Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) yesterday promised not to eat shark fin soup again after he was seen eating the controversial delicacy at a banquet.
“When I arrived they were already on the table and I hesitated for a moment” before eating the soup, Lee said, asking reporters to “close the chapter” on the incident.
“We will hold ourselves to higher expectations and be more vigilant,” he said.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
The incident was revealed after political analyst Tsai Han-shun (蔡漢勳) shared photographs from the banquet attended by Lee and other political and business figures where shark fin soup was served.
The delicacy is controversial because it is tied to shark finning, a practice in which fishermen cut the fins off sharks and then throw the animals back into the sea to die.
Taiwan Tree Protection Alliance founder Angela Chang (張美惠) criticized Lee’s attendance at the banquet, saying she was “mystified” by his behavior.
“I do not eat shark fin or whitebait and try to buy locally produced food as much as possible out of environmental concerns, but here is our very own Environmental Protection Administration minister treating guests to shark fins,” she said.
Lee yesterday said that he was neither the host nor the main guest at the banquet, and that he had arrived 20 minutes late.
He thanked environmental groups for their “friendly reminder,” adding that neither he nor his family would eat shark fin and promised to give a “reminder” to friends if he saw shark fins served at banquets.
Chang criticized Lee’s statements as “cavalier,” and said he was making “casual promises.”
“This does not even constitute an apology,” she said, calling for Lee to ban the dish from EPA-hosted banquets.
Additional reporting by CNA
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two