EU mentions Taiwan
The European Parliament highlighted the need to engage with observers, including Taiwan, at the multilateral level in a resolution passed on Tuesday on the EU’s political relations with ASEAN. Representative to the EU and Belgium Harry Tseng (曾厚仁) on Wednesday expressed gratitude for the parliament’s mention and support of Taiwan. The resolution, which primarily serves to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of EU-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, highlights the importance of peace in the South China Sea.
The Straits Exchange Foundation yesterday said that its communication with the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) remains cordial despite the lack of formal contact between the governments on the two sides. Foundation Deputy Secretary-General Luo Huai-jia (羅懷家) has had amicable telephone conversations with his counterpart at ARATS, foundation Chairman Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂) told reporters at a news conference. There were no major communication issues between the two organizations, except that they are now limited to phone calls in the absence of any written communication, he said. The Mainland Affairs Council later yesterday said that all contact with its Chinese counterpart had been cut since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office.
Investors urged to return
The SEF yesterday called on Taiwanese companies operating in China to think about bringing their investments back home. At a seminar for China-based Taiwanese businesspeople, Chairman Tien Hung-mao said that complementary businesses could be established on both sides of the Strait. Given that industries on both sides already have competitive, but cooperative ties, Tien said he hoped Taiwanese enterprises would seek ways to bring their investments home. China’s addiction to debt and its growing capital outflows are likely to create a property bubble and trigger a severe financial shock, he said. In such a situation, Taiwanese companies that are already encountering difficulties in the process of China’s industrial transformation would face even greater problems, Tien said. Meanwhile, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Katharine Chang (張小月) told the seminar that the government is working hard to address the shortages of water, electricity, land and labor, as well as taxation issues, which are seen as obstacles to Taiwanese businesses wanting to return from China.
MOFA monitors Vatican ties
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said that Taiwan is an important political ally in the Holy See’s humanitarian and charitable work internationally and shares the same ideology on many issues. Taiwan and the Holy See both believe in freedom of religion and the promotion of peace, Department of European Affairs Director-General Anna Kao (高安) said in response to reporters’ questions about a recent comment by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun (陳日君), bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, that the Vatican was likely to break ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing. Taiwan will follow any developments between China and the Holy See, she said. The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday quoted Zen as saying the Catholic church in Taiwan and the government should be prepared for such a development, although it might be hard for them to accept.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,