The French Office in Taipei yesterday issued a statement denying that it had commissioned local human resource consultants to hire mercenaries. According to a Chinese-language media report, a human resource firm had been commissioned by the French government to hire Legionnaires and was looking for individuals under the age of 40 with no history of tuberculosis. The company was set to hold press conferences in Taipei and Kaohsiung on Friday next week, the report said, adding that there was no restriction to nationality and no documentation certifying that the individual had no previous criminal records was required. The job would pay NT$110,000 a month, the report said. The French representative office said that it had not been notified of such recruitment and that French law strictly limits recruitment for the French Foreign Legion to French territories only. The French government would not allow and would never recruit mercenaries abroad through human resource agencies, the office said. It also denied commissioning the company to hire mercenaries and asked Taiwanese not fall for the scam. The office said the French government has its own recruitment Web site for the legion.
KMT-CCP forum plans set
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) sources yesterday said that an annual forum hosted by the party and the Chinese Communist Party would take place next month, and that detailed plans — including whether New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), the party’s chairman, would lead the delegation to Shanghai — would be announced today. “It is natural for the delegation to be led by the party chairman,” sources said, short of confirming speculation that Chu might take advantage of the occasion to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). The forum comes at a sensitive time because the KMT’s presidential hopefuls must register for the party’s presidential primary by May 18. This has triggered speculation that Chu would not take part in the primary if he attends the forum, to avoid the impression that he has been handpicked by China to be the party’s presidential candidate.
Oxford to get center
The National Central Library on Wednesday said it has launched a partnership with the University of Oxford to establish the Republic of China’s 14th center for Chinese studies overseas. The center at Oxford will provide resources for Chinese studies and promote the academic accomplishments of Taiwanese scholars, the library said. Both sides also signed another memorandum of understanding to exchange books to facilitate academic discourse, it said. The center at Oxford will become the second of its kind in Britain. The first was established at the University of London in 2012. Taiwan has been establishing such centers in countries around the world, including the US and Russia, since 2012.
Measles warning issued
People planning to travel to Europe should be aware there has been a surge in the number of cases of measles reported on the continent, the Centers for Disease Control said yesterday. Travelers who do not have measles immunity are advised to get vaccinated two to four weeks before their departure for Europe, but if symptoms such as a fever, nasal inflammation or rash develop during a trip, medical treatment should be sought immediately, it said.
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