President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday thanked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for their support of Taiwan’s bid to join the WHO as the number of confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus cases in the nation increased to nine.
“Particularly, I want to thank the US, Canada, Japan and other countries for publicly supporting Taiwan’s bid to join the WHO, as well as other international friends who have recently voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO,” Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei as she reassured people about the government’s ability to prevent an epidemic.
“Taiwan is capable of and responsible for making contributions to the world. The WHO must not exclude Taiwan due to political factors,” she said.
Trudeau, after circumventing a question by Canadian Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer about Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO in parliament on Tuesday, became assertive when answering the same question from lawmaker Michael Cooper on Wednesday.
“This is a question about Taiwan,” Cooper said, stressing Taiwan by spelling it out. “Does the government support the inclusion of Taiwan in international discussion about the virus? Again, Taiwan, yes or no?”
“Yes, Mr Speaker. As we did during the time of the SARS virus, we support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international multilateral forums. Especially when its presence provides important contributions to the global public good. We believe that Taiwan’s role as an observer in World Health Assembly meetings is in the best interest of the international health community and it also is an important partner in the fight against this epidemic,” Trudeau said.
His remarks were greeted by applause.
It was the first time that a Canadian prime minister had publicly voiced support for Taiwan’s bid to join the WHO, following similar gestures by Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and former Canadian minister of health Ginette Petitpas Taylor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
Separately yesterday, Abe told the Japanese parliament that Taiwan’s participation in the WHO is necessary to effectively combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, Kyodo news reported.
“It will be difficult to maintain health and prevent further infections in this region if [Taiwan] is excluded for political reasons,” Abe was cited as saying. “We will continue to make our country’s stance clear at the WHO.”
On Wednesday, Saint Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet issued a statement calling on the WHO to include Taiwan.
“Given Taiwan’s proximity, its importance as a transport hub and its 23 million population, Saint Lucia urgently calls on the WHO ... to ensure that there is full involvement of the Taiwanese authorities in the international consultations, planning and decisionmaking to monitor, control and ultimately halt the further spread of the coronavirus,” the statement said.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters