Government officials and a fisherman detained by the Philippines for eight days earlier this month yesterday argued over whether the fisherman had been arrested for poaching in the Philippines’ territorial waters.
Tsai Po (蔡波), who was arrested by Philippine officials 40m off Ditarem, an islet in the northern Philippine province of Batanes, on Sept. 3 on charges of illegal entry and poaching, told a press conference yesterday that he was only trespassing because he needed assistance due to a mechanical problem on his motor-powered raft.
The Philippine Coast Guard forced him to kneel down for four hours and framed him for poaching by placing lobsters and fish in a barrel on his boat, said Tsai, who was released after the Philippines agreed to deal with the case using administrative laws rather than judicial proceedings in bilateral negotiations.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), organizer of the press conference, said trespassing while seeking assistance and poaching are very different things, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fisheries Agency chose to believe the Philippine side of the story.
“The government’s position has been very clear. We protect our fishermen, but not those who have violated regulations,” Wang Mao-cheng (王茂城), a technical specialist at the Fisheries Agency, said, adding that the government would negotiate for the release of fishermen detained while operating in the nation’s exclusive economic zone.
However, Taiwanese fishermen are not allowed to fish within the 12 nautical miles (22.2km) of Philippine territorial waters, Wang said.
If Tsai’s raft had broken down near Small Lanyu, an uninhabited volcanic islet about 5km southeast of Lanyu Island, as Tsai claimed, the vessel would have drifted toward Okinawa rather than the Philippines, Wang said.
Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Director-General Benjamin Ho (何登煌) said Philippine officials adhered to a bilateral agreement not to adopt use of force measures and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had done the best it could to prevent Tsai from being tried by the Philippine judiciary.
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