Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said he hopes a proposed sister-city agreement with the Czech Republic’s capital, Prague, can be signed without any problem, while Taipei City Council officials said that it would not be the first time Taipei used “Taiwan” in such an agreement.
Taipei’s Civil Affairs Committee on Friday shelved a proposed English-language agreement approved by the Prague City Council due to objections by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) councilors against its use of “Taiwan” as the nation’s name.
However, at a meeting of the committee yesterday, it approved the Prague proposal and passed it on to the Taipei council for review.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The committee had asked the city government to refer to its previous sister-city agreements before further review on the planned agreement.
Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, who describes himself as a “fan of Taiwan,” met with Ko in Taipei in March and expressed his hope to establish a sister-city relationship with Taipei.
The Prague council last month voted to end a partnership with Beijing after it refused Hrib’s request to remove the “one China” pledge from their agreement, which the mayor said was unsuitable for a sister-city accord that is based on cultural exchanges.
At yesterday’s meeting in Taipei, Taipei City Government spokesman Tom Chou (周台竹) said it would not be the first time “the city of Taipei, Taiwan” was used in a sister-city accord, as five others had also used the phrase.
Among the 57 agreements signed with Taipei, 34 used “Republic of China” (ROC), 11 used only “Taipei” and five — with Penang, Manila, Houston, Los Angeles and Helsinki — used “Taiwan,” while seven older documents could not be found, Chou said.
Among the 34 agreements that were signed using “ROC,” 29 were with cities in diplomatic allies and five were with cities of non-diplomatic allies, but the sister-city accords signed after 2001 were all in non-diplomatic allies, so “ROC” had not been used for many years, he said.
KMT Taipei City Councilor Chang Shi-gang (張斯綱) said that most councilors support the Prague proposal, but he asked whether the municipality had expressed its stance on the nation’s name during negotiations.
Democratic Progressive Party Councilor Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑) said that the Taipei City Council should not be stubborn on the term, as long as it is not “People’s Republic of China” or “Taipei, China.”
Later yesterday at the Taipei City Council, Ko said that the Prague document was approved by the Taipei and Prague councils, so he sent to the Taipei City Government.
Taipei respects Prague’s wording and would not take issue with it unless it finds a serious mistake, Ko said.
Taiwan’s space for international affairs has already been suppressed and is limited, so hopefully the agreement can be signed smoothly, he said.
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