The Control Yuan is to launch an investigation over medical waste from China washing up on beaches in Kinmen and Lienchiang counties to assess security and environmental concerns, Control Yuan member Pao Tsung-ho (包宗和) said.
The problem is becoming more serious with each passing day, Pao said.
We hope by the results of our investigation to call Beijing’s attention to the issue and launch negotiations via the Straits Exchange Foundation and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) to resolve the problem together, Pao said.
According to Control Yuan member Wang Mei-yu (王美玉), materials floating in from China include used hypodermic needles and empty medical containers, which endanger Kinmen residents.
Wang said that the Control Yuan received a call from a representative for Beigan Township (北竿) residents in Matsu County, saying that trash on the island was piled up higher than a person, adding that it was an intolerable situation.
Despite representatives repeatedly bringing the issue to the Chinese government’s attention, with Kinmen and Matsu both sending officials to China’s Fujian Province to talk about the matter and urge the Chinese to stop dumping trash in the sea, the Matsu residents have not received a reply, Wang said.
Pao, Wang and Chiang Chi-wen (江綺雯) said they visited the area and decided to make the investigation an official case in the Control Yuan because of the severity of the situation.
Trash dumped into the sea is affected by the season, ocean currents and the lay of the land where it washes up, Chiang said, adding that while most of the trash on Kinmen and Matsu originated from China’s Fujian Province, there was some that appeared to have drifted from as far as away as Heilongjiang Province.
We hope that the matter could be discussed by the foundation and ARATS and a resolution reached, Chiang said.
The trash that is blighting the shorelines of Kinmen and Matsu is affecting tourism, Wang said, adding that Kinmen residents collect the trash and send it to Kaohsiung to be incinerated.
The Mainland Affairs Council is obligated to work through the foundation and communicate with ARATS to find a resolution to the matter, Pao said, adding that he hoped Beijing would take this matter seriously and instruct the Fujian provincial government to work with Taiwan to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, other Control Yuan officials said that the matter has been listed by both the foundation and the ARATS for preliminary talks, but they were not sure when such talks would be held.
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