Taiwan cuts ties with Ivory Coast
March 3, 1983: Taiwan severs diplomatic ties with Ivory Coast. The 20-year relationship ended as the West African country switched recognition to China. The Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire assumes non-diplomatic functions, such as promoting trade and investment.
Joint communique signed with Belize
March 2, 1994: Taiwan and Belize sign a joint communique, strengthening formal relations and economic cooperation. The Central American country has been a diplomatic ally since 1989. Over the years, Taiwan has sent agricultural and technical missions to Belize, as well as offered scholarships to Belizeans.
Taiwan included in UK’s visa-waiver program
March 3, 2009: The British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei announces that Republic of China (ROC) passport holders will enjoy visa-free privileges for stays of less than six months. The UK is the 31st county to include Taiwanese in its visa-waiver program, followed by the EU in 2011 and the US in 2012.
First AIDS patient dies; HIV research finds breakthrough
March 2, 1986: Taiwan’s first confirmed AIDS patient dies. Free medical treatment for HIV/AIDS patients begins in 1988. The government promulgated the AIDS Prevention and Control Act (後天免疫缺乏症候群防治條例) in 1990 as the legal basis for HIV/AIDS control policy. In 2007, an amendment made to the act stipulated that HIV-infected citizens cannot be denied access to education, medical services and housing.
March 3, 2008: Biochemists from Academia Sinica’s Genomics Research Center and California-based Scripps Research Institute announce their finding of a new compound, glycodendrons. The compound has been proven effective in stopping HIV-infection in animals at an early stage.
Academia Sinica president passes away
March 4, 2000: Wu Ta-you (吳大猷), atomic and nuclear physicist and former president of Academia Sinica, dies in Taipei at the age of 95. Wu was credited for his contributions in physics and education, which earned him a sobriquet — Father of Chinese Physics (中國物理學之父). Wu authored more than 20 books, including a seven-part series on theoretical physics. He trained Lee Tsung-dao (李政道) and Yang Chen-ning (楊振寧), Chinese-born, US-educated physicists who together won the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1963, Wu helped to re-establish the Institute of Physics at Academia Sinica, where he was president from 1983 to 1994. He continued lecturing into his 90s.
Scores killed in disasters
March 2, 2003: A four-carriage train derails on a bridge in Alishan. The accident kills 17 passengers while injuring more than 150 people. Investigations later ruled that human error was the probable cause of the crash.
March 4, 2010: A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits southern Taiwan in the early morning, damaging houses, cutting power supplies and disrupting the nation’s transportation systems. The quake is centered 17km southeast of Jiasian Township in Kaohsiung County (now Greater Kaohsiung) at a depth of 5km. It causes no deaths but injures nearly a 100 people. The earthquake was followed by several aftershocks; the largest had a magnitude of 6.7 on the Richter scale.
March 6, 2011: A nightclub in Greater Taichung catches fire, causing nine deaths and 12 injuries. A dancer accidentally set fire to the ceiling with a torch during a performance, triggering the blaze at about 1:30am. Audiences initially thought that the fire was part of the show.