A majority of people polled in a Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR) survey are not confident that defensive weapons systems provided by the US provide the nation with an effective defense capability.
The survey was conducted from Monday to Wednesday, with part of its questions aimed at gauging the public’s perception of relations between Taiwan and the US as the two countries marked the 35th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA).
Enacted in 1979 after the US switched diplomatic recognition from the Republic of China to the People’s Republic of China, the TRA provided the legal basis for the unofficial relationship between the two countries.
On a question of whether Taiwan is able to maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities using defense systems provided by the US, 57.4 percent of respondents said they are not confident about that, compared with 26.4 percent who said they are confident, while 16.2 percent of respondents did not express their views.
TISR general manager Tai Li-an (戴立安) said this result can be attributed to China’s recent military expansion, the provision of US weapons of defense only, as opposed to combat weapons, and the government’s limited budget allocation for arms procurement.
The percentage of people who think the US attaches importance to its relations with Taiwan decreased from 47.3 percent in 2009 to 44.7 percent last year, and to 40.9 percent now, while people who do not think that the US values its relations with Taiwan rose from 37.3 percent in 2009 to 38.4 percent last year and 39 percent now.
Despite slight changes in the percentages, the trend showed that US policy toward Taiwan has been perceived as deemed by the US a sub-issue to its relationship with China, Tai said.
The poll also showed that people are steadfast in their opposition to opening the local market to US pork products containing residues of the leanness-enhancing animal feed additive ractopamine, even below a permissible limit as in the safety standards applying to US beef products, with 74.2 percent of respondents saying they are opposed to abandoning the zero-tolerance policy for ractopamine residue in pork.
Only 16.8 percent of the respondents found the same safety standards for US beef and pork acceptable, while 9 percent did not give their views, according to the poll results.
Taiwan in 2012 eased a ban on imports of beef containing ractopamine residues after the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international food standards body, allowed certain levels of ractopamine in beef and pork, but the nation has kept the ban on pork in place to protect the local hog industry and public health.
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
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
More than half of Taiwan’s middle-aged population, those aged between 40 and 64, have at least one of the “three highs” — high blood pressure, high blood lipids or high blood sugar — and an unhealthy waist size, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) said, adding that more than 30 percent also have metabolic syndrome. The HPA, the Taiwan Millennium Health Foundation and local health departments are cooperating to encourage people to regularly measure their waist circumference and keep it at a healthy size — no more than 90cm for adult men and no more than 80cm for adult women. Taichung Veterans General
‘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’