The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced that Chinese minor children of Taiwanese and Chinese couples would continue to be banned from entering Taiwan.
At their regular weekly meeting yesterday, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) overturned a policy announced by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Tuesday that would have allowed the children entry under special conditions, the center said.
Facing a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 in China, the center announced a ban on the entry of Chinese visitors from Thursday last week, but the council initially relaxed the policy on Tuesday.
Photo: Tony Yao, Taipei Times
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, yesterday told a news conference in Taipei: “We are revoking all the control measures allowing Chinese minor children of Taiwanese and Chinese couples to return to Taiwan announced by the MAC on Tuesday.”
“Chinese children of Taiwanese and Chinese couples who do not have nationality of our country and are still in China, Hong Kong or Macau will not be allowed to enter Taiwan,” he said.
The MAC had announced that the exception would allow Chinese minor children of Taiwanese and Chinese couples who have an Alien Resident Certificate or a long-term visa for visiting family or relatives to enter Taiwan, but they would be placed in home quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The announcement quickly sparked public confusion and criticism, with the MAC on Tuesday night saying that the policy had been narrowed to only include Chinese children who are under 18 years old, “have been living in Taiwan” and “have no one to take care of them in China,” adding that they must apply for entry and gain approval from the National Immigration Agency.
Chen yesterday said that anyone who is in Taiwan would receive equal medical treatment if they are infected, and anyone who is in home isolation or home quarantine in Taiwan would also be regulated equally.
“However, there must be a differentiation at border controls and priority is given to Taiwanese,” he said.
Many Taiwanese in China are likely to return for the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday, so the center is worried that loosening border controls would cause a capacity shortage, he added.
About 5,000 people are placed in home quarantine every day and as quarantines last 14 days, there would be more than 70,000 people in home quarantine every day and more people are needed to monitor them, Chen said.
COVID-19 testing capacity has increased to about 1,010 people per day, but two test results are required to confirm each case and about 40 percent of the nation’s 1,100 negative pressure isolation rooms are being used, so some capacity must be reserved for possible emergency situations, he said.
“We know there is kinship between Chinese minor children and their Taiwanese parents, but our principle is to put Taiwanese first,” Chen said. “There are already many problems to deal with among Taiwanese, such as those who are ill, but stranded in Wuhan [the epicenter of the outbreak in China]… Emergency rescue operations could be needed at any time.”
“We will not allow our medical and related capacity to be used on non-Taiwanese. Of course, we hope to help others if we have spare capacity, but the CECC will have failed in its duty if we cannot act within our power,” he said.
Chinese minor children of Taiwanese and Chinese couples could not have been left alone in China without caregivers, as their parents must have made arrangement for them before returning to Taiwan, Chen said.
“Moreover, they [parents] had the option to choose their nationality in the first place, but they did not choose Taiwan, so they must make proper arrangements for themselves and bear the consequences now,” he said.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how