The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday declined an invitation from China for Taiwan to take part in a series of memorial events to mark the end of World War II, as well as the end of the Japanese rule of Taiwan.
“We believe that it is inappropriate for incumbent government officials to take part in memorial events and a military parade hosted by mainland China,” MAC Deputy Minister Wu Mei-hung (吳美紅) said. “As for retired government officials and civil servants, there is a set of regulations regarding their visits to mainland China that they should abide by.”
While private citizens are not barred from attending such events by any law, “they should take into consideration how society may perceive that before making a decision.”
Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said that China’s war against Japan had little to do with Taiwan, and that it is the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that should be worried about such an invitation.
“The KMT’s education system told us that it had led the war that eventually resulted in China’s victory over Japan at the end of World War II, and I believe the Chinese Communist Party has another version of the story,” Cheng said. “So it is the KMT that should be worried about the battle of political ideologies.”
Cheng said that the decision on whether to participate in such events is irrelevant and that what really matters are frequent visits by retired high-ranking military officers and civilian officials to China, as they may take — as many have already done — classified military intelligence, information or technology to China.
“That is what we should really worry about,” he said.
The remarks were made in response to an invitation that China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Fan Liqing (范麗青) made during a press conference in Beijing yesterday morning.
“We welcome Taiwanese compatriots to participate in memorial activities, and hope people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait can always remember history, cherish the memory of martyrs and rally together through war victory activities,” she said, adding that the victory belongs to “the entire nation.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is to oversee a military parade, reception and evening gala for the anniversary, which is likely to be marked in September, and will invite leaders from major participants in the war, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said, although it has not said which leaders.
China is also to hold a series of events this year to mark the end of Japanese colonial rule over Taiwan, Fan added, without providing details.
NO CONNECTION: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said the CECC has linked no deaths so far to the AstraZeneca vaccine Eleven people in the nation have died after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, but the deaths should not deter older people with chronic health conditions from getting vaccinated. Nine of the deaths — people aged 65 to 97 — took place three hours to one day after the AstraZeneca vaccine was given, the center said, while eight of the 11 deaths were people aged 75 or older, most of whom had chronic health conditions. On Wednesday, the center said that 12 more people — seven women and five men aged 42 to 97 at
HELPING HAND: Vaccine eligibility can likely be widened to cover pregnant women now that the nation has more vaccine doses than it planned for, Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan yesterday received a shipment of 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the US, obtaining its largest single batch of vaccines since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year. A cargo plane of Taiwanese national carrier China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) carrying the Moderna Inc vaccines landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 4:30pm, after leaving Memphis, Tennessee, early on Saturday, US time. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen were at the airport to welcome the plane. The vaccines were transported to a cold chain logistics center, where they would be inspected
‘NO STRINGS ATTACHED’: The US is donating the shots without any political or economic conditions, and with the singular aim of saving lives, a senior US official said The US was yesterday to ship 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, more than tripling Washington’s previous allocation of shots for the nation. Washington, competing with Beijing to deepen geopolitical clout through so-called “vaccine diplomacy,” had initially promised to donate 750,000 doses to Taiwan, but is increasing that number as US President Joe Biden’s administration advances its pledge to send 80 million US-made shots around the world. The 2.5 million donated doses of the Moderna Inc vaccine would leave Memphis, Tennessee, on a flight belonging to Taiwan’s national carrier, China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), early
VULNERABLE: The CECC has been moving older infected people or those with underlying health conditions, who were in isolation, to hospitals for better health monitoring The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 75 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, the lowest daily count since the nationwide level 3 alert was issued last month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the 75 local infections are 35 males and 40 females, aged from under five to over 80, and they began experiencing symptoms between June 8 and Sunday. New Taipei City reported 38 cases, followed by Taipei with 22, Taoyuan with five, Miaoli County with three, Keelung and Taichung with two each, and Kaohsiung, Yunlin County and Changhua County with one each, CECC