Visa services suspended
Taiwan’s representative office in Thailand has suspended visa services because the Thai government designated Thursday until Monday a holiday in Bangkok and 20 other provinces that have been hit by the country’s worst flooding in 50 years. “The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand has suspended visa services from Oct. 27-31 in line with the Thai government’s holiday program,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued on Thursday. Taiwan residents who intend to invite people from Thailand to visit during that period should advise their guests to apply for visas or other certification at Taiwan’s representative offices in neighboring countries or areas, the ministry said. However, Taiwanese expatriates in Thailand can still contact the Taiwan representative office in Bangkok in case of an emergency, the ministry said. High tides in the Gulf of Thailand this weekend could complicate efforts to divert water away from low-lying Bangkok, according to reports from international news agencies.
Ship, freighter collide
Two sailors were killed and another two went missing after a Taiwanese ship collided with a Liberian freighter yesterday off the Penghu archipelago, rescuers said. The Taiwanese vessel, carrying 13 crew members, was transporting goods when it was allegedly rammed by the freighter and sank early yesterday near the islands, the coast guard said. One Taiwanese and an Indonesian drowned, while the ship’s Taiwanese skipper and another sailor were missing, the coast guard said, adding that nine others aboard the ship were rescued. No one from the Liberian ship was listed as hurt or missing. The cause of the incident is being investigated, the official said.
Headway made on visa plan
The nation is making headway in obtaining visa-free treatment from the US, a Taiwanese official stationed in the US said on Thursday. Leo Lee (李澄然), the nation’s deputy representative to the US, said the rejection rate for Taiwanese nationals applying for US visas was lower than 3 percent this year, one of the conditions for joining the US visa-waiver program. Regarding an APEC forum meeting scheduled for next month in Hawaii, Lee said the meeting’s agenda would focus on green energy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — also known as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement — a multilateral free-trade pact that aims to further liberalize the economies of the Asia-Pacific region. With regard to progress of the TPP talks, Lee said the nation continues to communicate with the US on the issue.
University relay to be held
The first Asian university half-marathon relay will be held tomorrow at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in Greater Tainan with 56 students from 14 universities in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore participating. Four students — two males and two females — from each university will run in the 21.2km race, part of activities to celebrate NCKU’s 80th anniversary. The Greater Tainan Government will temporarily block Shengli Road, Siao-dong Road and University Road, which surround the university, during the relay race. Some of the 14 participating universities are National Taiwan University, National Tsing Hua University, National Chiao Tung University, Peking University, Osaka University, Chiba University and National University of Singapore.
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
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
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
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,