South Korea's anti-trust watchdog said yesterday that Samsung and four other major conglomerates have been fined for illegal cross-unit transactions. \nThe Fair Trade Commission imposed a combined fine of 31.5 billion won (US$27.2 million) on Samsung Group, LG Group, SK Group, Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Heavy Industries. \nSK was fined the largest amount of 28.6 billion won. Hyun-dai Motor was slapped with a fine of 2.5 billion won, Samsung 220 million won, shipbuilding giant Hyundai Heavy Industries 97 million won and LG 68 million won. \nThe fines were the result of an inquiry into cross-unit transactions, insider-trading among group affiliates and other illegal practices by the top conglomerates. \nCommission officials say the business groups are still engaged in cross-unit transactions to subsidize weak units, although the extent of such activities showed a sharp fall compared to the past. \n"As a whole, business groups have made efforts to correct unfair internal transactions although some of them were still engaged in old practices," one official said. \nThe commission accused the five groups of using a total of 90 billion won for illegal inter-unit transactions, compared to 126.2 billion won three years ago. \nThe conglomerates are under pressure to disclose their detailed ownership structure. \nCritics say the owners have been engaging in illegal moves to evade taxes by transferring wealth to their children.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no