Casting invalid ballots has become an instrument of the people, the spokesman of a group called Millions of Invalid Votes Project said while commenting on the unusually high number of invalid ballots in Saturday's presidential election. \n"If we are not happy with the current authorities or the alternative provided, why should we be forced to make a decision?" group spokesman Cheng Tsun-chi (鄭村棋) said yesterday. \nTo bring attention to public discontent with the candidates in the election, the project and its partner the Alliance of Fairness and Justice, also known as the pan-purple alliance, encouraged voters to spoil their ballots in protest. \nThe high number of invalid ballots in Saturday's election, 337,297, or 2.5 percent of the total ballots cast, was one of the "suspicions" the pan-blue camp raised in their move to annul the election. \n"We do not accept any government that abuses its power. The invalid ballot is a weapon and an instrument of the people," Cheng said. \nSupporters of the alliance were asked to spoil their ballots by stamping the photos of the candidates on the mouths to indicate disgust with the empty promises and corruption of both the pan-green and pan-blue camps. \nBoth groups had expressed disappointment in the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) policies on social issues, unemployment, tax and the use of the country's resources.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an