Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) yesterday said the ministry was mulling establishing a mechanism to exchange nuclear power safety information with China following the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged parts of Japan last Friday and caused radiation leaks at nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture.
Such a move was discussed internally to form a cross-strait communications platform on disaster prevention that would also include typhoon and weather monitoring, he said.
The minister made the remarks during a meeting at the legislature’s Economics Committee, with legislators questioning him and officials from the Atomic Energy Council and Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) about possible shortcomings in the -disaster--preparedness of Taiwan’s four nuclear power plants.
The legislators asked how ready the ministry would be to prevent a Fukushima-style disaster from -happening in Taiwan in the event of similar natural disasters, and how it planned to protect Taiwanese as China plans to build several nuclear plants along its coast.
China has two nuclear plants in Fujian Province and reportedly intends to build 13 more along its southeastern coastline.
In other news, the ministry said yesterday it would trim the taxes on some imports for Taiwanese companies in the face of the quake, which has disrupted the global technology supply chain.
Lien Ching-chang (連錦漳), a deputy director-general at the ministry’s Industrial Development Bureau, told reporters in the Executive Yuan that the quake has impacted Japanese supplies of components, parts and machinery to overseas clients, and Taiwanese auto, chip, panel and solar industries would take a blow.
He said these companies should not face an immediate threat as they have secured component inventories to last up to two months.
However, the mid-term effect has to be closely monitored as Japan has implemented rolling blackouts, which could affect the operation of some production -facilities, Lien added.
The ministry will help Taiwanese firms look out for substitute components in case Japanese suppliers couldn’t meet their demand, he said.
JPMorgan Securities (Taiwan) raised concerns about Taiwanese auto, semiconductor and PC industries after the quake.
“Taiwan automakers [operate] largely on an OEM [original equipment manufacturing] basis and rely heavily on key components, such as engines and transmissions from Japan,” it said in a report on Tuesday.
While raw wafer supply may not be an issue in the near term, a -potential hiccup in the supply of bismaleimide triazine (BT) resin from Japan could impact applications using BT-based substrates, including handsets and communications products, it said.
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical and Hitachi Chemical together account for about 90 percent of global BT resin supply, it added.
In the PC sector, aside from Japan being the third-largest PC market globally with a 5 percent market share, concerns remain about securing stable supplies of components such as rechargeable batteries, optical disk drives and some hard disk drive parts, -JPMorgan said.
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
NO SIGN OF WAR: Only if Taiwanese showed determination to defend the nation would others be willing to help in the event of a Chinese attack, the premier said Should China launch a war against Taiwan, the military would fight to the last standing person, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said yesterday, adding that the nation has fully fleshed-out defense strategies. “Beijing has continued its acts of provocation against Taiwan, but there are currently no signs that it is ready to launch a full-scale war,” Yen said at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Asked how long Taiwan could withstand an attack from China, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said: “Taiwan will not fall.” Any belligerent force that initiates acts of war would pay a heavy price, and so too would Beijing,
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
MOTHERLAND? Taiwanese who take part in China’s National Day celebrations could be fined NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 if found to have contravened Taiwanese laws The Ministry of Culture yesterday cautioned China-based Taiwanese artists against breaching Taiwanese law by taking part in China’s National Day celebrations. The ministry issued the statement following media reports that Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) is to sing a popular Chinese patriotic song titled My Motherland (我的祖國), and Angela Chang (張韶涵) is to sing Protect (守護) with Chinese entertainers at an event to mark China’s National Day on Thursday. The Mainland Affairs Council is investigating whether such behavior contravenes regulations in the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), the ministry said. If the behavior involves matters