Yu says no nomination deal
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday dismissed speculation that he had reached an unofficial agreement with party Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) to nominate them for the year-end legislative election. The DPP's nomination mechanism allows the chairman to nominate up to a third of the party's candidates. The competition for party nomination is expected to be keen as the total number of legislative seats will be halved from 225 to 113, with only one representative elected for each of the 73 districts, another 34 seats allotted to parties based on the proportion of votes received and six reserved for Aboriginal legislators.
US wary of reform: Hsieh
The US government appeared concerned about Taiwan's plans for constitutional change and expressed hope that Taipei could keep it informed of developments, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said on Friday. Hsieh, who headed a delegation on behalf of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to attend the annual National Prayer Breakfast meeting in Washington on Thursday, made the remarks in response to media inquiries. Hsieh added that Washington was concerned whether Taiwan would honor its promises should it undertake constitutional reform. Hsieh said he told US officials that the government could not anticipate everything as Taiwan is a democracy. He said it would not be proper for the nation to deviate from the information it had given the US, as this might give the US the impression that Taipei was deceiving it, Hsieh added.
Longest firecracker planned
The Tainan County Government has invited experts from Yenshui Township (鹽水) to make firecrackers that could challenge the world record for the longest string of firecrackers, county officials said yesterday. The southern county plans to use the record-breaking string in a firecracker display titled "Legend of the Fire Dragon" at the annual Lantern Festival, which falls on March 4, in Yenshui, a small town that traditionally celebrates the festival with a parade that involves setting off thousands of "beehive firecrackers," the officials said. The official 2007 Taiwan Lantern Festival will take place in Chiayi County from March 4 to March 11. It will feature a lantern display of a Taiwan boar to signify "peace and prosperity" in the Year of the Pig, the event organizers said.
Comments prompt backlash
Former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) recent remarks saying he does not advocate Taiwanese independence have generated anger among pro-independence supporters. Lee Shiao-feng (李筱峰), a professor of Taiwanese history at Shih Hsin University and a long-term pro-independence activist, yesterday said he was resigning from the Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association. Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒), editor-in-chief of the Contemporary Monthly, also indicated yesterday that he would resign from the board of Taiwan Advocates, a think tank funded by the former president. Lo Chi-cheng (羅致政), director of the political science department at Soochow University, said it was strange that Lee Teng-hui had recently praised Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in interviews, given that China had passed the "Anti-Secession" Law and caused countries to terminate their diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
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
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The US on Thursday removed a warning against all international travel, and placed Taiwan on a list of 13 destinations where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is “very low.” The list was compiled almost five months after the US Department of State issued a “global level 4 health advisory,” urging US citizens to avoid all international travel. On Thursday, the department announced that it was lifting the advisory, saying that “with health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice.” The US