If Beijing does not order the release of human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲), “problems will arise” when the Chinese delegation arrives in Taipei for the Summer Universiade in August, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said.
China’s handling of the Lee incident is “strange” and “runs counter to global norms,” Ko said in an interview published yesterday by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper).
Ko said he had no preconceived notions about Lee’s arrest almost three weeks ago, but Beijing should have disclosed on what grounds it detained him and allowed his family to visit on the second or third day of his detention.
“This is the way of civilized nations,” he said, adding that he was concerned about China, as a superpower, demonstrating behavior that is at odds with the civilized world.
China’s handling of the Lee case provided insight into why, despite all the benefits that China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has offered Taiwanese businesspeople in China, there is still a general antipathy toward China among Taiwanese, Ko said.
“It is very simple. The Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜) incident probably scared off half of Taiwanese, while the Lee Ming-che incident scared off the other half,” Ko said, refering to a seemingly forced apology by the Taiwanese K-pop idol after she displayed a Republic of China flag on a South Korean TV show last year.
“Maybe they do not find it unusual, but to Taiwanese it was beyond shock and awe,” Ko said, adding that the two incidents showed a fundamental difference between Taiwanese and Chinese beliefs, which is an issue Beijing should be mindful of.
As China plans to send a delegation of at least 700 to Taipei to compete in the Summer Universiade, problems will arise if Beijing does not handle the Lee incident with caution, Ko said.
Ko said that although Taipei’s extensive experience with dealing with protesters is enough to guarantee the safety of Chinese delegates, he cannot control public sentiments toward the delegation.
“Who do you think spectators will root for if China and US went head-to-head in a match?” he asked.
Taiwanese attitudes toward the Chinese delegation would have a profound political effect on Beijing and the world through live broadcast of the Games, he said.
Asked what messages he would convey to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) if he meets Xi’s aides on his trip to China for the Taipei-Shanghai Forum in June, Ko said that it is unclear whether he would meet with them.
If he has a chance to meet with Beijing officials, he would urge China to respect “universal values and global norms” in addition to promoting exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, so that disagreements can be resolved by an increase in goodwill, Ko said.
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
‘DOWN TO ZERO 2.0’: All pilots are to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew on long-haul flights have to quarantine for 14 days The Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday announced stricter measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak among China Airlines (華航) flight crew, as the nature of the confirmed cases indicated an unknown chain of transmission within the airline. The “Down to Zero 2.0” plan will be tough on China Airlines personnel, but is necessary to minimize the risk to society, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Under the measures, all China Airlines pilots and copilots are to be recalled to undergo quarantine at government centers, while cabin crew who are returning from long-haul flights or who have
GRID PROBLEM: A Taipower spokesman said that the blackouts were not due to usage exceeding supply, nor were they because of a problem at the Singda plant There were rolling blackouts across Taiwan yesterday due to a grid malfunction at the Singda Power Plant (興達電廠) in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District (永安), while Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said that it was working “as hard as possible to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” At 2:37pm, a malfunction at an ultra-high-voltage substation in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) triggered four generators at the Singda plant to go offline, cutting power output by 2.2 million kilowatts and prompting Taipower to initiate rolling blackouts nationwide as it worked on the problem. Taipower spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) told a news conference in Taipei that