An audit of the nation’s public schools found that 1,089 surveillance cameras made by the banned Chinese company Hikvision Digital Technology Co have been used at 16 schools over the past four years, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday.
The Executive Yuan has yet to release a comprehensive list of banned Chinese products since it pledged to do so nearly one year ago.
That is because the Chinese companies in question have been releasing new products, rendering any such list quickly obsolete, a source said.
The Executive Yuan has held interdepartmental meetings to tackle the issue, but failed to reach a consensus, the source said.
One issue is that not all products of some companies pose information security problems, the source said.
The government is concerned that it might cause misconceptions if it banned one or two items from a largely safe manufacturer, the source said.
The Executive Yuan late last month sent a report to the Legislative Yuan about Chinese-made information technology products being used at government agencies.
A majority of the products were made by Hikvision, the report said, adding that a total of 366 devices made by the company were being used by four central government agencies, 15 local government departments and 17 public schools.
A total of 179 of the devices were being used at public schools, the report showed.
However, the ministry’s audit showed that there were 1,089 Hikvision devices on public school campuses — about six times the number reported by the Executive Yuan, the source said.
The finding was particularly worrying for the nation’s information security officials, as Hikvision has close ties with the Chinese government, and its facial recognition technology has been used to suppress China’s Uighur Muslim population, the source said.
A report in July last year by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taichung City Councilor Chiang Chao-kuo (江肇國) on the use of Hikvision cameras in the city’s underpasses was followed by reports of the company’s cameras being used at National Taiwan University, National Sun Yat-sen University and other public schools.
The schools stopped using the cameras after an investigation by the ministry.
However, 13 schools are still using the cameras, citing “no concerns” over the technology, the ministry said, adding that it has written to the schools asking them to stop using the devices to protect students and ensure campus safety.
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two
National Taiwan University Hospital’s (NTUH) Ethical Review Committee on Tuesday approved the hospital’s application to conduct human trials of mixed Moderna and Medigen COVID-19 vaccines. The hospital yesterday said that 220 volunteers aged 20 to 70 who have received one dose of a Moderna vaccine eight to 12 weeks ago are to be enrolled in the program. The volunteers are to be separated into two groups — a treatment group and a control group — and a double-blind study would be conducted, assigning Medigen or Moderna vaccines to the groups on a random basis, it said. The trial is expected to start
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
TAIWAN TIES: The foreign ministry said like-minded nations continue to express support for Taiwan’s ties with Lithuania, highlighting a letter by Slovenia’s PM US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday saluted Lithuania’s championing of democracy in Taiwan and Belarus. Lithuania in July agreed to let Taiwan open a representative office using its own name, prompting a pressure campaign by China. “We stand against economic coercion, including that being exerted by China,” Blinken said as he welcomed Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis in Washington. “We stand strongly for democracy, including in Belarus, where we’re very much working together,” Blinken said. Landsbergis told reporters afterward that he and Blinken discussed “economic, financial, political measures” that can be taken to withstand Chinese pressure. “We discussed various possible measures