The US-led administration in Iraq is to establish a major credit facility "within weeks" to lubricate overseas trade after last week's lifting of UN sanctions, its head Paul Bremer announced on Monday. \n"It will be a substantial credit facility that first symbolically indicates to the world that Iraq is open for business and also provides a practical incentive to people who want to trade with Iraq," Bremer told a news conference. \nThe facility will be funded by a raft of private banks as well as the Central Bank of Iraq, he said. \nHe added that a further US$250 million of central bank reserves had been recovered undamaged from the bank's vaults after they had been drained of wartime flooding from the Tigris River by coalition troops over the past week. \n"We are now nearing the end of the first stage of our task here and entering a new stage," said Bremer, noting that government ministries, most power and water supplies, and a new police force were all now up and running. \n"The task now is to help the Iraqis rebuild their economy after decades of state control and mismanagement." \nBremer said the lifting of UN sanctions had been a "big step along this road." \n"Oil revenues will now all be used for the Iraqi people as we work to establish the first free economy here in years," he said. \n"Encouraging robust trade between Iraq and the rest of the world is a key part of our stra-tegy," he said, adding that a market economy was the "best protection for political freedom" in Iraq. \nBremer said the occupation had yet to work out any detailed economic policies, and was still looking at the closely related issues of trade tariffs, currency, and price deregulation. \n"We are in the process now of trying to establish what the relationship should be and what the steps should be. I don't have a preconceived view on that," he said. "Because the economy was so tightly controlled and interlinked, you can't change any one part of it, without changing it all." \nBremer said that for the moment the ration system on which some 60 percent of Iraqis depended for basic goods under former president Saddam Hussein would be preserved. \n"In the long term we would like to see market prices brought into the economy," he said. \n"At this point it would be premature for me to lay down specific guidelines [for foreign investment] and it's a matter that, in the end, an Iraqi government would want to make a contribution to discussing," he said.
‘ASSERTIVE STEPS’: The report says that the US should enable Taiwan to construct asymmetric defense capabilities that would allow it to engage China on its own terms US President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday declassified a report that casts the defense of Taiwan as critical to the Indo-Pacific strategy of checking China’s ascent, Bloomberg reported yesterday. “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” has governed the US’ strategic response to China since Trump approved it in February 2018, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. “Beijing is increasingly pressuring Indo-Pacific nations to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a ‘common destiny’ envisioned by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” O’Brien was cited as saying. The report assumes that China would “take increasingly assertive steps to compel unification
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft posted online after the virtual meeting that Taiwan should be able to share its successes in global venues President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft yesterday held a virtual meeting, during which Tsai described Taiwan as a “force for good” that deserves a place on the world stage, while Craft reaffirmed Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. The virtual talk was held at about 11am, after Craft’s trip to Taiwan was abruptly canceled. She had been scheduled to meet with Tsai in person at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to Taiwan. On Tuesday, the US Department of State canceled all of its planned trips, citing a need
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same