Taiwan’s relations with the Solomon Islands are “shipshape and Bristol fashion,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter yesterday as Taiwanese officials gave Solomon Islands officials a tour of a Republic of China (ROC) Navy vessel.
The Solomon Islands is one of Taiwan’s 17 diplomatic allies.
Speculation about a possible souring of ties arose after the Australian on Wednesday last week reported that newly elected Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said that his government was considering whether to cut ties with Taiwan and switch allegiance to China.
Photo provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
At a meeting in Taipei of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee on Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that ties between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands are stable, although certain Solomon Islands officials in the administration are more inclined toward China.
Solomon Islands Cabinet members regularly review important issues after general elections, which was nonetheless exaggerated into a re-evaluation of its ties with Taiwan, Wu said, adding that collaborative programs between the two nations are working well and would continue.
The ministry yesterday on Twitter reaffirmed the bilateral rapport by posting several photographs of an ROC Navy squadron as it reached the Solomon Islands after visiting the Marshall Islands last week.
The squadron is led by the Panshi fast combat support ship — the nation’s largest naval vessel — which last week started its midshipmen training cruise in the Pacific Ocean, it said.
ROC Navy Rear Admiral Wang Kuo-chiang (王國強) and Ambassador to the Solomon Islands Roger Luo (羅添宏) gave Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele and other officials a tour of the ship, it added.
In related news, the ministry yesterday thanked the US House of Representatives for passing the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019, which backs Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and urges it to increase defense spending.
The ministry said that it also appreciated the US House’s passage of a resolution reaffirming the US’ commitment to Taiwan and to the implementation of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act.
Taiwan’s friends in the US demonstrated their firm support for the nation with pragmatic action, which is a significant and positive move, the ministry said, adding that it would continue working with the US to prudently deepen bilateral relations.
Food delivery provider Foodpanda had 564 consumer disputes from January to last month and failed to attend many mediation sessions with local governments nationwide, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said. In a news release earlier this month, the committee said that it investigated consumer complaints and mediations for Foodpanda and rival Uber Eats during the period, when the number of delivery orders jumped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uber Eats had 80 consumer disputes, the committee said. Of Foodpanda’s consumer disputes, 368 resulted from delivery drivers canceling orders after customers could not be reached, 108 were related to the quality or quantity
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
‘CHINESE CAPITAL’: Fanny Liu was found guilty of reducing the rent of a tenant in exchange for a vote for a KMT Taipei city councilor candidate The Taipei District Court on Wednesday sentenced Fanny Liu (劉樂妍), a former member of the now-disbanded female pop group Fantasy 4, to 10 years in prison for vote-buying. The court found Liu — who is now based in China and has made pro-Chinese Communist Party remarks — guilty of reducing the rent on a Taipei property she owned in exchange for the tenant voting for a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate in the November 2018 nine-in-one local elections. She can appeal the ruling. Liu in December 2018 reportedly lowered the rent by NT$1,000 after the tenant said they had voted for Taipei City
Passengers arriving at Taoyuan International Airport will find that most entrances to both terminals have been sealed off as part of its COVID-19 prevention efforts. Follow the signs and directions posted on the doors to find the nearest entry point. The airport has installed infrared cameras and thermometer guns at all open entrances, and all persons with a temperature of over 37.5 degrees Celsius are prohibited from entering the terminal. In addition, staff will take the temperature of those checking in to their flights in advance at Airport MRT stations A1 and A3. In accordance with the Centers of Disease