The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday denied allegations that Bangladeshi Commerce Minister Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury's resignation was related to his role in permitting Taiwan to open a representative office in Dhaka. \nThe ministry also dismissed media reports that the Bangladeshi authorities recently asked Taiwan to wrap up its office. \nThe Bangladeshi government "never asked Taiwan to close the office," an official at the ministry's Department of East Asia and Pacific Affairs said yesterday. \nChowdhury's resignation "has absolutely nothing to do with the Taipei office," either, the official, who is responsible for the Dhaka office's affairs, stressed. \nThe official refused to comment on causes of Chowdhury's resignation. It is for the Bangladeshi government to explain why the commerce minister stepped down, the official said. \nBangladeshi diplomats said the establishment of the Taiwanese office in Dhaka angered Beijing, which considers Bangladesh one of its most dependable allies in Asia. \nBangladeshi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Reaz Rahman also resigned overnight from his office as the diplomatic row embarrassed the Nationalist-Islamic coalition government in a country that is officially a supporter of Beijing's "one China" policy. \nChina protested against the increasing Taiwanese presence after Taipei's Dhaka office allegedly issued visas to Bangladeshi businessmen traveling to Taiwan. \nHowever, the MOFA official said since the office officially started operation on March 1, it has not been able to issue any visas to Bangladeshi businessmen. \n"This is because the office is still setting up facilities, such as its Web site. It is a technical problem," said the official. \nThe official declined to say whether the office will be closed, but admitted the office has been under "enormous pressure" since it opened. \nNevertheless, the official added Taiwanese representative offices in other countries have always been under the same pressure because of China's opposition. \nThe ministry once said Bangladesh would set up a representative office in Taipei, but gave no definite date. \nBangladeshi Foreign Minister and business tycoon Morshed Khan also came under a cloud of suspicion for his reportedly supportive role in the Taiwanese affair. Khan, however, denied the allegations. \nBangladesh reportedly recalled its ambassador to Beijing, Ashfaqur Rahman, earlier this month as a consequence of the establishment of the office. But the ministry later said that Rahman returned to Dhaka for personal reasons. \nAn official of the Bangladeshi Foreign Ministry told a Bangladeshi newspaper the New Nation that the country "stood for the `one China policy,' and that was the mainland [China]." \nBangladesh's business with Taiwan, however, was a different matter. Anyone was free to trade. Even China was doing business with Taiwan worth billions of dollars, said the official. \nThe newspaper said: "In any case, it is clear that with the maintenance of complete friendly relations with China, the Bangladeshi government is trying to tap business opportunities with Taiwan."
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