Taipei Deputy Mayor Pai Hsiou-hsiung (白秀雄) yesterday said that it is up to prosecutors to determine whether the former superintendent of Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital and the head of its Infectious Diseases Department should receive administrative punishments from the city government over the SARS outbreak at the hospital. \n"Prosecutors have control over the investigation now," Pai said. "If we need evidence or records from our own investigation, we will have to `borrow' it from them. So we have to work with them through the process." \nHe made the remarks when asked by reporters when the city government would announce if former superintendent Wu Kang-wen (吳康文) and department head Lin Jung-ti (林榮第) would face punishment. \nThe city's Bureau of Health announced on Thursday that it had suspended Dr. Chou Ching-kai (周經凱) from practicing medicine for three months because he broke the mandatory quarantine imposed on Hoping Hospital staff and that it had revoked the physician certificate of Jen Chi Hospital's superintendent Dr. Liao Cheng-hsiung (廖正雄) for concealing the SARS outbreak at his facility. \nDuring the Thursday evening press conference, however, bureau officials said Wu and Lin were still under investigation. \nPai said that, during interviews with bureau officials, Wu and Lin tried to avoid taking responsibility for the outbreak of SARS at their hospital. As a result, he said, the bureau needed more documents from the hospital before a decision could be made about the pair. \nThe bureau, however, has been told it must get permission from the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office to look at the hospital's records, he said. \n"When we tried to access patients' records, the hospital's employee-log records and so on, Taipei Chief Prosecutor Chen Ta-wei (陳大偉) told us we couldn't do so without prosecutors' authorization because these items are now crucial evidence in their investigation," Pai said. "When they [the prosecutors] decide who should bear the responsibility [for the outbreak], we'll know who to blame as well."
Without completed infrastructure and training, the expedited sale of new F-16s from the US could become a burden rather than a help, a military official said yesterday. Reuters on Thursday last week reported that Washington is looking to accelerate the delivery of 66 new F-16C/D Block 70 aircraft in response to what it sees as increasing intimidation by Beijing. Under the terms of the original US$8 billion deal signed in 2019, the US is expected to deliver a single-seater and double-seater for testing next year, then deliver the 66 new aircraft in batches of four or five from 2024 to 2026. The officials
SLIGHTS: Beijing intends to display pro-unification messages and prominently feature Taiwanese volunteers in its propaganda videos, an official said Taiwanese officials are poised to boycott next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, an official with knowledge of the matter said yesterday, citing concerns that China would slight Taiwan during the Games. This year’s Winter Olympics are scheduled to open on Friday next week amid a diplomatic boycott by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, New Zealand, the UK and the US in response to China’s human rights abuses against Uighurs in Xinjiang and crackdowns on democracy advocates in Hong Kong. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that a Cabinet-appointed task force has determined that Taiwan’s delegation would abstain from the opening and
INCREASED COOPERATION: Part of the funding is to be used to further the aims of a Taiwan-US human resources development platform launched in 2015, a source said An increase of ￥100 million (US$878,765) to Japan’s annual foreign affairs budget is for “advancing the Japan-Taiwan relationship,” information published on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Web site showed. The ministry’s budget for last year was ￥1.7 billion; it was increased to ￥1.8 billion for this year. The ministry wrote that the additional funding was to be used for “cooperating with allies and like-minded countries to safeguard the universal values of the international community.” Regarding Taiwan specifically, the ministry said that it was “responding to an increasingly complex security and economic environment,” and that it aimed to “strengthen diplomacy and cooperation
A majority of Japanese feel friendly toward Taiwan, with almost half of respondents in a poll saying that they want to visit the country after COVID-19 travel curbs are eased, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan said yesterday. The office said that 75.9 percent of respondents said they feel friendly toward Taiwan, citing as reasons the friendliness and politeness of Taiwanese, the long history of ties between the two nations, and the strength of bilateral trade. More than one-quarter of respondents — 26.4 percent — said they had traveled to Taiwan, while 47.8 percent said they would like to