President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Haitian President Michel Martelly on Tuesday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a new Supreme Court building in Port-au-Prince.
Taiwan is paying for the building, which will cost about US$16 million and is scheduled to be completed in 2015. The old courthouse was destroyed by the powerful earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010.
Ma said he was deeply moved that Haiti had given priority to the project, which he said demonstrated the importance the government attaches to the rule of law.
Martelly said rebuilding Haiti’s judicial system and improving working conditions are two essential components of post-quake reconstruction, a goal that the government is working toward in cooperation with the private sector.
Ma arrived in Haiti on Tuesday for an hours-long visit, the first leg of his five-nation diplomatic tour. He was the first Taiwanese president to visit Haiti since the two nations established diplomatic relations in 1956 and was greeted at the airport by Martelly.
The two presidents later held talks at the presidential palace.
During that meeting, Martelly described Taiwan as Haiti’s most important ally, recalling that the first rescue team to arrive after the 2010 earthquake was from Taiwan. He thanked Taiwan for the assistance provided in the rehabilitation of his country and said Haiti would always be a friend of Taiwan.
Ma said Taiwan has been reaching out to Haiti based on the nation’s long-term friendship.
Besides finishing work on the 200 permanent housing units that were completed for quake victims last year, Taiwan will promote other reconstruction projects, Ma said. He also promised to assess the feasibility of a proposal from Martelly for Taiwanese businesses to invest in Haiti’s tourism sector.
Ma said he hoped that Haiti will continue to help Taiwan participate meaningfully in international organizations. He also invited Martelly to visit Taiwan, an invitation that was quickly accepted.
During his flight from New York to Haiti, Ma rejected accusations that the government was engaging in checkbook diplomacy by putting up the money for the court building.
The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newpaper), citing a July 2011 People’s Daily article, reported on Monday that the money for the court building had already been raised from the international community as part of a Haitian government reconstruction plan.
Ma said the building is being funded from an annual budget for cooperation plans with diplomatic allies, because much of the money pledged by other countries has not reached Haiti. The project is being carried out through a normal process and does not require any additional funds beyond the annual budget, he said.
Ma left Haiti later on Tuesday for Paraguay.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor