent to 10 percent, but the number of those with osteoporosis remains high, at nearly 30 percent of those aged 50 or older, Shen said. “It is clear that Taiwanese are eager to prevent high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as diabetes, but they haven’t been as aggressive in dealing with osteoporosis,” she said, adding that most people think that bone degeneration is an inevitable result of aging. If older people with osteoporosis fall and fracture a femur or hip, it is a problem, because they can contract an infection while they are bedridden, she said. People at an advanced age are at a high risk of dying within a year of a bone fracture, Shen added. People at the highest risk of death or other complications resulting from a broken bone are those with a body mass index of less than 18.5, who do not exercise enough, and those with a history of bone fractures, long-term steroid use, smoking or drinking alcohol, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or thyroid problems, she said. After menopause, women’s bones tend to degrade faster, and women are especially affected by osteoporosis as they tend to live longer than men, Shen said. People taking medication for osteoporosis are
Taroko National Park administrators on Wednesday advised the public to avoid climbing Tengu Rock (天狗岩) after receiving reports that the ledge has become unstable. Traffic at the formation on Haishushan (海鼠山) skyrocketed after its rediscovery in 2015 by hikers who recognized the outcropping from postcards issued by the Port of Hualien during the Japanese colonial era. Academics and hikers had long been intrigued by the unique rock formation that was featured on a series of postcards issued between 1912 and 1926, and frequently appeared in official and literary records of the time. However, as no one had found the location of the outcropping, it was believed to have been destroyed in a natural disaster. At the time, a hiker surnamed Cheng (鄭) told reporters: “Neither a typhoon nor an earthquake has destroyed it, but I am afraid that as soon as this news breaks, Tengu Rock will not be able to withstand so many hikers.” Hualien historian Yeh Po-chiang (葉柏強) on Tuesday posted a message on Facebook to alert the public about the rock’s condition, with the post receiving more than 500 shares in one day. “A hiker recently discovered that after they walked out onto the rock to take a photograph, it started shaking. If access is not restricted, Tengu Rock will soon collapse, and it will have been destroyed by our hands,” Yeh wrote. Some hikers doubted the veracity of Yeh’s statement, saying that when they visited a few months ago, the rock was stable. However, another hiker, surnamed Yeh (葉), confirmed that when they visited four days prior, they saw the rock shake when a hiker weighing about 80kg climbed onto it. The formation is relatively remote and difficult for the average hiker to access, park administrators said, pledging to send experts to investigate as soon as the weather permits. As they have not yet gathered any
A multi-purpose, sea-cleaning vessel is next month to begin operating in the Port of Keelung to remove liquid and solid waste, the Taiwan International Port Corp (TIAC) said on Friday last week. The state-run port company said that it spent NT$19.11 million (US$652,775) on the vessel, which was delivered from France in June, to improve its ability to keep the port’s waters clean. Marine pollution at the port mainly comes from the sewage system, TIAC said. TIAC dispatches personnel twice a day to scoop up marine waste, with more than 400kg collected on some days, it said. The new ship is to replace those operations, it said. With the collection of plastic, hydrocarbons, jellyfish, plants, sewage and other floating waste, the daily processing volume would increase to between 500kg and 800kg, it said. The vessel has dual-flow technology that allows clean water to be evacuated as water polluted with hydrocarbons is stored, it said. “Suppose there is an oil spill. The vessel’s cleaning rate of 105m3 per hour would dramatically reduce the use of absorbent cotton and lower the effects on the marine ecosystem,” TIAC chief secretary for the Port of Keelung Chen Shih-hung (陳世鴻) said. The vessel would also support essential services at the port, including towing, firefighting, dock cleaning, and transporting equipment and personnel, Chen said. TIAC is testing the vessel’s functions and training personnel to operate it from next month, he said. TIAC plans to import a second multi-service, sea-cleaning vessel next year to replace ships used by port maintenance personnel, Chen said. Like garbage trucks, they would broadcast music to warn other vessels that they need to avoid interfering with their operations, Chen added.
A new logo has been designed for the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) boxed meals as part of its efforts to expand the sale of its most popular merchandise outside of railway stations, the agency said on Thursday. The logo is to be officially unveiled on Thursday next week to coincide with the opening of the Taiwan Design Expo in Hsinchu, where it is to be displayed, as well as at the Hsinchu Railway Station, the agency said. The TRA sells more than 10 million boxed meals per year, generating more than NT$700 million (US$23.88 million) in annual revenue, agency statistics showed. The TRA has formed a partnership with FamilyMart, the nation’s second-largest convenience store chain, to sell the boxed meals in its outlets, and has plans to welcome other interested parties to join the franchise. The octagon-shaped logo features a double-headed rail on the side to represent the agency, uses the agency’s official color, blue, and the brand, “TR Bento” (台鐵便當), in Chinese and English. The design was finished in July, the agency said, adding that it is applying to patent the logo as a trademark. “Through a standardized and consistent trademark for bento, we hope to effectively convey the message of the brand in ways that both our employees and the public can identify,” the agency said. It pledged to ensure the quality of its boxed meals, saying that it would continue to support the development of the nation’s agriculture industry by using fresh and natural local ingredients for the meals.
OUTBOUND SALES ONLY: Catalogues can be provided upon request, orders placed via seatback screens and payments must be made with credit cards, the CAA said
Taiwan’s international flight carriers can resume in-flight duty-free shopping services, but only for outbound passengers, after securing permission from the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said yesterday. As part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, China Airlines (CAL), EVA Airways, Tigerair Taiwan and Starlux Airlines suspended in-flight duty-free sales at the end of January. The nation’s disease-prevention efforts have been proven effective in preventing the spread of the virus, so agency officials met with airline executives to discuss resuming duty-free services before submitting the proposal to the CECC for approval, the CAA said. The CECC agreed to ease the restrictions on airlines by allowing them to sell duty-free products to passengers on outbound flights, but not on inbound flights, and the airlines are required to still observe certain disease-prevention guidelines, the CAA’s official notice to the airlines said. Specific cabin crew should be designated to take charge of duty-free sales, and they must wear protective equipment, it said. Flight attendants are not allowed to promote duty-free products and duty-free catalogues cannot be placed in the seatback pockets, it said. However, if passengers request a catalogue, they can be given one, but airlines cannot recycle the catalogues, it added. Passengers should order their duty-free products via the seatback screen systems, and payment can only be made with credit cards, the agency said. CAL and EVA Air said that their in-flight duty-free shopping services would resume on all departing flights as of Thursday next week, the first day of four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. Tigerair Taiwan, CAL’s budget airline, said that it was still assessing when the best time to resume duty-free shopping would be, which would depend on how quickly it adds flights to its scheduled. It currently operates one flight to Tokyo and one to Bangkok per week. Starlux said
The Taipei Film Commission yesterday announced the winners of the 12th annual “Filming Taipei” (拍台北) screenplay competition. First prize, the “Golden Script” award, went to Lee Yi-fang (李怡芳) for San Yu (三餘), who will also receive a record NT$400,000 in cash, the commission said. The second-place “Silver Script” award, with a NT$150,000 cash prize, was given to A-ching’s (阿鯨) A Distant Place Called Taipei (一個叫做台北的遠方), while, Kou-pi (狗比), won the “Bronze Script” award, and a NT$50,000 cash prize, for Lien Lien Chia Jui (戀戀加蚋), it said. The theme of this year’s competition, organized by the commission, the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs and the Taipei Culture Foundation, was “Taipei Romance” (台北人的愛情), the commission said in a statement. This year was the first time the competition set a theme for the scripts: Writers were asked to create love stories with a contemporary perspective, it said. Entries could be submitted from May 1 to June 30, and a record 147 scripts were received, it said. Through its portrayal of ordinary family members, Lee’s San Yu delicately presents the challenges and emotions of Taipei’s residents, and their expectations of love, while A-ching’s A Distant Place Called Taipei accurately describes a sense of fate in love, the commission said. Kou-pi’s (狗比) imaginative script for Lien Lien Chia Jui was praised by the jury for its clever grasp of time, space and characters, and its surprising structure. The five-member jury included actors Wu Kang-ren (吳慷仁) and Ariel Lin (林依晨), the first time they have served on the jury, the commission said. It quoted Lin as saying that she encountered many scripts from among the entries that she would want to perform, while Wu said he hoped to see the works brought to the big screen. The award ceremony is to be held on Wednesday next week, the commission added.
