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.
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
A Tainan taxi driver is the Taiwanese with the longest name, after he last month changed it so that it now contains 25 characters, the Anping District Household Registration Office said. The 47-year-old man, formerly known as Huang Hsin-hsiang (黃鑫翔), applied for the name change on Feb. 26, in the hope that it would bring him good luck. His new name starts with Huang Da-lan (黃大嵐) and adds another 22 characters, meaning “Huang Da-lan is the blessed darling and sweetheart of the god of joy, god of wealth, god of misfortune, god of Earth and all the gods,” it said. With
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: As China attempted to promote its national image through humanitarian aid, its targets include New Southbound Policy countries, an expert said China’s “vaccine diplomacy,” which has become central to its foreign policy this year, might hamper Taiwan’s efforts to build relations with developing countries, an expert said. “China, as one of the few countries other than the United Kingdom and the United States to have produced a COVID-19 vaccine, will certainly use that as a diplomatic tool,” said Kung Shan-son (龔祥生), an assistant research fellow at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research. Beijing’s major goals in its “vaccine diplomacy” are to promote its national image through humanitarian aid and to solidify its relations with countries that are included in its
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center