Ma's staff in car accident
Two of Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) assistants yesterday were involved in a car accident as the group, led by Ma, returned from Nantou yesterday afternoon. Local TV news reported that the two assistants were able to take themselves to the hospital and there were no major injuries. The accident took place when the car slid off the rain-soaked Chongtan Road yesterday afternoon.
China responds to Nauru
The tiny South Pacific island nation of Nauru has broken faith with Beijing by switching its diplomatic allegiance to Taipei, China's Foreign Ministry said yesterday, but added that the move was not worth further comment. Nauru, a 21km2 island of 12,800 people, has been involved in a diplomatic tug of war between the two rivals, swapping recognition to Beijing just three years ago but then closing its embassy in China in 2003, citing funding problems. "The Nauru government has broken its faith with China and its behavior is not worth commenting on," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman. The addition of Nauru brings Taiwan's band of allies to 26, most of them small, impoverished countries in Latin America, Africa or the Pacific. With frequent changes of government, these allies are liable to switch often between Taiwan and China.
First lady in US for ceremony
First lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) attended her son's graduation in the US Saturday and said she was pleased and proud to see her son receive a master's degree in law from the University of California at Berkeley. The first lady made the remarks on her way to participate in a luncheon hosted by the president of the university in her honor after attending Chen Chih-chun's (陳致中) commencement ceremony. Both Wu and her son's girlfriend witnessed the graduation ceremony. Wu was protected by US security agents during the ceremony and a senior staff member of the university also escorted her son to the ceremony. Although the university administration wanted to protect Chen's privacy, his appearance still grabbed the attention of Taiwanese reporters. Chen, who is scheduled to get married in June, has not yet chosen the university he will attend to pursue a doctorate.
Lee to visit the Pentagon
Taiwan's Commander-in-Chief Lee Tian-yu (李天羽) will visit the US on May 20 to discuss arms purchase and military cooperation, a local Chinese-language newspaper said yesterday. Lee will visit the Pentagon on May 23. He will meet with Gordon England, the new deputy secretary of defense, and Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of General Staff, to discuss arms purchases, military cooperation and regional security, the paper said. The US is pushing Taiwan to buy modern arms to boost its defenses against China. The government approves of the arms purchase, but the legislature has been blocking the budget, saying the price is too high and delivery too late. The NT$610 billion (US$18.2 billion) package, approved by US President George W. Bush in 2001, includes 12 P-3C anti-submarine aircraft, eight diesel submarines and a PAC-3 anti-missile system. The Ministry of National Defense is eager to see the arms purchase budget approved in the legislature, but many lawmakers oppose the deal, saying its main purpose seems to be to improve ties with the US rather than bolster Taiwan's defenses, because the delivery will be too late.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
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
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