President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday expounded on his administration’s achievements in promoting peace across the Taiwan Strait and called for peace and cooperation in East Asia amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
“Over the years, the Taiwan Strait and the Korean Peninsula have been considered two flashpoints in East Asia. The Korean Peninsula is now under escalating military tensions, while the Taiwan Strait has become an avenue of peace and prosperity, under peaceful and stable cross-strait relations,” he said in a meeting with a delegation from the US National Bureau of Asian Research, a non-profit institution that focuses on policy in the Asia-Pacific region.
North Korea on Monday announced it was withdrawing all workers and suspending operations at a joint industrial zone with South Korea, and said it would launch a missile today.
Ma yesterday detailed his administration’s efforts to improve cross-strait relations and reduce tensionsin the past five years. He also discussed his proposal last year of an East China Sea peace initiative, which aims to resolve disputes between Taiwan, China and Japan over sovereignty issues regarding the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) by calling for joint development of resources in the area while putting aside territorial disputes.
He also said he expected that Taiwan and the US would strengthen their economic and trade relations, as the two nations are preparing for talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.
On the other hand, he said, Taiwan and China would continue to negotiate follow-up issues under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, amid concerns about the Ma administration possibly moving from economic cross-strait cooperation to political negotiations in the near future.
In an interview with the Chinese-language United Daily News on Monday, Ma dismissed such concerns and insisted that political negotiations are “unnecessary” at the moment. He reiterated that the government would address easier cross-strait issues and develop economic relations with China before entering into political dialogue.
‘HIDDEN GEM’: The city earned plaudits for its low crime rate, world-class healthcare system, cheap cost of living and easy public transportation Taipei has been named the 10th best city in the world for quality of living in an annual survey by the editors of Monocle, a UK-based global affairs and lifestyle magazine. The survey, which is to be published in the magazine’s July/August issue, selected the world’s top 25 cities based on factors including cost of living, retail, hospitality, culture and access to green spaces, as well as feedback from Monocle correspondents. Taipei’s 10th place finish was one place down from a year earlier. The survey ranked Copenhagen as the world’s best city, with Zurich, Lisbon, Helsinki and Stockholm rounding out the top five.
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
NO COMORBIDITIES: The girl died of encephalitis, the sixth COVID-19-related death of the disease this year and 19th death of a child from the virus, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 52,213 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths from the virus, including a four-year-old girl, who had been diagnosed with encephalitis, and a 19-year-old man, who had underlying health conditions. “The caseloads are usually higher on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but they [yesterday] fell 7.3 percent from the day before,” Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said. Chuang, who is the CECC’s spokesman, said that most cities and counties reported a drop in new cases, and the CECC expects fewer than 50,000 new cases today. The center said that 150 of
LIMIT: The CECC has capped the number of weekly arrivals to 25,000, which critics said has limited the number of available flights and caused ticket prices to soar The government is not likely to raise the cap on the number of inbound travelers before the end of this month, despite the apparent effect on the number of inbound flights, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday last week eased quarantine rules for inbound travelers, who must undergo three days of home quarantine upon arrival and spend another four days in self-initiated disease prevention. It also capped the number of inbound travelers to 25,000 per week. The weekly limit has drawn criticism that it has limited the number of flights