■ Military Affairs \nEU resolution lauded \nThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed the European Parliament's fourth resolution in just over a year opposing the lifting of an EU arms embargo against China. The European Parliament -- the legislative arm of the EU -- passed the resolution in Strasburg, France, last week, said Wang Yu-yuan (王豫元), director of the ministry's Department of European Affairs. It was the fourth resolution on the matter since Dec. 18, 2003. The latest resolution stipulates that the EU should maintain its ban on arms sales to China until there is a satisfactory improvement in the country's human-rights record. Nevertheless, Wang said that the possibility of the EU lifting its arms embargo against China is increasing given recent developments. \n■ Earthquakes \nModerate temblor hits \nA moderate earthquake hit central Taiwan yesterday, but no injuries or serious damage were immediately reported, the Central Weather Bureau said. The 5.4-magnitude quake's epicenter was about 31km northeast of Tsaoshan, in a mountainous part of Chiayi County, the weather bureau said. The area is about 200km southwest of Taipei. The tremor was felt across most of central Taiwan, the weather bureau said. \n■ Diplomacy \nChen hosts Chadian leader \nChadian President Idriss Deby will arrive in Taipei on Sunday for a three-day state visit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. During his visit, Deby will discuss bilateral cooperative projects, African regional issues and the international situation with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the ministry said. The two leaders will sign a joint communique at the conclusion of Deby's visit, the statement said. Deby will travel to Kaohsiung to visit a marine base and Chinese Petroleum Corp's refinery. He will also visit major cultural and economic institutions in the north of the country and meet with local business and industry leaders. Ministry officials said relations with Chad have been cordial since the two countries resumed full diplomatic ties in 1997. Deby has on many occasions spoken out in support of Taiwan's bid to join the UN, the World Health Organization and other major international organizations, the officials said. Deby's trip will be his third to Taiwan. \n■ Education \nPlan divides universities \nA proposal championed by the Ministry of Education's higher education department for universities to be classified into a number \nof categories was the subject of heated debate yesterday during a national conference of university heads. Participants in the panel discussion, which was presided over by Mou Tsung-tsan (牟宗燦), chairman of \nthe Association of Private Universities and Colleges, were divided on the proposal, in which universities would be \ndivided into four categories -- teaching universities, research universities, professional universities and community universities. Due to a jump in the number of institutions, universities have shifted from providing an elite education to a universal education, which has resulted in financial pressure, lower quality graduates and low competitiveness, an departmental official said. To iron out these problems, the department proposed that universities be classified into the categories and that the government offer them funds based upon specific needs, the official said. \n■ Foreign Affairs \nBeijing pitches fit on stop \nChina reacted angrily yesterday to a planned stopover by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the US territory of Guam, urging nations to be wary of Taiwanese attempts to use them in pushing for independence. "China has made it clear to the international community that the Taiwan authorities are taking advantage of all kinds of opportunities to push for independence," foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan (孔泉) told a regular briefing. "We want to make sure that other countries, particularly countries with diplomatic relations with China, will not let Taiwan authorities take such advantage," he said. Chen will visit the Pacific nations of Palau and the Solomon Islands later this month with a transit stop in Guam. \n■ Disaster Relief \nCharity walk launched \nSeveral educational institutes and groups under the Buddhist Foguangshan Monastery launched a one-day nationwide fund-raiser yesterday for South Asian children orphaned in the tsunami disaster late last month. A total of 20 Fo Guang teams embarked on the fund-raising walk from 17 locations around the island at 9am yesterday, with the aim of raising at least US$50,000 by nightfall. The Foguangshan Monastery will use the money to establish a foundation for the building of orphanages in areas affected by the tsunami tragedy. In Chiayi City, a group of students and faculty members from Nanhua University, headed by university president Chen Miao-sheng (陳淼勝), embarked on the fund-raising walk from a temple located in the downtown area. They plan to walk at least 8 km around the city during the day.
MISINFORMATION: The 100,000 masks given to ally Paraguay were bought in other Latin American nations, not made in Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Taiwan has not yet reached a point where it can export masks to diplomatic allies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, dismissing as misinformation online reports that it gave away masks to curry favor with a diplomatic ally. “Taiwan provides med-ical aid to diplomatic allies based upon specific circumstances,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said, adding that the supplements donated by Taiwan were all purchased locally in allied countries, in accordance with their needs. “The time is not yet ripe” for Taiwan to export medical supplies, such as surgical masks, to diplomatic allies, until
An improvised protective device for use when intubating patients designed by Taiwanese doctor Lai Hsien-yung (賴賢勇) is being adopted in the Philippines to help doctors there stay safe amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. “We made this acrylic aerosol box for my sister Dra. Frances Legaspi for Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Credits to Dr Lai Hsien-yung for the concept and design,” Anton Legaspi, whose family owns a business that makes customized designs, said on Facebook on Monday. The hospital is in Antipolo, about 25km east of Manila. Legaspi’s post was accompanied by several photographs of the box and a short demonstration video
Nearly 60 percent of Kaohsiung residents polled said that they would vote to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), think tank Taiwan Brain Trust, which conducted the survey, said yesterday. A petition to recall the mayor is undergoing a second review and if it is passed, a vote is to be held in the latter half of June. Of those polled, 69.7 percent said that they would participate in a vote, while 56 percent said they would still participate if there was a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The data showed that, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, Han would likely
FALSE INFORMATION: The report quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner are ‘in prison-like conditions’ A BBC report that quotes Britons’ complaints about quarantine conditions they experienced in Taiwan is not true, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, expressing regret over damage done to the nation’s reputation for competent disease-prevention measures. The BBC report published on Wednesday quoted the mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan as saying that her daughter and the daughter’s partner were quarantined on Wednesday last week and are being kept “in prison-like conditions.” “The room is filthy. She has no hot water and nowhere to wash her clothes,” the mother was quoted as saying, without naming the location of