Saying that exchanges with China must not undermine sovereignty or the country’s position, a Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official yesterday suggested people would not be apprehended if they bring the national flag to the cross-strait high-level talks set to begin on Monday in Taipei.
“I believe the security details and law enforcement personnel fully understand where we stand in this matter,” MAC Deputy Minister Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said. “The national flag represents the country...It will be where it is supposed to be. The same principle applies to the cross-strait meetings.”
Liu made the remarks in response to a media inquiry about the council’s position on bringing the national flag to the meeting between Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) following the council’s recent promotional campaign that stated “the national flag should be left where it is supposed to be.”
Liu yesterday encouraged the public to better understand the institutionalized negotiation system between the SEF and ARATS. He also urged the public to “participate in the meeting in different forms.” He did not elaborate.
Taipei and Beijing have held five high-level meetings since 2008. The next round will take place in Taipei from Monday to Wednesday when Chiang and Chen are set to sign an agreement on medical and health cooperation.
The two sides had originally planned to sign a separate accord on investment protection, but agreed to postpone it, citing the complexity of the issue and time constraints.
Liu yesterday said both sides have had differences since the beginning, but each side knows full well the other’s concerns and it takes time to iron them out.
On the cross-strait economic cooperation committee, Liu said that it will be subject to legislative oversight. Liu said the function of the committee is to negotiate, not to set policies.
Once the negotiations are complete, any agreement that need to be signed will be handled by the SEF and ARATS before proceeding to the legislature for approval, he said, adding that the committee cannot make any decision, nor can it replace the SEF or ARATS.
The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) Taipei and Beijing signed in June stipulates that once the trade pact takes effect, the two sides are to set up a cross-strait economic cooperation committee, and within six months will initiate discussions on agreements on investment protection, commodity trade, service trade and a dispute-resolving mechanism.
The ECFA came into force on Sept. 12, while the “early harvest” program will be implemented on Jan. 1 next year.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
‘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’
More than half of Taiwan’s middle-aged population, those aged between 40 and 64, have at least one of the “three highs” — high blood pressure, high blood lipids or high blood sugar — and an unhealthy waist size, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said, adding that more than 30 percent also have metabolic syndrome. The HPA, the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation and local health departments are cooperating to encourage people to regularly measure their waist circumference and keep it at a healthy size — no more than 90cm for adult men and no more than 80cm for adult women. Taichung Veterans General