The Ministry of Culture (MOC) yesterday launched “Re:connext,” more than a month of events being held around the spring/summer 2021 edition of Taipei Fashion Week. The events have been organized by the MOC, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Taipei City Government to promote Taiwanese brands, and the theme “Re:connext” — a combination of “reconnect” and “next” — was chosen to express the hope that connections between people, between people and local communities, and between industries can be restored in the post-COVID-19 era, the MOC said. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a “new economic normal,” and the fashion industry is no exception, it said. The final selection show for the 34th Taiwan Fashion Design Award is to be held on Oct. 5 at Warehouse No. 4 at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文創園區) in Xinyi District (信義), starting at 4pm. Twelve designers from among 354 contestants were selected to be in the show, the MOC said. The works nominated for the Taiwan Fashion Design Award are to be exhibited at the park’s Warehouse No. 3 from Oct. 6 to Oct. 10, alongside works created by participants in the education ministry’s Scholarship Program for Overseas Study in Arts and Design. An international fashion forum focusing on sustainability is to take place from 10am to 3:30pm on Oct. 13 at The One at Taipei 101, featuring leading figures from the fashion industry in Taiwan and abroad, the MOC said. The 24th edition of the Taipei Innovative Textile Application Show (TITAS) opens on Oct. 13 at Hall 1 of Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, featuring an estimated 300 exhibitors, with more than 800 booths. Sustainability, smart textiles, functional applications and smart manufacturing are the focus of this year’s show, the TITAS organizers said. The textile show is to
On Aug. 26, the Ministry of Culture announced the nomination of original Taiwanese travel show Follow Alana for “Best lifestyle program host” at the 55th Golden Bell Awards. The award ceremony for this year’s Golden Bell Awards takes place tomorrow at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei. It is the second time that the show’s host, Alana Cheng (鄭雅文), who is hard of hearing, has been nominated for a prestigious Golden Bell award. Made locally by a Taiwanese production team and fronted by its Taiwanese-American host, the in-depth travel show has already been honored with 10 international awards, including the Asia Television Awards and the Telly Awards — the Oscars of the video and television world. After receiving such a positive response internationally, the show’s team is hopeful it will finally be recognized in Taiwan with a Golden Bell for its travel special on Switzerland. Alana, who was born profoundly deaf, decided to push herself by pursuing a career in front of the camera. However, it was not just about challenging herself, Alana also wanted to make a travel show that would bring to a Taiwanese audience different ideas and ways of thinking from all four corners of the world. Alana says another reason she wanted to host the program was so that she could share her life story with as many people as possible and provide encouragement to children born with profound deafness to follow their dreams. During the episode, Follow Alana in Switzerland Alana tries hang-gliding for the first time and captures a bird’s eye view of Switzerland, showcasing the majesty of the Swiss landscape from a unique perspective. Alana also visits one of Switzerland’s famous watchmakers, samples some outstanding Swiss cheese and goes hiking with a Saint Bernard dog. The host’s intrepid spirit is on full display when she takes
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: The Ministry of National Defense denied rumors that jets and helicopters flying over the capital were part of a Chinese invasion force
Jets and helicopters flying over Taipei yesterday were no cause for alarm, as they were part of Double Ten National Day preparations, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said, adding that more rehearsals are set for Tuesday next week, Oct. 6 and Oct. 8. “This morning, the alarm clock for Taipei sounded somewhat different. This was the sound of [Taiwan’s] military aircraft flying over,” Tsai wrote on Facebook in Chinese. One UH-60M Black Hawk, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, three F-16Vs and three AT-3 training jets flew over Taipei as part of rehearsals for the Oct. 10 celebrations. Aside from those participating in the rehearsals, all of the nation’s military units are on duty at their respective posts and performing their duties to defend Taiwan, Tsai wrote. She urged people to encourage military personnel should they encounter them in public. The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied rumors that the jets were advanced units from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army heralding an imminent invasion, adding that over the next few days there would be more such air traffic over Taipei. National Day Celebration Preparation Committee Secretary-General Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥), who is also deputy minister of the interior, said that yesterday’s rehearsals were conducted using only three out of the standard six aircraft, as would rehearsals on Sunday. Rehearsals on Tuesday next week and on Oct. 6 would be done in full formation with six aircraft, Chen said. Early morning was selected to conduct the rehearsals to minimize the impact on the public, he said, adding that organizations had been alerted of the exercises. A parade of vehicles is to be moved to the second half of this year’s national day celebrations and be replaced by performances that embody the day’s theme, “Democratic Taiwan, Advancing with Confidence,” Chen said. The military police are to rehearse from 12:50am to 3:33am until Oct. 6, Chen said,
