MND, PLA to meet
Representatives from the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and Chinese military will meet this summer in Hawaii in their first formal exchange in six decades, a newspaper reported yesterday. The report said that the militaries would take part in a workshop on regional security and crisis management under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, a think tank with links to the US Pacific Command. The Taiwanese Defense Ministry would not comment on the report. The Chinese-language United Daily News said other militaries would also participate in the workshop, but it did not say which.
Hundreds of pigs culled
Chiayi City has culled a total of 291 pigs after suspected cases of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) were detected two days ago, a Council of Agriculture official said on Sunday. Staff members from the council旧 Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine spotted several pigs showing symptoms of FMD on Friday during a routine inspection of the Chiayi meat market, the official said. The Chiayi City Government was immediately alerted. It tracked the source of the pigs to a farm in neighboring Chiayi County and prohibited movement of pigs from that farm, the official said. On Saturday, the official said the pigs showing FMD symptoms and other pigs kept in the same enclosure were culled, while the remaining pigs in the farm were vaccinated.
Retired officer accused
A retired officer with 20 years of military service has been accused of leaking documents about war plans and other military secrets to Beijing. The report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times� sister paper) said the officer, identified only by his surname Chang, took up residence in China after leaking secrets, including troop deployment plans to be used in the event of a war. It said Chang was afraid to return to Taiwan. A Ministry of National Defense official confirmed that Chang was under investigation but refused to elaborate.
Poultry farmers protest
More than 1,000 poultry farmers rallied in front of the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday to protest against a planned ban on slaughtering birds in traditional markets. The protest prompted a COA official to say there would be no turning back in implementing the policy. Huang Kuo-ching (黃國青), deputy director-general of the COA旧 Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, said that butchering poultry in certified slaughterhouses was a modern trend and added that the government would help domestic fowl farmers face the impact of the new measures once the ban is implemented on April 1 next year. Last March, the Executive Yuan passed a resolution prohibiting the old practice and decided to start the ban after two years. The announcement triggered protests by poultry farmers concerned that their livelihoods would be affected because the new law would require them to have their birds butchered at certified facilities. To minimize the impact on small poultry businesses, the COA has prepared a variety of measures, including low-interest loans to help businesses establish integrated production lines from breeding to final sale, the council said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,