Taiwan is deeply concerned over China's warming ties with South-east Asia and is hoping to sign free-trade agreements (FTAs) with countries in the region to counter China's expansion, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday. \n"Taiwan fears very much that we will be marginalized as a result of our inability to participate in all the regional integration programs," Ma told reporters at the 12th East Asia Economic Summit, which opened in Singapore on Sunday. \n"We do not want to be left in the cold when regional integration is taking place," he said. \nMa said the government was particularly aware that the FTA China is planning to implement with ASEAN by 2010 could have a dramatic impact on business. \n"Although it will take place seven years from now, still you can see that goods ... in the ASEAN countries can enter the Chinese mainland without tariffs," he said. \n"Taiwan will still have to pay tariffs which will put Taiwanese businesses at a competitive disadvantage," he said. \nMa said Taiwanese businesses may have to relocate to China if Taiwan could not secure similar free-trade pacts. \n"We have to be very careful about this scenario ... We are trying to negotiate similar FTAs with countries in the region and elsewhere," he said. \nMa noted that Taiwan was already in negotiations with Singapore to sign an FTA. \nChina has embarked on a successful campaign to establish closer economic, cultural and political ties with Southeast Asia. \nMa is scheduled to deliver a speech at a summit panel session this morning. \nIn his address, Ma said, he'll tout Taipei's potential of becoming an Asia-Pacific regional operations hub and recap the nation's contributions to regional economic development over past decades. \nMa said he especially hopes that Taiwanese businesspeople operating in China can use Taipei as their operations hub. \nA total of 800 participants from 32 countries are attending this year's summit, the theme of which is "Asia's future: Recapturing dynamism." \nSingapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew will deliver keynote speeches at the summit. \nThe East Asia Economic Summit annually brings together regional business leaders, senior government officials, media repre-sentatives and experts on trade and economy to discuss regional business trends and investment climate.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up