Mon, Apr 08, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

DIPLOMACY

Lions shelve Chinese plan

China’s attempt to force a change in Taiwan’s designation at the Lions Clubs International (LCI) has failed after members at a meeting shelved the proposal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. At the meeting in Reykjavik on Saturday, China proposed that Taiwan’s designation in the organization be changed from “MD300 Taiwan” to “MD300 China Taiwan,” the ministry said. The LCI is one of the largest and most active volunteer institutions in the world. Upon learning about the proposal, the ministry immediately contacted MD300 Taiwan, and asked it to do its utmost at the meeting to safeguard Taiwan’s designation, ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said. Thanks to the efforts of Taiwan’s Lions members and their counterparts around the world, the proposal was put on hold, he said. Lee thanked LCI members for their support of Taiwan based on the principles of equal participation and dignity.

DIPLOMACY

Envoy asks for day off

Indonesian Economic and Trade Office in Taipei head Didi Sumedi has asked local employers to give Indonesian workers this Sunday off so that they can cast ballots in their country’s legislative and presidential elections. He also announced the locations of 34 polling stations to be set up around Taiwan. According to Indonesian law, citizens who are 17 years old or above are eligible to vote, including those who reside overseas. Overseas voters are to cast their ballots from today to Sunday, before the elections on Wednesday next week. There were about 269,000 Indonesian workers in Taiwan as of the end of January, according to Ministry of Labor statistics, making the country the biggest source of foreign workers in Taiwan.

TRAVEL

Japan bans animal products

The Japanese government has banned the import of animal products, the National African Swine Fever Response Center said on Friday, urging Taiwanese planning to visit Japan to follow local laws and regulations. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries instituted the ban after a pork product imported by a Chinese tourist tested positive for African swine fever, the center said. The highly contagious viral disease is fatal to hogs, but is not known to be harmful to humans. People who do not declare animal products at Japanese customs could face a ¥1 million (US$8,950) fine or three years in prison, the center said. A majority of the travelers who were caught trying to import banned animal products were from China, followed by the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan, the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service said.

SOCIETY

Festival held in Chiayi

A traditional festival that dates back more than 200 years was held outside a Taoist temple in Chiayi City yesterday. The festival, which invites participants to ride a 12m bamboo swing frame, is believed to have originated during the reign of Qing emperor Kangxi (康熙). According to legend, the swing was built by locals as part of a ceremony to ask for blessings from Taoist deity Xuantian Shangdi (玄天上帝, “Emperor of the Mysterious Heaven”) and for an end to a plague affecting the area. The festival was held every leap year until 2008, when it became an annual event. It was also registered as an intangible cultural asset by the city’s cultural bureau in December 2008.

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