The government would stabilize the stock market and boost disease-prevention measures to contain COVID-19, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, adding that people hoarding supplies would face penalties.
Tsai, accompanied by Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), told a news conference at the Presidential Office in Taipei that the situation on the ground would dictate whether fast-tracked legislation or emergency presidential decrees would be necessary, while existing regulations adequately allow the government to respond.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), along with the Taiwan People’s Party, had on Wednesday called on the government to issue an emergency presidential decree to provide a legal basis for disease-prevention efforts, as well as to resolve whether restrictions in place are infringing on the constitutionally guaranteed right to free movement.
Tsai said that now is not the time to point fingers, but to join together with the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
While the restrictions are inconvenient, they help protect both the patient and the public, she said, adding that such measures reduce the stress on medical personnel.
Tsai said that she wished to thank the public for their compliance and the nation’s medical personnel for their tireless work.
The public should avoid spreading false news and adding to the panic, she added.
The nation has a plentiful supply of all medical products and mask production is to be increased if needed, Tsai said, adding that the border controls that went into effect yesterday are focused primarily on travelers and not the flow of goods.
Stockpiling goods and reselling them for profit is illegal and offenders would face severe consequences, Tsai added.
Addressing public concern regarding the economy, Tsai said that Taiwan has been affected by the pandemic, but remains strong and stable compared with other countries.
The government has allocated NT$100 billion (US$3.28 billion) in stimulus money and subsidies can be increased, she said.
A NT$110 billion subsidy to aid the tourism and airline industries has also been allocated, the president said.
Tsai, addressing comments made by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on Feb. 21, said that the narrow and politically fixated mindset of certain individuals contributes nothing to the prevention of COVID-19.
TAO spokesperson Zhu Fonglian (朱鳳蓮) said that Taiwan’s bid to join to the WHO was an attempt to use COVID-19 to further the pro-Taiwan independence agenda of the Democratic Progressive Party.
The virus is a global pandemic and Taiwan cannot stop at protecting just itself, Tsai said, adding that many countries have expressed a willingness to work with Taiwan on disease-prevention efforts.
Taiwan has demonstrated its resilience and strength during this pandemic, and nations around the world should step up collaboration to stop the coronavirus — and Taiwan can help, she said.
“I have tasked Vice President Chen with handling all collaborative efforts,” Tsai said, adding that it is Taiwan’s “international responsibility” as a member of the global community.
Additional reporting by CNA
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient