South Korea said yesterday it will offer a monthly record of 8.27 trillion won (US$8 billion) in treas-uries in January, with 5 trillion won (US$4.8 billion) of the sum aimed at stabilizing the Korean currency against a weakening US dollar. \nThe January issue exceeds December's 5.57 trillion won (US$5.4 billion) and surpasses the previous monthly record of 6.28 trillion won (US$6.1 billion) in treasuries offered in November. \nSouth Korea's won currency has gained more than 15 percent over the past year versus the US dollar, outperforming most other Asian currencies amid the global weakening of the American currency. \nIts gains have added woes to the country's export-reliant economy because South Korean exports become more expensive overseas. \nThe 5 trillion won earmarked for stabilizing the won in January also marked a monthly record of its kind, the Ministry of Finance and Economy in a statement. \nStill, the ministry warned that it can issue more state bonds to curb the won's rise against the US dollar. \nAlso yesterday, the state-run Korea Development Bank forecast that the won's value is likely to increase nearly 11 percent against the US dollar this year. \nThe won changed hands at an average 1,145 won per dollar last year, the bank said in a report cited by South Korea's Yonhap news agency. \nThe US' widening current account deficit and a possible revaluation of the Chinese yuan will add to the won's ascent, despite dollar-strengthening factors such as a US rate hike, the bank added. \nOn Friday, the parliament allowed the government to raise this year's total treasury budget aimed to stabilize the won to 21.9 trillion (US$21.2 billion), up from an 18.8 trillion (US$18.2 billion) ceiling last year.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be