In a bid to make a distinction between Taiwan and China, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday pledged to rectify the names of all relevant government agencies to "Taiwan" in two years. \n"All relevant agencies in international settings that are easily confused with those of China should gradually rectify their names [to Taiwan,]" Chen said at a news conference held at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). \n"We will strive to rectify the names of our overseas missions," he added. \nCurrently, the name Taipei Economic and Culture Office(TECO) is commonly used for the nation's governmental institutions overseas. Taiwan's de facto embassy in the US is the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO). \n"We will start this policy first with government agencies and state-owned corporations and have them accomplish the task within two years' time," he added, referring to state-owned companies such as China Shipbuilding Corp (中船), Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) and China Steel Corp (中鋼). \nChen said that the country should also participate in international organizations with the name "Taiwan" to avoid unnecessary confusion that often takes place in international settings. \n"Domestically, we should do away with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-like phenomena of no differentiation between party and state," Chen said. \n"Internationally, we should actively make the differentiation between Taiwan and China to avoid unnecessary confusion." \nReiterating that the "Republic of China is Taiwan" and that it is an independent, sovereign country, Chen said that according to the existing Constitution, the ROC is the country's official title and is the "biggest common denominator" of the Taiwan public's identification to national identity. \nSaying that he is the defender of Taiwan's identity, Chen said that to highlight Taiwan's identity is not tantamount to changing the country's official national title. \n"Until a majority consensus with the public is reached and formed, to hastily push for a change to the country's name would only divide people's power and affect the country's unity," Chen said. \nAt the news conference, Chen stressed the three historic missions he has taken up. \n"First, to push for democratic reform and economic development," Chen said. "Second, to accomplish constitutional reform, to assemble the Constitutional Reform Committee after the [Dec.11 legislative] elections." \n"And third, in order to strive for permanent cross-strait peace, after the legislative elections [I will] invite leaders from all sectors to join the Committee for Cross-strait Peace and Development (兩岸和平發展委員會), to push for a reopening of cross-strait negotiations so that the two sides can engage in a dialogue for peace," the president said. \nWhile reiterating his determination to push for constitutional reform, to hold a referendum on a new constitution in 2006 and to have the new constitution implemented in 2008, Chen asked people not to dwell on whether it is "amending the Constitution" or "rewriting the Constitution." \n"What matters is not the words `to amend' or `to rewrite,' but the point is to focus on its substantial changes and the historic participation of the people in constitutional reform," Chen said.
A public health expert yesterday warned that too many people are meeting in small groups in coffee shops and restaurants without keeping a proper distance from one another, as he urged the government to loosen the criteria for testing young Taiwanese returning from abroad for COVID-19. People need to keep a social distance of at least 2m, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health dean Chan Chang-chuan (詹長權) said as the college presented its seventh weekly report on COVID-19 at a morning news conference. More than 300,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in more than three-quarters of all
TWEET CONFIRMED: The US’ Morgan Ortagus backed up Taiwan, saying China only admitted that human-to-human transmission was possible as late as Jan. 20 Taiwan warned the WHO and China about possible human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus at the end of last year, but the global health body did not make it public, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Department of International Organizations Director-General Bob Chen (陳龍錦) made the remark at a news briefing in Taipei, when asked about statements made by US Department of State spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. “Dec. 31— that’s the same day Taiwan first tried to warn WHO of human-human transmission. Chinese authorities meanwhile silenced doctors and refused to admit human-human transmission until Jan. 20, with catastrophic consequences,” Ortagus wrote on
MORE CASES EXPECTED: Many young Taiwanese would be returning home over the next two weeks, as schools in many nations closed, the health minister said Twenty-six new COVID-19 cases were confirmed yesterday, including five clusters, and all but one were imported, bringing Taiwan’s total number to 195, as border controls and home quarantine measures prove their effectiveness, the head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. Twelve of the new cases were in people tested at airports upon their return, 11 were in people under home quarantine and two were people who tested positive after seeking medical treatment, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at its daily news conference. “The new domestic case is a woman who lives with
ON THE LOOKOUT: A Lockheed EP-3 reconnaissance plane was yesterday seen flying southwest of Kaohsiung, according to Twitter account ‘Aircraft Spots’ A Twitter account that tracks military aircraft movements has indicated an increase in US military activity near Taiwan, coinciding with an increase in Chinese military activity in the area. Planes from the US Seventh Fleet have been sighted frequently above the South China Sea in the past several days, and a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane was seen flying close to Taiwanese airspace southwest of Kaohsiung yesterday, according to posts by the Twitter account Aircraft Spots. The EP-3 was seen circling above the same area, Aircraft Spots said, adding that other planes from the fleet were seen in the past few days