PFP says merger possible
The People First Party (PFP) does not exclude the possibility of merging with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) , PFP spokesman Huang Yi-chiao (黃義交) said yesterday. The PFP does not rule out any possibility, so long as any decisions are made with the consent of the PFP members and supporters, Huang said. Huang made the remarks in response to reporters' questions about how the PFP would react to KMT Chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) remarks on Sunday that he has long thought that a two-party system, although not ideal, is the best system for Taiwan. Lien also said that when the terms of the KMT chairman and the PFP chairman expire will be an opportune time for the two parties to merge and become one of the two major parties alongside the Democratic Progressive Party.
■ Legislative Yuan
Recess starts Friday
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) announced yesterday that the legislature will recess from Friday until after the March 20 presidential election. Wang made the announcement after an initial agreement reached between the ruling and opposition parties' caucuses in the legislature. Based upon the agreement, an additional floor meeting will be called on Thursday to deliberate 11 priority bills, including the political donations bill, Wang said. He added that the legislature will give top priority to screening a proposal for halving the number of legislative seats and other motions concerning constitutional amendments after the election. He said the Independent Legislators Alliance caucus was reluctant to sign the agreement, so the negotiation procedure has yet to be completed.
■ Pigeon racing
At least 5,000 birds killed
At least 5,000 pigeons were killed when their cages fell of a cargo boat on the way to the start of an illegal race off the coast. About 30,000 birds were due to take part in the third of a seven-leg race with about NT$100 million of illegal bets staked on the result. Gambling is allowed only on the state-run lottery, although the authorities often turn a blind eye to pigeon racing, which is hugely popular. The accident happened as chains holding the bird cages became loose on one of the two boats taking the birds into the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippines, newspaper and television reports said. "I have taken part in pigeon races for 20 years but such an accident has never happened before," Tsai Jui-bin (蔡瑞賓), an official of a pigeon association in Chiayi County, was quoted as saying by a local newspaper. The race was cancelled.
Two delegations arrive
A five-member delegation from El Salvador's Legislative Assembly, led by Legislator Efren Arnoldo Bernal Chevez, arrived yesterday for a five-day goodwill visit , according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs official. During their stay, the delegation will call at the Legislative Yuan, the International and Development Fund, the Central Election Commission and the Government Information Office. They will also tour several economic and cultural establishments. Meanwhile, Dr. Jorg-Dietrich Hoppe, chairman of the German Federal Doctors Association and Director of International Affairs Otmar Kloiber arrived in Taipei yesterday for a five-day visit.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu