The National Immigration Agency (NIA) announced late on Saturday that restrictions on Chinese business visitors would be eased, with the duration of stay extended to one month from 14 days. NIA Deputy Director-General Ho Jung-chun (何榮村) said the relaxation was part of amended regulations governing visits by Chinese business executives and professionals promulgated by the Ministry of the Interior the previous day. Ho said Chinese citizens made about 80,000 business visits to Taiwan last year. Previous regulations stipulated that local companies with an annual turnover of less than NT$30 million (US$917,400) were eligible to host a maximum of 15 Chinese business visitors annually. Under the new regulations, that number was raised to 45. The number of Chinese business visitors that local businesses with annual turnover of NT$30 million or more can host each year has been raised to 200 from the initial 50.
Two new A(H1N1) cases
The Central Epidemics Command Centers (CECC) announced two imported A(H1N1) cases yesterday, bringing the total number of cases in Taiwan to 19. “Case 18” was a 32-year-old Taiwanese female who had returned to Taiwan following a trip to Australia. Her husband was also listed as a possible swine flu case and quarantined. He displayed symptoms of the illness, CECC spokesman Shih Wen-yi (施文儀) said. “The rest of the tour group — 13 people altogether — as well as 29 passengers who shared a flight with “Case 18” and sat in close proximity to her, were asked to monitor their health and report to the Centers for Disease Control if they developed flu-like symptoms,” he said. “Case 19” was a 15-year-old boy of US nationality who arrived in Taiwan from Utah with his mother after transits in Los Angeles and Tokyo, Shih said. As the boy’s mother displayed symptoms of the flu, she was quarantined and listed as a suspected case, Shih said, adding that six people who came in close contact with the boy were asked to stay home and monitor their health.
Group wants free vaccines
The government should consider including many vaccines needed by children in the national health insurance plan as many parents with young children find vaccine shots expensive, the Taiwan Immunization Vision and Strategy (TIVS) alliance said. Citing a poll conducted last month, TIVS secretary-general Lee Bing-ying (李秉穎) said that while 67.7 percent of respondents said that as a result of the economic downturn they were more reluctant to bring their children to clinics for vaccine shots, 92.9 percent of parents nevertheless paid for the service. “While [parents] worry about money, they still pay to ensure their loved ones are protected,” Lee said.
Taipei targets graffiti
Taipei City will crack down on graffiti on public property and redouble efforts to keep the city clean. Individuals found to have arbitrarily defaced public property will face fines of up to NT$6,000, Department of Environmental Protection officials said yesterday. The city made the decision after workers had trouble cleaning graffiti done with certain types of markers or spray paint and had to spend considerable sums of money to get it off walls and other venues. The government advised graffiti enthusiasts to practice art at designated areas.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: The mayors of the two largest cities voiced concerns over hidden cases, while all other local governments are to follow eased CECC guidelines All local governments, with the exception of Taipei and New Taipei City, are to allow dine-in services at restaurants after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would on Tuesday lower a nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2. The center on July 8 allowed the resumption of dining at restaurants nationwide — despite keeping the alert level at 3. At the time, this prompted all cities and counties, except Penghu Country, to keep local dine-in bans in place. Following Friday’s CECC announcement that COVID-19 prevention measures would be further relaxed, the Taipei and New Taipei City governments
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide