The attendance of the head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in New York at Monday’s keynote speech on protecting religious freedom at UN headquarters was a “remarkable diplomatic breakthrough,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.
It was the first time that a representative of Taiwan formally took part in a UN event since the Republic of China withdrew from the UN in 1971, Su said.
Su made the remarks at the Legislative Yuan when asked by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lu Sun-ling (呂孫綾) about reports that TECO in New York Director-General Lily Hsu (徐儷文) attended a speech by US President Donald Trump, which was also attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via CNA
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that the New York office received an invitation on Monday to attend the US-hosted — not UN-hosted — Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom event at the UN in New York City, where member states are meeting for the annual UN General Assembly.
Calling it “very good news,” Wu said that the nation’s participation in the event attested to warming Taiwan-US ties, and showed the world that Taiwan is a nation that champions freedom and democracy.
The nation was invited for its achievements in upholding religious freedom, which is something Taiwanese should be proud of, he added.
Despite the nation’s diplomatic plight, Taiwan-US relations have greatly improved and have remained stable thanks to efforts by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Su said.
This is evidenced by the US Congress’ passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, the Taiwan Travel Act and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, as well as the US Department of State’s sanctioning of the sale of M1A2 Abrams tanks and F-16V jets to Taiwan, Su said.
The jets would be the most advanced fighters the nation has acquired in 23 years, he added.
To buy the fleet of 66 F-16V jets, the Cabinet set aside a special budget of NT$250 billion, which on Monday passed a preliminary review by the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
Su called on the legislature to support international exchanges which the government engages in, especially exchanges with the US, which would leverage Taiwan's exchanges with other nations.
‘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