President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is slated to visit NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, today — a visit of political significance, as it would be the first time a president from Taiwan has entered a US federal building in their official capacity after US President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act in March.
The Taiwan Travel Act allows high-level US officials to visit Taiwan and vice versa, breaking from previous US policy that did not permit bilateral visits by Cabinet-level ministers, but allowed Taiwanese presidents to transit through US cities en route to other countries.
Tsai arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday last week en route to Paraguay and Belize, two of Taiwan’s 18 diplomatic allies. On her return trip, she arrived in Houston yesterday for a 27-hour transit.
The president is to return to Taiwan late tomorrow.
Speaking to reporters accompanying her on the trip, Tsai on Friday said that Washington followed its four principles of providing travelers “safety, comfort, convenience and dignity,” as it has done in the past.
“I am grateful to the US for arranging the stopovers,” Tsai said.
When Tsai was in Los Angeles, she visited the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office’s Culture Center, making her the first Taiwanese president to visit one of the country’s representative offices in the US.
She also gave a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, her first public address in the US since she became president.
Earlier on Friday when speaking at the Belizean National Assembly, Tsai promised to strengthen cooperation with the Central American country in various fields, including education, economy, agriculture and infrastructure.
In her address, Tsai said that Taiwan would increase its number of scholarship students from Belize and would invite young Belizeans to join short-term vocational training programs in Taiwan.
The country would also work with Belize’s Institute for Technical, Vocational and Educational Training to improve the quality of vocational education in Belize to better prepare young people for the job market, Tsai said.
In terms of the economy, she said she would continue to encourage delegations from Taiwan’s business sector to visit Belize and develop further trade relationships with the cocoa and coffee industries there.
Bilateral ties between Taiwan and Belize would also be enhanced via Taiwan’s Official Development Assistance program, which would assist Belize in improving its infrastructure, including the construction of new roads and hospitals, Tsai said.
Taiwan’s longstanding friendship with Belize is also manifested by its dedication to helping its ally provide medical care and restore its cultural heritage, Tsai said.
“The friendship between Taiwan and Belize is not built on empty promises or the political whims of our leadership. This is a friendship that, for the past 29 years, has led to results; results that have benefited people from both countries,” Tsai said.
Additional reporting by Su Yung-yao
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by