PRC severs St. Lucia ties
China severed diplomatic ties with St. Lucia yesterday and made a formal complaint to the Caribbean country over its decision to restore diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Chinese state media said. Chinese Ambassador to St. Lucia Gu Huaming (古華明) announced the suspension of diplomatic relations and "the cessation of fulfilling all agreements between the governments of the two countries," the Xinhua news agency said. China's Foreign Ministry called the move "brutal interference in China's internal affairs."
MAC rethinks school policy
A regulation revised on Friday by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) will allow the children of multinational companies' Chinese employees to study at schools for foreign residents. MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) said some excellent Chinese workers were reluctant to work in Taiwan because they were worried about their children's education. The revised regulations should increase their willingness to come here. The original regulations allowed multinationals' Chinese employees in the management or professional services sectors to be transferred to Taiwan. After three years, they could apply for their children to be admitted to Taiwanese school. Also under the old regime, the children had to be below the age of 18 and could not stay in Taiwan for more than one year, Liu said. The revised regulations will be implemented pending Executive Yuan approval, he said.
US starts 10-finger scan
Most foreigners wanting to visit the US soon will have fingerprints taken for all fingers when applying for US visas, the US State Department said on Friday. Instead of scanning the prints of just two fingers of visa applicants, as is now the case, US embassies and consulates are beginning to require scans of all 10 digits to better screen out undesirables, the department said. "The department is instituting the 10 fingerscan standard to improve our ability to detect and thwart persons ineligible for visas by raising the accuracy rate in matching fingerscans," it said in a notice published in Friday's Federal Register. The move is part of tighter immigration and border control restrictions enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks that initially required scans of only two fingers from visa applicants. Technological advances now allow for all 10 of an applicant's fingers to be scanned with ease, and devices to do so will be in place at all embassies and consulates by the end of this year, the department said.
Animation deadline moved
The deadline for entries by Taiwanese artists to the 2007 Taiwan International Animation Festival has been postponed from May 15 to May 31 to allow extra time for more works to be submitted to the exhibition. The Chinese Taipei Film Archive, a non-profit foundation, has held the annual festival since 2003. The archive urged animation artists not to miss the opportunity to submit their work. A spokesman for the organization said application forms could be downloaded from www.ctfa.org.tw/tiaf/ and e-mailed to email@example.com. Taiwanese works will be one of seven categories at the festival, which will take place in Taipei from Sept. 28 to Oct. 7, with cash prizes totaling NT$1 million (US$30,000) up for grabs. Last year's festival consisted of 332 films totaling 63 hours from 32 countries.
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