Taiwan has been lobbying Washington to allow it to host a US-organized ministerial-level forum on religious freedom, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) told lawmakers yesterday.
During a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) asked Hsieh if she could confirm that the US is considering organizing such an event in Asia and that Taiwan was a possible host.
The first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom was held in Washington in July. The three-day forum brought together representatives from more than 80 nations with records for advancing religious freedom, as well as non-governmental organizations, a news release from the US Department of State said at the time.
Hsieh told Wang that Taiwan was engaged in talks with US officials on the issue and that the government would welcome the opportunity to host such a meeting.
Wang said that while Taiwan-US relations have seen positive developments, the government should seek a measurable way to reassure the public that US policy would stay on course.
“The ministry should not be complacent about being notified, your people should get on the case,” he said. “For example, Taiwan should try to send a delegation to the [White House] prayer breakfast.”
No time or place has been fixed for the proposed religious freedom summit in Asia and the US government is still discussing the matter with other nations, Hsieh said.
The government’s position, which has been conveyed to the US, is that Taiwan would gladly host the event, he said.
The July forum was chaired by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and US Vice President Mike Pence gave the keynote speech.
Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰) attended the forum, but the foreign ministry has been tight-lipped about Taiwan’s role at that summit.
Additional reporting by CNA
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
‘NOTHING NEW’: China should not use Tsai Ing-wen’s transits through the US as a pretext to step up aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait, a Washington official said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to stop over in the US on her way to and from Central America next week, but her administration would not confirm a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai’s delegation is to leave Taipei on Wednesday next week and stop over in New York City, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) told a news conference yesterday. Tsai is then to head to Guatemala on Saturday next week for talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. On April 3, Tsai is scheduled to travel