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said that the line does not exist, because “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.” Ma cited the M503 commercial flight route that China implemented on Jan. 12, 2015, saying that it moved the path 6 nautical miles (11km) to the west after it prompted concern in Taiwan that it was too close to the nation’s airspace. As part of the cross-strait “consensus” at the time, Beijing suspended another three east-west routes, as they ran the risk of interfering with services between Taiwan proper and Kinmen and Matsu, Ma said. Beijing respected the median line and the feelings of Taiwanese, showing mutual trust and goodwill with the adjustments it made, he said. Taiwan is now caught up in a US-China competition and the cross-strait tensions are a concern, Ma said, adding that as neither side wants war, it is important to exercise self-discipline and avoid provocative behavior. Although Chinese state-owned media have said that the median line is a “psychological” construct that Beijing never recognized, crossing it would only drive the people on the both sides further apart, he said. Respect for the median line is the most basic element for cross-strait peace, he said. Speaking on the sidelines of an event yesterday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said
‘NOT A PAWN’: Joseph Wu said that hopefully the US would continue to sell defensive articles to Taiwan, while Taipei does not feel that it is being manipulated by Washington
Taiwan is presently not seeking formal ties with the US, despite a significant improvement in relations between the two sides, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said in an interview published on Tuesday. “We are not seeking full diplomatic relations with the United States at this moment, but certainly, there’s a lot of room for us to explore how to strengthen relations between Taiwan and the United States,” Wu told Washington-based National Public Radio via Skype on Sunday. “And we have been advocating that Taiwan and the United States should further strengthen their economic relations, trade relations, political relations, even security relations,” Wu said. There has already been “tremendous advancement” in Taiwan-US relations, he said, apparently referring to US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar’s visit to Taiwan last month, as well as a visit by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach last week. They were the highest-ranking US officials to travel to Taiwan since Washington switched diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. Wu said that Krach’s visit was “monumental.” The visits angered Beijing, which reacted by sending dozens of military jets toward Taiwan during the visits, some of which crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Wu said that the Chinese military activities near Taiwan were a concern. “Crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait is particularly alarming,” he said. Hopefully, the US would continue to sell “defensive articles” to Taiwan amid the increasing military threat from China, although the nation is not relying on the US to intervene were armed conflict to begin, he said. Taiwan does not feel that it is being used as a pawn by the administration of US President Donald Trump amid Washington’s strained ties with Beijing, he said. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) yesterday said that
A Webinar on female leadership in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era is to be conducted by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York on Wednesday next week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The event, titled “Women’s Leadership: Redesigning the Post-COVID-19 Era,” is to be attended by Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelley Currie, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGO). The first panel on “Transformative Leadership: A Country’s Obligation to Fulfill a Resilient Future” is to feature Hsiao and Currie, who last week visited Taiwan as part of a delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach. It is to be the main event in a series of Webinars from Monday to Wednesday next week on the power of women in diplomacy, and Taiwan’s success in pushing for gender equality and women’s empowerment, Department of NGO International Affairs Secretary-General Constance Wang (王雪虹) told a regular news conference in Taipei. Two days of discussions on the theme “Feminists Redesigning the Post-COVID-19 Era” are to be held before Wednesday’s Webinar, including talks on gender equality strategies during the pandemic and new directions for the international women’s movement, the ministry said. The series is a collaboration between the ministry, the Foundation for Women’s Rights Promotion and Development and other NGOs that are dedicated to women’s issues, Wang said. The events are being held ahead of the 25th anniversary of the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women on Thursday next week, at which they agreed on the Beijing Platform for Action, a comprehensive strategy to achieve gender equality. The 90-minute Webinar is to be livestreamed on the ministry’s YouTube channel at 9pm Taipei time. People who are interested in attending can register on Eventbrite at https://reurl.cc/VX8VMb. More information on the events and Taiwan’s efforts
The US should help Taiwan boost its defense capability to prevent China from launching an invasion, US Senator Marco Rubio said on Wednesday amid rising military coercion by Beijing toward Taipei. Speaking during a Hudson Institute event at which he shared his views on US foreign policy and world affairs, the Republican senator and vocal critic of China’s human rights record said that he believes Beijing will eventually use force to take over Taiwan when asked by the event’s host if Taiwan might become a “flashpoint in US-China relations.” The number of people in Taiwan and the US who oppose being linked to China has risen in the past few years, Rubio said. Since last month, Washington has sent two senior officials to Taipei, Rubio said, referring to visits by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach. At the same time China has been sending warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone “as a messaging exercise,” Rubio said. “I do believe that eventually it is a red-line issue for China, and eventually, if necessary, they will move by force to exert their claims on Taiwan,” he said. “The only thing that would prevent that from happening is if the cost of doing that is too high.” Helping Taiwan to win an all-out conflict against China would not be a way to reach that goal, he said, adding: “That’s not possible.” Instead, Washington should assist Taipei “to have the capability to raise the cost of military adventurism there to a level that China’s not willing to pay, and navigate that very carefully in an effort not to try to trigger a conflict like that from happening,” he said. This would be “the best hope that we have” to manage the situation, he said,