The US considers China's proposed anti-secession law to be a threat to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) said yesterday. \nThe Standing Committee of the National People's Congress will start a four-day discussion of the law today, Chen told reporters at a tea party. He added that the last thing the US wanted to see now was a conflict between Taiwan and China. \nIf China insisted on enacting the law, "the people of Taiwan will definitely react to it and tensions will rise," Chen said. \nAfter recent communication with Washington concerning the anti-secession law, Chen said he could say with "firm assurance" that the US sees the law as "a move to change the status quo." \n"The US doesn't welcome the law. If Washington continues with its current stance over the law, it will apply pressure on China," he said. \nChen said that China chose this time to introduce the anti-secession bill because it knew the US needed its help in Iraq and North Korea. \n"Beijing could have issued the proposal much earlier, but it kept delaying announcement of this until now. It is very careful in handling the issue," Chen said. \n"The US doesn't want problems in the Taiwan Strait, but China deliberately brought up the bill now to force Washington to pay attention to the Taiwan problem," he said. \nChen said the US and China "use each other" to solve problems that concern them most. \nPlaying down recent comments by US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage that Taiwan is one of the biggest landmines in China-US relations, Chen said that based on information received from US officials he was sure that the Washington's Taiwan policy had not changed. \nChen said that what he desired most for Taiwan-US relations were the direct communication channels which senior Chinese and US officials enjoy. \nThe nation has suffered a lot because it cannot explain many issues to Washington directly, Chen said. \n"Some visiting US academics once asked me what I want most in our relations with the US. I told them I want a `hotline' between the two sides," Chen said. \nHe added that better communication channels could reduce misunderstandings between the two countries.
NINE NEW CASES: The CECC said two locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, and seven imported ones – five women and two men – brought the nation’s total to 348 People who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation after being asked to do so would face a NT$3,000 to NT$15,000 fine, effective immediately, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday after announcing nine additional COVID-19 cases. In a move to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Tuesday announced that people must wear masks on trains and intercity buses, while Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Tuesday said that people should wear them when they cannot maintain a social distance of 1.5m indoors. Chen yesterday
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TARGETED TEXTS: The center’s head said that visitor numbers at scenic spots were greater than expected and people did not do a very good job of social distancing The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday sent two warning text messages to urge people to practice social distancing, especially by avoiding crowded scenic areas. The two messages were sent at 11:55am on the third day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, reminding people about social distancing and hand hygiene to help prevent COVID-19 infection. “When visiting crowded scenic spots during the Tomb Sweeping Day weekend, please keep a social distance of at least 1.5m indoors and 1m outdoors, wear a mask and wash your hands frequently. Please wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention if you are feeling ill
The US National Security Council yesterday thanked Taiwan for its support amid the COVID-19 pandemic following President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement that Taiwan would donate 10 million masks to hard-hit countries. The donation includes 2 million masks to the US on top of the weekly 100,000 announced previously; 7 million to Europe; and 1 million to diplomatic allies, on top of 1 million Taiwan procured for allies from their neighboring countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. After European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed appreciation for the donations, the US body yesterday wrote its thanks on Twitter. “We