The National Security Council (NSC) yesterday denied that it had discussed the recent dispute over the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) with the US, saying that nuclear power issues would not affect US-Taiwan relations.
“The government never discussed nuclear power plant issues with the US and did not receive any response from the US on the matter,” it said in a press release.
Amid mounting opposition to the power plant’s completion, the Chinese-language China Times yesterday said that while Taiwan imports most of its uranium from Australia, the uranium is sent to the US to be refined into fuel for the generation of nuclear power. The Taiwanese government pays billions to the US government every year for uranium refinement and for consultations about the power plant.
Citing anonymous sources from the council, the report said that the fuel refinement business with the US plays a role in the Taiwanese government’s nuclear power policy, such as its insistence on only gradually reducing the use of nuclear energy, or aversion to abruptly suspending construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, because a policy change could jeopardize bilateral relations.
The council yesterday said that Washington did not play any role in the government’s stance on nuclear power and said the story “blurred the focus of the nuclear power plant issue and misled public perceptions of the issue.”
Separately yesterday, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) reiterated the government’s plan to resolve the dispute over the Gongliao plant via a national referendum, adding that the Democratic Progressive Party’s proposal to put the suspension of the project to a legislative vote was a violation of the Constitution.
Ma said the policy on the construction of the nuclear power plant received support from the legislature, which made it a major national policy.
In addition, amendments to the Constitution have scrapped a previous article that gave the legislature the authority to ask the Executive Yuan to make changes to major policies.
“The Executive Yuan has the authority to propose and change major policies. Right now, the Executive Yuan’s attitude toward the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is quite clear, and that is to hold a referendum and let the public decide whether the policy should be changed,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
INCENTIVES: The province’s ‘21 measures’ include enhanced agricultural loans for Taiwanese farmers, and rent waivers and housing subsidies for Taiwanese start-ups China’s Fujian Province on Monday began implementing 15 economic measures targeting Taiwanese in its latest bid to fan pro-Beijing sentiment ahead of the Jan. 13 elections. Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency said the policies were part of “21 measures” unveiled in September by China for Fujian’s “integrated cross-strait development demonstration zone.” The partially implemented measures, which were created with input from Beijing, include reducing the wait time for Taiwanese applying for a visa from 20 days to five days and free public transit for Taiwanese older than 65, it said. Residents of Taiwan were granted use of the “all provincial Taiwanese entrepreneur compatriot
Tokyo has requested regions in southern Japan to accommodate people evacuated from Okinawa Prefecture in case of a war in the Taiwan Strait, Kyodo news agency reported on Monday. If a conflict breaks out across the Strait, people on the Sakishima Islands, which lie between Taiwan proper and Okinawa’s main island, would have to be evacuated from the prefecture, the news agency reported. An estimated 120,000 people would need to be moved, including 110,000 citizens and 10,000 tourists, it said. Niitani Koushi, who is in charge of crisis management at the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat, visited Yamaguchi Prefecture at the southern end of Japan’s