Leading Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members yesterday defended the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) decision to overturn the Mainland Affairs Council’s (MAC) announcement allowing the entry of Chinese children of Taiwanese and Chinese couples into Taiwan, and praised the Executive Yuan’s quick response.
Officials said that the move could have placed too much burden on already-strained domestic resources in the fight against COVID-19.
DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) lauded the government’s quick response after MAC’s announcement on Tuesday drew a predominantly negative response.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
The Executive Yuan was quick in reading the pulse of public opinion, and put a temporary stop to that policy to reflect the will of Taiwanese, Cho told reporters at party headquarters in Taipei.
The council was acting in keeping with policies that are being implemented when it made the announcement on Tuesday. he said.
“However, it is clear that in light of the epidemic, the public believes that the government must prioritize protection of its citizens, and that their welfare must come first,” he added.
Asked if the MAC and other ministries have been rash in making decisions, Cho said that careful assessment and prudent examination are vital in the decisionmaking process.
“It is important that to safeguard Taiwan, government officials must be more flexible and sensitive to the needs and will of the public,” he said.
DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said that Taiwan had in recent years had many interactions with China.
It is not just the MAC, but legislators across parties have received many appeals and requests for assistance, including family problems, he said.
“I can understand that as school is about to reopen, the MAC and other officials have come under a lot of pressure, with appeals and requests for help for students going to school, along with personal and family situations,” he added.
Asked about the policy reversal, Cheng said: “This showed that the decision and its implications were not carefully assessed.”
However, “I am sure that [MAC officials] will be more prudent the next time,” Cheng added.
DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said that MAC officials made a “foolish” announcement on Tuesday.
“Right now, most Taiwanese are very worried about the ‘Wuhan virus’ and they are distrustful of the Chinese government,” Wang said. “As such, people were riled up and criticized MAC officials. I see this reaction as a very good thing for Taiwan, as it sends a strong signal of their discontent about the decision.”
“It was a rather foolish decision, and when it was announced I had already told them that the decision should be postponed,” he said.
“With Taiwan still combating the ‘Wuhan virus’ outbreak, which has strained our healthcare resources, and with the MAC failing to come up with a clear explanation, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), the head of the CECC, had to put a stop to the MAC’s policy,” Wang added.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each
Taiwan is the second-safest country in the world, after Qatar, according to visitors to an online database, who voted on 133 countries and territories worldwide. In online database Numbeo’s Crime Index by Country 2020 Mid-Year survey, Taiwan scored 84.74 out of 100 for safety. That score put Taiwan in second place, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 84.55 and Georgia with 79.50. The top ranked country, Qatar, had a safety score of 88.10. Numbeo said that the results were based on surveys of visitors to its Web site who were asked to rate the safety and overall level of crime