Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) took criticism yesterday for a lack of diplomatic etiquette after he joked on Friday about having waited for “25 minutes” for a meeting with a visiting Japanese delegation.
Han raised the ire of his Japanese guests after claiming that he was on time for the meeting with delegation members.
University of Tokyo political science professor Yasuhiro Matsuda on Friday posted on Facebook to refute Han’s claim, saying that the delegation had been late because of an unannounced venue change for the meeting with Han.
“It is hard to comprehend Mayor Han and his team’s ways of doing things,” Matsuda wrote.
Han, who arranged the meeting, changed the venue at the last minute and blamed the guests for being late, which was “evil,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) said yesterday.
“However, being evil is not the worst thing — being stupid is,” she added.
Liu said that Han showed his stupidity by proposing a group photograph after his speech without giving delegation members a chance to speak, a move that completely ignored basic courtesy, and by inviting a group comprised of experts on cross-strait relations from the University of Tokyo, with members chiefly specializing in international relations and comparative politics.
Han’s main points in his speech to the group were his hopes that more Japanese would make films in Kaohsiung and that they would send their baseball teams to the municipality for winter training, Liu said.
Given the visit by the highly regarded academics, it might be expected that Tokyo hopes to gain insight into political and economic developments in Taiwan and what effects they could have on the Asia-Pacific region, she said.
As such, it was not difficult to understand why Matsuda made the comment on Facebook, as Han’s ignorance was simply embarrassing, she added.
Yesterday, in response to media queries for comments, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said that officials should be discreet and follow international rules of courtesy when receiving foreign dignitaries who are visiting to learn about Taiwanese affairs.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that Han should have immediately apologized if there was any difficulty in meeting his guests due to a venue change, so he would set a good example for Taiwanese instead of embarrassing himself.
As a presidential hopeful, Han must be more mindful of his behavior, Su added.
The Kaohsiung City Government reiterated that Han apologized to the Japanese guests in a livestream on Friday night and stressed that they “had not been tardy at all.”
He said that hopefully the misunderstanding would not affect Kaohsiung’s future exchanges with Japanese academics.
There was no point for Liu to resort to personal attacks to make herself seem “more high-class,” the city government added yesterday.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,