Switzerland began replacing "Taiwan" with "Chinese Taipei" in the nationality columns of residence permits issued to Republic of China citizens in August, a move believed to be done under pressure from China. \nAt least three cantons -- Bern, Geneva and Zurich -- began changing the nationality designation of Taiwanese when issuing or renewing their residence permits about two months ago. \nThe cantons made the move under the instruction of the federal government, officials said. \nThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) launched new passports with "Taiwan" on the cover on Sept. 1, saying the measure would help distinguish Taiwan from the People's Republic of China (PRC). \nSwitzerland's policy change coming as Taiwan issued the new passports was not accidental, the state-run Central News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday based on an interview with a Swiss official. \n"The move was taken under China's pressure," a Swiss official said in response to questions from the its Department of European Affairs. \nRex Wang (王世榕), Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Switzerland, based in Bern, said yesterday he discussed the matter with a high-ranking Swiss official in charge of Asia-Pacific affairs two days ago. \nDeclining to name his contact, Wang said the official, contradicting the reply the ministry received, insisted China played no part in the decision to change the nationality designation on residence permits. \nThe official who talked to Wang said, "Switzerland is a sovereign country. The new policy about Taiwanese residence permits is an internal affair and has nothing to do with China. It has nothing to do with Taiwan's new version passports, either." \nAccording to the official, the policy was designed to distinguish Taiwan from China. To achieve that purpose, the adoption of the term "Republic of China" was not a good choice. \n"As Taiwan is not a country name, we have decided to use `Chinese Taipei' -- a name accepted on many international occasions -- on the residence permits," the official said. \nThe official was also quoted as saying the Swiss government did not realize why a small internal matter would cause such an uproar from Taiwan. \nMOFA has expressed concerns about the policy and demanded Switzerland change the nationality designation.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung