President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has expressed his sincere condolences and sympathy to US President George W. Bush for the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (
"We believe the re-construction will be completed soon under the lead of the US President Bush and we hope the residents can return to normal as soon as possible," he said.
According to the ministry, no casualties involving Taiwanese expatriates have so far been reported, although some expatriates' homes have been destroyed. The ministry has mobilized Taiwanese associations and non-government charities such as the Buddhist Compassionate Relief Tzu Chi Foundation's US branches, to offer emergency aid to affected Taiwanese expatriates, ministry spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said.
Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific nations -- including tsunami-battered Sri Lanka -- promised yesterday to send money and disaster relief experts to the US to help deal with the aftermath of Katrina.
"There should not be an assumption that because America is the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world, this isn't a major challenge and a major crisis," Australian Prime Minister John Howard told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.
Australia topped the list of those in the region who pledged aid, with a promise of A$10 million (US$7.6 million) to the American Red Cross. Japan and Singapore were also quick to promise help.
Venezuela offered humanitarian aid and fuel. Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum Corp pledged a US$1 million donation for hurricane aid.
Israel has offered hundreds of doctors, trauma experts and other medical staff as well as field hospitals and other relief. Other offers came from Russia, Canada, France and many other countries.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no