Six US scholars and former government officials, under the aegis of the US' National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP), reached Taipei yesterday after a visit to China -- as part of a "track two" program to facilitate diplomacy between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. \nWhile most of the officials declined to comment on Chinese Vice President Hu Jin-tao's (胡錦濤) current trip to the US, one member of the delegation did offer an opinion. \n"I think the trip is positive. My own sense is that when US-China relations are on track, it makes cross-strait relations easier," Ralph Cossa, President of the Pacific Forum, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told the Taipei Times. "Hu, as everyone expects, is going to be the next primary leader ... the sooner that he and Mr. Bush start developing a certain level of comfort with one another, the better off we are going to be," Cossa said. \nFresh from the group's trip to China, Cossa also noted what he called an "interesting" phenomenon with regard to the Chinese newspapers' coverage of Hu's visit. \n"You got to get to the third or fourth page to find Hu's visit to the US. The front page was reserved for Jiang Zemin (江澤民). But it tells you that China has not tried to play this thing up, either. Hu is still fourth or fifth in the ranking," Cossa noted. \nOn the thorny issue of Taiwan, Cossa said: "If Hu tries to be tough on Taiwan during his visit, he will be doing it more for a domestic audience." \n"If he came in and tried to be obnoxious about Taiwan, it would work very much to his disadvantage, because the Bush administration is not a group that you can get to kowtow by bullying them," he said. \nThe group visited Beijing and Shanghai before reaching Taipei for a five-day visit. The delegation is to meet President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Minister of Foreign Affairs Eugene Chien (簡又新), Chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and members of the National Security Council, sources said. \nThe group will also visit Taipei's Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), a think-tank called the Chinese Eurasian Education Foundation (中華歐亞教育基金會) and members of the foreign and overseas Chinese affairs committee at the Legislative Yuan. \nThe group also included NCAFP Trustee Donald Zagoria, former US ambassador to China Winston Lord, NCAFP President George Schwab; Robert Scalapino, professor emeritus at the Institute of East Asian Studies of the University of California, Berkeley and Derek Mitchell, a senior fellow at the CSIS. \nKurt Campbell, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs, who is senior vice president of the CSIS, cancelled his trip because of sickness, according to a foreign ministry official. \nAside from visiting both sides of the Strait, the think-tank has held biannual closed-door round-table meetings in New York on US-China ties and cross-strait issues since the 1996 missile crisis, when China launched missiles into the sea off Taiwan.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among